Friday, March 28, 2008

So many bad books to edit, so little time!

MORE STRANGE EXCHANGES from the publishing front. I can understand the logic behind mathematical and chemical equations and the theory of relativity and all that stuff, but there is one thing I can never understand, no matter how hard I try. There are some things that somehow defy explanation or logic. What is this with Malaysian writers who hate to be edited? (Personally and seriously, I don’t think it is worth our time—or anybody’s time—editing such bad writing!) Some say breaking grammatical rules make their writing more interesting! Here are two I encountered recently:


A: I will give you the proofs after I have edited them.
B: The articles I sent you are final copies and I do not expect any editing to be done. I am very particular about edits. I am very precise about what I write. I have done a lot of research.
A: It is normal to be edited. All writers, no matter how good they are, must be edited.
B: Even the magazine that publishes my articles do not edit them. Please do not edit them; just publish them as they are written. I will make an issue if any changes are made. I hope to see the proofs before they go to print and also the cover. I will give you a preface and a blurb.
A: You don’t really need a publisher.
B: What do you mean?
A: All you need is a typesetter and a printer—not a publisher. I can recommend you a couple if you want.
B: I want a publisher. It is more legitimate that way.


A: I would like you to publish my book.
B: Pray tell me what’s your book about?
A: It’s a law book!
B: We don’t publish law books, I’m afraid. Perhaps you would like to try some other publishers?
A: It’s not really a law book. It’s actually a real-life crime story.
B: Why don’t you email me the typescript and let me take a look?
A: I don’t feel comfortable emailing it over.
B: Just email me a chapter or two and I’ll let you know whether I want to read more chapters.
A: Could I just come see you?
B: It’s not necessary to waste your time.
A: Can’t you just publish it without looking at it? What if you don’t like it?
B: If I love it, dinner’s on me! If I hate it ...



Blogger Shekhar said...

Hi! I have been reading your blog for quite some time now and find it quite interesting.

I just couldn't help but laugh at the second anecdote! "Can’t you just publish it without looking at it?" Ha ha!

Saturday, April 19, 2008 10:14:00 PM  
Blogger Eric Forbes said...

Thanks, Sekhar!

You may be surprised to know that many writers just want to be published; it is irrelevant whether what they have written or published is good or bad!

Saturday, April 19, 2008 11:39:00 PM  

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