I had the great pleasure to sit down last week and have an extended talk with legendary editor Alan Rinzler. We only live about 30 minutes away from each other, and we’ve been on many panels together in the last couple of years.
Alan, a veteran of many of the country’s top publishing houses, now freelances and works with both traditionally-published and self-published authors. Having worked with authors like Toni Morrison, Hunter S. Thompson, Tom Robbins, Jerzy Kosinski, Clive Cussler, Robert Ludlum, Andy Warhol, Shirley MacLaine, Bob Dylan, and others, Alan has years of wisdom to call on in explaining what he does: developmental editing.
He was at his home office in Berkeley California when we recorded this talk. Here’s the 42:56 video:
Some of the topics covered in this interview:
- Developmental editing can sometimes start before the book is written
- The aim of editor and publisher should be to deliver a book that people buy and read
- The earlier an editor is involved, the better
- Some of the biggest problems Alan sees in the manuscripts he receives
- A better way to think of your outline than you were taught in 3rd grade
- The one thing that helps guide authors through the writing process
- Why it’s important for authors to “do their homework” about the publishing business
- The reason you need to know an editor’s track record
- What you need to know about how editors charge for their service
- The kinds of books Alan won’t edit
- Alan discusses his “obsessive” work style
- The hallmark of a great book
You can find out more about Alan at his site: AlanRinzler.com
Check out his blog here: The Book Deal
Here’s how to contact Alan.