Friday, March 30, 2012
Thursday, March 22, 2012
Tuesday, March 20, 2012
But letters from authors to a press’s managing editor when the book is days away from going to print are harder to disregard.
Also, retrofitting an index—moving certain concepts around or creating new entries after the index has been edited and submitted—is almost harder than writing the index to begin with, especially when the request comes a week later, and time to work on it comes later still. At that point, the memory of the book is washing pretty quickly into the dead zone.
Monday, March 19, 2012
Friday, March 16, 2012
A book had been lurking on my schedule for months. Author told me about it last fall and sent me a draft in November to begin working on it. A few weeks later came a replacement chapter, then another. Thankfully I hadn’t begun working on the original yet, but I requested that when the entire manuscript was set, that’s when I should receive a complete new version. Author agreed.
Monday, March 12, 2012
Here's lookin' at you, kid.
Thursday, March 8, 2012
I work on so many books in which the author doesn't seem to know where to go or what to do with the reader. When I'm on page 200 of a manuscript, I don't want to read about what this book is going to do. If it's not doing it already, spare me the anticipation.
Monday, March 5, 2012
Sunday, March 4, 2012
Two books just came through the bunker that raised issues of sex, or gender. From what I understand, “sex” is the preferred nomenclature for what I thought used to refer to "gender." I'm talking here not really about men and women, the original title of the post, but about men-without-women and women-not-without-men.
A legal guide. The book was written entirely in the male gender, except for the occasional example. In running text, every plaintiff, defendant, judge, arbitrator, and innocent bystander was referred to as “he.”
I changed as much as I could, given the time and money constraints. Sometimes I see books like this from much older writers, but this author graduated law school in the late eighties. No evidence of a prior career. Younger than me, which is getting older all the time.
I always hate woefully underbidding jobs, but I might have learned something on this one. The rate sheet might soon reflect my charging more for not keying in editorial changes rather than less. That’s another blog post.
A history of a women’s club in a major metropolitan area. Not until the very late chapters does a reader see any club member referred to as other than, for example, Mrs. John Smith. Often with such books, at least by the 1970s the author is referring to the women by their own first names.
This approach has always stunned me, and invariably the author is a woman. I mean, this isn’t a history of the Gotham Wives’ Club. These women are making positive contributions to society and living lives of their own, and I don’t need to know their husbands’ names.
One could say, “Finding out those names would take a lot of research.”Yes, it would. Tell that to the author of the 900-page family history I recently finished, who managed to track wives’ first names back 300 and 400 years. And not refer to them as Mrs. Caleb Smith.