Committed as a Teaching Press: Print Ads and Press Releases

The University Press of North Georgia is proud to be a teaching press and is committed to providing NGCSU college students with real-life instructions and internship experience in a variety of different arenas of publishing.  One of the ways this is accomplished is through the “Intro to Publishing” class offered by the English Department and taught by Dr. Bonnie Robinson, UPNG Director.

This week the students are focusing on print ads and press releases. This section of the class is crucial in the students’ understanding of the publishing world and how they can effectively and appropriately approach the business and marketing portion of publishing.

Hannah Parson shares her thoughts on this experience:

This week we are covering print ads and press releases for new books. These are two very important aspects of creating a market for a new book. Print ads run in magazines, newspapers, and other periodicals.  The ads typically contain a picture of the Author, book jacket, quotes from critics praising the book, and the publisher, price, author, and book title. Press releases include interesting facts and excerpts from the book. This is sent out to journalists. These press releases are the means of getting your book reviewed and exposed to the public.

This work will be useful in our future work because of the experience in marketing that we will be using in a job with a publishing agency. This is the first exposure to the world of book marketing that we will need not only as employees in a publishing firm but also as a professional author attempting to market themselves and their work. Without this experience, we would lack the fundamental knowledge of the tools necessary for the successful launch and retail of any book we will ever work to publish.

Committed as a Teaching Press: Literary Agents and Proofreading

The University Press of North Georgia is proud to be a teaching press and is committed to providing NGCSU college students with real-life instructions and internship experience in a variety of different arenas of publishing.  One of the ways this is accomplished is through the “Intro to Publishing” class offered by the English Department and taught by Dr. Bonnie Robinson, UPNG Director.

Ben Helton, a student in Intro to Publishing , shares about what they are learning in class:

This week, Dr. Robinson will be addressing literary agents, as well as legal aspects of publishing… Dr. Robinson always conveys a genuine enthusiasm about the given points of discussion and her desire to provide options for the student in terms of a potential career path.

Although we have briefly discussed literary agents, I am looking forward on delving more deeply into the topic. Since I am interested in both creative writing and serving as a literary agent, this lecture willallow me to have a greater grasp of what it may be like to work with a literary agent, while
simultaneously gaining insight in regard to what working as a literary agent entails.

In preparation for this week’s in-class meeting, we were asked to finds mistakes online or in any publication as a proofreading assignment… These editing responsibilities were divided between two to three individuals, and serve as further practice to sharpen our skills as editors.

 

Committed as a Teaching Press: Copyediting and Digital Editing

The University Press of North Georgia is proud to be a teaching press and is committed to providing NGCSU college students with real-life instructions and internship experience in a variety of different arenas of publishing.  One of the ways this is accomplished is through the “Intro to Publishing” class offered by the English Department and taught by Dr. Bonnie Robinson, UPNG Director.

Continuing to learn about copyediting, the students have been focusing on learning proof reading symbols. Jason Dyer, our student of the week, stated that

Whether one is a writer or an editor, it is essential to understand the meaning of proof reading symbols and editorial jargon.

In order to properly understand the proofreading symbols, the students refer to The Chicago Manual of Style. The chart they have been using appears here.

The past few weeks, the students in “Intro to Publishing” have also been digging into different topics on their own and giving presentations on their findings, learning about teaching and researching in the process.  Jason Dyer explains what he has learned from this process:

Each week a student has delivered a ten-minute presentation on a given topic that relates to the course material.  Last week Cara Cunningham spoke about online copyediting.  She shared essential information on Microsoft track changes as the standard medium for digital editing.  She also spoke about the many types of companies that specialize in online copyediting. By pointing the way to these companies, Cara blazed the trail for any ambitious student with the desire to seek immediate employment.  The common thread of the presentations, each week a student opens a doorway into a different aspect of the publishing industry exposing students to a new set of opportunities.  This coming Tuesday we will discover the fascinating world of indexing with Rachel Alsup.

From the students I have spoken with on campus, they seem to really enjoy this class and the practical skills they learn from it.  Jason was no exception, declaring:

Personally, I appreciate the dynamics of this class.  Seamless integration of student participation, online learning, and open communication within the boundaries of a solid framework built by Dr. Robinson reflect the essence of a true teaching press.

Committed as a Teaching Press: Applying Grammar Skills to Real Life

The University Press of North Georgia is proud to be a teaching press and is committed to providing NGCSU college students with real-life instructions and internship experience in a variety of different arenas of publishing.  One of the ways this is accomplished is through the “Intro to Publishing” class offered by the English Department and taught by Dr. Bonnie Robinson, UPNG Director.

This week, the students continue to learn about copyediting, sharing the following observations and learning outcomes, especially focusing on the importance and practicality of grammar skills.

Kristian Burks:

An editor must be willing and able to adapt according to each individual project throughout their career. Their job doesn’t stop at correcting grammatical errors; they must revise confusing passages while maintaining the author’s original tone. Editors must make the hard decisions concerning what aspects of the plot works and what the author will need to change in order to offer the reader the best experience possible.

Taylor Wade:

Our class has recently been given copyediting assignments. These assignments allow us to experience one aspect of an editor’s role in the publication process. Last week, we looked at editorial reports. This week, we build on the process by continuing our work with an author. After reading over the manuscript, receiving the reader’s report, and initially contacting the author, the editor must now work through the actual editing process of the manuscript.

Editing consists of two parts simultaneously working together. An editor must first know and properly perform editing marks. What good is having a knowledge of what the sentence should look and sound like if the editor can’t express the needed corrections to the author? This stage of editing causes editors to play by the book, so to speak. If a comma needs to be inserted or taken out, the editor must know the proper copyediting technique to inform the author what needs correcting.

The other part of editing involves a sense of grammatical knowledge and feel that sometimes cannot be taught. An editor must ensure a manuscript flows within a story. Sometimes this change involves a simple addition or subtraction of a comma; sometimes this change involves switching a sentence from active to passive voice, and vice versa; other times, this change involves moving entire paragraphs to different parts of the story for the sake of fluidity and comprehension. This only comes in time with more experience in the field and, while we can get it, in the classroom.

Do you have an editor that you appreciate? How have your grammar skills helped you in your field?

Committed as a Teaching Press: Copyediting

The University Press of North Georgia is proud to be a teaching press and is committed to providing NGCSU college students with real-life instructions and internship experience in a variety of different arenas of publishing.  One of the ways this is accomplished is through the “Intro to Publishing” class offered by the English Department and taught by Dr. Bonnie Robinson, UPNG Director.

The students will cover three different types of editing: developmental editing, copyediting, and and proofreading. This week, the students are focusing on copyediting. Copyediting involves things such as: editing for grammar, spelling, punctuation, and other mechanics of style; creating a style sheet to follow for matters of hyphenation, font, capitalization, and spelling that may differ according to region; checking for internal consistency in regard to facts;  and checking  or altering the system of citations.  This process is tedious, as the students in “Intro to Publishing” are discovering this week. About the exercise, Sofia Bork writes:

Our class is required to turn in two copyediting exercises for a grade. The process of copyediting is essential to the publishing market as a whole, because mistakes in any field, especially that of the publishing world can be costly. Copyeditors have a serious job in the publishing field, because they see a plethora of manuscripts on a daily basis.

The way I will use my copyediting skills is obvious in the publishing field, because I want to eventually work as an editor for a large publishing company. To achieve this goal, I will have to start on an entry-level position as a copyeditor or a proofreader. It is important for me to learn how to copyedit perfectly, so that I can stand out to my employers and move up the corporate ladder. Also, if an editor sees that a copyeditor is particularly thorough with their work, then their work is highly valued and their opinions on a manuscript garner more weight.

What skills are required to make you stand out in your field? How do they compare to copyediting?

Commited as a Teaching Press: Editor’s Reports

The University Press of North Georgia is proud to be a teaching press and is committed to providing NGCSU college students with real-life instructions and internship experience in a variety of different arenas of publishing.  One of the ways this is accomplished is through the “Intro to Publishing” class offered by the English Department and taught by Dr. Bonnie Robinson, UPNG Director.

Many students, especially those English majors whose concentration is in Writing and Publication, look forward to taking “Intro to Publishing” and exploring the various fields that they might be involved in as a part of their future career. Rachel Alsup called “Intro to Publishing” “a pretty eye-opening experience…as a student and a writer.” She further expressed her excitement about being able to be a part of the class:

“Growing up, I aspired to be a book editor but never really had any tangible clues as to what that truly entailed. Thanks to North Georgia’s learning press, I can get a hands-on experience that, in all respects, prepares me for my dream career. As a student in this class, not only do I participate as a member of the Student Editorial Board for the press, but I also learn more information about every imaginable aspect of the publishing business.”

This week the students are focusing on writing Editor’s Reports for one of the manuscripts UPNG is working on entitled Who Is the Masaai? by Saitoti Ole Ngambus. The UPNG editors take the students’ comments into consideration when they revise or edit the manuscript. Effectively writing an Editor’s Report can be a challenge, however, especially in regard to tone.  Chris Smolarsky shared the difficulties he faced when writing an Editor’s Report:

At this point in the process of publishing a book, the editor has already decided that the author has written a story that’s worth publishing, and the editor wants the author and his book to succeed. If the book and the author don’t do well, then the work and judgment of the editor comes into question, and this could possibly harm his career and reputation. The editor–or in the case of our assignment–the assistant editor is now focused on making the manuscript fit for publication by going over whatever portions, large or small, that could be improved or deleted altogether. According to our professor, Dr. Robinson, the purpose of the editor’s report is to provide a “general diagnosis and prescription” for the author to use to improve his manuscript. Many of the suggestions that the editor’s assistant will mention must meet the author’s approval, so as not to compromise the story or to anger the author.”

When I took Intro to Publishing (and any of my other English major classes, for that matter), tone was always the most difficult part of writing for me, as well. Learning to respond with positive criticism was a value skill that I worked on attaining through my experience in “Intro to Publishing.” Rachel agreed with Chris and me, stating that

“this is a particularly challenging assignment because not only am I responsible for discerning issues within a manuscript and suggesting potential solutions for those issues, but it’s also a chance to try and navigate the realm of professionalism. As an editor, I will have to be able to maintain a professional and respectful tone in a letter to the author, yet also convey my serious concerns and persuade the author to consider making suggested changes. Even if I do not enter into a career path specifically in editing, these skills are universal in almost any career—just another advantage to the very future-focused class!”

Being able to offer “Intro to Publishing” is rewarding for the staff of UPNG, especially for Dr. B.J. Robinson, who tells her students that she expects that they will be great friends and peers after graduation. “Once you’re in my class, we’re bonded for life!” Dr. Robinson can be heard saying at least a dozen times a semester in each of her classes. She views the “Intro to Publishing” class as a way to mentor students from all walks of life.  The best part about “Intro to Publishing” is that it prepares students for any occupation. Chris agreed:

“Though I do not plan on pursuing a career in publishing, I still think that employees of any profession could benefit from the basic lessons learned from the editor’s report process. People can learn from reading samples of these reports the importance cooperation between people in the workplace, or in any situation, especially between employees and their clientele. This also teaches people to communicate effectively and respectfully and how to deal with jobs they may not want to do, considering the editor’s assistant in this profession may not like the manuscript that an editor asks him to review.”

Have you ever had problems with tone in your writing? How have you worked to overcome poor tone?

Committed as a Teaching Press: Writing Reader’s and Editor’s Reports

The University Press of North Georgia is proud to be a teaching press and is committed to providing NGCSU college students with real-life instructions and internship experience in a variety of different arenas of publishing.  One of the ways this is accomplished is through the “Intro to Publishing” class offered by the English Department and taught by Dr. Bonnie Robinson, UPNG Director.

As an English major, I took the “Intro to Publishing” class in the Spring of 2011. I greatly enjoyed the class and ultimately decided to seek to intern with UPNG because of it. I know several other English majors that also still use the skills they learned in the class on a daily basis.

Each week over the next semester, I will be collaborating with one of the students in Dr. Robinson’s current “Intro to Publishing” class to share what we have learned throughout our respective courses, in hopes that you might also learn something about what occurs before you have a new book in your hands. This week, Cara Cunningham joins me to discuss what her class just finished discussing: Reader’s Reports and Editor’s Reports.

Cara writes,

“One day, I would like to work in a publishing house. This semester I am working towards that difficult-to-achieve goal by being in “Introduction to Publishing.” This week in this course, I am learning how to write a Reader’s Report and an Editor’s Report. A Reader’s Report is written when an editor desires help with reading and evaluating manuscripts which are sent to his publishing house. An assistant will read a manuscript and will write a Reader’s Report of typically a few paragraphs in length which summarizes and evaluates the manuscript. It will conclude with a recommendation of whether or not to publish the manuscript. An Editor’s Report is written by an editorial assistant about a manuscript that has already been approved for publication. This report is often directed to the author of the manuscript but may also be directed to the head editor depending on what is asked of the editorial assistant. The Editor’s Report is like the Reader’s Report in that it briefly evaluates the work, but it focuses only on what needs to be improved in the manuscript in its overall structure, i.e. if the subject needs additional or fewer details. The writer of an Editor’s Report needs to also provide sound logic to support the change.”

My own personal experiences learning about Reader’s Reports has allowed me to think more critically about my creative writing. I want to one day be a children’s author. Sometimes after writing a new children’s story, I will try to step back and write an imaginary Reader’s Report and Editorial Report for the work, asking myself these questions: If I were looking at this manuscript for the first time, what would make me think that it was worth publishing? Would anything hinder me from wanting to publish it? What could be changed? What absolutely has to stay no matter the revision? Where should details be added or removed? What is the logical and literary (not the emotional, I-like-this-because-it’s-my-own-work) reason that the publishing house I wish to submit to would spend time, effort, and money publishing my work?

Looking at Readers and Editorial Reports in this manner has helped me revise several manuscripts. What work do you currently have in-progress and how could asking these questions of your manuscripts benefit both you as a writer and your work?