Editing Clauses in Publishing Contracts: What to Watch For – by Victoria Strauss…

on Writer Beware:

Editing clauses are one of those publishing contract areas where there should be a balance between the publisher’s interests and the writer’s.

Publishers need a certain amount of latitude to edit a manuscript to prepare it for publication. They also need to have the right of final approval–they don’t want to be forced to publish a manuscript that the author can’t or won’t revise to their satisfaction.

Writers, on the other hand, need assurance that they will be a partner in the editing process, and that their work won’t be changed in major ways without their permission.

Whether you’re publishing an entire book, or a story in an anthology or magazine, the editing clause of your contract should ensure that content or line editing (the kind of serious editing that focuses on plot, pace, structure, style, and content) includes your cooperation in conjunction with the publisher’s editors (ideally, the editor will provide revision suggestions and you will carry them out yourself), and that alterations other than copy editing can’t be made without your consent. If the publisher isn’t happy with your revisions, or you don’t want to implement the publisher’s suggestions, the publisher’s remedy should be to refuse to publish–not to unilaterally impose changes, or, in a more extreme case, hire someone else to do the edits and charge you for it.

For copy editing–which is oriented to the correction of mechanical errors (typos, spelling/grammar mistakes, continuity, etc.) and formatting the ms. to the house style–the publisher usually has discretion. But you should have the opportunity to see and approve the copy edited manuscript before it goes to press.

Continue reading at:

Editing Clauses of Concern


2 thoughts on “Editing Clauses in Publishing Contracts: What to Watch For – by Victoria Strauss…


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