The Paper It’s Written On (Book Review)

The Paper It’s Written On fills the particular needs of an independent editor.  Authors Karin Cather and Dick Margulis ably tackle their subject matter with Cather being a former litigator and freelance editor working with academic works, memoirs, police procedurals, science fiction, thrillers, true crime, and fantasy (wow!). Margulis is an editor and book designer with over a decade of experience that includes helping authors be their own publishers.

In looking at defining the relationship of the freelance editor with an editing client, the authors choose their topics carefully. The authors keep in mind that the independent editor is a professional running a business who may hear they need a contract with every client, and other books do not address the needs of this particular situation so this book fills the gap.

The book could prove to be practical and useful to an editorial freelancer. The kind of contract the authors discuss could help to prevent problems. The audience is an editorial freelancer looking to establish guidelines and/or set limits when working with a client. The information presented is useful and practical.

Of particular note are two sample contracts. One is Karin’s template (page 53). The other is Dick’s template (page 60). Karin’s template struck me as especially interesting when she requires payment up front before she provides her final deliverable. Dick’s template is especially interesting when he provides an a la carte menu with charges for each service including such items as line editing and project management. While the authors provide these contracts as examples, they also note that a contract can take on many forms and is simply an agreement. It can even take on the form of a series of emails provided both parties agree.

The Paper It’s Written On
Karin Cather and Dick Margulis (2018). Andslash Books. 80 pages. ISBN:  978-1726073295. USD$12.50 (softcover).

Reviewed by Jeanette Evans

Note to readers: A version of this review is scheduled to appear in Technical Communication, the journal of the STC.