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Book editing is by design an invisible art, aimed at creating books that are enlightening, seamless, and pleasurable for readers, while directing all credit to their authors. It is also a multifaceted craft, involving the selection of books to publish, the development and refinement of their contents, and the business of bringing them to readers?tasks sometimes vested in a single editor, sometimes shared among several. And the details of editing vary greatly depending on a book’s publisher, genre, format, and intended audience. In this collection, Peter Ginna and a cast of 26 leading figures from all sectors of the book publishing industry demystify what editors do and why it remains important, even in an age of self-publishing and technological disruption. The individual essays cover a wide range of editorial functions and categories as well as topics such as career development, the value of diversity in publishing, and the ongoing evolution of the industry and the editorial profession. The book concludes with an extensive glossary and a list of resources for anyone interested in learning more about what editors do.
Editing is an invisible art where the very best work goes undetected. Editors strive to create books that are enlightening, seamless, and pleasurable to read, all while giving credit to the author. This makes it all the more difficult to truly understand the range of roles they inhabit while shepherding a project from concept to publication.
In What Editors Do, Peter Ginna gathers essays from twenty-seven leading figures in book publishing about their work. Representing both large houses and small, and encompassing trade, textbook, academic, and children’s publishing, the contributors make the case for why editing remains a vital function to writers—and readers—everywhere.
Ironically for an industry built on words, there has been a scarcity of written guidance on how to actually approach the work of editing. This book will serve as a compendium of professional advice and will be a resource both for those entering the profession (or already in it) and for those outside publishing who seek an understanding of it. It sheds light on how editors acquire books, what constitutes a strong author-editor relationship, and the editor’s vital role at each stage of the publishing process—a role that extends far beyond marking up the author’s text.
This collection treats editing as both art and craft, and also as a career. It explores how editors balance passion against the economic realities of publishing. What Editors Do shows why, in the face of a rapidly changing publishing landscape, editors are more important than ever.