A collective volume is often a written record of a single conference or symposium, or a record of the “acta” or proceedings of a series of meetings of an organization, often annual, stretching over a number of years; or, finally, a festschrift offered as an acknowledgement of an individual’s professional impact over a significant period of his life. Festschriften are often occasioned by 65th or 70th birthdays, retirement, or other excuses.
As a professional freelance copy editor, I have the pleasure and honor of working with publishers and authors of scholarly titles. I have known authors who resisted copy editing (or any kind of editing), and publishers who won’t pay for a thorough edit of a manuscript. Sadly, these occurrences generally result in inferior work being published.
You may wonder why you should work with an editor at any stage of your writing. Working with an editor that you hire can help prepare your book for a publisher by making it clearer, effective, and easier to read. Most reputable publishing houses will have copyediting done as part of the process of publishing to clean up your text and make sure it conforms to the publisher’s style.
Q: “What techniques do you use to cut clutter, wordiness, jargon, etc. from your writing?”
A: Andrew P. Johnson, Ph.D., Professor of Holistic Education, Department of Special Education, Minnesota State University, Mankato, Mankato, MN:
“What you don’t include in is just as important as what you do include. Splash your words on the page. Write your draft without regard to length or redundancy. Get the whole mess out there. First focus on and revise sentence-by-sentence. With each, only include the information that needs to be there to communicate the idea. NO EXTRA WORDS.
Q: “I find that I am forever writing different versions of the same thing, leaving me with the problem of collating them, or blending them together. It also wastes time, of course, to duplicate effort like that. Can you share some ideas for a more efficient process?”
A: Andrew P. Johnson, Ph.D., Professor of Holistic Education, Department of Special Education, Minnesota State University, Mankato:
Q: “I probably will have to submit my article to several journals before it is accepted. Each of the ones I am likely to send it to has a different style for footnotes and references. How do I make revisions efficiently and not spend undue hours with trivia?”
A: Richard Hull, Emeritus Professor of Philosophy:
“There are excellent reference management software programs available. You type your references in once; subsequent revisions are often possible by simply giving the periodical’s name, or by providing a simple template that will, for example, cause first and middle names to be replaced by initials (followed or not followed by periods), journal volume numbers to be preceded or not preceded by “vol.”, the year of the publication to be placed just after the author’s name or after the volume number (surrounded or nor surrounded by parentheses), and so forth. End Note and Reference Manager are two common ones, and they are sometimes freely provided to faculty by their educational institution’s Instructional Technology centers.”