I just sent my editor and old college buddy, Adam Kleiner, the revised second draft of my next book still tentatively titled “The Collegewise Way.” Revising the work and incorporating his suggestions have reminded me just how valuable good editing really is.
Good editing is active, not passive. Passive editing is just pointing out the typos, which any competent editor can do. Active editing is taking the time to make bigger suggestions about what will make the book more readable. That takes more time and requires a deeper understanding of the writer, the work, and the audience. Throughout the edits, he’s made recommendations about what should be rewritten, moved to a different section, or deleted entirely. He also points out where a quote from an admissions officer or a Collegewise student would be helpful. He suggests sidebar material. He raises questions about whether or not additional detail or material might improve a chapter. But he leaves the content generation up to me. The process is actually similar to how we edit essays with our Collegewise students.
Good editors don’t get paid to tell you how great your writing is any more than a personal trainer is paid to tell you that you’re in good enough shape. Some of Adam’s editing borders on evisceration, but the truth is that in over 270 pages of comments, there hasn’t been one instance where I didn’t think the revision made the writing stronger, punchier, and far more readable. That’s what good editing should do.
Here are a few samples of his work below. We’re still on schedule for a July release of the book. It’s currently 279 pages and covers everything from how to plan a course schedule to how to get off a waitlist. If you’d like us to tell you when we release it, you can sign up to be notified here.