Writers and Editors (Pat McNees's blog)
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Gift Books for Editors and Proofreaders

December 18, 2009

Looking for a gift for the editor (or would-be editor) in your family? Here's a basic booklist:
AP Stylebook and Briefing on Media Law (an essential style guide for magazine and newspaper writing and editing, but absolutely not okay for editing books)
The Art of Literary Publishing: Editors on Their Craft by Bill Henderson
Book Business: Publishing Past, Present, and Future by Jason Epstein (based on series of lectures he gave at the N.Y. Public Library in 1999)
The Business of Books: How the International Conglomerates Took Over Publishing and Changed the Way We Read by Jason Epstein (a reality check for the idealistic)
The Chicago Manual of Style by University of Chicago Press Staff (the style bible for books, geared to professional and academic authors; if you have the budget, you might also want Words Into Type)
Chicago Manual of Style (CD-ROM for Windows). You can also subscribe to the online edition.
The Copyeditor's Handbook: A Guide for Book Publishing and Corporate Communications by Amy Einsohn (with exercises and useful answer key)
Developmental Editing: A Handbook for Freelancers, Authors, and Publishers by Scott Norton
Editing by Design by Jan V. White (well illustrated book on graphic design through which even wordsmiths can learn the value of white space etc.)
Editing Fact and Fiction by Leslie T. Sharpe, Irene Gunther, and Richard Marek (an overview of the roles of various types of editors in the publishing process)
The Editor-in-Chief: A Management Guide for Magazine Editors by Benton Rain Patterson and Coleman E. P. Patterson (have not reviewed this one)
Editors on Editing: What Writers Need to Know About What Editors Do, by Gerald C. Gross (these essays by various editors in book publishing explain how the book publishing business works and what various types of editors do)
Edit Yourself, by Bruce Ross-Larson (how to edit bureaucratic flab into clearer, crisper, and more effective sentences); Bruce also has a series of workbooks for writing courses at the World Bank and similar organizations
The Fiction Editor, The Novel, and the Novelist, by Thomas McCormack
The Fine Art of Copy Editing by Elsie Myers Stainton
The Forest for the Trees: An Editor's Advice to Writers by Betsy Lerner
Garner's Modern American Usage by Bryan A. Garner (the very best guide to word usage, for such things as the difference between "historic" and "historical" -- an invaluable tool for wordsmiths)
Handbook of Writing for the Mathematical Sciences by Nicholas J. Higham
Indexing Books by Nancy C. Mulvany (this plus chapter 17 of the Chicago Style Manual are what the USDA course on indexing assigns)
Levels of Technical Editing, by David E. Nadziejka (Council of Biology Editors)
Line by Line: How to Edit Your Own Writing by Claire Kerhwald Cook (line by line examples of how copyeditors fix sentences)
Mark My Words: Instruction and Practice in Proofreading by Peggy Smith (exercises and answer keys help readers learn skills step by step)
Max Perkins: Editor of Genius by A. Scott Berg (Perkins edited F. Scott Fitzgerald, Ernest Hemingway, and Thomas Wolfe, among others)
The NY Times Manual of Style and Usage by Allan M. Siegal (an A to Z reference guide)
Recipes Into Type: A Handbook for Cookbook Writers and Editors by Joan Whitman and Dolores Simon
Selected Takes: Film Editors on Editing by Vincent LoBrutto
Side by Side: Five Favorite Picture Book Teams Go to Work , by Leonard S. Marcus
Stet: Tricks of the Trade for Writers and Editors by Bruce O. Boston (for Editorial Eye)
Stet Again: More Tricks of the Trade for Publications People, from the Editorial Eye
Style: Toward Clarity and Grace by Joseph M. Williams (deeply understand the structure of a sentence and paragraph)
Technical Editing, by Carolyn D. Rude
Technical Editing, by Judith A. Tarutz
The Time of Their Lives: The Golden Age of Great American Book Publishers by Al Silverman (a wonderful read)
Words into Type (3rd Edition) by Marjorie E. Skillin (better organized that the Chicago Style Manual, and very useful for explaining the process of book editing and production, though way behind the times on technological changes)