Last month, we profiled a series of publishing freelancers and literary scenes thriving outside the pre-established centres of London and New York. London’s publishing industry, as evidenced by Stephen Page’s call to action at Derby University last month, is becoming increasingly aware of the need for an industry less concentrated in certain locations and on a certain demographic of people.
It is a truth universally acknowledged that all manuscripts, however accomplished the writer may be, benefit from a professional edit. But editing itself is not one single template solution to a problem. whitefox recently reached out to the wonderful NY Book Editors and we shared our respective experiences of what we think really matters to writers. It is about trying to match writers and editors. It is about finding editors who really care about their craft and their reputation. It is about knowing when writers are ready for the right sort of intervention. Good editing isn’t something you just pick up from doing a course. In the end, you have to get stuck in, gain experience and learn the nuances you go along. And know that what you do really matters to the new books you are helping into the world.
We interviewed Helen Coyle, a ghostwriter and editor living in Buenos Aires. She has seven years’ experience of freelancing for publishers including Hodder & Stoughton, Penguin, Sceptre, Canongate and Hutchinson. She is the co-author of two New York Times number two bestsellers and has edited numerous UK bestsellers in practically every genre from literary fiction to self-help. She specialises in structural editing, and loves mentoring authors.
We spoke to Becky Crook, a writer and literary translator of Norwegian and German novels into English. She has a degree in Linguistics from Seattle Pacific University. In 2010 she founded SAND, a biannual English literary journal in Berlin, now in its 6th year. After moving to the Netherlands in 2012, she began working primarily as a literary translator, editor and creative project manager. Her family moved again in 2014 to the pacific northwest in the U.S., where she has continued translations while writing her first novel. She lives on Bainbridge Island with her husband and young daughter.
Sophie Davies has worked in writing and editing roles at Thomson Reuters and the British Museum, among others. In 2013, she went freelance upon moving abroad, settling first in Buenos Aires, then in Rio de Janeiro. She has provided freelance editorial services including editing and copywriting to a number of clients, and has also written for a diverse selection of media from South America, including The Economist, the Thomson Reuters Foundation, S&P Global Market Intelligence and The Art Newspaper. She also edits an independent arts and culture magazine called The Kurios.
As part of our May focus on the delocalisation of publishing, we spoke to Cathryn Primrose-Mathisen, a freelance copy-editor from Bristol specialising in science, technology, business and medicine. She is an Advanced Professional Member of the Society for Editors and Proofreaders (SfEP) and is based in the Norwegian village of Terråk in Bindal, Nordland.
For our April focus on interesting and unusual routes into publishing, we spoke to copy editor and proofreader Graham Duncan, former RAF telegraphist and sergeant.
Martin Toseland has worked at a senior editorial level at Penguin Press and HarperCollins until October 2006, when he decided to concentrate on his own writing. Since then he’s written or ghosted over twenty books – fiction and non-fiction – on a comically broad range of subjects including misheard song lyrics, a CFO’s view of good business practice, the Grand Harbour in Malta, a novel set in the Amazon rainforest, and, recently, a book written entirely in emoji. He’s currently working on a television biography, a book about drinking, a travel book and a thriller. He also provides editorial consultancy for fiction and non-fiction titles and represents a select list of authors.
We interviewed Heather Boisseau, Publishing Manager at RedDoor and on of 2016’s Unsung Heroes of Publishing, about her role, her prediction for the future of project management in publishing and her most rewarding project to date.