Welcoming instructions welcomed
by Caroline Simpson AE
If you came along to the Working with trade publishers event you may have noticed I didn’t say a mihi or a pepeha. It’s the first time for a while on Zoom events that I have just used a simple greeting — in this case, tēnā koutou katoa.
The mihi had been approved by the kaiako (teachers) at the Te Noho Kotahitanga marae kura pō. They all grew up attending te kōhanga reo and te kura kaupapa and have an infectious love of their reo. It’s been fun saying the mihi to you all and sharing my pepeha, but now we are changing things a little.
After appropriate consultation, the board is looking at an IPEd-wide set of instructions for how we acknowledge and welcome people to our various events, ranging from Zoom or in-person meetings for just one branch to conferences. EdANZ would be thrilled to have clear directions. We are keen to find more ways to include te reo Māori and te ao Māori in our branch proceedings. Watch out for an exciting new professional development opportunity with this in mind, later this year.
The EdANZ event and PD team is taking a break from events over June and July. Planning is still going on behind the scenes for events for the rest of the year but, in the meantime, we want you to be able to focus on the conference and enjoy all it has to offer. And watch for our presentation at the end of the final plenary session, where we will launch the 11th IPEd conference as branch hosts. Roll on 2023 and the Wellington conference.
Noho ora mai
Caroline Simpson, EdANZ Branch President
We are pleased to welcome new associate member Graham Bathgate.
Branch PD events will take a sabbatical during June and July. Our schedule will resume in August. Keep an eye out for an email and a notice in Gatherings about our next speaker event.
Working with trade publishers
More than 40 editors attended the EdANZ Zoom, Working with trade publishers, on 3 May. In-house editors Mary McCallum (Makaro Press and Cuba Press), Leanne McGregor (Allen & Unwin) and Anna Bowbyes (Massey University Press) answered questions about in-house editing while freelance editor and EdANZ Director Kimberley Davis (Little Owl) fielded questions about how freelance editors work with trade publishers.
The publishers recommended Whitireia’s publishing course for those wishing to train as an editor. They also suggested immersing yourself in the style of writing you intend to edit, whether that be the literature of your country, or the business, technical or academic reports in your field. Graduates just starting out were recommended to volunteer at writers festivals, book fairs and so on to learn how the publishing industry works. The publishers also suggested asking an editor or publisher to mentor you, even if informally. (IPEd has a formal mentoring scheme too.)
The publishers acknowledged they receive many inquiries from prospective freelance and in-house editors. Those that stand out from the crowd tend to be from people who are informed about the publisher’s work, have an editing or publishing qualification or are working towards one, and have some experience working on longer documents and testimonials from respected clients. Experience is clearly important, but so are characteristics such as good communication skills and flexibility, both vital when in the week you expect to receive a manuscript you are told it’s been delayed.
The publishers who use freelance editors agreed they prefer freelancers to have in-house experience, as they are familiar with publishing processes. However, they acknowledged they had successfully worked with freelance editors without this experience. They also tend to use freelancers when specialist subject knowledge is needed, such as to edit cookbooks or NZ history books.
Kimberley emphasised that, before they start a project for a trade publisher, freelancers should establish the scope of work, obtain a style sheet and know the query process with the publisher or author. If it seems the publisher may have made a mistake in the brief or underestimated the work involved, she recommended asking about it straight away. There might be wriggle room to renegotiate the price of an edit, although the price for a proofread is usually non-negotiable. A helpful discussion on pay rates for freelancers is too lengthy to include here.
Finally, and particularly if you are new to the business, ask publishers for feedback on your work. They usually intend to give it, but it’s often missed, so don’t be afraid to ask.