2. As a book editor, what role do you play in making an author's work better? Because every project is different, I adjust my level of involvement to accommodate the author's vision and skill level. I've done everything from a ghost (re)write and complete organizational overhaul to a light-handed line polishing. But most of the time, what I'm doing is offering a trained and fresh eye, acting as sort of a "super reader"; I not only call out what really works but also shine a spotlight on anything that will prove troublesome or unsatisfying for the author's audience: ideas that are incomplete, language that is muddled, plot points or characters that are flat or confusing. And then of course I apply whatever style is preferred for consistency's sake (Chicago, AP, or something specific to the house) so that all the book's edges are smooth. To me, a great editor is one whose work is invisible to the author, and together the two work to make great writing that's invisible to the reader--the words falling away so that the reader just gets lost in the narrative.
Brian Feinblum’s views, opinions, and ideas expressed in this blog are his alone and not that of his employer, the nation’s largest book promoter. You can follow him on Twitter @theprexpert and email him at firstname.lastname@example.org. He feels more important when discussed in the third-person. This blog is copyrighted material by BookMarketingBuzzBlog 2013 ©