Editorial management policies and practices of three indigenous Ghanaian Publishing Houses

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Editorial management plays a vital role in the book publishing industry. A good editorial policy, if adhered to, checks editorial flaws often seen in pages of printed materials, especially books. After going through some books published by indigenous Ghanaian Publishers, one gets the impression that either the books were not subjected to thorough editorial processes or that they were not taken through any at all. The research sought to identify editorial management practices in book publishing and determine whether indigenous Ghanaian Publishing Houses follow them. The research further sought to find out whether indigenous Ghanaian Publishing Houses had written editorial policies, and to evaluate the editorial standards and editorial management processes of indigenous Ghanaian Publishing Houses. Interviews were conducted with the heads of the editorial department of the three Publishing Houses: Afram, Adwinsa, and Woeli. This was followed by interviews with general managers of the three Publishing Houses. All three Publishers interviewed, claimed they follow strict editorial rules which made it impossible for errors to be seen in their books. To verify the truth of this claim, the researcher randomly selected two books published by each Publisher and analysed their content. The result revealed that all three Publishing Houses had similar editorial management processes they follow to assess submitted manuscript and these processes are no different from the ones used by Publishers outside the country. The result however showed that none of the three Publishing Houses had clearly written editorial policy. iv The result further revealed that all six books evaluated had problems with the handling of text and illustration. There were also typographical or grammatical errors in all six books. One major problem found in all six books was the handling of typography: type sizes and types used, maintaining consistency in text layout and word and line spacing. The research therefore recommended that indigenous Ghanaian Publishing Houses follow recognised publishing practices to the letter by having documented copies of these policies and practices. The research also recommended that indigenous Ghanaian Publishers should have clearly written editorial policy and follow them. It was further recommended that indigenous Ghanaian Publishers engage qualified editors, graphic designers, and book illustrators to help them in assessing and managing their books. The research also recommended that a body should be formed to regulate and maintain the quality of books published and to check the activities of indigenous Ghanaian Publishers. It was further recommended that Government Policy on Publishing should be reviewed. The final recommendation was that Publishers must focus on the editorial aspect of their business since that is the core of the publishing business
A thesis submitted to the School of Graduate Studies, Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology in partial fulfilment of the requirements for Master of Arts in Publishing Studies