Newsletter No. 439

10 No. 439, 4.6.2014 叶敏磊 Ye Minlei 中文大学出版社组稿编辑 Acquisition Editor, The Chinese University Press 组稿编辑的工作是甚麽? 组稿编辑是出版社书稿质量的「把关人」。一方面,要负责 书稿的筛选和评审;另一方面,必须熟悉学术和出版界的 发展动向,积极获取符合本社精神的优秀书稿。 是什么机缘让你担上这个职位? 2012年在多伦多举行的亚洲研究学会年会上,我遇上中 文大学出版社(中大社)编辑部主任林颖。当时我正在找 教职,又感到学者不一定是最适合自己的工作。林颖的经 历对我有很大啓发。她拿到华盛顿大学政治学博士后在 香港科技大学任教,其间为中大社做「义工」,然后决定转 行到「干活更多、挣钱更少」的出版业。她告诉我从事出版 行业使她的能力在多个向度迅速发展;学术上,做编辑也 未必比做学者成就感低,因为在学术高度专业化的今天, 学者往往只能专精一隅,而编辑职业则使人看到更阔的 全景。 也是在那次会议上,我见到中大社社长甘琦。当时她们正 不分昼夜译校傅高义的《邓小平时代》:林颖带领编辑部 同事对照原文逐字校订译稿;社长也亲自动手润饰全书文 字。在这情形下,我立即参与了十三至十五章的校对工作。 这个经验使我对编辑工作有了实感,更切身感受到中大社 这个团队的活力、理想和学术水准。当时我就热切希望成 为其中一员! 人际网络对物色出版项目和作者重要吗? 从事出版行业,人际网络当然重要。作为大学出版社,我们 很希望和中大师生及各类教研机构保持稳定的互动。我们 计划在今秋筹办一系列工作坊,和中大师生一起讨论如何 出版期刊论文和学术专着。 中大出版社如何在众多投稿中披沙拣金? 我们每年收到约五百份新书稿。编辑部会初步筛选,有潜 力的书稿则至少请两位专家进行匿名评审,最后由学术委 员会裁定是否具有出版价值。其实好的书稿非常多,可惜 限于编辑资源或不符本社宗旨和风格,只能割爱或推荐给 同行。 组稿成功与否可以用销量来衡量吗? 不能。比如我们做的双语版《墨子全译》,可能全世界只 有几百个读者会仔细阅读这千页巨制,但作为第一个《墨 子》全译本,其学术和文化价值是无法用销量来衡量的。 此书出版后被著名的「企鹅经典」买下英文版权,在英语 世界得到更广泛传播。 现阶段有哪个项目可以透露? 明年初我们会推出一套新的英文书系叫 Calligrams ,精 选中文文学作品和以中国为题材的经典论着,主编是纽 约著名作家、评论家、曾获美国国家图书奖的大编辑Eliot Weinberger。该书系的合作伙伴是以品味着称的纽约书 评出版社,并通过世界最大的书商兰登书屋发行。头三 本包括以白莲教起义为背景的西方第一本现代主义小说 《王伦三跃》、《文心雕龙》英文版,以及哥伦比亚大学著 名翻译家Burton Watson的《中国韵文》。 What does an acquisition editor do? Acquisition editors are gatekeepers of the quality of books produced by a publishing house. As an acquisition editor, I review book proposals and assist with the review of manuscripts. I also strive to keep myself updated on the new developments in the academic and publishing worlds, in order to look for the best manuscripts. What experiences led you to this post? In the 2012 Annual Conference of the Asian Studies Association in Toronto, I met Ms. Lin Ying, the managing editor of the Chinese University Press (CUP). Her life story inspired me. Having obtained her PhD degree from the University of Washington, she taught as an assistant professor in the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology. During that time, she volunteered to work for the CUP, which eventually changed her career path. Having found her true passion in publishing, Lin Ying decided to work as an editor, an occupation that makes far less money with much longer hours than teaching positions. I was told that editors do not necessarily make less academic contributions than scholars; in this era of over-specialization, scholars often become experts familiar with particular areas of a field. Good editors, in contrast, are required to focus on the big picture. I also got to see director Gan Qi in the same conference. The whole editorial team was then working day and night on the Chinese translation of Deng Xiaoping and the Transformation of China by Ezra Vogel. While Lin Ying and other editors were checking the translation word by word, the director took on the task of touching up the writing. I was immediately recruited to proofread Chapters 13 to 15. This experience not only enabled me to become familiar with the work of editors, but also showed me a team that was passionate about their cultural mission and pursuit of intellectual excellence. I truly wished to become one of them! What part does networking play in discovering authors and new titles? Networking is extremely important for the publishing industry. As a university press, we expect to receive continuous support from the faculty members and various departments of CUHK. We plan to run a few workshops this autumn on how to publish journal articles and academic books. All are welcome to attend. How to select manuscripts from the slush pile? We have about 500 new submissions every year. All book manuscripts will go through initial screening by our editorial division. High-quality manuscripts are peer- reviewed by at least two experts. Based on external review, our publishing sub-committee will decide whether the manuscripts are publishable. In fact, many proposals that are turned down are very good. Due to limited resources, we simply have to focus on projects that fit our mission and style. Do you measure each acquisition in terms of sales? No. One example is The Mozi: A Complete Translation . It is a bilingual edition of over 1,000 pages. We knew its readership would be small, but we also saw the immense value this book as the first complete translation contains. The English edition was selected by Penguin Classics and is now distributed widely in the English-speaking world. Can you tell us about one forthcoming project? A new English series called Calligrams is coming out in January 2015. It is a selection of published and unpublished Chinese literary works and classical works on Chinese culture. The editor of this series is Eliot Weinberger, a famous writer, critic, editor, and winner of the American National Book Critics Circle Award. Our co-publisher is New York Review Books and the distributor in America is Random House, the largest trade publisher in the world. The first three titles in the Calligrams series are The Three Leaps of Wang Lun , The Literary Mind and the Carving of Dragons , and Chinese Rhyme-Prose .

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