Monday, March 31, 2008

Quote of the Week!

"Many people, other than the authors, contribute to the making of a book, from the first person who had the bright idea of alphabetic writing through the inventor of movable type to the lumberjacks who felled the trees that were pulped for its printing. It is not customary to acknowledge the trees themselves, though their commitment is total."

~Forsyth and Rada, Machine Learning

I'd like to go a bit further and talk about the editors and the final line editors, those folks that work tirelessly behind the scenes to bring books to readers everywhere. These people work long, long hours, slog through pages and pages of manuscripts, and find ways to make them shine.

I've personally worked with six different editors and I have no idea how many final line editors. I've learned something from them all and continue to learn with each manuscript. I just want to say thank you for all the hard work that you do!

9 comments:

Kelly Kirch said...

Okay, I'm going to be the unpopular one and call that quote blantant false modesty. Not for you, NJ, for the writer of that quote. Why? Because we all know how difficult it is to create word pictures which speak to a reader. I whole heartedly give thanks to the editors and fles (some of them--ahem--not that nasty one I had) and even the publisher for putting it out there. Of course to the reader who picks it up and invests their time in reading it...

But I think it's a bit much to go back to the lumberjacks, the inventors of the language, parchment creators... If we do that we have to thank the flannel industry, saw makers, dam builders, insects that polinated papyrus etc etc etc. No. WE have to take credit, accept the complements and hope our work is worthy of a read.

The quote sounds like a kiss up. Sorry.

N.J.Walters said...

Hey, Kelly. I agree that each author has to take credit for their own work. We work damn hard to create a book that hopefully other people want to read.

I guess I didn't take the quote quite so literally. For me it was more of a reminder that bringing a book from the creative stage to the point where a reader can actually read it is a colaborative process which involves quite a few people who often go unmentioned.

I'm not about to thank the trees, although I do appreciate their sacrifice. :-)

Kelly Kirch said...

LOL, NJ. Now THAT I can agree with. Here's to Ebooks and fewer dead trees sacrificed on the alter of entertainment. Heh.

Heidi said...

If your editors (and I'm happy to be one of them) do good work - it's only because we have something good to work on :)

N.J.Walters said...

LOL I'm all for that. Although, I'm not sure I'll ever give up my paper books, even though I love e-books. :-)

N.J.Walters said...

Thank you for the wonderful compliment, Heidi. I do love working with you. :-)

Daisy Dexter Dobbs said...

Very nicely put, NJ. Good, dedicated editors are like gold. Their input can make a significant difference in a manuscript’s outcome.

Kathy said...

I love my handheld books. I have many. In fact, I have so many that I have had to put many of the ones I don't re-read on a regular basis into storage crates just so I have shelf space for the others. But, I am also falling in love with ebooks. There are so many great stories that I never knew about because they are only in ebook format. That's how I discovered your wonderful stories, NJ.:-)

N.J.Walters said...

Thanks, Daisy! I agree totally. A good editor is golden!

I'm so glad you discovered me too, Kathy. :-) E-books are great to save on shelf space.