Monday, February 2, 2009

Just a Little Bit Late

The readings for January 28 were enlightening. As a student employee at OU Press, I thought I fully knew what the basic process of publishing a book was. It turns out I was hampered by my own perceptions. I knew that the editor selected the manuscript and had to explain to the others why such a manuscript would be good for the press to publish. I guess I didn't realize that he or she literally edits. I think of that as the job of the copyediting staff. In this way, the "What is an Editor?" article opened my eyes to what the people around me are doing. I'm getting just a little more insight to how a book is published.

The position is similar to an editor of a literary magazine in the role of mediating between author and press and selecting work. The line by Schuster that says an editor "cannot afford the luxury of being color-blind. He must be able to distinguish between black ink and red" still applies. Editors of both have to know when the publishing process is worth it. However, the book editor runs on an entirely different schedule. A book generally takes over a year to publish from acceptance to printing. They may plan in what season/quarter a book will be released, but the rush isn't for a spring issue of their quarterly. Each individual manuscript is magnified into a work-intensive, time-consuming project.

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