Translation is complicated, expensive, and risky to publishers. Some have even said that Americans aren’t interested in reading translated works—for one thing, there are plenty being locally published, and for another, books from other countries may feel too alienating.
I refuse to believe we can’t move past the paperback designs of the past with their jumble of chunky fonts, strange color palettes, and, dare I say, unappealing illustrations of aliens.
As I sat at my laptop describing the events my imagination had concocted, I noticed an unfortunate problem. I was a mediocre writer. My prose suffered from several bad writing habits. After climbing out of the pit of despair with a renewed sense of determination, I decided to break them.
As the publishing industry evolves, media and publishing independents have witnessed the dissolution of the full-time copy editor. Among magazine, news media, and book publishing entities, an in-house copy chief is often considered a luxury of days gone by. The expense of the full-time position is often too difficult to justify, and the responsibility of clean copy can fall on in-house production teams.
I have been a graduate student at Ooligan for two quarters, but I had yet to experience a book launch for a book I helped with. I was first introduced to Three Sides Water on my first day of graduate school. At that time it was still in manuscript form and had only been read by some members of our press. Seeing the book grow from something completely digital and abstract to being printed and sold was very exciting to say the least.
Maintaining the attitude of a descriptivist rather than a prescriptivist when editing, particularly for fiction and memoir, is crucial to preserving an author’s voice.