The End Is Near (If You Skip the Editing Stage)

February 2008
by Robert Goodman

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The End Is Near (If You Skip the Editing Stage)

by Robert Goodman

 SEQ CHAPTER h r 1As a publisher, I often feel camaraderie with the ancient prophet Jeremiah, from whose name we have derived the word jeremiad. A jeremiad is a harangue, one that is often ignored, about the dire consequences that can follow flouting a law or a set of standards.

The laws and standards of publishing are quite different from the scriptural principles Jeremiah exhorted his neighbors to abide by. And yet, they have much in common. Like Jeremiah, who faced rejection when he warned that forsaking the faith would open the door to the Babylonian barbarians, publishers often face rejection when they warn that forsaking faith in editors will open the door to commercial disappointment. Maybe it was just a lucky guess, but the Babylonians did overrun Jeremiah’s gates.

For many authors and, indeed, many publishers, editors are afterthoughts. They can be expensive. They can destroy the author’s voice. They can change a word and ham-hand the author’s meaning. They meddle. And they cause more work. Editors are aggravations. Besides, good writing is “good enough,” right?

Is that you, O publisher of too much faith? You know enough about grammar, punctuation, spelling, syntax, sty…IBPA Members – Click here to view the full article (login required).

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