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Forum: Editors/Reviewers Hangout

Do we need a list of stories by who edited them?

richardshagrin

I was looking a an older story I might want to read and I noticed it was edited by Morgan. He is an author I have read and I have read other stories he edited. So I decided to read the story. And then I thought, maybe I could find other good stories by looking at others he edited. And there are other Editors like Tenderloin (he uses a variety of capital letters to spell it that I can't remember) who are associated in my mind with excellent stories. There may be others. I don't know how difficult it would be for Management to implement such a list. Does anyone else think it might be a good idea?

Ernest Bywater

While I can see how you'd think it would be a good idea, I don't think it's practicable to implement due to how the editors are listed by some authors in the story text, some in an end note, some in the blog, and some not at all.

Replies:   Ross at Play
Ernest Bywater

What may be possible to implement is for a section where the editors record the authors they editor for. Naturally this will require the editors to enter the names after they got permission from the author to list them.

Replies:   Crumbly Writer
Ross at Play

@Ernest Bywater

While I can see how you'd think it would be a good idea, I don't think it's practicable to implement

That was my thought upon reading the title of the thread.

My reservations were not with what the site manager needed to credit a story to an editor. I'm sure it's with his ability to devise a simple enough system, possibly no more than one spreadsheet, to collect claims by editors and consents by authors, then promote all matches to a new site display screen. I think he has better things to do.

My reservations are more about what types of editor, what help did they provide, and the frequent situation with stories having multiple editors.

The only remotely practical idea I have is a new section on editors' profiles, somewhere where an editor could list a selection of stories they have edited and/or inform readers that a more complete list will be sent to readers who send internal messages asking for them.

That may still be problematic. I think authors must have the right to give or withhold their consent to claims by editors, and my idea would make that difficult.

Replies:   awnlee jawking
awnlee jawking

@Ross at Play

somewhere where an editor could list a selection of stories they have edited


Some editors already do that in their profiles and, IMO, that's a big positive in their favour.

My reservations are more about what types of editor, what help did they provide, and the frequent situation with stories having multiple editors.


Some stories citing multiple editors are actually quite poor, containing schoolboy errors that make me wish they'd had just one, competent, editor. I suspect quite a few editors could better be described as advance readers.

While I think the OP has a good idea in principle, I have to agree with @ErnestBywater that it's impractical to implement. There are almost 43,000 stories on this site and nobody will have the time/inclination to retrofit them into a new system.

Besides which, some editors prefer to remain anonymous and that includes me, not that I've done any SOL work recently.

(Using the 'random story' facility, I recently came across a story I proofread for the author many years ago, long before I joined SOL. I didn't even know it had been posted here. Fortunately the author respected my request for anonymity. But finding it gave me a warm glow!)

AJ

Replies:   Crumbly Writer
Crumbly Writer

@Ernest Bywater

What may be possible to implement is for a section where the editors record the authors they editor for. Naturally this will require the editors to enter the names after they got permission from the author to list them.

It also works in the opposite direction, as many editors don't want to be listed, or they may not want to be listed using their normal ID (in the case of several author/editors), so even if you could search by editor, it would, at best, be an incomplete list.

But this is a problem across the publishing industry. While most dead-tree publishers list editors, you can't list them when publishing without giving the editor equal credit with the author, as that feature is reserved for either someone posthumously editing an author's work, or a translator or illustrator, who either changes what's said, or who's equally involved in creating the books content.

For myself, I once tried listing my editors when I published one of my books, as it listed seven different people whenever you searched for a book, and you couldn't figure out who was the author, or who did what in the book. That matter is best handled in the front matter of the book, rather than changing the records.

Now, what would help, is chronicling the correct location of editor listings for stories, and Lazeez should make that part of parcel of his 'posting on SOL' guide, just so it is easier to figure out who edits which books.

However, your best bet is to write each author you like, and whose work is well-edited, and ask them for a list of books their editors have edited.

Chances are, those who have a major impact on a book will want credit for their work, and for the author/editors, they're used to promoting their own work, so having someone searching for their edits would also boost their stories too, so I don't think the 'participation' would be a major deterrent.

But, I really can't conceive of any other way of searching by editor, as adding the feature for stories by long dead authors wouldn't be terribly productive.

Replies:   Keet
Crumbly Writer
Updated:

@awnlee jawking


Some stories citing multiple editors are actually quite poor, containing schoolboy errors that make me wish they'd had just one, competent, editor. I suspect quite a few editors could better be described as advance readers.


And ultimately, that's the crux of the problem, as it's difficult determining what's the fault of the editors, and what's the fault of the author—who may not heed their editor's advice.

You also get the case of editor who only edited a handful of chapters before quitting a project, or those who disagree with an author and either resign or are 'fired'. And, content editors often have a major impact on a story, while a proofer will have little impact on the actual story content (especially since each editor tends to spot separate typos, so it's not like any one is catching everything.

However, another option is to create a dedicated thread, possibly entitled "Editor Lists", where author's publicly list which editors served in which roles in their books, while also listing other books they've helped in.

That's a much easier idea to implement, as it doesn't require any coding, and can also list which books each edit has edited. I definitely wouldn't mind highlighting my editors, and they're often the backbone of my stories, and I don't mind sharing the credit (list mine in my End Notes, and also in each of the books I publish, though the list is constantly changing over time, and based on the story content).

Another alternative is if one of us (Ernest or Ross, possibly) who could compile suggestions by different authors into a regularly updated 'Editor's Stories' document, which Lazeez could then post for the entire website. That way the list would not only be more complete, not listing the partial editors, but it would reflect the newest additions too.

(Using the 'random story' facility, I recently came across a story I proofread for the author many years ago, long before I joined SOL. I didn't even know it had been posted here. Fortunately the author respected my request for anonymity. But finding it gave me a warm glow!)


Good to know. I'll keep that in mind the next time I add my list my editors to my next book ("Ignore any objections by Awnlee, as he's really not sincere in his protests.") 'D

P.S. My two most significant editors are: schmintz (my content editor, a damn good proofer (he takes multiple passes through each story, rather than marking things as he reads), but also has an excellent eye for which words or phrases will fit a given passage better than my do), Princely Guy (another multi-pass editor, who catches most of my errors), Woody and TeNderLoin. These are among my most recent editors, but these are my most essential editors.

P.P.S. My most recent book had seven editors, but only five were listed (Woody and TeNderLoin, while excellent, generally have less time to dedicate to re-editing stories).

Replies:   Ross at Play
Keet

@Crumbly Writer

Now, what would help, is chronicling the correct location of editor listings for stories, and Lazeez should make that part of parcel of his 'posting on SOL' guide, just so it is easier to figure out who edits which books.

Perhaps a section like the 'Genre: ' but then with 'Editor(s): '.
You couldn't credit editors by chapter but that in itself is something most readers don't want to see anyway.

Replies:   Crumbly Writer
Crumbly Writer

@Keet

You couldn't credit editors by chapter but that in itself is something most readers don't want to see anyway.

In something like that, you wouldn't want to list your partial editors, only those who worked consistently throughout the story.

While you need to list each of your editors, just so you don't slight anyone, some had more of an overall impact on the story's quality than others. :(

Replies:   Keet
Keet

@Crumbly Writer

In something like that, you wouldn't want to list your partial editors, only those who worked consistently throughout the story.

While you need to list each of your editors, just so you don't slight anyone, some had more of an overall impact on the story's quality than others. :(

I agree that's a problem. I still really hate the credits at the end of each chapter. It's like a flashing commercial break taking you out of the story flow. If a separate section doesn't work then the end-note section is the only correct place left.

Replies:   Crumbly Writer
Ross at Play

@Crumbly Writer

Ross, possibly

I volunteer anybody other than me.

The system provides ample means for readers to contact authors and editors willing to be contacted. My answer to the OP is, "Ask if you're interested!" If authors or editors don't respond they wouldn't cooperate with any new system either.

Replies:   Crumbly Writer
Crumbly Writer

@Keet

If a separate section doesn't work then the end-note section is the only correct place left.

That's what I do. End-Note for SOL and a separate section in my books. The other question with multiple proofers, partial editors, grammarians and content editors is how do you list them? Alphabetically, and by first name or last? By job title or order of importance to the story? And if the last, then what if they were instrumental but then quit after chapter 15?

There's really no clear-cut rules unless you treat everyone the exact same (last name, first name, with no details about who they are). :(

Replies:   Keet
Crumbly Writer

@Ross at Play

The system provides ample means for readers to contact authors and editors willing to be contacted. My answer to the OP is, "Ask if you're interested!" If authors or editors don't respond they wouldn't cooperate with any new system either.

I agree. Your best bet (if a newbie author) is to connect to a few established authors, let them know what you're interested in, be polite and interested, and then request contacts and helpful insights into how to succeed.

Sadly, if you just run down a list of potential editors, you're likely to be disappointed for one reason or another, as it's akin to searching for criminal defense attorneys by searching for the cheapest one in the yellow pages. :( You may save some money, but you're likely going to jail!

Replies:   Dominions Son
Keet

@Crumbly Writer

That's what I do. End-Note for SOL and a separate section in my books. The other question with multiple proofers, partial editors, grammarians and content editors is how do you list them? Alphabetically, and by first name or last? By job title or order of importance to the story? And if the last, then what if they were instrumental but then quit after chapter 15?

The end-note is just a place to add, well, an end-note so you can place any text there thus also any format you choose to list your editors. It's not so much about how you place them there, it's THAT you place them there, and only there, not at the bottom of every chapter, exactly as you do.
I convert every story to my own library and I try to make it as complete as possible even going so far as to search for author biographies, cover art, and other extra information. So in that same line of thought I try to include editors as best as possible by extracting them from the end-note or by just including the complete end-note. I gave up on getting editors from the end of chapters since it's such a mess. I just strip those lines from the end of chapters since I find them really annoying while reading.
You know what's even worse? Author notes in every other chapter. I don't remember what story it was but I quit reading a story a few weeks ago because it had an author note in every single chapter. Most at the top, some at the bottom, and you wouldn't believe it, sometimes both. That's when I stopped reading that story.

Dominions Son

@Crumbly Writer

as it's akin to searching for criminal defense attorneys by searching for the cheapest one in the yellow pages.


The cheapest criminal defense attorneys in town are the local public defenders. If you can afford it, any criminal defense attorney with a listing in the yellow pages is likely to be an improvement over that.

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