What Ever Happened to Book Editors?

A quote from an article that I’ve linked to below.

“As a freelance editor I no longer need to be looking for the approval of the marketing, publicity, and sales departments….The burden on the freelance editor consists solely of helping the author write his or her best possible book.”

All of this is well and good, but here’s the bottom line. Once this particular editor is done with the project, once it has reached its “maximum potential”, the writer is still left… with the problem of getting some OTHER editor to actually BUY THE DAMN THING AND PUBLISH IT.

In the traditional model, the writer wrote the book, and then sold it. The editing was an in-house expense. Under THIS scenario, it is the author who pays the editor to do this “maximum potential” thang… and then after that the project is still unsold, only the author is already in the financial hole for it without any guarantee that any of it will ever be made back.

I am not against editing, God knows I am not! I trust good editors, I believe in them, they are worth their weight in gold and diamonds and every other precious thing you want to pile on there – but how do you justify the expense of hiring a good one with ABSOLUTELY NO GUARANTEE THAT ANYTHING WILL COME OF IT? Why can’t I sell the book first and then have an editor tweak its potential to maximum?

Why is it that it’s always moving in the direction where the WRITER bears more and more of the burden and the responsibility?

What Happened to Book Editors?

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Age of Amazon still needs editors like Max Perkins

Hemingway’s editor still has lessons to teach the literary world, The Guardian says.

Book editors still needed

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A rejection letter for a classic

“I cannot make you an offer for the novel. The book is so endlessly complicated by details of reference and information, the interim legends become so much of a nuisance despite their relevance, that the very action of the story seems to be to become hopelessly bogged down and the book, eventually, unreadable.”

Rejecting a classic

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8-year-old flags sexist books

She objects to paired books where boys survived shark attacks and girls survived fashion disasters. Bookstore concedes she has a point.

Children’s books sexism

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Fairytales reimagined

pinocchio reimagined“The natural fit is, of course, business”

A sketchbook blog from Illustrator Rachael Wise

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What does it really mean to ‘beat a dead horse’?

Mental Floss examines 42 idioms

42 idioms explained

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Books That Traumatized You As A Kid

Ah, the tradition of ruining kids’ lives through literature

Books that marked you

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Alma Alexander

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