bear parade

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a lesson on editing for web publishers and people who waste giant bags of money

i'm listening to dance music and editing tao and ellen's book into .rtf format. i have not changed any of the words, or made any alterations to what they originally sent me as their book, i am just reformatting the book into the format that i usually write in, so i can read the work easier, and get a better idea of what the book should look like. i am an editor.

as an editor, i read the work, and accept the work, and accept the writers and what they do, and then i think of the best way to present their work, which is always, in theory, a way that i am almost inexistent as an editor. it is impossible for me to be nothing, but if it was possible, i would be that.

modern editors want to shape taste, and i do that. except i found a way to do that without being an asshole and deleting words or removing passages or inserting my own ego.

here is how i "shape taste": i accept authors when i accept their work, and i let these authors, like tao and noah and ellen and ofelia, help themselves, and shape things whatever way they want to. these are people that know what they are doing, and i am a person that knows that they know what they are doing. i can not tell them anything they do not know about writing. my skill is designing websites, and i can only help them with that. if they have a suggestion, i use it to influence my own direction and what i need to be doing.

being an editor requires no power or ego. it requires knowing how to print material and checking for grammatical errors (which i don't spend too much time on, because i can always change things). being an editor requires trusting the skill of the people you work with.

i'm sure paper books are different and have all sorts of political implications and money issues. but fuck paper books. i accomplish a similar goal, reach a similar amount of people, and spend around $300 a year doing so. in order for someone to bankroll bear parade (maybe 8 books a year), they would have to work at mcdonalds or subway for a little over 60 hours. in order for someone to bankroll one printed book for a paper publishing house, they would have to work something like 5,000 hours at mcdonalds or subway.


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