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Do we need an appreciate your editor day?

Most writers will tell you that finding a compatible editor is crucial and a major key to success. In debates about electronic publishing, someone inevitably claims that authors will go directly to the electronic retailer in the future, bypassing the whole soon-to-be-obsolete editorial process. (Shudder). Editor Carole Baron responds to this oft-repeated supposition in The Huffington Post:

I recently had a conversation with someone I think should know better; a respected published writer. We are all in a heated conversation about digital and electronic books and the subject of the writer going electronic directly with his or her book came up, bypassing the editorial process in a traditional publishing setting. The writer said: “Why not? There is no editing anymore.” Not only is that not true, but it certainly doesn’t understand the complex role of the editor in a publishing house.

True, with the economies of today, there is so much for the editor to do and the workload is so great, that in some cases, writers might get short changed. But in general, the editor today is working very hard, late at night and on the weekends, trying to get the best possible book from the writer.

Baron goes on to list 10 things an editor does for a writer, a helpful reminder to those who might dismiss the process in the future.

  • Paul

    Editorial note to Carole Baron:

    Your statement could use some re-writing for clarification. Where you say

    “The writer said: “Why not? There is no editing anymore.” Not only is that not true, but it certainly doesn’t understand the complex role of the editor in a publishing house.”

    ‘it’ here is referring to the statement, and a statement by definition cannot understand or fail to understand anything. What you mean is “it displays a lack of understanding of…”

    And in the line “We are all in a heated conversation about digital and electronic books and the subject of the writer going electronic directly with his or her book came up…”

    You switch tenses here, from present to past. Try re-thinking this phrasing.

    Later, you say “Next time, I write I want to take on the editor’s contribution in the editorial process.”

    Can you clarify this? What do you mean here – is the comma misplaced? Do you mean “Next time I write, I want to…”

    Re-check your punctuation throughout.

    Or, are you trying to convey a subtle irony here, of writing an article in need of editing about the need for the involvement of editors in the process of writing?

  • http://www.quillandquire.com Zoe Whittall

    Heh Heh. I thought about commenting on the irony of her garbled syntax, but sensed a smart reader would note it for me. Still, I think she makes a worthwhile point in general.

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