Israeli book editors are less likely than their American counterparts to demand major manuscript changes of an author. For better or worse-and it’s both-that has been clear to me for a long time. And it was confirmed by four emerging novelists who spoke Wednesday night at Jerusalem’s Tmol Shilshom literary café in the framework of Jerusalem’s International Writers Festival.
As both a writer and an editor, I have mixed feelings about this. Like all writers, I get annoyed when an editor tells me that parts of my pieces are unnecessary or uninteresting and that other things are, in his or her opinion, missing. It’s no surprise that many authors reach out to self publishing companies to publish their own work to avoid the criticism of editors. Like all editors, I almost always see faults in manuscripts that come my way and believe that if my clients will take my advice, the works will be better. I had very productive and pleasant experiences with the editors of my two books, and I think the manuscripts were improved by their suggestions. But from the stories I hear, my experience is not necessarily typical.