CarlL wrote: ↑20 Jun 2018, 19:07
...I for one would love to hear a briefing from Pete about what the job entails as I dont think I have an accurate picture of what we are asking someone to do?...
I note you haven't had a reply to this. Pete's been putting together The Journal and I've been away to foreignland. I can't tell you the specifics of what Pete does but I can give you an overview.
The Editor's job is fashioned after the abilities and desires of the incumbent. However, of late the following has been the approximate process
1) Someone sends something in (preferably electronically - in almost any format). Occasionally a handwritten piece comes in or at least a typed hard copy. If only available in hard copy Pete has generally made an electronic version by typing the thing out or using an Optical Character Recognition scanner.
2) Electronic copies are filed into a shared folder. Russ, Pete and I have SOTCW folders on our PCs which, by some mystical process understood by Russ and Pete, update themselves so that they are all up to date with each other on all of our PCs regardless of who makes changes to them.
3) I open articles from the folder and do a first edit. This involves changing them in OpenOffice format; changing the fonts and layout plus titles to the house style and reading and correcting the article - correcting any spellings, poor grammar, rewording confusing bits and standardising punctuation and styles. I also cut out any embedded images and save them separately and redo any maps as necessary (trying to create a house style rather than use hand drawn ones). Sometimes I add notes to suggest where images might help or to mark the position where I have extracted an image. Occasionally I add notes saying I haven't got a clue what the author means and that the Editor needs to have a close look. I also stitch bits of articles together, select bits of Rob Morgan's writings to make up a single Rob's Rearguard and occasionally radically butcher immense articles to make them two or three parters. Once that's done I save the new edited version of the article into one of another set of shared folders categorised according to type (simply 'review' or 'other') and era (pre WWII, WWII or post WWII). Finally I update the folder with a page count.
4) At some point Pete then steps in. Reviewing the shared folders he can see when we have enough material of enough variety (author, era, type, reviews) to put together an edition.
5) He does a second edit of all the articles selected for the edition, writes an editorial and sources any adverts (mainly submitted by members I believe). He re-embeds any images (I take them out because we rarely use them all and we might need to move them around or resize them to make them fit) and sources new images for articles which might benefit from them or where there's space to be filled. He works out the order in which the articles are to appear and puts the bits which are common to all editions in the right place. Thereafter he stitches it all together as a single OpenOffice document sorting out the pagination.
6) Pete has, of late, sourced B&W images in the Interweb and colourised them (rather well) with GIMP (a free photoediting tool) for use as the front cover. I have recently started to use this for the covers on my books and find it a total pain in the a***. Pete does an excellent job and I have little idea how. Colourising B&W photos makes covers easier to source. If we rely on colour photos in the right proportions, freely available out of copyright at the right definition it's very difficult. I think I have found one cover and Russ and Pete the rest of the non colourised B&W ones between them.
7) The newly minted 32 page OpenOffice document is saved in another of our shared folders and all three of us read it again. Invariably we make even more changes as errors in the merging of the separate documents into one throw up spacing problems and we still notice spelling errors or typos.
8) After we've all done that Pete makes the OpenOffice Document into a PDF. On the one had this is dead easy. There are any number of programs which offer a 'print as a PDF' option. On the other had I believe (I might be wrong) this has to be the special 'Printer's compliant' version. Basically give a print shop a PDF (which might print perfectly well on your PC) and you will get (probably) a very bad output. It needs to have additional information embedded into it for a Printing press to make sense of it. Russ can do this because he's clever and writes books with all the proper software. Pete I believe is the one who actually does it. I loathe the process but have had to learn it for my own books. However I have never yet got it right first (or even 21st) time and never done it for a Journal. I think this is the one really tricky bit of the whole process.
9) Once it's saved as a PDF we all read it again (to a greater or lesser extent) and invariably we still
spot things wrong. Russ and I sheepishly point them out to Pete who corrects them (I believe he has PDF editing software) and at some point we all stop looking and declare it complete.
10) Russ takes over and sends the PDF to the printer's to print the hard copies. He receives these, puts them in envelopes (usually ably, though perhaps, reluctantly) assisted by his wife and posts them out. He then magically makes the PDF live on Wargames Vault and wherever else they are available.
11) We all receive copies in a few days and within one or two minutes of opening them spot a mistake we had all missed.
All simple really.
Anyway, as I say, that's our process, but any new Editor would have their own way of getting from A to B.