Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Solution Tree Seeks Copy Editor in Bloomington

I heard through the grapevine today about this opportunity at Solution Tree in Bloomington, Indiana:

Solution Tree, a growing K–12 educational publishing and services company, seeks a full-time, onsite copyeditor in Bloomington. This position is responsible for copyediting manuscripts efficiently, thoroughly, and accurately; the copyeditor may also check and correct outsourced copyediting. Requirements include: A college degree and minimum 2 years’ experience copyediting books in a professional, supervised publishing setting; Knowledge of CMS style; APA familiarity preferred. For consideration, please send cover letter and resume to: EOE.

Managing editor Caroline Wise, who put the word out about the job through the local freelancer network, attests that Solution Tree is "truly an amazing [company] to work for." It produces books, videos, and other materials for teachers and administrators who work with at-risk students. Caroline also says that the commute from Indianapolis is relaxing compared to the hectic rat race that is I-465 at rush hour.

Despite the bad economy, they are having trouble finding the right person for the job. They require someone with book editing experience; yet most of the applicants have newspaper experience instead. We see this everytime we post a job, too. I think it's a problem unique to the Midwest, where chances to get book publishing experience are more scarce than in New York or Boston, for example.

JIST's books are all about knowing and promoting your transferrable skills, and you would think that someone who has edited or written for a newspaper would have the ability to learn to be a good book editor (after all, I did). But I guess the difference comes in the length of the material (and the need to maintain consistency across hundreds of pages), the style guide used, and the pacing of the deadlines. If we can find someone who has done all that before, we'd rather do that than have to break in someone who hasn't.

Anyway, looks like a good opportunity for someone who lives on the southside of Indy.


Jena said...

Wow. Really almost too bad I'm living in BC now. The only requirement I'd have trouble meeting is the two-years of book editing in a supervised setting. I had a year of experience in a university press (both production and marketing departments) and I've done some freelance work since (fiction and nonfiction). Plus, I have a BS in education and an MA in English.

A couple years ago, I would've considered moving (from Ohio) for this job.

Mark Roy Long said...

That's an interesting point about newspaper folks not typically making the transition to book editing as easily as it would seem they would/should/could. We've had a couple of full-time editors with newspaper backgrounds and it just never seemed to suit their temperaments . . . to the point now where we just freelance most of our editing instead of keeping a full timer.

As you mentioned, the different styles, deadlines, and word length of projects probably all figure into it. I also wonder if some part of it is the relative anonymity of book editing vs. newspaper writing. I wouldn't have said this until after our experience here at the office, but it seems the newspaper folks we dealt with were really used to seeing their names in print on their work on a regular basis and putting in tons of work on a project that carried someone else's name on the front cover was just anathema to them.

Just a thought.

Lori Cates Hand said...

Jena--I think if you were still here, you'd be a good candidate for it. Plus, Bloomington is a nice place--a college town with a real artsy flavor to it.

Mark--So happy you're blogging again! You are probably right about the ownership/credit issue. People are drawn to journalism for the excitement of it: being where the action is and sometimes being a little famous yourself. Book people usually toil in obscurity.