Required Reading for Editors and Authors

by Brian Sawyer

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Earlier this week, I sent a message around to the O'Reilly editors list in which I suggested that Dear Scott/Dear Max: The Fitzgerald-Perkins Correspondence should be required reading for every editor and every author who can get their hands on it. It's a real shame that it's out of print; I would have loved to include it in every new author packet we send out.

The collected letters between F. Scott Fitzgerald and his editor, Maxwell Perkins, illustrate the various aspects, intricacies, tensions, and ultimate value of the ideal editor/author relationship. Every conceivable aspect of this relationship is detailed in the book, and there's gold on almost every page.

My original message, along with a few responses, has just been added to O'Reilly's From the Editors List page. If you're interested in learning the terms of Fitzgerald's publishing contracts, discovering his various working titles for The Great Gatsby, or getting a priceless, behind-the-scenes look at the crafting and delivery of content as a collaboration between editor and author, continue reading here. You'll also find a couple more great recommendations for required editor/author reading in the responses.

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