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I still argue that in the brouhaha that is publishing, we

often forget about the reasons that traditional publishing
existed to begin with, and why writers didn't just publish
themselves from the outset.

Traditional publishers fund works out of their pockets,
and they beat a dead horse in terms of preparing a book 
for release. This has been true since Gutenberg printed
the first Bible. So I believe traditional publishing will
continue for many years to come.

Yes, I tend to lean to the . . . traditional side. (Bet you
thought I was going to say right or left, huh?) However, I've
self-published as well. I've seen good self-publishing and bad.
I've seen good agents and bad. I've marveled at good traditional
works and bad.

Nothing in publishing is perfect.

However, two items get overlooked, in my opinion, when it
comes to do-it-yourself publication.

1. Platform 
2. Editing

The Steve Laube Literary Agency has quite the informative
blog, and lately they've run a series called, "A Defense of
Traditional Publishing." The latest post of April 26 addressed 
"Content Development."


A reader cursed me (yes, I'm a "biatch") for advising her to
slow down, complete her book, and edit it to death before 
considering the publisher, the movie, or the television 
appearances. The point I tried to make was that editing
isn't a simple proofreading job before you forward the file
to a publisher.

Steve Laube explained the multiple editing tasks under a 
traditional roof.

ACQUISITIONS EDITOR - Finds, acquires, negotiates the project.

LINE EDITOR - Performs the actual content edit (also call the 
"line"  or "substantive" edit).

CONTENT EDITOR - Reads for accuracy, balance and fairness, 
cogency of argument, adequate treatment of the subject matters, 
and conformity to the original book proposal.

COPY EDITOR - Scours the manuscript for accuracy in grammar, 
citations, and factual content.

PROOF READER - Fine tunes punctuation and other nit-picky details.

Yes, there's room for self-publishing, especially if you
have a platform to die for, and a following that would
purchase anything you held up in your hand. But if you 
are venturing into the publishing world alone, wouldn't 
you want these people in your court?

Hope Clark - http://www.fundsforwriters.com

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Arnaldo, everything you say is true. However, even though I've won awards, I've been categorized as a small niche writer...one who doesn't have a wide enough reading audience to justify traditional publishing. I even had a publisher smugly tell me that they didn't have enough readers in my area of the country (the Southwest). ?! I interpreted this to mean they didn't have enough Hispanic and Indian readers. Oh, well. Maybe they're right. They're the pros.

An aside: I've spent hundreds of dollars in editing and become frustrated when I see error after error in traditionally published books. Errors in every category of editing. Who are they trying to kid? Their editing isn't any better than my books.


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