In the past I’ve talked about the editing process, and how whenever I edit someone else’s work I seem to leave footprints in their text.
Well, I think I’ve finally conquered that problem.
Today I received an advanced copy of “A practical guide to Information Architecture”, the book I spend a month or so editing for my friend Donna Spencer. (It gets officially released on the 8th of June.) And as I started reading it I saw my name in the list of credits. “Editor: Bill Harper”
It was an incredibly satisfying feeling. I worked really hard on the manuscript, and it was great to see my name along with the rest of the production crew. (The publishers have since asked if I’d be interested in working on other projects. Two words: “Hell yeah!”)
But then I read the acknowledgements page, and I was blown away. Here’s what Donna said about me:
“My editor Bill Harper was amazing. I looked at the first chapters he sent back and thought he hadn’t done anything – I couldn’t see any differences. But he had done tons of work – he’d managed to improve my writing out of sight and still keep it sounding just like me. Bill, I hope you can edit for me for every other book I write (and I’m glad you’re my friend).”
Now I’ll admit I was lucky: Donna and I have very similar writing styles, and so it was nowhere near as difficult as it could have been. But still, it was great to see she couldn’t even see where I’d been until she actually compared the two versions. Not a footprint in sight.
If you’re reading this Donna, I can’t thank you enough. For your friendship, for your faith in my abilities, and for your kind words that have done more for me than you can possibly imagine. And I would be honoured to edit every other book you write.