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Likely Stories

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Keir Graff and editors from Booklist's adult and youth departments write candidly about books, book reviewing, and the publishing industry

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Tuesday, April 3, 2007 1:36 pm
McMahon Marketed by Editor
Posted by: Keir Graff

Now it can be told: Neil McMahon’s new editor is — gasp – a guy from marketing. You’ll thrill to the immense respect that Carl Lennertz (Vice President, Independent Retailing) has for “real” editors – and to McMahon and Lennertz’s respect for one another. From Shelf Awareness (“The Author-Editor Duo Behind Lone Creek“):

Carl: Omigod, my respect for editors has gone through the roof. I had some sense that their weeknights and weekends were consumed by reading manuscripts on submission as well as editing upcoming books, but I had no idea how hard it would be just to balance editing one book on a series of deadlines with other work and with one’s home life. I have just the one book and it took up a dozen weekends of work: reading, rereading and then getting on the phone with Neil, going page by page, fine-tuning some dialogue here, making a character’s motivations crystal clear in a key scene, that sort of thing. That level of detail was fun for me, but I was lucky; how does a real editor balance dozens of current projects at one time AND acquire AND do their marketing advocacy in-house? Not enough hours in the day.

Well, it’s a great book, and, as far as I can tell, Lennertz edited with an editor’s eye, not a marketer’s. Except for that scene where a naked supermodel discovers a soda machine that dispenses nothing but free Mountain Dew. But I’m sure that has more to do with the plot than with product placement and twentysomething book buyers.


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