Editing Course

Communication Skills

All parties working on a project need to work as a team. They must also respect each other’s point of view. If everyone is working in different directions then the project will not succeed.

Point of View

Everyone has a point of view. Often everyone thinks their point of view is the right one. This is only natural because we all see things/situations differently. However, it doesn’t mean we are always right and it can be that part of or all of the other points of view are also correct.

The key is to be objective. It’s OK to have a different point of view which you are willing to put aside because the majority thinks another way. However, never compromise your ethics.

Compromise

As the editor, you must learn to compromise. And, remember, you are not the author and should not be attempting to change the author’s style.

Remember quality and profit from the last post? Ask yourself will compromising make either of these things suffer.

Key Communication Skills

Active Listening means to respond and question. All parties need to be able to question without fear of reprisal.

Consideration must always be given to the author’s goal. The publisher/editor/copyeditor/proofreader should not become so intent on grammar and correctness that this is forgotten. This means the other parties (publisher and editors) must never become narrow-minded. And, if you are wrong…admit it!

Non-Verbal Language will tell other parties what you think even if you don’t say it. This is true on the phone too. The other person cannot see you, but they can hear the smile on your face or the roll of your eyes, and they respond to these things. They also feel the distance if they can hear you doing other things. They may feel hurried if you speak fast. Where possible, learn to adjust your tone, pace and vocal range to the person you are talking to.

Communicating the Editors Role to the Author

As an editor, the best thing you can do is define your role to the author at your first meeting. This will help develop a good editor/author relationship.

Some things you should do are: explain your role in the company; advise that your suggestions are just that suggestions and the author has the final say; explain the manuscript must comply with the publisher’s in-house style; talk about the importance of readership and what they want and expect; and, briefly explain the publishing process. Be sure to mention that once the manuscript goes to print, no more corrections can be made.

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