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Do you think that an editor is an idea man? I've heard
Some are. They're known as special projects editors.
Every big publishing house has one or two people whose job it
is to dream up books. We have such a man in Paul Lapolla,
who doesn't know how to edit books, but he brought us all of
the National Football League books. He also has very close
connections with the Catholic Church, and we've done some very
fine Catholic books that he's secured for us. That's his job.
He's a projects editor. There's a great distinction between
a working editor and an editor who is out combing the sticks
looking for properties. The man who brings in new “idea” books
is more spectacular and usually ends up making much more money
than the editor who slaves over typography and correcting proofs
and doing all of the dirty work of publishing. That's the poor
fellow who is pouring coal on the furnaces in the hold of the
ship while the captain is sitting on the top deck making up
to the prettiest girl on board. That's the difference between
the editor who is out wining and dining the big authors and
the editor who is down in the basement grubbily correcting
proofs and looking up facts and checking little mistakes and
dates and that sort of thing.
If you were asked what you were to do if you were to run
or start a school of journalism to teach would-be writers how
to write, what would be your advice?
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