Monday, 12 October 2009

Editing Methods

Since I've been editing Gloom Cupboard's fiction section, I've tried a couple of different approaches to editing, switching recently to a sort of "edit as you go" approach after I let a bit of a backlog build up at the end of last month. That sent me looking for the approaches favoured by other people involved in online stuff, and what I found is that there are a huge number of different approaches to the topic. Some that I found include:

  1. Reading everything as soon as you get it, deciding then and there whether you like it enough to include it. It's what I'm working with at the moment, more or less. It has the advantage that you get stuff done, but the disadvantage that you can't really compare pieces before making a decision.
  2. Save everything, decide in one go. What I was doing, which allows you to pick the best from whatever group of submissions you get, but means you end up trying to do everything in a day or two. Also, you have to hold onto submissions for a while.
  3. Special "submission periods". These seem remarkably similar to option two, except that you possibly give yourself a little longer to decide. I suspect they still mean you end up trying to do most things at once though.
  4. Complex, multi-stage processes. Australian publication ASIM (Andromeda Spaceways Inflight Magazine) has a three stage process, involving multiple editors. Incredibly professional, and probably the only way of coping with masses of submissions, but possibly also way out of my league. I don't have any spare editors lying around, for a start.
If you've got any thoughts about the best approach, or if you know of any others, please let me know in the comments.

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