An American Editor

December 13, 2017

An AAE Announcement: Change Is Coming

Filed under: Breaking News,Uncategorized — americaneditor @ 4:00 am
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As some of you know, I have semi-retired. I say “semi” because I am still accepting the occasional job from select clients, but my days of full-time editing are morphing into a couple of projects a year and lots of time with the grandchildren (with another coming in January).

I originally thought I would turn my attention to An American Editor, but I have found that I am increasingly being distracted by other things, not least of which are tackling my ever-growing To-be-Read pile of books (I did a rough count last week and the pile has grown to more than 200 books) and working on EditTools and a new book on the business of editing.

Because I think An American Editor is a valuable blog, I have decided that rather than end it, I would pass on editorial responsibilities to someone I think will do an outstanding job of continuing the traditions I have established for AAE over the nearly eight years (the first essay was on January 4, 2010) of its existence and more than 1,000 published essays. The new editor-in-chief of AAE is our own

Ruth E. Thaler-Carter

who has authored the On the Basics essays for AAE.

Ruth will be assuming her duties as of January 1, 2018. I will still be around and an occasional contributor to AAE, kind of like the not-seen publisher. Ruth will be in charge, so any questions — including about becoming a contributor to AAE — should be directed to her at

I hope you all will join me in wishing Ruth congratulations and wishing her a long and successful association with AAE.

Richard Adin, An American Editor

September 6, 2017

A New Season on AAE

Filed under: Breaking News,Uncategorized — americaneditor @ 4:00 am

Monday, September 11, begins a new season of essays on An American Editor. In addition to our current contributing essayists — Ruth Thaler-Carter, Jack Lyon, and Carolyn Haley — I am looking for additional contributors. If you are interested in writing for AAE, please contact me (rhadin[at]

The new season will begin with part III of Carolyn Haley’s Thinking Fiction: The Novel-Editing Roadmap series. Parts I and II were published just before the summer hiatus began. They are available on AAE: Thinking Fiction: The Novel-Editing Roadmap I and Thinking Fiction: The Novel-Editing Roadmap II.

We hope you will find our new season of essays valuable, interesting, and helpful.

Richard Adin, An American Editor

December 19, 2016

Happy Holidays 2016

Filed under: A Musical Interlude,A Video Interlude,Uncategorized — americaneditor @ 4:00 am

It’s that time of year and An American Editor is taking a break. We will return on Monday, January 9, 2017 (possibly sooner). We hope you enjoy these holiday videos and that 2017 gives life to all of your hopes and dreams. Have a happy holiday season and a happy new year.

Let there be joy in the world —

What would be a holiday without sugar plum fairies…

…and Hallelujah?

Best wishes for a happy new year from all of us
at An American Editor to all of you!

Happy Holidays!

Richard Adin, An American Editor

August 29, 2016

See You in September!

Filed under: A Musical Interlude,Uncategorized — americaneditor @ 4:00 am

An American Editor  will be on vacation thru September 11. The next scheduled AAE essay will appear on Monday, September 12. In the mean time, if you haven’t done so already, please peruse the 941 essays already published on AAE.

Also in the works is an AAE group on LinkedIn. It is hoped that it will be up and running sometime in the next two weeks. It is planned to be a place where editors can ask questions and get answers about the business of editing and other editorial concerns, as well as provide a place for more broad-ranging topics.

The AAE Group will also be a place to ask questions and exchange information about EditTools and Editor’s Toolkit Plus 2014.

See you in September!

Richard Adin, An American Editor

May 1, 2016

Mark Your Calendar: June 10, 2016

Filed under: A Video Interlude,Uncategorized,Worth Noting — americaneditor @ 10:09 am
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Why is June 10, 2016 worth marking on your calendar? Because on that day the movie Genius is released — and every editor, author, and publisher should see it (hopefully, it will be worth seeing :)).

Here is the movie’s description from the Sunday New York Times (June 10, 2016, Arts & Leisure Summer Movies, p. 36):

Yes, New Yorkers, there was a time (the 1920s and ’30s) when a book editor could be a superstar. His name was Maxwell Perkins, and everyone called him Max.…[T]his period drama [stars] Colin Firth as Perkins, Jude Law as Thomas Wolfe, Guy Pearce as F. Scott Fitzgerald, Dominic West as Ernest Hemingway and even a couple of women — Nicole Kidman as Wolfe’s love interest and Laura Linney as Perkins’s wife.

For those unfamiliar with Maxwell Perkins, he is considered to be the greatest modern American editor and is noted for having edited and babysat some of American literature’s greatest 20th century authors. Max Perkins was the role model for hundreds of editors up through the 1970s.

Here is the official trailer for the movie:

I am looking forward to seeing this movie. It stars some of my favorite actors and is certainly a subject I can relate to. Perhaps the editorial profession will gain a tiny bit of stature from this release.

Richard Adin, An American Editor

October 9, 2013

Welcome, Brenda

Filed under: Uncategorized — americaneditor @ 4:00 am
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Sometimes in life it seems pretty obvious that the fates intervene. Nearly 20 years ago, we adopted our first Cocker Spaniel as a result of such a twist of fate.

Carolyn and I never watch TV while cooking or eating. It is just not something we do or ever did. Except one fateful evening, when Carolyn turned on the local news while preparing dinner. The lead story was a raid that the local ASPCA had conducted on a puppy mill that day. One of the animal shelter employees was speaking about the raid while holding a tiny, irresistible Cocker Spaniel puppy. Carolyn and I were at the shelter the next morning and adopted Jasmin (below at age 14 years), our first Cocker.

Jasmin in a good moment April 2010

When we bought our house, we decided to get a second Cocker Spaniel puppy to keep Jasmin company. So we adopted Lilly (pictured below at age 12 years).

Lilly General summer 2011 027

Jasmin died several years ago and Lilly is now 14 years old and although still a wonderful dog, also a dog loaded with medical issues. So in conversation we have discussed adopting another Cocker Spaniel, but agreed to wait. We weren’t in a hurry.

But fate intervened once again. The parent of friends of a neighbor died leaving a Cocker Spaniel. The neighbor asked Carolyn if she knew of any rescue agencies. Instead of saying to the neighbor, “No. I’d have to search for one, which you can also do,” Carolyn said, “No, but I’ll check and let you know what I find.” So Carolyn did a search and came across Abandoned Angels Cocker Spaniel Rescue. Alas, she looked at the dogs they had for adoption and came across Brenda (pictured below, age 9 years, in our kitchen).

Brenda 015

Brenda is a 9-year-old rescue Cocker Spaniel who is blind. We adopted her as of last Thursday, so she has delighted us for nearly a week.

Brenda is a wonderful dog. She is quiet and patient and quite independent. The first thing she did was wander through our house, on her own (we followed), to learn the layout. She learned quickly and now wanders throughout the main floor without a problem.

One thing a blind dog can teach is patience. Although I generally am patient with children and dogs, Brenda really drives the lesson home. Within minutes of entering our home, Brenda became an integral part of the family. We look forward to many wonderful years with her companionship and hope that she and Lilly bond.

Even our cat, Shade, seems smitten with Brenda.

One of the advantages to working from home is that when our heartstrings are tugged, we can respond. I would be reluctant to adopt a dog with disabilities if someone wasn’t around all the time to ensure needs are met.

Brenda has adopted well to our routines. I tend to rise very early and she and Lilly rise with me and keep me company as I read the newspapers and have my breakfast in the dark hours of the morning. I admit that having pets brightens my days. If we could, we would adopt several more, but until I win the lottery, we’ll stick with the three we have.

February 15, 2013

Are There Topics You Would Like to See Discussed?

Filed under: Uncategorized — americaneditor @ 4:00 am

Are there topics about the business of editing, editing techniques, books/ebooks, publishing/self-publishing, or something else that you would like to see as the subject of a future column? If so, please let me know in a comment to this post. I’ll see what I can do to fulfill your request for knowledge — no  promises, however. 🙂

November 2, 2012

Preparing for Flight

Filed under: Uncategorized — americaneditor @ 4:00 am
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The Lord of the Rings movie trilogy, like the Star Wars movies, resulted in great ancillary moments of creativity from people not associated with the making of the movies. This video of preflight instructions from Air New Zealand is an outstanding example. Although anyone who has flown knows already of these instructions, the presentation in this video makes listening to them again a highly enjoyable experience.

September 29, 2010

A Reminder — It’s Conference Time

A Temporary Lull in Articles

As I’m sure you recall from previous articles, I am attending as a speaker the Finding Your Niche/Expanding Your Horizons conference that begins Friday in Rochester, NY. If you are still waffling about coming, stop waffling and join your colleagues for what promises to be a very informative conference. As the expression goes, there is still room at the inn (and at the conference). Here is a link for information and for registration.

A key aspect to increasing your earning power as a freelance editor is mastery of macros and several well-known Word macro gurus will be presenting and in attendance. It will be a golden opportunity to pick the minds of some of the leading editorial freelancers.

Anyway, the primary purpose of this note is to remind you that I am attending the conference and will be away beginning tomorrow (Thursday, September 30) and returning next Thursday (October 7). Consequently the chances of my writing and releasing new articles during the next 7 to 10 days are not very high. It might happen, but if it doesn’t, hang in — I don’t want you to think I have simply disappeared — I’m just soaking up knowledge and friendship.

For those of you who do not subscribe but prefer to click a link to check out An American Editor daily, I suggest you continue to do so. If at all possible, I will be posting during this absence from my office.

You and I will reconnect in the not-too-distant future; until then, enjoy the change from summer to fall.

September 17, 2010

A Reminder: The Finding Your Niche Conference

Just a reminder for those interested in attending the “Finding Your Niche/Expanding Your Horizons” conference October 1 and 2, 2010, in Rochester, NY (see A Gathering of Freelance Editorial Professionals) that time is running out to register — the conference is 2 weeks from today!

Lots of knowledgable people will be attending — both speakers and conference goers — so it will be a great opportunity to learn what you can do to enhance your freelance career. It will also be an opportunity to speak — one-on-one — to some of the people from whom you have sought advice in other forums. This conference will give you an opportunity to discuss some of your concerns about the future with some of the most successful freelancers around and people who are experts in using the tools of editorial freelancing to get the most bang for the buck.

For example, 3 gurus of Word macros for editors will be available to answer your macro questions. Plus there will be giveaways that are worth coming for in their own right.

Registration information for the conference, which includes a complete schedule, is available here.

If you are on the fence about attending, don’t be — this conference could be the event that opens new opportunities and worlds for you. I look forward to meeting readers of An American Editor at the conference.

(Note: Although I am a speaker at the conference, I have no financial interest in the conference or in the sponsor of the conference, Communication Central, other than that, as a speaker, I will be reimbursed for my expenses.)

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