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Andrew Wylie on ‘Devaluation of Quality Editing and Writing’

In the new issue of WSJ Magazine, agent Andrew Wylie shared his thoughts about the contemporary publishing industry in an opinionated essay. We got a sneak peek at the essay where the famous agent pondered our digital future.

His essay stressed that despite self-publishing options, the writing profession needs “a chain of people who have authority and can help convey what is essential.” What do you think?

Here’s an excerpt: “The devaluation of quality editing and writing is sad and it’s inevitable. Each house has a large number of titles to publish, and with a difficult economy, fewer people to handle the publications. But publishers need to become smaller, leaner, and they will have to learn new disciplines. The whole one-year publication process must be reduced.”

UPDATE: Readers respond on Facebook:

Hookline Books: “Authors still need the endorsement of an outside party, be it a publisher, a prominent reviewer, advocate”

Leah Cummins Guinn “I’ve read quite a few self-pubbed books, and even though some were very good and most were average, all of them could have been greatly improved by a good editor.”

Olga Gardner Galvin “Some authors need outside validation; others less so. All authors need an editor and a proofreader.”

CORRECTION: An earlier version of this post misidentified the source of the essay.

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