Editorial Work

This afternoon I carried all of the Schlock books and arranged them on a kitchen table for a photo. We’re opening pre-orders for The Body Politic tomorrow morning, which meant I had to create store items for the new book and for the nine book bundle.

I left the books where they were while I edited the photo and created the store item. Howard wandered through and looked at the array. “These are all the books you made.” I looked up from my laptop, confused for a moment. Then I realized he was right. Howard drew the comics, but I did the design and editorial work on all nine of the books. Howard is the author and creator, but the finished books are mine as well.

I’ve been pondering editorial work as I work on assembling the Jay Wake Book. My job is to create a framework and to remain as invisible as possible. That book must belong to the contributors, not to me. Yet I care deeply about the project. Many of the submissions have brought me to tears. If I didn’t I could not do a good job with it. An editor must be objective enough to see how a thing could be better and passionate enough about the work to understand what it needs and to put in the hours necessary to help it get there. I care very much about the Jay Wake Book, yet my emotions are not so raw that the process of creation hurts at every step. Mostly though, I feel honored to be able to be a part of such a creation.

I like making books.