06 December, 2016

#Interview with Samarpita Mukherjee Sharma, #Editor at #CoverToCover Studio

About Samarpita:
I am an Economist by education and a journalist by profession. Having quit mainstream media about seven years ago, I have been a freelance writer-editor since then. Cover To Cover Writing Studio came into existence in 2010 when I decided to expand my freelance commitments. I am based in Bhopal, India.

I have a decade of experience in editing and writing, first in renowned newspapers and magazines, and now with clients varying from publishing houses, government agencies, NGOs, start-ups, business houses and individual authors. If you are looking for someone to provide you tailor made content as per your desire, to edit existing content (including manuscripts), to market your product (books) online, or have any requirement pertaining to content, you have come to the right place! My experience of working with diverse industries has always helped me in working with new projects.

An Interview with Editor Samarpita:

How do you sustain interest in even the most mundane aspects of editing – proofreading, fact-checking, source-checking, etc?
An editor’s world is boring. But that is limited to how the outside world perceives it. One doesn’t make this their career just because their language skills are close to being perfect. Usually editors are people who love words, playing with them, trying out different ways to put them across and derive as much joy from correcting text, as from few other things. Fact-checking can get tedious, but not for a person who loves to learn new things. Here I am, with a Masters’ degree in Economics and a profession which deals with words, and I get to read and edit about psychology, animals, ocean life, fiction, social science and what not! Believe me when I say this, editing is a very thrilling job. Fulfilling and knowledgeable too, I must add.

What social media platforms work well for increasing the reach of your content?
Social media is the new platform for advertising, and it is here to stay. While I use practically all the commonly used platforms like Facebook, twitter, Google plus, LinkedIn, Pinterest and Tumblr, Twitter is the one platform which helps the most, in my opinion. Because of the way the platform functions, the outreach, participation and feedback are humongous.

How much do you know about SEO?
I wouldn’t call myself an expert but yes, I do write for SEO based requirements too.

What kind of services do you provide at Cover To Cover Writing Studio?
At Cover To Cover Writing Studio (www.samarpita.in), I try to provide all major services related to content. My primary work involves editing – documents and manuscripts, and I also provide website content, marketing material, blog content, to name a few. Recently, I have also started online book promotion packages. I also provide help with manuscript analysis along with beta and alpha readings to authors.

How important is a good editor for an author? What points should authors, specially new ones, keep in mind while selecting their editor?
A good editor for your manuscript is as important as a good teacher for your child is. The story is yours, but the execution will be your editor’s. It is very important that you see their past work experiences before you hire them to edit your manuscript. And when I say past work experiences, I mean credibility of those and not just their presence. An editor will be your first reader. So the feedback you get on the plot would be most important. If your editor suggests any changes in the plot, consider it with an open mind and don’t be rigid. This is one person who is analyzing and correcting your masterpiece without any emotions attached to it. Trust your editor, and be in constant communication with them. Be involved in the process, it is still your manuscript. Check qualifications too. Have they edited for any organisation before? An insanely huge number of editors out there in the Indian market have no formal training or experience. Be aware.

What topics would you want to cover in an editorial calendar from October to December?
In December, I have planned to spread awareness about how important it is to select the right editor for your manuscript/documents/blog, and why one shouldn’t hire someone just because they say they are into editing. 
Another thing I want to focus one is how and why editing, like everything comes with a price and opting for someone just because their services are cheap, would take your content nowhere.

What’s your approach to giving constructive feedback to an author who is also your client?
I make it very clear to my clients that I am a taskmaster and that too, a brutal one. If your manuscript is going to the publisher through me, I will ensure it passes through a sieve. It is better that all the critique and brickbats comes from me and remain between the author and me, rather than after publication. The end product needs to be as close to perfection as possible (leaving the scope for human error) and we shall attain that.

How would you describe the voice of your brand?
As someone who loves languages, my brand stands for my ideology that every language deserves respect. Treat languages well and they will enrich your life.

Everyone needs a break. What do you read on your own time?
Honestly, I haven’t been reading much of late. But when I do, I dig thrillers, mystery, drama and romance. I am not a fan of mythology, sci-fi and fantasy, though. In the past I’d read more than 250 books in a year but in 2016, I have barely managed to read 70-75, since most of my time is taken by reading manuscripts.

You can also get in touch with Samarpita via eMail

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