I’ve experienced most kinds of editing and had my writing supervised by many editors.
I didn’t appreciate editing until about 1977. I wish I’d known about it in 1963.
I couldn’t get my PhD in economics from UC Berkeley because of Lefty rejection of everything I wrote. So I spent six months writing a paper on my major thesis; that capital is knowledge, usually embedded in institutions. The paper ran to 68 magazine pages. I sent it to the leading economic journal, American Economic Review. The editor said he would print my article if I cut it down to 40 pages.
I had no idea of how to do that. While I would have been a famous economist, and professor at Harvard because of the article, I’m glad I never became an economist.
My first book, The Seven Laws of Money, which ultimately sold in the hundreds of thousands of copies shows no editor on the first editions but shows Salli Rasberry as co-author on later. abridged editions. What is the truth?
I dictated a 14 page article to Rasberry for her Free School newspaper. That became the paper that generated an offer from Penguin to write a book. The 14 pages became notes at the beginning of each chapter when Salli and I wrote the book.
Salli asked questions and I wrote the answers as paragraphs. Random House, the final publisher, had my future close friend Charlotte Mayerson as the official editor. She would never allow her name to be mentioned.
Several professional editors were used by Shambhala Press to create the abridged versions. Their names don’t appear anywhere.
Salli and I used the same approach to writing Honest Business and Marketing Without Advertising that we used in The Seven Laws. In effect she was much more than an editor because she got all the material out of me with good questioning. And being a close friend she made it work. She is shown as co-author.
Some ghost writers do this with people who can’t write their own books (Like Hillary Clinton on It Takes a Village). That kind of ghost writer get paid. Salli was always a co-author and got half the royalties.
On all my other books I didn’t have an editor. Citizens Legislature was a true co-author job. We each wrote a successive chapter. Chick (Ernest Callenbach, the co-author) was actually a book editor at the U.of California Press. The other exception was Simple Living Investments. Catherine Campbell loved the book. When we were living together, four years after it was first self published she wanted to add material. Which entailed a few good stories. So she is shown as co-author on a second edition.
Humor. Marketing Without Advertising was the standard relationship between me and Salli. The publisher, Nolo Press, did a noteworthy job on the layout by their staff. On one of the six editions over 25 years, one woman who did the layout, one year, was listed as an author on Amazon
That would seem to be my many experiences with editors. The funniest one was with Marketing Without Advertising. My experiences on three major books of 'extraction' by Salli was a high level of editing seen publicly as a co-authoring. The publishers at Nolo Press and Random House involved editors too, who changed little or nothing.