Someone should have told Jarkko that--he busted his nut getting 5.8.1 out the door. I'll bet he's slapping his forehead now, as he lifts his face from the table where he passed out, clears a path through the empty Scotch bottles to the door, and bellows to whoever's in earshot "why the fuck didn't I just work smarter?!"
Because, obviously, it's not that easy. Some things just take a lot of time. And editing is one of those things. If a book's well-written, I still have to read every bloody word because even writing well doesn't mean it's perfect. I read like the intended audience, catching terms that might confuse them and saying "hey, that makes me ask question X--you should answer that question here."
And the badly-written ones
Fortunately, my situation isn't that dire at the moment. I have one web book in production and I just need to beat a few more paragraphs out of the authors. I have a Perl book waiting for my attention, the Template Toolkit one, but I need to get the highly urgent Mac OS X book done first. The OS X book has to be timed for release with Panther--no mean feat given that even Apple doesn't know when Panther's coming out. So the authors are scrambling to finish and I'm scrambling to turn around edits on their chapters ASAP.
And none of these are crap. I fear there lurks at least crappus maximus in the next few months, but fortunately my immediate pain is caused by quantity, not quality.
In my very short-term future, it's time for something completely different. Raley turns 2 on Wednesday, and we're having a baby group party on Tuesday before the family event on Wednesday. And next Monday I fly to Sebastopol for an editors meeting. I'm really looking forward to meeting the people I work with, particularly a few of the new hires. Sarah in New York, for instance, turns out to be a Jet Li fan (HK kung fu movies, in fact) and drinks. I foresee long nights slurring Wong Fei-Hung adoration into our Guinnesses. And Lorrie, an editor I've already met, is bringing her mandolin for Irish music-making. Oh yes. Fun will be had. The question is: will we get any work done? But what a boring question.