When last we checked in on the outsourcing controversy kick-started by Wednesday’s Observer piece:
Here’s what you had to say:
Re: outsourcing, I’ve never done it and don’t know of anyone here at my cozy little house who has; though once one of my bosses, worried that I was cracking up, hinted that if we needed to hire somebody “from outside” to lighten the load on any particular book, just say the word. I never did. In fact, every editor I know — every one — still edits his/her own books. Extensively. Some dumb-asses (me, anyway) several times.”
When I read an article as ludicrous as this one, any legitimate points — and sure, more editing probably is outsourced these days — are inevitably eclipsed (and de-legitimized) by my hearty amusement. “Charlotte
Bronte,” the first time novelist quoted, is wise to stay anonymous, because she apparently lives in some alternate universe where it’s an everyday occurrence for a debut novelist to get a ‘healthy’ advance before she’s written anything and then to be treated to months of coaching and
hand-holding. Please. As for Seth Mnookin, if his freelance editor lopped off one hundred hours from her bill, how many hours were there? It sounds like she should get a co-author credit.
Even though editing is being outsourced, there are still great editors editing the books. So, essentially, it doesn’t matter whether it’s being done in or out of house, just that it’s being done. However, [the publishing veteran] also said that there are some publishers that are notorious for just not doing any editing at all — [one particular publisher] being the most infamous. I think someone [paging Mad Max Perkins] essentially needs to do some comprehensive investigation with the big 5 and others to get the full picture. There are probably a lot of people who would be willing to talk off the record.