The cooperative effort that many people join in to publish a book or other publication is often built on several competing assumptions, namely the Four Centers of Publishing.
To the AUTHOR, the main work ends when he or she completes the text. The editor, designer, and printer all perform “after-market” services that put the finishing touches on the author’s complete text.
To the EDITOR, the author’s manuscript is the raw material, filled with the basic factual knowledge or content, but often poorly formed, which the editor then refines and completes and then passes along to the designer, who really is part of the process of getting the complete, edited manuscript printed.
To the DESIGNER, the author and editor work together to prepare the final content of the publication, but it really has no tangible form until the designer infuses the malleable text with it. The designer gives the author’s ideas actual shape and completes the creative formation of the publication, and then hands it off to the printer, who plays a craftsman’s role of executing the design.
To the PRINTER, there would be no product without his or her work; all that precedes the printing is prologue: the author’s edited text is a single thing, and even the designer’s layout is a limited thing, until it is given actual physical existence on paper.
© 2008 by Michael Brady