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ECathers
03-14-2013, 04:09 PM
I have a character who works as an editor for a publishing company in NYC and commutes there twice a week for meetings, etc. and works at home the rest of the time.

This is based on a friend who used to have a similar job proofing and editing. But that was back in the late 70's and I know the industry has changed.

Is this plausible in today's industry? If not, would it work if she worked editing for a magazine instead?

Way back then, my friend was working from printed copy. I'm assuming that's not the case any more and she'd be working straight on the computer. Is that correct, or would she still be working with printed galleys?

Do editors even do this job any more or is that all left up to the agents to fix? Obviously spell czech does a lot of the proofing these days, but there's still a need to make sure that the right word is being used rather than a homonym, and so forth.

Any other tidbits regarding things she'd be doing as part of her job would also be useful. For example would she be the one to contact agents or authors regarding requested changes?

Just so you know the scope of what I'm looking for, this is a YA and the editor is the mom of the MC. I don't want her to work completely freelance. She already has a few successful novels and teaches a writing class on the side. The plot as written requires her to be in NYC (thus out of range to help her kid) on Monday and Wednesday, and then be stressing later because she can't upload something that's on deadline or show up for workdays. (The family is in hiding.)

Thanks much in advance for your help!

Torgo
03-14-2013, 04:20 PM
I have a character who works as an editor for a publishing company in NYC and commutes there twice a week for meetings, etc. and works at home the rest of the time.

This is based on a friend who used to have a similar job proofing and editing. But that was back in the late 70's and I know the industry has changed.

Is this plausible in today's industry? If not, would it work if she worked editing for a magazine instead?

Fairly usual if they're a freelance of some kind - we have, say, freelance designers who are in the office once a week as they're always working on at least one book for us. Full-time editors tend to need to be in the office quite a lot, but again I have colleagues who work three days a week, and I know of a couple of people who work mostly out of the office. To get that kind of gig with a big trade house, though, you're going to need to have a long and good track record behind you, such that the company is willing to put up with you being out of the office a lot in order to get you to sign on with them.


Way back then, my friend was working from printed copy. I'm assuming that's not the case any more and she'd be working straight on the computer. Is that correct, or would she still be working with printed galleys?

Both. Working on the computer is fine when you're dealing with the early stages of working on a manuscript, but copyediting may be done on printed pages and proofreading has to be.


Do editors even do this job any more or is that all left up to the agents to fix? Obviously spell czech does a lot of the proofing these days, but there's still a need to make sure that the right word is being used rather than a homonym, and so forth.

I see what you did there. Spellcheck does no proofing. We don't let algorithms do anything. The job is substantially the same as it's always been - skilled eyes and brains.


Any other tidbits regarding things she'd be doing as part of her job would also be useful. For example would she be the one to contact agents or authors regarding requested changes?

Yes. You don't tend to contact the agent with changes - you work directly with the author.


Just so you know the scope of what I'm looking for, this is a YA and the editor is the mom of the MC. I don't want her to work completely freelance. She already has a few successful novels and teaches a writing class on the side. The plot as written requires her to be in NYC (thus out of range to help her kid) on Monday and Wednesday, and then be stressing later because she can't upload something that's on deadline or show up for workdays. (The family is in hiding.)

I could see this being plausible. I know an editor with a young son who lives in Brighton and commutes to Oxford once a week or so. She's freelance but works almost exclusively for one firm. I've also worked, while freelance, on a contract basis - I had a six-month contract to edit a specified list of books, but worked on them from home. It's not the norm, but it does happen often enough to be plausible.

ECathers
03-14-2013, 04:58 PM
Thanks! Yeah the mom has been with the company for about 12 years. I was figuring she'd started working with them back when she lived in NYC and when they moved she probably commuted every day for a while. Then they and she found letting her telecommute to be a good cost-cutting measure as well as give her more time to be at home.

She probably took the telecommute thing in lieu of a raise so it was a good deal for everyone all around.