It is the eve of the vernal equinox and here in Vermont we are still flirting with single digits on the back of bitter winds. When better to stay inside, snuggly surrounded by cats, and launch a book in comfort?
After tackling the learning curve of e-text idiosyncrasies and cleaving the Gordian knots in my stomach, I am thrilled to announce that Red Line/Blue Line: Essays from the Editor’s Corner has hit the e-book runway. It is available in a text edition through Smashwords [Nook, Apple, and a variety of generic platforms], and, in an illustrated Kindle edition.
Regular visitors to the Dragon’s Nest may be familiar with my Editor’s Corner pieces. Since their initial blog appearance, they have been spruced up, augmented, re-worked – in short, edited – for publication. All thirty-six essays are now together in one easy-access volume. And, thanks to the sage input from Nest followers, they are dressed in a kick-ass cover, to boot.
From Red Line/Blue Line:
Any book about editing is, necessarily, a book about writing.
Every day, a writer weaves passionately through a forest of choices both large and small. For, beyond the spark of an idea and the ensuing blood, sweat, and tears, writing is all about choices. This is the heart of editing. In the end, of course, even the most experienced scribe can benefit from outside insight and expertise. We don’t need someone to simply gush and insist every word is a gem plucked from the mouths of the divine literati. Grandma Esther does that. She’s family; it’s her job.
An editor’s job is to be supportively ruthless as she brings fresh eyes to a manuscript, looks for awkward passages, incongruities, weaknesses, even disasters waiting to happen. She discerns not only what we say, but also what we mean to say. She helps us tighten our prose, hone our voice, and sing. In short, an editor helps make our work better.
A good editor is priceless.
Of course, whether just starting out or after years in the trenches, there are times when the services of a professional editor are beyond our means. Do not despair! And do not let this be an excuse for laziness. Even a lone scribe struggling in the literary wilderness should respect her creation enough to make it as good as it can possibly be before sending it out into the world. After all, we may write in our teddy-bear slippers and pjs, but our work should go forth in crisp Ascot and morning coat.