Apr 21

Management and Production Exercise

You are the editor of an anthology of articles written by different writers in different locations. The anthology will be published by a small commercial press, and that press will print and bind the anthology you provide. Make policy decisions on the following issues with the goal of creating a useful, high-quality anthology that can also be produced economically and efficiently:

  1. How will the articles be acquired? How can you get quality articles and a broad coverage of topics? Will you generally solicit in journals? Will some people be invited to contribute? If so, will acceptance be offered in advance or will their articles be subject to peer review? Will only original articles be accepted?
  2. How will you prepare copy ready for reproduction? Templates for the writers or something else? Will they submit text electronically?
  3. Printing economy dictates 8.5X11 inch pages. Will pages be laid out in two columns or in one column with wide margins? What are the pros and cons of each option?
  4. How consistent must individual chapters be? If one includes a list of references for further reading, must all of them?
  5. How and where will contributor biographies be printed: at the beginning of the anthology or with each chapter?
  6. What kinds of illustrations and how many per chapter will be allowed? What will be the responsibilities of authors for providing digital copies?


Now, make management decisions on the following issues with the goal of getting the anthology ready for production by the date the press has specified:

  1. When will chapters be due? Same due dates or variable dates?
  2. In what order will you edit the chapters? In sequence or is there a reason to proceed in a different order?
  3. What information will you have to communicate to the contributing writers about preparation of typescripts? Consider, for example, documentation style and length. What points should be covered in document specifications?
  4. Suppose one writer has a due date of the first of the month, and two weeks later, you still have not received the chapter. What can you do?
  5. Suppose one writer has submitted an electronic file that cannot be converted to your word processing system without extensive intervention in the text. Should your own production staff type the conversions, or should you ask the writer to revise and resubmit? What will determine your choice?
  6. Outline a form for tracking the progress of the anthology overall, including acquisition, acknowledgment of the manuscript, acceptance or rejection, and other production stages.