Panelists Heidi Hogg (freelance copyeditor and project manager), Andrew Karre (executive editor at Dutton Children’s Books), and Michael Stoffel (assistant managing editor at the University of Minnesota Press) kicked off the January 2015 MBPR luncheon, “The Changing Role of an Editor: Tools of the Trade.”
The panel was moderated by MBPR board member David Farr. The speakers engaged in an enlightening discussion about how technology has changed the role of editors in light of advances in digital delivery and changes in staffing resources. Topics included the digital workflow and how it affects the earlier stages of the editorial process with tools such as InCopy, XML tagging, and Word macros, and how publishers are working with internal and outside freelancers or services to utilize these resources.
The consensus seemed to be that although tools such as InCopy, Word macros, and XML tagging may seem daunting to learn and use, they are not that difficult to put into practice and can greatly increase the efficiency of the digital workflow. Consultants and services are available to train and help implement new digital processes such as XML tagging.
Another example is importing Word copy into InCopy, making it more compatible with InDesign files, and in this way, authors don’t need to try to learn InCopy to write their manuscripts, a challenging scenario at best. InCopy files can be edited by multiple reviewers and also work with Dropbox, which is an easy way to share files. Word macros can save much time by automating repetitive tasks such as deleting spaces, hard returns, tabs, etc., to clean up manuscripts. Linda.com is also a great resource for tutorials. The advice of the panel for those wanting to stay up to date with new editorial tools is to learn the Adobe Creative Cloud programs since they are expected to dominate the publishing page design and layout for the foreseeable future.
An audio recording of this event is available to members in Member Resources. Thanks to everyone for a great event!