September 04, 2015

Increased Efficiency with Edifix = Profitability

View of the French Riviera with purple flowers

Recently, An American Editor posted an insightful article about the challenges of being a profitable freelance copyeditor (“The Profitability Difficulty,” September 2, 2015). Long-time writer and editor Richard Adin discusses the challenges of earning a living as a freelancer in an increasingly unprofitable ecosystem. One of the themes of the article is that “the underlying key to profitability is efficiency,” a conclusion to which many of us have likely also come.

In fact, a small industry exists dedicated to addressing this very issue. Editorial tools and macros produced by agencies such as PerfectIt, The Editorium, and EndNote provide freelance editors the opportunity to gain efficiencies (and profitability) by automating many of the most time-consuming editorial tasks. Allowing a computer to do what it does best (search for and replace specific items quickly and consistently) enables editors to not only work more efficiently but also achieve more consistent and accurate results. A win-win.

However, despite the availability and proliferation of automated editorial tools, the struggle to achieve profitability as a freelance editor remains. There are many reasons for this; for example, it is impossible to discount the impact that large distributors have on the economics of the publishing industry. Bargain-basement prices on thousands of books sound great to consumers, but the financial implications hit not only freelancers (i.e., lower rates offered by publishers) but also authors, publishing professionals, typesetters, and so on.

Further, there continue to be editorial tasks that defy most attempts at increased efficiency. Adin writes: “It is nearly impossible, for example, to efficiently deal with references when they need to conform to a convoluted style . . . and the author has made little attempt to conform to that style.” Indeed. Nothing slows the progress of a copyedit like having to slog through a reference list with the entries presented in a remarkable array of formats and styles.

No, we won’t soon be hearing reports of droves of freelance copyeditors vacationing on the French Riviera or retiring early.

But there is a solution to the efficiency variable of the profitability equation: Edifix.

Edifix enables you to simply copy and paste a reference list from your source document, select the editorial style you would like applied, and retrieve that same reference list formatted to the particulars of the style selected.

The days of transposing author given-name initials and surnames; removing (or adding) parentheses from (or to) dates; and verifying the accuracy of article/book titles, author names, and other facts of publication are over. Edifix performs all of these tasks and more, not only restructuring the references to conform to the selected style but also verifying the facts of publication against PubMed and CrossRef databases. Those of you who already have a subscription to Edifix know the joy of retrieving your fully structured reference list replete with PubMed and DOI links–features you can now provide your clients while at the same time improving the efficiency of your work.

Adin talks about the editorial “triad”–speed, quality, and cost. The common saying is that you can pick one, but not two or three. For example, you may offer your client a quick turnaround on a rush project, but would require a higher fee for your effort and could not promise the same level of quality as a project with a more accommodating schedule.

With Edifix you can now potentially offer your clients two, maybe three, items in the triad–a quicker turnaround on a project without sacrificing quality or increasing your rate. Your clients will be thrilled and you will be able to increase your throughput of projects because of the increased efficiency Edifix provides.

More work without sacrificing your rate or quality? See you on the Riviera.