We’re grafting these branches onto a tree that already had an organic, balanced structure. Knowing that we’re changing the organism, we’re trying not to do anything toxic to it, and to keep everything in some kind of balance. At this point, I don’t know what the result will be. I have some intuitions, but my mind is completely open. [Walter Murch, quoted in The Artful Edit by Susan Bell.]
Editorial Ass has a couple of interesting articles on editors, money, and literature. They argue that editors tend to be an underpaid lot, as are most people who work in publishing, which has implications for the shape of literature as a whole.
Lack of adequate financial remuneration doesn’t stop ’em, though – thank goodness. Last year, 112 Australian editors gained accredited status. Editors around Australia are again gearing up for the next round of Accreditation exams to be held simultaneously in Canberra, Brisbane, Sydney, Melbourne, Hobart, Adelaide, and Perth. The three-hour exam will be held on Saturday 12 September, and registrations are open until 31 July 2009. Today is your last chance to take advantage of the early-bird discount. See The Institute of Professional Editors Limited (IPEd) for information and registration, or contact your local Society of Editors for workshops and practice exams.
A book can be really tender shoots at first. And if you have the wrong kind of editing at that point it can kill it. Kill something that is potentially very good. It’s tremendously imporant to figure out who that other set of eyes ought to be. Because there are people out there who may acutally be envious of you… [Tracy Kidder in The Artful Edit.]
Good advice. Let’s respect our craft by working with people who possess the requisite skills. But also, let’s keep our feet on the ground, and not get carried away by the imagined value of our manuscript – as does the self-published author in this Writer Beware article. This cautionary tale gives us a reality check: literary theft is not common, mostly because it just doesn’t pay. Better to expend our energies in developing our unique voice, rather than fighting legal battles with writers whose ideas spring from the same fertile ground.