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The Changing Role of an Editor: Tools of the Trade

January 21, 2015 @ 5:29 pm


Whether it’s because of technology or shifting trends in staffing resources, the role of an editor is always changing. In recent years, there has been a need to accommodate digital workflow early in the editorial process through the help of tools such as InCopy, macros in Word, and XML tagging. What makes a publishing company choose one tool over another? How does an editor train other teams to use these tools? What goes on behind the scenes to create the best print and digital products possible?

And increasingly, an editor’s role is changing further still as publishers rely on freelancers for copyediting, developmental editing, and production. What sort of training, communication, preparation, and infrastructure helps a publisher establish successful relationships with freelance editors? And how can freelance editors best prepare themselves to jump into the various workflows and processes they may encounter?


Heidi Hogg is a freelance copyeditor, proofreader, and project manager. After working eight years for various book publishers in the Twin Cities, she decided to start her own business. Heidi has adapted to many different house style guides (and even helped create some), but she’s an unabashed Chicago Manual of Style enthusiast. This explains her preference for copyeditor as one word (see section 2 of 7.85!), as well as the Chicago Manual of Style decorative minibook that adorned her Christmas tree. You can reach Heidi at heidi.hogg.editor@gmail.com.

Andrew Karre is an executive editor at Dutton Children’s Books, an imprint of Penguin Random House. Until very recently, he was editorial director at Carolrhoda Books, Carolrhoda Lab, and Darby Creek, imprints of Lerner Publishing Group. Over the course of his career in children’s literature, he has acquired, edited, and published notable and bestselling authors like Maggie Stiefvater, Vaunda Micheaux Nelson, Carrie Jones, and Carrie Mesrobian, among many others. While at Lerner, Andrew also spearheaded the creation of an all-digital editorial workflow, including implementing Adobe InCopy across the editorial team. He lives and works from his home in Saint Paul.

Michael Stoffel is an assistant managing editor at the University of Minnesota Press, where he has been on staff since 1998. He edits or oversees the editing of some fifty books and twenty journal issues a year. He has been known to take on a freelance project now and again. He lives in Saint Paul.


David Farr is ImageSmythe’s principal of art direction and print, web, and tablet digital production. He brings more than twenty-five years of publishing experience to his design and production work. He founded ImageSmythe in 1986 to provide publishing services for the advertising, direct mail, magazine, and book publishing fields. Having dealt with pixels for much of his professional career, Farr has returned to the darkroom to develop his landscape photography, shot using large-format cameras and traditional black-and-white film.


January 21, 2015
5:29 pm


Open Book, Target Auditorium
1011 Washington Ave S
Minneapolis, MN 55415 United States
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