Tuesday, May 15, 2018
Interview with Book Editor Paul Dinas
1. What led you to choose a career in book editing? I started out as an English major in college and got my first job at a vanity press. I learned the mechanics of publishing process there, then went on to get jobs at a variety of trade publishers working on fiction and nonfiction.
2. What challenges and rewards do you experience as a book editor? That’s simple: working the authors. Working with creative and talented writers makes being an editor one of the most rewarding professions. I always learn from the authors I work with and truly value them. The challenges over the years have more to do with the paternalistic nature of the publishing business. With good representation, authors are often kept at arms length regarding the royalty and rights structure in the publication of their work. This leads to frustrations that fall to an editor to navigate and sometimes to fix.
3. How do you make a book better? An editor’s role is to help the author strengthen his/her fundamental vision usually through a detailed analysis of the story, the characters and the narrative structure. Editors are the most dedicated readers an author will have, and serve as a sounding board for them to exercise their talent. We point out aspects of the book such as unclear passages, overwriting, structural inconsistencies. In fiction, we pay attention to the authenticity of dialogue and character motivation as well.
4. What do you enjoy most about working with authors? Their endless curiosity and dedication to making their work as strong and commercial as it can be.
5. Who are some of the authors or publishers that you have worked with? I’ve worked on a full range of authors from bestsellers like Philip Carlo, Aphrodite Jones, Fabio and William Johnstone to lesser known but highly talented authors like Kathi Daley, Arlene Matthews, Tom Monteleone and Kathy Hohman.
6. What advice do you have for struggling writers? Don’t write with a particular market or reader in mind. Write from the gut and take your satisfaction from the crafting a work that you can be proud of. Market your work after you are satisfied with it.
7. What is the key to editing a book successfully? Respecting the vision of the author and working with him/her to make it come alive.
8. What do you see as the future for book publishing? This the most exciting time in book publishing I’ve see in my nearly 40 decades in the business. For the first time, authors have an alternative to the highly problematic process of seeking a commercial publisher and/or literary agent in the new technology of self-publishing and promotion through social media. As publishers become more corporate, more attentive to the bottom line and less about nurturing new talent, first time authors face difficult challenges following the tradition submission procedures. Building a solid social media platform, maintaining a blog and keeping you name and work out in the world is the key to success.
For more info, please see: www.pauldinasbookeditor.com
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Brian Feinblum’s insightful views, provocative opinions, and interesting ideas expressed in this terrific blog are his alone and not that of his employer or anyone else. You can – and should -- follow him on Twitter @theprexpert and email him at email@example.com. He feels much more important when discussed in the third-person. This is copyrighted by BookMarketingBuzzBlog © 2018. Born and raised in Brooklyn, he now resides in Westchester. His writings are often featured in The Writer and IBPA’s Independent. This was named one of the best book marketing blogs by Book Baby http://blog.bookbaby.com/2013/09/the-best-book-marketing-blogs and recognized by Feedspot in 2018 as one of the top book marketing blogs. Also named by WinningWriters.com as a "best resource.”