01 August 2006

What's a "Book Doctor?"

Book doctor is a term from the publishing business, which I was in before I got into the used book business.

The term means, basically, an emergency editor. A book doctor gets handed bad manuscripts -- ones that the publisher has already paid for -- and has to fix them up in fast time. I was in the business of nonfiction so when one of these messes was handed to me, I would check and fix any misspelled proper names, check and correct any incorrect facts, and so on.

A similar term in showbiz is a script doctor.

Now, if you thought I was someone who fixes old, damaged books, sorry, I'm not. For that you need a bookbinder or a document restorer, not a book doctor.

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