The editor’s degree of authority is influenced by the culture of the organisation itself. An organisation can be studied in the same way that anthropologists study the customs of a village or tribe to discover what is valued and what is not acceptable. The collection of rules and expectations about writing is called the organisation’s ‘discourse etiquette’. Employees who are successful writers in one organisation have learned what’s acceptable, and when they move to a new organisation, they must learn its discourse etiquette to fit in. Acceptable editing relies on the editor having a similar knowledge.
Thanks for these tips! I have been revising and editing my book for a few days now, and reading this post has given me a better way to target my editing efforts. It’s easy for me to edit other people’s work, but I have always struggled with editing my own (mainly because I procrastinated and didn’t leave time to edit while in school). My struggles are with “really,” “the fact of the matter is,” “so,” using “that” when it’s not necessary, and changing voice. I will be returning to this post again before I’m ready to publish!
When a book is published through a professional publishing company, it receives numerous readings—due to the fact that there are several people involved in the process—before being released to the public. However, I have found that most freelance editors only read through a book once before calling it a finished project. Many even charge an additional fee if you want a second reading. In my commitment to my clients, I decided that the service I provide will include two full readings of each book. This extra reading is included in my initial price; there will be no additional fees assessed.