Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Don't Judge a Book by Its Editor

Here's an inside view of scholarly publishing from the point of view of an anonymous philosophy professor in the Midwest, from the Chronicle of Higher Education. Scholarly publishing is very different from the trade publishing I'm used to, but the author still imparts some valuable lessons about being proactive and planning for the worst-case scenario (which he didn't do).


Laurence Shatkin said...

Having a good editor is so important. As the president of a professional organization, I recently invited a speaker to our national meeting and read the most recent book he had written. Over and over again I encountered infelicities of style and, well, let's just call them what they were: grammatical errors. Granted, as a former teacher of writing, I am more sensitive to these faults than some readers, but I think bad editing like that detracts from the impact of an author's writing. After the conference I got to know him better and had several phone conversations. Finally I got the courage to tell him he needs to get a better editor for his next book. I hope he heeds my advice, but I'm not sure whether he's going to know the difference between a good one and a bad one. I'm happy to say that I've been blessed with excellent editors for my books!

Lori Cates Hand said...

Well, we're lucky to work with an awesome author like you!