Writing is a job where no number of re-checks would ever be enough. It is not just about getting more eyes to read a piece that you have written. As too many cooks will just spoil the broth, it takes a capable person to edit something that has already been written. While writers will most often have a different opinion on several occasions, it is the job of an editor to look at it from a neutral point of view.
The job of an editor is one of extreme precision and detail. An editor has to be very thorough while doing their job because once a writing piece gets published, there is no going back from it. An important statement to remember is that all editors can be writers, but not all writers can be editors. In this article, we will look at exactly what the role of an editor is in the writing and publishing industry:
Re-check facts and figures: One of the first tasks of an editor must be to re-check all the facts and figures in a writing piece. Human error is one of the most common forms of error that can end up being extremely costly for a writer. An editor must ensure that all facts and figures have been used correctly and in the right place in a piece. Even a small mistake could have the capability of ruining the goodness of the piece.
Examine the references: While you are going through the authenticity of the facts and figures, do not forget to give the citations a check as well. There are multiple websites with information of untrue nature. You do not want your written piece to be associated with any of those websites. You must ensure that all the data that is picked up by your colleague/author is completely true and reliable. And when you do pick up data, ensure that you cite the necessary links and books.
Review for plagiarism: Reviewing for plagiarism is one of the most important tasks of an editor. An editor has to guarantee that none of the content picked up by their author is copied from another source. Stealing the work of another writer is not just unethical, but a disgrace to your own profession. Therefore, an editor needs to assure the respective publication or company that none of the content written by the author is plagiarised. While an extremely tiny percentage of 1 or 2 is common, it must not exceed a certain limit.
Maintain relations on both sides: An editor is a person who is working with the author and the publisher closely. The editor is the intermediary in this situation who has to handle both parties accordingly. An editor has to optimally work with an author to meet deadlines while making sure that the publisher is happy with the content that is being produced. As the editor, you cannot jeopardise your relationship with any of the parties. Thus, acting vigilantly is the key in this scenario.
Be honest: Editors need to be able to judge the written piece while being completely honest to the author about it. Sugar-coating the negative things might result in the author ignoring them completely. You must see to it that the author understands what has gone wrong and what needs to be done to repair it. Do not let your judgment get clouded by other people’s statements. You have been given a job that you are essentially good at, do it well so others do not have to worry about being honest to you.
Do not get too closely involved: The whole reason behind the job of an editor is to have a set of fresh eyes on a written piece. An author is too close to their work which is why they might often miss out on obvious mistakes. This is where the role of an editor comes in. An editor cannot get so involved in a project that it starts feeling like it is their own. It spoils the whole purpose behind their job. It is simple, if you look at something extremely closely, you might miss out on the mistakes that could be observed if you looked it from farther away.
Like we said previously, not every writer can be an editor but all editors can be a writer. We have a supremely talented writer who can explain the roles of an editor in a much more detailed manner.
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