Hurray! It should be up and running by tomorrow or FridayMonday Wednesday, August 4. (And now, for real, finally up and running.) If you encounter problems with it, or have any comments for us about the UX, please let us know.
Back in June we tried to get a nice EDITH office shot without bothering with dragging in lots of studio lights and this, it turns out, was a bad idea. We dream of more and bigger windows. But thanks to the ingenuity of Beowulf Sheehan, we did get this shot, which I like. He had to bounce light off the ceiling to make it not look like a book dungeon (though cozy).
So yesterday we had the joy and fun of reconnecting with fellow editor Jed Bickman, inspiration for EDITH from way back (and it’s a long story we’ll tell once we have more time), and he had some good suggestions which I’ll note here because transparency is interesting and why not:
We should add “Sensitivity Read” as a category. I agree.
Ditto “Permissions Editing” or just “Permissions.” He’s probably right though I would love to hear from more people who regularly find themselves clearing permissions for their own projects or for clients. Is this you? Write to email@example.com and let me know what makes for a good permissions person.
Stripe! Our payment processor. The listing creation wizard asks you to enter your payment details, and it’s a couple of pages worth, and this can for obvious reasons give people pause, even though the point is to allow you to get paid promptly. Might we change this, Jed asked? Sadly there’s no obvious, inexpensive path to doing this, development-wise, but changing the wizard so that you are not asked to provide payment details until someone has booked you for a gig is something we’ve discussed and will discuss again if this concern keeps coming up.
And in what appears to be a terrific example of new publishing models, The Public Domain Review (we’re longtime fans and newish supporters) has with the help of Volume produced a 368-page, large format, clothbound hardcover book, now available for preorder.
Pulled from the archives as we wait for more design stabilization (incl. getting rid of that extraneous yellow line on the How It Works page), some circa 2015 thoughts on the value of editors:
Skilled feedback, i.e. why not just have a friend look it over?
There’s a big difference between diagnosing and prescribing, and all works-in-progress—unfinished manuscripts, rough cuts of movies, etc.—are left vulnerable thanks to this gap. Lots of smart people are able to say what the problem with a draft might be. It’s too long, for instance, or not funny enough. Some smart people will even come up with suggestions for how to fix the problem. But here’s the thing: a wrong prescription will set the creator back further than if they hadn’t asked for help in the first place.
We would we define a good editor as one whose prescriptions turn out to be spot-on 90% of the time. No writer will agree with all of their editor’s suggestions. But even a rejected suggestion from a good editor will be useful somehow.
Constructive criticism is great. Constructive compliments are better. A good editor won’t tell you your work is wonderful, full stop. She will pinpoint your strengths and help you strengthen them.
Fill in the gaps left by overworked publishers
Many writers would love an editor who could provide feedback, encouragement, a fresh eye—someone to help bring their work to the next level. But the sad truth is that even established traditional publishers often are unable to provide their authors with the substantive help they used to. More and more often, we hear stories of authors dissatisfied with the value their traditional publishers were able to add to their books.
More creative control
We believe that in the very near future, books will be produced like movies. Imagine writers as producer, assembling the team of dedicated pros that will best help her execute her vision. They will pull in the talent that’s best suited to launch their specific book or project.