Thursday, June 26, 2008

The Secret Weapon of Great Books

With all of the hoopla and emphasis on authors, it's rare to find an author who will acknowledge the careful work of his or her editor. In my view, that active involvement from an editor for every part of the manuscript--but in particular the title and the text--is the secret weapon for great books.

There are some fiction authors where I've given up reading their material. Once I was a real fan and read everything they produced yet today I barely give their new titles a glance. I wondered what had changed and as I thought about it, I realized these particular authors had switched publishing houses and lost the strong developmental and editor touch. It's a shame in many respects because I suspect I'm not the only reader from these authors who feels this way. In fact, the authors that I'm thinking about have almost disappeared off the market.

I want to encourage you to read James Grippando's Soapbox called Untitled in the June 23rd issue of Publishers Weekly. It is a beautiful tribute to his editor.

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4 Comment:

At 3:18 PM, Blogger Stephanie Reed Left a note...

Thanks for sharing the PW article about Carolyn Marino. What a lovely tribute!

At 3:50 PM, Anonymous Anonymous Left a note...

As a journalist in a former lifetime, I relied on editors to take a story I banged out in 10 minutes and make sure it was publishable...Editors were my esteemed colleagues then, and in the marketing world my editors continue to take my work up a notch and make me and the agency I work with look very good.

Big thanks to all the unsung editors -- you are champions!

At 12:28 PM, Blogger Karl - Your Work Happiness Matters Left a note...

A great editor knows when to improve something and when to just leave it alone. It's an art that is underappreciated.

At 6:57 AM, Blogger Mike Dellosso Left a note...

Terry, thanks for this important reminder that editors are indeed the unsung heroes behind every book. My editors at Realms were wonderful, great to work with, patient with me, a newbie author, and I believe made my story stronger because of their suggestions and careful eye.

I certainly couldn't have done it without them!


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