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I'm rewriting a technical book that will list two authors: the original author and me. Much of the text has been changed and there are some informal parts where reader is addressed in first person: "I want to show you ...". I'm wondering if this should this read: "We want to show you ..."?

Personally, I think that "we" sounds weird (and distracting) because the book has been written on two separate occasions. For the most part I'm trying to eliminate these references, but there are a few times where it would be more trouble to do that.

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up vote 5 down vote accepted

I'd stick with "we" when you have two or more authors unless it's clear that sections of the book were written by one particular author, such as in a compilation of essays. But you should ask your publisher for the final decision to save yourself pain later if they disagree with your choice.

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I agree that "we" is standard in these sorts of contexts, and it doesn't sound weird to me at all. – JSBձոգչ Oct 5 '11 at 16:06

I would check with the publishers. As a general rule though if you will be listed as co-author then the correct form is usually "we"(If you are contracted to re-write it but it will be published only under the original title and author, you would say "I".) The final decision is usually the publishers'.

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