Not the fundamental reason for EDITH, but still…

If you’re a small business owner in the U.S., from time to time you’ll receive surveys from various government agencies, like the Department of Labor, that ask you to declare certain things about your business—how many employees, what sector you work in, and so on. Sometimes they just want to know how things are going. (Seriously.) Because I have a not particularly productive sense of civic duty, I answer these surveys!

Luckily, they can be answered online. Unhappily, they consistently convey that the powers that be don’t know that developmental editing is a thing. To wit:

Now, Document Preparation Services doesn’t really bother me. I’m old enough—and a history major— so don’t even cringe much at “secretarial services,” as administrative work is honorable, difficult, and historically speaking, not gendered in the way we might think of it today.

But the presumption that editing is primarily concerned with manipulating documents, as opposed to developing ideas and nurturing growth in creators—that does stick in the craw a bit! So EDITH will help change this, we hope.

Need a new profile photo?

The talented and kind photographer Beowulf Sheehan is offering a remote photo shoot to three of the next fifteen people who sign up on EDITH, chosen at random. (What does Beowulf mean by remote? He means he’ll take your portrait using two phones—his and yours, assuming your smartphone has the necessary tech specs, which most in circulation now do.)

One of those slots is already spoken for! So don’t delay. Once you’ve made an account, please get in touch at if you’re interested and we’ll be happy to hear from you.

EDITH updates, v3

This last week was back-to-school week for the EDITH extended family, so we’re light on big news, but a few things are worth mentioning:

The Sensitivity Review category is up.

We are looking to interview people who work as writing coaches, or creative coaches more generally. If you are involved in that kind of work, and would be willing to talk about your experiences, please get in touch simply by replying to this email. Or if you know someone so engaged who might be eager to talk to us about their work, please send them our way.

Literal is a sleek new app from a small team based in Berlin who are hoping to improve on Goodreads. While Googling to find the correct link to insert here, I discovered a second Literal app, this one bringing customizable character avatars to the experience of reading school-assigned texts such as Romeo and Juliet on your phone. Will they both be able to succeed and keep the name? Let’s watch and see. (I hope that doesn’t sound sarcastic. Yes, I’m typing this tired, late on a Friday night, but am genuinely, sincerely excited by all the activity in this space, and wishing them all good developments.)

Beowulf Sheehan’s offer to do a remote photoshoot with new EDITH signer-uppers still stands. Holler if you’re interested in a new profile photo (for free!) and we’ll throw your name into the hat.

And all you beautiful people who have listings in Draft mode but haven’t published them yet, please let me know if I can help in some way. Or if you perhaps have questions, concerns, or complaints I can address. I’m scheduling a couple of calls this next week along those lines, and am happy to schedule more. 

P.S. The CW Pencil Enterprise is closing in November, and selling out of remaining inventory quickly. If this news bums you out as it did me, hurry and buy your Mitsubishi Hi-Uni pencils now. The HB variety writes like butter—a great gift for the production editors and margin-scribblers in your life.

EDITH updates, v2

Biweekly newsletter number two! This one contains newsy items about what we’ve been seeing online, and how it might impact us—in the broader sense, not just our small, but growing daily, cohort.

But first, many thanks to those who have started to draft profiles. As an incentive to start drafting a listing page, friend of EDITH and renowned portrait photographer Beowulf Sheehan is offering a free remote headshot session to one person chosen at random from the first fifteen people to publish a listing page. (So I suppose you’d have to publish your page, and then once you get a new profile photo, update it. But it’s really easily done.) His work is beautiful and you can browse his portfolio of remote portraits, all done in the last year, mostly with just an iPhone, here

Newsy items:

  • A new professional networking site called Polywork is under construction; it’s currently in beta. They are going after Linkedin, or trying to make a LinkedIn alternative that’s more palatable to young people. I received a “VIP code” from someone—and ugh, why not simply call it an “Invite code”? I just know a guy who knows a guy, nothing very or important about it—and checked it out. The only feature I think is notable is one that reminds me of plans we had for EDITH a while back: To display a project timeline on profiles. We also wanted to let people tag collaborators, so ultimately users could click on a book title and see everyone who worked on that book, and in what capacity. It would be like an acknowledgments page brought to digital, dynamic life. Someday.
  • On the tech and democracy front, I thought The People’s Declaration from Europe was interesting. They too have the yellow highlight design motif. And I saw the ad below on the NYC subway earlier this summer (you may have to zoom in on the word “flow” to see it). Then I saw IDEO uses it too. Yikes. Maybe we’ll switch to a lilac or geranium red highlight. Maybe we’ll change colors every season. Suggestions welcome.
  • Many very minor site updates went into effect this week. One quick note as we still haven’t fixed this yet: If asked in the listing wizard whether you’re open to meeting in person, please select “Video call only” while we sort out the quirky (and confusing) way the “Yes” and “No” replies displayed on listings. You can always change it later.
  • Next updates issue: We need to talk about the Therapy category. 

Quick and miscellaneous

Have you heard of the WPA-inspired Creative Economy Revitalization Act? Here’s the Authors Guild statement on it:

You can read the full text here and a one-pager here.

Then Archipelago Books is having their Fall Fête on September 22 at the Vinegar Hill House in Brooklyn. They publish good books and throw good parties, so if you’ve the time and money for a ticket, you might enjoy it.

Finally, some small EDITH updates will be released on Friday! Please take a look.