Richard's Reviews > The Forest for the Trees

The Forest for the Trees by Betsy Lerner
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's review
Mar 19, 11

bookshelves: 2011
Read in March, 2011

Before reading this book I feared the book-publishing industry the same way I fear the housing market or a Roth IRA: I know this works somehow, I thought. I know there's some way millions of people do this complicated, scary thing. But how do I do it? Who will dumb it down for my layman's brain?

A: Relax. Betsy Lerner, professional editor, will explain all. In "The Forest for the Trees" Ms. Lerner acts as a Virgil who walks clueless readers like myself down through the concentric circles of publishing hell. An excellent tour guide she is, pointing out pitfalls full of hot lava, explaining patiently what a copy editor does and how to avoid pissing off publicists.

Lerner's tone is comforting but no-nonsense, like a wise older sister looking out for you. Plus, it's always great to read a book written by an editor: there is an economy of prose here to die for.

Ironically enough, there is a typo on page 223 on the top line. The word "skill" appears with three l's. Check it out.
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