"Alas, there is no twelve-step program for us. We must learn to live with our affliction. Perhaps we could even attempt to extract some social benefit from it by offering our faultfinding services on a pro bono basis. Had a Fadiman or a Bethell been present in 1986, when the New York law firm of Haight, Gardner, Poor & Havens misplaced a decimal point in a ship's mortgage, we could have saved its client more than $11 million. Had we been present in 1962, when a computer programmer at NASA omitted a hyphen from Mariner 1's flight program, we could have prevented the space probe from having to be destroyed when it headed off course, at a cost to taxpayers of more than $7 million." ~ Anne Fadiman, from "Insert a caret" (edited from Inset a Carrot), in Ex Libris: Confessions of a Common Reader

The Secret Life of an Obsessive Airbnb Host (George Tzortzis, Narratively, 5-22-14). Determined to quit his tired government job, one D.C. office drone saves $25,000 by renting his apartment nightly and secretly sleeping on the office floor. This allows him to try the life of a freelance copywriter and copy editor. But things don't go quite as planned.

"No compulsion in the world is stronger than the urge to edit someone else's document."
~H. G. Wells

"The past is always tense, the future perfect." ~Zadie Smith

"An editor at most releases energy. He creates nothing. " ~ editor Maxwell Perkins

DBATSTO. Don't Be Afraid to State the Obvious

Health insurance, freelancers, and the Affordable Care Act (Pat McNees, Writers and Editors, 8-22-13)

How Letters Got Their Orders "Early printers put the h in ghost and ghastly. The lexicographer Noah Webster tried to get Americans to adopt tung and fether, to no avail." (Henry Hitchings' review of Spell It Out: The Curious, Enthralling and Extraordinary Story of English Spelling by David Crystal.

"As we sat down, he[T.S. Eliot] said, `Tell me, as one editor to another, do you have much author trouble?' I could not help laughing, he laughed in return—he had a booming laugh—and that was the beginning of our friendship. His most memorable remark of the day occurred when I asked him if he agreed with the definition that most editors are failed writers, and he replied: `Perhaps, but so are most writers.' "
~ Robert Giroux in T. S. Eliot: The Man and his Work ( from Giroux's `A Personal Memoir,' reprinted from Sewanee Review, vol. 74 (1966)

“i before e... except when you run a feisty heist on a weird beige foreign neighbor.”
--Grammarly.com, on Facebook. With this comment: i before e, except after c, as long as it rhymes with me—Nicholas Marshall

Missouri Rewrites Plot, Rehiring Editor in Chief of the University Press (John Eligon, NY Times, 10-5-12). When 41 authors who had works published by the university press asked for the rights to their works back unless the editor-in-chief, Mr. Clair Willcox, was rehired, the University of Missouri reversed its plans to close the university's publishing house and re-hired the editor.

Up with this I will not put. (Do you know who allegedly said this?)

How Much Should I Charge? (Writers and Editors, Pricing Strategies, How to Set Rates and Fees, and Other Survival Basics)

"I submit as a law of editorial physics that the author's desire to include a fact in her narrative is directly proportional to the effort she expended to find it out, not to its relevance."
~ Peter Ginna, When journalists become authors: a few cautionary tips (Nieman Storyboard)

A good novel about a proofreader! The History of the Siege of Lisbon by Josι Saramago (translated from the Portuguese by Giovanni Pontiero)

“Tact is the ability to describe others as they see themselves.”~ Abraham Lincoln

"Work from Home", how the phrase evolved from "work at home," by Jan Freeman (The Word, Boston Globe, 1-30-11). See Freeman's blog, Throw Grammar from the Train

Winner of an Ig Nobel Prize (administered by Improbable Research (research that makes people LAUGH and then THINK): The definite article: acknowledging ‘The’ in index entries, Glenda Browne's article in The Indexer on the many ways "the" causes problems for those who try to put things into alphabetical order. See also Paul Krugman's 24/​7 lecture ("24 seconds of impenetrable jargon, followed by a 7-word explanation of your field").

"One of the great things about being a copy editor is freedom from the vulgar desire for public recognition."
—Testy Copy Editors

"No passion in the world is equal to the passion to alter someone else's draft."
~ H.G. Wells

"An index is not an outline, nor is it a concordance. It's an intelligently compiled list of topics covered in the work, prepared with the reader's needs in mind."
~ Indexing Evaluation Checklist, American Society of Indexers

"For every writer with a tin ear who is helped by a competent editor, there is surely an inexperienced editor who will take a fresh and well-voiced text and edit the life out of it.... You might think that the overachieving copy editor suffers from knowing too much, but the opposite is true. Knowing too little, she hangs on white-knuckled to her small bag of tricks, unaware of the many alternatives. So the first step in doing no harm is to expand your bag of tricks."
~ quoted from Copyediting , in a review of The Subversive Copy Editor: Advice from Chicago (or, How to Negotiate Good Relationships with Your Writers, Your Colleagues, and Yourself) by Carol Fisher Saller, who provides answers for the Q&A page of The Chicago Manual of Style Online

"Helene [Pleasants] had no literary theories — she had literary values. She valued clarity and transparency. She had nothing against style, if it didn't distract from the material. Her blue pencil struck at redundancy, at confusion, at authorial vanity, at the wrong and the false word, at the unearned conclusion. She loved good writing, therefore she loved the reader: good writing did not cause the reader to stumble over meaning."
~Dorothy Gallagher, "What My Copy Editor Taught Me"

“A harsh reality of newspaper editing is that the deadlines don't allow for the polish that you expect in books or even magazines. “
~Bill Walsh

"If you re-read your work, you can find on re-reading a great deal of repetition can be avoided by re-reading and editing."
~William Safire

"Perfection is achieved not when there is nothing more to add, but when there is nothing left to take away."
~Antoine de Saint-Exupιry

"A very good editor is almost a collaborator."
~Ken Follett

"Who knows why certain notes in music are capable of stirring the listener deeply, though the same notes slightly rearranged are impotent?"
~ Strunk and White

"I'm exhausted. I spent all morning putting in a comma and all afternoon taking it out."
~ Oscar Wilde

"All writing is a process of elimination."
~ Martha Albrand

Quick Links

Find Authors

For editors and publishing professionals

"Cost. Quality. Speed.
Pick any two."

~ An old business maxim, never truer than with editing

Editing is not just finding and correcting spelling and grammatical errors. In looking to hire an editor, be sure to figure out which purpose you are hiring them for. Different types and levels of editing call for editors who charge different rates, or require different amounts of time and levels and kinds of expertise (and eye, or ear). For an excellent essay on what magazine and literary editors do (acquiring pieces for publication), and why, read "No" by Brian Doyle (Kenyon Review, Spring 2008).

Chapter 1 of the Editorial Freelancers Association's online Code of Fair Practice describes the various types of writing and editorial services (abstracting, copyediting or line editing, copyfitting and page makeup, desktop publishing, developmental editing, evaluating a manuscript, illustrating, indexing, project management, proofreading, researching, rewriting, substantive editing, technical writing, translating, typemarking, writing).

What an editor charges depends very much on what the local market will bear, but a proofreader will generally charge less than a copyeditor, who will typically charge less than a substantive editor, who will generally charge less than a writer. Book publishers tend to pay on the low side. Technical and marketing copy command higher rates than other copy, for different reasons (the technical writer must be able to make the meaning clear without changing it; the editor of marketing copy must aim for the best "selling" copy, which requires a different kind of flair). Experience and expertise count for a lot, so an editor with a law degree, for example, can expect to be paid more for more editing legal documents. Good judgment, common sense, and a deep and wide enough knowledge either to spot errors or to know when to check things out are important skills in an editor. Tact in editing will help you keep clients returning with more work.

The art of editing

• Slang for the Ages (Kory Stamper, Opinion, NY Times, 10-3-14) "English is fluid and enduring: not a mountain, but an ocean. A word may drift down through time from one current of English (say, the language of World War II soldiers) to another (the slang of computer programmers). Slang words are quicksilver flashes of cool in the great stream."
• Gottlieb Explores Editing and Writing Biography. “the editor’s relationship to a book should be an invisible one.” "It means helping the author fulfill his or her intentions, not imposing your own ideas. Of course editors may have their own notions about a subject, but they’re there to supplement, not contradict. What can help a biographer, I think, is the editor’s curiosity about the subject, leading to questions that may prompt useful paths for the author to explore. It’s all too easy when writing on a subject about which you’re obsessive to forget that the reader may need more grounding —that you have to gently set the stage."
• Robert Gottlieb, The Art of Editing No. 1 (Paris Review interview by Larissa MacFarquhar, Fall 1994). She interviews both Gottlieb and many of the fine authors he has edited--especially interesting about the editing process.
• The Robert Gottlieb Guide to Editing, My Personal Notes (Matt Gartland highlights the main points of the excellent Paris Review Art of Editing interview-- see previous entry.)
• Editor in the spotlight (William Skidelsky, Guardian blog, 1-23-07) " In the internet age, this kind of public feedback [Comments] has largely replaced the old-fashioned, private art of editing. Is that a bad thing?"
Admitting mistakes to authors. Should you?
• Say you're sorry (John E. McIntyre, You Don't Say blog, April 2010). Skip the "If I offended anyone" bit.
• Pretty Apologies: For When You're Really Wrong (Carol Fisher Saller, The Subversive Copyeditor, 4-20-11).

About Editing (Richard Nordquist, About.com)
• Harold Ross on Editing. "Editing is the same as quarreling with writers--same thing exactly"
• Lillian Ross on Helpful Editors. "Avoid the following kind of editor: one who does not like writers"
• The Editor of the Breakfast Table, by Charles J. Shields “The worst thing you can have a reader say is, ‘So what?’”
• An Editor's Five Rules of Thumb Gardner Botsford on Writing and Editing
• Wolcott Gibbs's Theory and Practice of Editing
• James Thurber on Writing and Editing
• More Editors and editing (Nordquist's About Education, About Grammar columns)

Interviews with, and profiles of, agents and editors
Lives and Letters, an interview with Robert Gottlieb. This Salon.com interview with the legendary editor is ostensibly about writing but gives helpful insights into the editing process (and the writer-editor relationship) inside a good publishing house.
• The Cranky Wisdom of Peter Kaplan (Nathan Heller, The New Republic, 9-14-12). New York’s last romantic gets his own magazine. The former editor of the New York Observer is now editorial director of Fairchild Fashion Media.
• A former Indy editor on fighting the good fight (Bob Moser, Indy Week, 9-26-12) See also Why I started the Independent and why I am selling it (Steve Schewel, Indy Week, 9-26-12)
• Editors interviews (The Editor's POV). A series of interviews with developmental editors (Jennifer Hager, Amy Smith Bell, Karalynn Ott, Diane Mettler, Marta Tanrikulu, Beth Stokes, Nancy Wick, Julie Van Pelt).
• Style Sheet: A Conversation with My Copyeditor (Edan Lepucki's interview with his copyeditor, Susan Bradanini Betz, The Millions, 2-7-14)
• Editors' role model: Robert Loomis, on his retirement from Random House (read these for great tales from publishing, for a glimpse at pre-corporate publishing, and for hints on editing well): Nurturer of Authors Is Closing the Book (Julie Bosman, NY Times, 5-8-11). Profile of Random House editor Robert Loomis (retiring after 54 years). One of the last of the gentlemen editors with power.
• Great Book Editors Are Not an Endangered Species (Peter Osnos, The Atlantic, 5-24-11)
• Bob Loomis Talks Cerf And Turf Ahead Of His Retirement (Dan Duray, New York Observer, 5-31-11)
• Robert Loomis, editor of Styron, Angelou, retires (Hillel Italie, AP, on ABC, 5-6-11)

Poets & Writers interviews with Agents and Editors
• Agents & Editors: A Q&A With Agent Lynn Nesbit by Jofie Ferrari-Adler (Jan/​Feb 2008). With more than forty years of experience in the business, agent Lynn Nesbit discusses how she signed some of her biggest clients, how a writer can get an agent’s attention, and what’s wrong with the publishing industry.
• Agents & Editors: A Q&A With Agent Molly Friedrich by Jofie Ferrari-Adler (Sept-/​Oct 2008)
• Agents & Editors: A Q&A With Editor Jonathan Karp by Jofie Ferrari-Adler (Nov/​Dec 2009)
• A Q&A With Jonathan Galassi by Jofie Ferrari-Adler (July/​Aug 2009)
• Agents & Editors: A Q&A With Agent Georges Borchardt
• A Q&A With Four Young Editors by Jofie Ferrari-Adler (interviewing Richard Nash, Lee Boudreaux, Alexis Gargagliano, and Eric Chinski, March/​April 2009)
• A Q&A With Editor Chuck Adams by Jofie Ferrari-Adler (Nov/​Dec 2008)
• A Q&A With Editor Janet Silver by Jofie Ferrari-Adler (July/​Aug 2008)
• A Q&A With Editor Pat Strachan by Jofie Ferrari-Adler (March/​April 2008)
[Back to Top]

Organizations for Editors,
Proofreaders, and Indexers

American Agricultural Editors' Association (AAEA)
• American Association of Sunday and Feature Editors (AASFE)
• American Cinema Editors (ACE)
• American Copy Editors Society (ACES) (for journalists -- members can get job listings) Facebook page
• American Medical Writers Association. AMWA has an excellent private Editing-Writing email list, particularly helpful for medical writer-editors; member directory and member access to job bank
• American Society for Indexing (formerly American Society of Indexers, ASI--advancing indexing, abstracting, and database building).
• American Society of Business Publication Editors (ASBPE), which has local chapters
• American Society of Healthcare Publications Editors (ASHPE)
• American Society of Magazine Editors (ASME), with its important National Magazine Awards
• American Society of News Editors (ASNE), which publishes The American Editor
• Archivists. National Archival Organizations in the United States, a directory on the website of The Society of American Archivists, which links to societies of medical archivists, religious archivists, regional history archivists, business archivists, and state organizations of archivists. See So You Want to Be an Archivist: An Overview of the Archives Profession.
• Associated Press Media Editors (APME, for editors of consumer magazines and business publications sold in U.S.)
• Associated Press Sports Editors (APSE)
• Association for Church Editors (ACE, for editors, designers and other church members involved in the production of church magazines in all denominations throughout the United Kingdom and abroad)

• Association for Documentary Editing (ADE)
• Association of Alternative News Media (AAN)
• Association of Art Editors (AAE)
• Association of Capitol Reporters and Editors (Capitol Beat, for reporters covering state and local governments)
• Association of Earth Science Editors (AESE). Member directory and job bank (members only)
• Association of Freelance Editors Proofreaders and Indexers (AFEPI) (Ireland)
• Association of Health Care Journalists (AHCJ), improving public understanding of health and health care
• Association of Personal Historians (APH). Not an editors association per se, but personal historians do custom publishing for private clients and need editors, proofreaders, transcribers, indexers, and designers. Personal historians interview people to get their life story; those interviews need to be transcribed and shaped into narratives, as memoirs, tributes, ethical wills, etc. (Formats: print, audio, and video.)
• Bay Area Editors' Forum (BAEF) (searchable public member directory and EXCELLENT resources for editors on the website)
• Board of Editors in the Life Sciences (BELS), founded in 1991 to evaluate the proficiency of manuscript editors in the life sciences and to award credentials similar to those obtainable in other professions. See how to become a board-certified editor (the ones that add ELS after their names). Members-only job listings, email list; publicly accessible directory of freelance BELS editors
• Bookbuilders of Boston(publishing professionals involved in book publishing and manufacturing throughout New England, with public searchable directory)
• Cambridge Academic Editors Network (CAEN) (searchable public member directory)
• Committee on Publication Ethics (COPE), a forum for editors and publishers of peer reviewed journals
• Copyediting (formerly Copy Editing, excellent publication and webinars) and Copyediting job board(formerly Copy Editor, excellent newsletter, free job board for which you can set up profile to get alerts when gigs are available)
• Copyediting-L Community (a free listserv-based discussion list for CE-l subscribers only, to prevent spammers, but readable by the public, co-owned by Katharine O'Moore-Klopf and John Renish). "Stalking Danglers Around the World" (with a freelancers directory, and frequent exchanges of macros that make copyediting easier, etc.). Copyediting-L Always Provides Lively Discussion writes Mark Allen, on the Copyediting blog. Copyediting Facebook page
• Council of Science Editors (CSE) (formerly Council of Biology Editors), job board lists freelance and in-house jobs with medical and science journals, publishers, and pharmaceutical companies
• Drug Information Association (DIA), global forum for therapeutic innovation & regulatory science
• European Association of Science Editors (EASE)
• Editcetera (a self-governing association of freelance publishing professionals in San Francisco area)
• Editing and proofreading societies around the world (Louise Harnby's excellent annotated list)
• Editorial Freelancers Association (EFA), for editors, writers, indexers, proofreaders, researchers, desktop publishers, translators, etc. New York City-oriented. Clients can find you through free online freelancer directory and freejob listing service. You can post questions on the private email list. EFA Facebook page

• Editors' Association of Canada (EAC) , which has six regional branches. Blog: West Coast Editor
• Editors' Association of Earth (active, chatty Facebook page created by Toronto copyeditor Greg Ioannou), and EAE Backroom (a members-only Facebook page). See Copyediting story about, by Mark Allen (8-26-13).
• Editors who tweet (Erin Brenner's list)
• Electric Editors (Internet community for editors, proofreaders, indexers, translators and publishers, with excellent links to resources, such as Resources for translating and interpreting
• European Association of Science Editors (EASE), which has excellent links to further resources likely to be useful to editors
• Fraternity Communications Association (formerly the College Fraternity Editors Association)
• Freelance (discussion list for publishing industry freelancers, moderated by Chuck Brandstater, available as e-mail only or as archives)
• FreelanceWritersEditors (forum for published professional freelance editors, mostly, and writers, moderated by Ruth Thaler-Carter, a breakoff group from Freelance)
• Grammarly (delightful facebook page with slogans such as "We are going to learn to cut and paste kids. Commas matter.")
• Help Authoring Tools and Techniques listserv (HATT) (a Yahoo group, with frequent Yahoo ads)
• InDesign Talk (discussion listserv about the Adobe page layout product)
• Indexers' humor (site hosted by Leverage Technologies, which sells Cindex indexing software)
• Indexing Society of Canada (Sociιtι canadienne d'indexation). Resources include links to indexing discussion groups.
• Institute of Professional Editors Limited (IPEd) (Australia)
• International Association of Business Communicators (IABC) (for professionals in corporate communications, marketing, and public relations)
• The International Publication Planning Association (TIPPA)
• International Society for Medical Publication Professional (pronounced IzMap--not-for-profit organization founded by medical publication professionals for medical publication professionals)
• International Society of Managing and Technical Editors (ISMTE), training and networking for editorial office staff in academic, scientific, medical, technical and professional publishing
• Investigative Reporters and Editors (IRE serves those doing investigative journalism)
• Mediterranean Editors & Translators (English-language editors & translators for the Mediterranean area)
• Motion Pictures Editors Guild (MPEG) (an entertainment labor union representing picture, sound, music, assistant, animation, technical directors, librarian and apprentice motion picture editors)
• MPA, The Association of Magazine Media (formerly Magazine Publishers of America)

• The National Association of Independent Writers and Editors (NAIWE) (not a nonprofit organization, so far as I can tell)
• National Association of Science Writers (NASW)
• National Federation of Abstracting and Information Services (NFAIS)

• Northwest Independent Editors Guild (NIEG). Here's an interesting 10-year history (by co-founder Sherri Schultz, in 2007)
• Organizations for corporate, government, and technical communicators
• Professional Editors' Group (PEG), professional copy-editors, proofreaders, and other practitioners in South Africa
• Professional Editors Network (PEN) (editors, writers, proofreaders, indexers, book layout specialists, and allied professionals in Twin Cities area)
• Publishing Professionals Network (PPN), formerly Bookbuilders West, with jobs bank and links to other publishing industry resources and organizations)
• ReligionWriters (free tools and tips for writing about religion with balance, accuracy and insight, a free resource of the Religion Newswriters Association, or RNA)
• San Diego Professional Editors Network (SD/​​PEN)
• Scholarly Editing Forum (SEDIT-L), discussion list for documentary editors (including members of Association for Documentary Editing). Click on "join or leave this list," to join.
• Society for Editors and Proofreaders (sfep), UK, which publishes SfEP suggested minimum freelance rates and an interesting Code of Practice. Also, SfEP Facebook page
• Society for Scholarly Publishing (SSP) (for publishers, printers, e-products developers, technical service providers, librarians, and editors in scholarly publishing)
• Society for the Preservation of English Language and Literature (SPELL, with members from many professions and walks of life)
• Society for Technical Communication (STC), which has a Technical Editing SIG (special interest group). For editors involved in producing instructional manuals, online help, multimedia, training resources, and other forms of technical communication.
• Society of American Archivists (SAA), whose many resources include Richard Pearce-Moses's Glossary of Archival and Records Terminology and Using Archives: A Guide to Effective Research (by Laura Schmidt)
• Society of Editors (Victoria) Inc., Australia
• Society of English-Native-Speaking Editors (SENSE), Netherlands
• Society of Indexers ( (British and Irish)
• Society of Writers, Editors & Translators (SWET, Tokyo-based society of writers, editors, and other English-language publishing professionals in Japan). Publishers of Japan Style Sheet: The SWET Guide for Writers, Editors, and Translators, most useful perhaps for translators
• Software & Information Industry Association (SIIA)
• TECHWR-L (Internet-based group for technical communicators)
• Testy Copy Editors (Phillip Blanchard's discussion group for newspaper copy editors)
• Textbook Publishing Professionals (LinkedIn group)
• 26 (UK writers, editors, language specialists, designers and anyone with a love of language)
• Western New England Editorial Freelancers' Network
• World Association of Medical Editors (WAME)
• Publishing Organizations in North America (excellent full list from Books AtoZ

[Go Top]

“There are few efforts more conducive to humility
than that of the translator trying to communicate
an incommunicable beauty.” — Edith Hamilton

• American Literary Translators Association (ALTA)
• American Translation and Interpreting Studies Association (ATISA) (to further the study of translation studies)
• American Translators Association (ATA)
• Association of Audio-Visual Translators (avtranslators.org) (subtitlers, dubbers, and adaptors), with Nordic member organizations
• Canadian Translators, Terminologists and Interpreters Council (CTTIC), formerly Society of Translators and Interpreters of Canada (STIC). See paragraph on What is a terminologist?
• Emerging Literary Translators’ Network in America (ELTNA, support for beginning and early-career literary translators)
• European Association for Studies in Screen Translation (ESIST) (organized to support the exchange of information and to promote professional standards in the training and practice of screen translation)
• European Council of Literary Translators' Associations (CEATL, or Conseil Europιen des Associations de Traducteurs Littιraires -- supports information exchange, best practices, and good translation)
• European Society for Translation Studies
• International Association of Conference Translators (AITC: Asociaciσn Internacional de Traductores de Conferencias, Association internationale des traducteurs de confιrence). Founded in 1962 to "standardize the working conditions and terms of employment of short-term language staff employed by international organizations, particularly those belonging to the United Nations system."
• International Medical Interpreters Association (IMIA)
• Japan Association of Translators (JAT)
• Language Services, U.S. Department of State (where to go to become or find a contract interpreter or translator for the State Department)
• Mediterranean Editors & Translators (MET), a forum for translators and editors who work mainly into or with English
• Useful links for language service providers

• National Association of Judiciary Interpreters and Translators (NAJIT) (promotes quality services in the field of legal interpreting and translating)
• Registry of Interpreters for the Deaf (RID) (advancing the profession of interpretation)
• Translators and Interpreters Guild (TTIG) (a union seeking better compensation and respect for translators and interpreters)
Following is a site that looks like it might be useful, but I don't know if it's legitimate (let me know, if you know: Is this a helpful way to find translators or for translators to find work?): TranslationDirectory
There are also a number of local organizations and organizations of court interpreters and recorders--and, of course, many organizations in other parts of the world.

• Sites for and about translators and translations

Tips and tools for editors and proofreaders

• Editing in a Digital Environment (Adrienne Montgomerie and Rachel Stuckey, ACES 2015). DIGITAL = PROCESS and PRODUCT. Links to excellent instructions on
---What to do with an edited Word file
---Basic PDF Mark-Up for Copy Editors and Proofreaders
• Proofreaders' Marks (Chicago Manual of Style). Operational signs tell printer to do something; typographical signs indicate type or font; punctuation marks are the ones authors should learn from.)
• The Difference Between Copyediting and Proofreading (Mark Nichol, Daily Writing Tips, 4-2-11)
• The Proofreader’s Corner: What Do New Starters Need to Know? Thinking Internationally (Louise Harnby, on American Editor, 3-17-14).
• Starting Out (Louise Harnby's archive of practical advice for beginners, on her excellent blog, The Proofreader's Parlour, UK). See also Proofreaders-to-be: Loving Books Isn’t Enough
• Not all proofreading is the same: Part I – Working with page proofs (Louise Harnby, 1-14-14). And Part II – Working directly in Word (Louise Harnby, 1-27-14)
• Page Proofs and the Domino Effect (Louise Harnby, The Proofreader's Corner, on An American Editor, 5-26-14).
• Rates, Data Tracking, and Digital Efficiencies, Part I and Part II. (Louise Harnby, Proofreader's Corner, An American Editor, 10-20,22-14). Taking advantage of digital efficiencies helps compensate for rates that are too low.

• Proofreading for Publishers Outside Your Country of Origin—Is There a Market? (Louise Harnby on An American Editor blog, 8-11-14)
• Mark My Words: Instruction and Practice in Proofreading by Peggy Smith (exercises and answer keys help readers learn skills step by step)
• Wannabe Editors: Can You Pass a Proofreading Test? (Subversive Copy Editor, 3-4-13)
• • Macro tools for editors and proofreaders
• Is Freelance Proofreading the Job for You? (Kate Rosengarten, KateProof, 8-1-12)
• Proofreading Secrets (PDF, Elizabeth Macfie handout, Editors' Association of Canada conference 2010)
• Proofreading Stamps, free downloadable PDF (Louise Harnby, Proofreader's Parlour, UK). Here she shows how they work.
• The Proofreaders Parlour (Louise Harnby's excellent blog, in the UK). See also Editor & proofreader blogs (Louise Harnby's excellent links)
• Key Mark-Up Techniques for Proofreading PDFs (Adrienne Montgomerie, Right Angels and Polo Bears, 6-5-13). Learned of this and some other entries via EAE Backroom on Facebook
• New to proofreading? (Kateproof, Kate Haigh's proofreading blog). See also The ethics of proofreading for students, part of a series on editorial freelancing in the student market.
• So what does a proof-reader/​copy-editor/​transcriber/​copy-writer actually do? (A day in the month of Liz Broomfield, Libro Editing Services, 2-9-11)
• How to Proofread your eBook Like a Pro (Corina Koch MacLeod, Beyond Paper Editing, 1-15-13). See also Part 2 (1-22-13)
• How to proofread e-books on a Kindle (Corina Koch MacLeod, Beyond Paper Editing, 2-12-13)
• Proofreading eBooks *Candice Adams Roma, EditorMuse, 8-3-10)
• Does Training Matter? What Publishers Say about Proofreading & Editing Courses (Louise Harnby)
• Go Ahead, Proof It! by K.D. Sullivan. Practical proofing tips, in 1996)
• Proofreading Case Studies (Proofreader Louise Harnby's helpful site includes case studies that illustrate the importance of professional training for getting proofing gigs in British publishing world)
• Ten ideas to help you find work as a proofreader (sfep blog)
• Thoughts on proofreading and the art of leaving well enough alone (Louise Harnby, 4-6-14)
• FAQs: Using copy-editors and proofreaders (Society for Editors and Proofreaders, sfep). Includes What do proofreaders do? What do proofreaders not do? Could I be a proofreader?
• Show Me the Style Sheet! (Louise Harnby, Proofreader's Corner, An American Editor, 6-16-14)
• Proofreading Practice: A book of exercises with model answers and commentary (by Diane Aherne, geared to British Standards Institution marks for editing and proofreading).
[Back to Top]

Macro tools and editing software for editors and proofreaders

Macros are simple programs that allow you, with one or two keystrokes, to automate tedious search-and-replace tasks and other mind-numbing copyediting chores. They let the computer do the boring tasks while you focus on the content. Free trials are available for most of these tools.
• The Only Thing We Have to Fear: Wildcard Macros (Rich Adin, An American Editor, 5-15-13) Adin explains the principles of macros, for if you want to create them yourself using Microsoft Word. Listed below are some already created macros or sets of macros.
• EditTools (www.wordsnsync.com). Rich Adin's piece about EditTools versions 5.9 and 6 discusses a tool that allows you to temporarily remove all the formatting, work with the file, then reinstate the formatting in minutes.
• Editor's Toolkit Plus--The Editorium (tips, macros, add-ins, and utilities for editors editing online using Microsoft Word).
• PerfectIt (www.intelligentediting.com) (proofreading software for professionals). Read about features and compare standard and pro editions . Helps you get through some tedious chores quickly, including consistency checks for
hyphens, cap and number style, and use of abbreviations.
• Editor’s Toolkit Ultimate (significant discount--$78--on the three macro programs: Editor's Toolkit Plus from The Editorium, PerfectIt from Intelligent Editing, and EditTools)
• Lyonizing Word: Formatting with Macros (Jack Lyons, on An American Editor, 11-12-14)
• Removing Spaces at the End of Table Cells (Jack Lyons, Lyonizing Word, on An American Editor, 5-5-14)
• Deleting Extraneous Carriage Returns in Footnotes and Endnotes (Jack Lyons, Lyonizing Word, on An American Editor 3-31-14)
• Making Word Work for You: An Editor's Intro to the Tools of the Trade by Hilary Powers, download for $10.25, or order the book for slightly more. Here's Richard Mateosian's review.

• Computer Tools for Editors (Paul Beverley, UK) Free book (600+ pages), which you can download (version: 13 October 2014). It contains over 450 macros that will help with a range of different tasks around writing and editing using Microsoft Word. You can also download a dated list of all the macros.
• Jack Lyons' Macro Cookbook for Microsoft Word. (Not highly rated!)
• TextSTAT (Simple Text Analysis Tool, Concordance software for Windows, GNU/​Linux and MacOS). Here's Louise Harnby's plain-English description of this free and handy tool, which she uses to create simple alphabetized word lists that make evident inconsistencies in spelling--e.g., Caille and Caillι, Frans and Franz. You then have to find and fix errors the eye alone doesn't always catch.

• FileCleaner for Microsoft Word cleans up common problems in electronic manuscripts, including multiple spaces, multiple returns, unnecessary tabs, improperly typed ellipses, ells used as ones, and so on. It turns double hyphens into em dashes, and hyphens between numerals into en dashes. It can also remove directly applied font formatting (such as Times 12 point) while retaining styles (such as Heading 1) and character formatting (such as italic and bold), quickly cleaning up those messy documents imported from other word processors or OCR programs.
• Macros for Writers and Editors (free download, Paul Beverley, Archive Publications, UK). See his blog posts, Macro Chat on Louise Harnby's site.
• Reference Checker checks numerical (Vancouver) and name+date-style (Harvard and APA) references in Word files. Finds all name-date or numbered citations in a document and checks them against the references. When finished, it displays a list of matches and mismatches.
• Lyonizing Word: Deleting Extraneous Carriage Returns in Footnotes and Endnotes (Jack Lyon, on An American Editor 3-31-14)
• ApSIC Xbench (a quality assurance tool for translations)

[Back to Top]

**Copyeditors' Knowledge Base (superb links from KOK Edit: Katharine O'Moore-Klopf), on several themes, including The Basics, Business Tools, and Editing Tools.

Bob Miller: The Coming Editorial Crisis. HarperCollins chief Bob Miller tells Media Bistro about economic variables shaping publishing industry and prospects of "more work for fewer people" ahead, with YouTube video of his comments.

Book design. Dick Margulis's helpful series on designing book interiors.

Business Planning for Editorial Freelancers: A Guide for New Starters (eBook, Louise Harnby, for UK market but relevant in U.S., too -- for freelancers, self-publishers, and editorial business owners). Here's Copyediting's review .

The Business of Editing. An excellent series by Rich Adin on his blog An American Editor (a mere sampling--check out his website!)
• Losing the Chance (Rich Adin, 5-20-13)
• Taking on Too Much (Rich Adin, An American Editor, 4-29-13)
• Schedules and Client Expectations (Rich Adin, 4-30-12)
• Preparing for Disaster (Rich Adin, 5-6-13, on hardware and software that keep you going)
• The Business of Editing: Consistency (Rich Adin, 5-28-12)
• Schedules and Client Expectations (4-30-12)
• The Logistics of Large Projects (Rich Adin, 5-1-13)
• The Business of Editing: Expectations (Rich Adin, 4-8-13)
• The Ethics of Billing (Rich Adin,, 4-1-13)
• Subcontracting (Rich Adin, The 4-2-14)
• What Do Editors Forget Most Often? (Rich Adin, 3-4-13)
• Losing Money the Paper Way (Rich Adin, 2-27-13--online editing vs. paper-based editing)
• Difficult Clients (Rich Adin, 2-20-13)
• One Price Doesn’t Fit All (12-17-12)
• Author Queries (Rich Adin, 11-14-12)
• Recordkeeping I Rich Adin, 3-12-14). Keeping track of work on a project, so you know whether it's better for you to charge by the hour or by the page, for example.
• Recordkeeping II. Keeping track of time etc. helps you figure out which work is more rewarding (does copyediting pay better than proofreading, for example?) and which aspects of editing consume the most time, unnecessarily. For the latter he developed the Journals macro (to make it easier to correct journal titles in references) and the Wildcard Find and Replace macro (part of EditTools).
• Editing Tools: MultiFile F&R and Search, Count, Replace (Rich Adin, 2-13-13)
• Sample invoice (EFA)
[Back to Top]

Contracts for editorial services (and/​or rules of engagement)

• The Commandments: Thou Shall Establish the Rules of Engagement Before Beginning a Project (Ruth E. Thaler-Carter, guest blog for An American Editor, 10-30-13)
• On the Basics: Questions to Ask for the Ideal Client–Freelancer “Marriage” (Ruth E. Thaler-Carter, on An American Editor blog, 2-23-15). Questions to ask before editing a project, so editor and client have the same expectations.
• Sample letter of agreement between an editorial freelancer and a client (Editorial Freelancers Association, 2007)
• Contracts: A Slippery Slope (The Business of Editing, An American Editor, 5-7-12). Rich Adin's sage advice -- read it before signing that U.S. contract just because you need the work.
• Freelancng Basics: Dealing with Job Creep and Interruptions (Ruth E. Thaler-Carter, STC's Notebook, 9-19-13) Protect yourself from project creep before it happens by bulleting out project details, or checking them carefully in your agreement, and including language in your agreement or contract along the lines of “Anything beyond this scope of work will incur additional fees.”
• Editors and Contracts: Editor Beware! (Rich Adin, 12-5-11, on a contract from India, and why editors should really weigh all the issues before signing).
• Liability Insurance — Nyet (Rich Adin, Business of Editing, An American Editor, 5-22-13). When a client insists that a freelance editor have errors and omissions insurance, what does the editor do? Explain why it makes no sense for editors.
• KOK Edit (samples of freelance agreements, estimates, and much more, from a popular copyeditor--check out her Library)
• How to Contract with a Book Indexer or "Hi, Can You Do an Index for Me in Three Days?" (Word for Word Book Services)
[Back to Top]

Metadata, about:
• Metadata Demystified: A Guide for Publishers (PDF, Amy Brand, Frank Daly, Barbara Meyers, Niso Press)
• Publishers Take Seat at Metadata Table with Giant Chair (Jennifer Zaino, Semantic Web, 3-1-10).
• Metadata is the new most important thing to know about (Mike Shatzkin, IdeaLogical, 6-8-10)

Relati0nship issues -- getting along
• My Life with All Those Damn Editors (Tom Shales, guest-posting on Jack Limpert's blog About Writing and Editing, 4-23-13). See also All That Information; All That B.S.
• The Relationship Between Editors and Freelance Writers (Joe Pulizzi, Junta42, on Content Marketing, 4-17-08)
• Edits -- it's just you and me, and we both disagree... (Behler's blog, an entry on how to make author-editor disagreements constructive)
• No Egos Here: Working with Another Copyeditor (Erin Brenner, Copyediting, 4-16-13)
Should you admit mistakes to authors?
• Say you're sorry (John E. McIntyre, You Don't Say blog, April 2010). Skip the "If I offended anyone" bit.
• Pretty Apologies: For When You're Really Wrong (Carol Fisher Saller, The Subversive Copyeditor, 4-20-11).

How much to charge as a publishing professional
and how to calculate your rate

"Cost. Quality. Speed.
Pick any two."
~ An old business maxim, never truer than with editing

• Common editorial rates (Editorial Freelancers Association (EFA), with "typical pace, per page"). Norman Bauman's old piece on the EFA survey.
Folio's Five-Year Editorial Salary (infographic for 2008-2012, for top three editorial management levels, at consumer magazines, business-to-business magazines, and association magazines)
• Medievalist or Futurist? (Rich Adin, An American Editor, 9-18-13). An excellent essay on the shift away from the (good old) "medievalist" days when editing was done mostly locally, mostly on paper, and editing was viewed more as a craft than a business, the primary concern being the quality of the work. The "Medievalist says editing is a business, but really means it is a craft and she is an artisan, not a business person," writes Adin. By contrast, the "Futurist's" view of editing is developing at a time when it is not unusual for the editor to be hired by a third-party, the packager who has won the contract to provide editorial and production services, and who has to use a hybrid system: offshore for the production component, onshore for the editorial component." With contracts won by low bids, the editor ends up with lower pay than ever and has to master efficiencies of editing. As the trend toward outsourcing continues, editors have to think more like businesses. Adin's conclusion: "We need to remember and enforce with our clients that of the three key editing virtues — low price, fast speed, high quality — they can have any two, but not all three. We need to remember ourselves that, on any given project, we can only provide two of the three."
• Business of Editing: What to Charge (Part I) (Rich Adin, An American Editor, 8-513). "Effective hourly rate, or EHR, explained." See also Part II, why to define a ms. page, why to charge by page or project rather than hour;
Part III (tracking the EHR); Part IV (further explanation of the EHR); and Part V (why bother?)
• What a Copyeditor Earns, 2014 (Erin Brenner, Copyediting, 12-19-14). An update of Tip of the Week: What a Copyeditor Earns (Erin Brenner, Copyediting, 3-13-12). Includes rates for Content Development & Management, 2012, copyediting rates, 2012.
• Salary Calculator (Robert Half, The Creative Group, "Moolah Palooza"). (Through which in Dec. 2014 I learned that the salary range for an experienced copyeditor for Bethesda, MD, is $71,280 - $98,340.)
• The Business of Editing: Best Price “Bids (An American Editor blog, 10-10-12). Invaluable tips for when you are one of many submitting a bid. Questions to ask, factors to consider, when not to bid, and why and when not to lower your bid.
• Academic Copyediting Rates: or, What to Expect When Hiring a Copyeditor (Wendy Belcher, Academic Copyediting, 10-30-11)
• Tip of the Week: More Copyeditor Earn Rates (Brenner, Copyediting, 3-20-12). Discusses rates in England, Ireland, and Canada.
• Business of Editing: Lower Your Rate? (Rich Adin, American Editor, 7-1-13). See also Adin's Discounting Rates.
• Being Cheap Isn’t Always the Best Choice (Rich Adin, The Digital Reader, 6-11-12)
• Thinking About Money: What Freelancers Need to Understand -- How to calculate your workday effective hourly rate (EHR) (Rich Adin, An American Editor, 10-6-10) Also from Rich Adin's Business of Editing, a series on how much to charge:
--- What Freelancers Need to Understand (American Editor, 10-6-10, an early piece on the "effective hourly rate," or EHR)
---What to charge (part i)
---Part ii: Is that enough?,
---Part iii: Tracking the EHR
---What to Charge, Part IV (how to calculate the actual hourly rate, 8-14-13)
---What to Charge, Part V: Why Bother? "Tracking one’s effective hourly rate (EHR) is a way to determine the health of one’s business. It is also an alert system to tell us if and when we need to make adjustments in how we operate our business."
--- To Post or Not to Post Your Fee Schedule?
• Six-Figure Freelancer: How to Find, Price, and Manage Corporate Writing Assignments (Paul Lima, Kindle edition) Focuses on writing for corporate markets (including businesses, associations, government agencies, non-profits and other organizations).
• How to Charge: By the Project, by the Hour, or by the Word or Page? (Katharine O'Moore-Klopf, KOK Edit, 1-24-11)
• How Much Should I Charge? (Writers and Editors, Pricing Strategies, How to Set Rates and Fees, and Other Survival Basics---trends and rates for many types of work, in various fields)
• Guidelines for setting fees (EFA)
• Rate Survey (Bay Area Editors' Forum, 2005)
• Average Salaries for Writers and Editors (PoeWar 8-29-14)
• What can a writer or editor expect? Proofreader? Designer? Ghostwriter? Copywriter? Resume writer? (on setting fees for various types of creative work, Writers & Editors, Freelancing)

An important factor in estimating a fee for a project is your productivity rate (how long it will take you to edit something, typically in pages per hour). These may be helpful:
• Estimated pace of editing (range, Common Editorial Rates, Editorial Freelancers Association)
• Productivity Rates in Editing (Adrienne Montgomerie, Catchthesun.net)
• Kinds of editors/​editing and levels of edit (Writers and Editors blog)
• Benchmarks for Estimating Editing Speed by David W. McClintock (originally published in Corrigo: Newsletter of the STC's Technical Editing SIG (June 2002), pp. 1, 3.
[Back to Top]

Solopreneur or “Company” (part iii) , part 3 of a series on whether to work solo or as part of a company, and what that means, on Rich Adin's blog An American Editor (thread: The Business of Editing). Here Adin talks about editors sharing work and roles on large projects, or sharing fees when one editor brings in the work that others help perform. See also part ii, in which Adin explains that company, in the sense he's using it, may simply mean "a cohesive group of editors who can work together when needed do so and present themselves to potential clients as having that capability." In part i Ruth Thaler-Carter guest blogs about why she prefers working alone.

Someday I Will Copyedit The Great American Novel (Joanne Cohen, The Onion, 1-26-05)

So You Think You Can Self-Publish an eBook? by Candice Adams, EditorMuse. See also her Proofreading Ebooks. Good info; note varied spelling of e-book, eBook, etc.

So, You Want to Be an Editor (a gentle introduction to the profession, from the Editors' Association of Canada)

Speed reading vs. typography (Dick Margulis, words /​ myth /​ ampers & virgule, 5-29-06). See especially section on basic concepts for composing headlines and subheads, where to break, or not break, clauses and phrases, etc. For example, "If you have to break a phrase, keep modifiers (articles, adjectives, adverbs) with their targets."

Spell Checkers , software for spell-checking medical, scientific and technical, or legal documents (Inductel, which also produces definitions dictionaries)

Blogs, newsletters, and websites
by, for, and about editors, copyeditors, and proofreaders

• About Editing and Writing (a blog by Jack Limpert--editor of The Washingtonian for more than 40 years -- about how editors and writers do their work). Samples: Anybody Here Have a Really Good B.S. Detector? and How Editors Talk to Editors Is Not How Editors Talk to Writers (4-22-2013)
• After Deadline: Newsroom Notes on Usage and Style (New York Times) Example: The Stranger in the Lead (Philip Corbett, 7-30-13)
• An American Editor (Rich Adin's excellent blog)
• An Eye for Editing (Camille DeSalme's copyediting blog--see this entry showing how editing in track changes, with comments works)
• Apostrophe Abuse
• Arnold Zwicky's Blog (mostly about language)
• Arrant Pedantry by Jonathon Owen (in this case, 12 Mistakes Nearly Everyone Who Writes About Grammar Mistakes Makes)
• BBC The Editors
• the "blog" of "unnecessary" quotation marks
• Blogslot (Bill Walsh's blog, for The Slot)
• Copyediting (for professional copy editors, but anyone can read it)
• The Copyeditors' Knowledge Base (KOK Edit, Katharine O'Moore-Klopf's website, is an invaluable resource for copyeditors). See also her blog, EditorMom , on editing, medical editing, and the business of freelancing.
• Daily Writing Tips
• Dameditors
• DC Blog (David Crystal, a linguist in Wales)
• Developmental Editing (Scott Norton's blog, now on hiatus but old posts, full of advice, are there)
• Editing Mechanics (Hazel Harris, Wordstitch)
• Editor Mom (the enormously helpful Katharine O'Moore-Klopf)
• The Editor's Blog (fiction editor Beth Hill)
The Editor's Desk (old posts from Andy Bechtel's old blog columns, before it was moved to this new location. You'll find interesting entries in both archives.
• The Editor's POV (a forum for freelance editors of fiction and creative nonfiction)
• EditorsReads (a review of books and resources for editors)
• EditorsWeblog.org (practical issues and real solutions for working editors, Bertrand Pecquerie, director, World Editors Forum)
• The Editors' Weekly (official blog of Editors Canada)
• English, Jack (Second thoughts on English and how she's taught)
• Evil Editor (why you don't get published -- see his before-and-after examples)
• 5E (Winter 2012). Here's another issue (Fall 2012). Five freelance editors band together: Jane Rosenman, Patricia Mulcahy, Joan Hilty, Marjorie Braman, Judy Sterlight. Here's a story about them (Elisabeth Watson, Publishing Trendsetter, 2-12).
• The Freelancery
• Fritinancy (Nancy Friedman on names, brands, writing, and the language of commerce)
• Grammar Girl's Quick and Dirty Tips (Mignon Fogarty, Grammar Girl). See for example Grammer Manners (how to correct other people's grammar)
• Grammarphobia
• Headsup (thorts and comments about editing and the deskly arts )
• International Freelancers Academy (helpful podcasts)
• Iva Cheung
• How I Got Started, a new and to-be-regular feature of the Society for Editors and Proofreaders (sfep) blog (UK)
• Johnson (Economist blog on language)
• KateProof (Kate Rosengarten's blog)
• Language Log (various authors). Old entries (2003-2008) here
• Literal-Minded (linguistic commentary from a guy who takes things too literally--see, for example, Open Conditionals with the Past Perfect )
• Logophilius (Andy Hollandbeck, The Lover of Words)
• Macmillan Dictionary blog
• Marcus Trower Editorial (copy editing for fiction authors, especially crime fiction). He has an interesting series on Be Your Own Copy Editor (self-editing advice from the front line of fiction editing)
• Mighty Red Pen
• Motivated Grammar (Gabe Doyle argues for well-motivated grammar rules)
• Mr. Verb (Language changes. Deal with it. Revel in it.
• Proofreaders' Parlour (British proofreader Louise Harnby's blog; she has her own good blogroll)
• The Scholarly Kitchen (with occasional pieces of interest to the publishing community--e.g., The Flatscreen Install — Moving Collaboration from Print to Digital by Kent Anderson, 2-13-15)
• The Scientist's English (Shearson Editorial)
• Sentence First (Stan Carey, An Irishman's blog about the English language)
• separated by a common language (Observations on British and American English by an American linguist in the UK, M Lynne Murphy)
• The Slot: A Spot for Copy Editors (Bill Walsh)
• The Subversive Copy Editor (advice for copy editors from Carol Fisher Saller, senior manuscript editor at the University of Chicago Press, editor of the Chicago Manual of Style Online Q&A, and author of The Subversive Copy Editor: Advice from Chicago (or, How to Negotiate Good Relationships with Your Writers, Your Colleagues, and Yourself)
• Technical Editors' Eyrie (Jean Weber's excellent posts)
• This Crazy Industry (blog about the glamorous publishing industry: books, editing, writing, style, language, long hours, poor salaries (or no salaries), grant money, authors, and very few cocktail parties). See especially these entries: Becoming an Editor (3-26-05) and What We Do (6-28-11)
• Throw Grammar from the Train (Jan Freeman's blog about language--former "The Word" columnist for the Boston Globe)
• Wishydig (language, linguistics and words--see blogroll for more blogs on the same)
• WordPlay (helping writers become authors)
• Words of the Year (American Dialect Society, ADS)
• Writers and Editors (Pat McNees's blog). For example: Kinds of editors and levels of edit--what every writer should know and Insurance for freelance writers and editors.
• You Don't Say (John E. McIntyre's blog language, usage, journalism and arbitrarily chosen subjects)
• 50 Best Blogs By and For Editors (OnlineUniversities.com 2-1-11)
[Back to Top]

Resources and tips for editors and publishing professionals

Advice for Editors. Tim McGuire on "What I wish I had done differently as an editor." (ASU Cronkite, 9-11-13)

alt.usage.english FAQ (an archive of questions and answers from the newsgroup) It may take a while to figure out how to find things here!

Andrew Wylie: The superagent on upholding great literature in an e-reading world (Daniel Gross's edited interview with Wylie about the state of publishing, the need to get world rights right, and book publishers' early (wrongful) attempt to insist they already owned digital rights to backlist titles and wouldn't buy new titles without those rights.

An Editor (Who Helped 'The Help') and an Agent Talk About Revision. Listen to Alexandra Shelley (editor of Kathryn Stockett's "The Help") and literary agent Eleanor Jackson discussing revision, publishing, and how to know when a book is 'finished' (on She Writes Radio).

An evolving model for editing (Deborah Howell, Ombudsman, Washington Post, 8-31-08on the changing role of the editor as newspaper staffs are cut)

Author Queries (Rich Adin, The Business of Editing, An American Editor, 11-14-12)
• Queries: Skilled Negotiation Required (Erin Brenner, Copyediting, 3-5-13)
• The Insert Query Macro (WordsNSync)

False Titles and Faulty Fixes (Philip B. Corbett, False Titles, After Deadline, NY Times, 11-20-12) Is it "the publisher Arthur Sulzberger Jr." or "Arthur Sulzberger Jr., the publisher"?

Becoming an editor
Becoming an Editor (Jennie, 3-16-05), from the blog This Crazy Industry, a weblog about the glamorous publishing industry: books, editing, writing, style, language, long hours, poor salaries (or no salaries), grant money, authors, and very few cocktail parties. Really solid advice about the skills and training you need to be an editor.

'Be Wrong as Fast as You Can' (Hugo Lindgren, editor of NY Times Magazine, in the magazine, 1-4-13). Fascinating essay on how, in figuring out he was great on idea-making but not on follow-through, Lindgren came to accept as natural his role as an editor instead of as the writer-creator he dreamed of being.) Here's the wonderful Charlie Rose interview with John Lasseter (12-2-11, Lasseter being director and chief creative officer at Pixar and Walt Disney Animation Studies), in which Lasseter attributes the "Be Wrong" quotation to Andrew Stanton (Toy Story, Wall-E, Finding Nemo).

How to become a developmental editor by Scott Norton, from his book Developmental Editing: A Handbook for Freelancers, Authors, and Publishers (excerpt posted on Scrib'd)

Benchmarks for Estimating Editing Speed by David W. McClintock (originally published in Corrigo: Newsletter of the STC's Technical Editing SIG (June 2002), pp. 1, 3.

Bib Me (a free online site for searching for bibliographic information, creating a custom bibliography, and downloading it in MLA, APA, Chicago, or Turabian format), dependent on Amazon's database (which might limit scholarly uses)

Black day for the blue pencil. Once they were key figures in literary publishing, respected by writers who acknowledged their contribution to shaping books. But, argues Blake Morrison in The Guardian, editors are now an endangered species (8-5-05)

Bradley Manning or Chelsea Manning? He or she? "Rules are useless unless you use them," Copyediting's explanation how to handle a change in whether a person considers self a man or a woman.

Choosing a freelance editor: What you need to know (Alan Rinzler, The Book Deal, 7-2-09)

Choosing an Editor (Cambridge Academic Editors Network)

Code of Fair Practice (PDF, Editorial Freelancers Association)

CONSORT statement. Guidelines in the CONSORT (Consolidated Standards of Reporting Trials) statement are used worldwide to improve the transparent reporting of randomized, controlled trials, enabling readers to understand a trial's design, conduct, analysis and interpretation, and to assess the validity of its results. It emphasizes that this can only be achieved through complete transparency from authors.

Copyediting Online Training, taught in learning modules, for $50 each.

Citations and References (guides to various documentation styles, Writers and Editors)

Dear Writer: Reasons to Love and Fear Your Copyeditor (Sally Fisher Saller, the Subversive Copy Editor, in Prime Number)

Defining an Editing Project (Erin Brenner, Copyediting Tip of the Week, 3-7-12). Companion piece to Setting Editing Expectations (Brenner, 4-3-12)

Dependency Calculator (Evaluating the complexity of a project--including such factors as how well I can depend on your getting back to me quickly with answers)

Digital Imaging Guidelines (guidelines prepared by the UPDIG Coalition, to establish photographic standards and practices for photographers, designers, printers, and image distributors). The guidelines cover Digital Asset Management, Color Profiling, Metadata, and Photography Workflow.

Easy on the Adverbs, Exclamation Points and Especially Hooptedoodle (Elmore Leonard, NY Times, 7-16-01)

Edifying Editing by R. Preston McAfee (PDF file). Among the qualities of a good editor of a refereed journal, writes McAfee, co-editor of the American Economic Review:
• Having a vision on which to base decisions about what is published
• "Obsessive organization, processing work unrelentingly until it is done" -- a "clear the inbox" mentality.
• Having no personal agenda (no bias)
• Having thick skin (as authors will complain about your decisions)
• Being a super referee (respond quickly with thoughtful reports)-- a good quality in someone wanting to become top editor.
He also writes about common reasons papers are rejected.

Editing Checklists
***Editing checklist (Kathy Frost's invaluable 24-page compilation of points from other editing checklists--especially good for nonfiction)
• Editing checklists What to do especially on memoirs, biographies, and personal histories during pre-editing, substantive editing, line editing, copyediting, photo and caption editing, permissions editing, format editing, production editing, and index editing ((Pat McNees, on Writers and Editors blog)
• How to make documents readable in eight steps (Carl Steiren's blog post on Jim Taylor's Eight Step Editing process, the latter a poster)
• Editing Primer: Editing Your Own Work (Lillie Amman, PDF)
• Typographic Checklist (designer Greg Devitt)
• Barbara Dawson Smith's Self-Editing Checklist
• Jeffrey Chapman's Self-Editing checklist
• Jean Weber's sample editing checklist
• Lori Handeland's fiction self-editing checklist
• Editing Fiction by Lee Masterson and Tina Morgan (Fiction Factor)
• Editing processes, including editing and proofreading marks
• Editing checklists (when to do what, broadly and in some detail)
• Common Typographical Errors (the basics, Aeonix Publishing Group)

Automated grammar-checkers and editing software (supplements to human editing)
• Grammarly (automated proofreader and grammar coach
• PerfectIt (0nline consistency checker, Beta)
• Tansa (online proofreading system)
• StyleGuard (AP)
• AP Lingofy (flags errors in spelling, AP style and usage)
• Title Capitalization (automatically capitalizes titles you plug in). In a short test for us, it produced one error: "by-Laws."
[Back to Top]

Editing for the Web (Thom Lieb)

Editing lives: Marisa Wikramanayake (this guest post on PublishEd Adelaide, 5-20-13, suggests how editorial workers can stay calm. "My point is that how much self-belief you have is not determined by whether you’re an extrovert or introvert – you determine it for yourself, and I think that self-belief gets you through a lot of the fear, worry and stress that come with being an editor right here and now."

Editorial skills, defined (EAC). Definitions covered: Developmental/​project editing; substantive or structural editing; stylistic editing; rewriting; copy editing; picture research; fact checking/​reference checking; indexing; mark-up/​coding (designer-written specs for typesetter or word processor); mock-up (rough paste-up); production editing. (The Editors' Association of Canada/​Association canadienne des rιviseurs)

Editorium, and Edit-Tools. See Macros for editors.

The Editor's Interest: Copyright or Not (An American Editor, 3-1-11, on claiming copyright for an edit, relinquished only on full payment for services rendered) "A question that sometimes arises, usually when an editor has difficulty getting paid for his or her work, is: What can the editor do to collect payment? I’ve been a long-time advocate of the position that the editor has a copyright interest in the edited version of the manuscript, a card that the editor should play in payment disputes."

Editors Only: The Newsletter of Editorial Achievement (discussing the changing nature of content delivery), sister pub to STRAT: The Newsletter of Print and Online Magazine Publishing Strategy

Editors' role model: Robert Loomis, on his retirement from Random House (read these for great tales from publishing, for a glimpse at pre-corporate publishing, and for hints on editing well):
• Nurturer of Authors Is Closing the Book (Julie Bosman, NY Times, 5-8-11). Profile of Random House editor Robert Loomis (retiring after 54 years). One of the last of the gentlemen editors with power.
• Great Book Editors Are Not an Endangered Species (Peter Osnos, The Atlantic, 5-24-11)
• Bob Loomis Talks Cerf And Turf Ahead Of His Retirement (Dan Duray, New York Observer, 5-31-11)
• Robert Loomis, editor of Styron, Angelou, retires (Hillel Italie, AP, on ABC, 5-6-11)

EditTeach.org (resources for copy editing students and teachers)

Effective Editing (PDF, transcript of a training exercise for the Fish & Wildlife Service). Instructor Michelle Baker (Corporate Writing Pro) makes excellent points:
• In a substantive edit "you are looking at the strength of the argument, the organization of the document, and the correctness and completeness of the data." A copy edit is the real, detailed-oriented examination of tone, style, and grammar: "you look at the mechanics, the punctuation, and the wording." Make clear (to yourself and the author) which you are doing.
• "When you’re sitting alone in your office with the manuscript, your spotlight should be on the reader."
• To make meetings with the writer productive, "separate praise from criticism" and start with the praise. Structure your praise to the writer as "You" comments so the praise clearly goes to the writer: "You did a great job tackling a really complicated issue."
• Criticism goes to the document: “Section three gave me some trouble. I was confused when I read section three.” “Paragraph five didn’t seem to flow.”
• "If you’ve reviewed a document and you found 25 mistakes, go back through those 25 and try to group them into categories. None of us can process 25 errors."
• Carol Fisher Saller, author of The Subversive Copy Editor has three cardinal rules for editing: "be careful, be transparent, and be flexible."

18 strategies for brainstorming a title, an excellent guide to developing great titles, from Developmental Editing: A Handbook for Freelancers, Authors, and Publishers by Scott Norton, posted on Scrib'd

Electronic Editing: With Your Computer, Not Just On It (Hilary Powers, as reported by Dawn Adams, BAEF, 3-16-04)

Excellent forum discussions (these summaries are excellent articles on various aspects of editing, Bay Area Editors Forum, or BAEF)

Evaluating a Manuscript (Rich Adin, An American Editor, 8-29-12)

Fact checking and hoax checking sites

• FactCheck.org (Annenberg site). See, for example, A Campaign Full of Mediscare, 8-22-12. (Obama and Romney both aim to slow Medicare spending. But each accuses the other of hurting seniors in the process. What are the facts?)
• The Fact Checker (Glenn Kessler, Washington Post column, The Truth Behind the Rhetoric).
• PolitiFact.com (nonpartisan political fact checker, whose truth-o-meter ranks findings from "true" to "pants on fire"), St. Petersburg Times service, and here are articles on current issues, events
• Open Secrets (keeps track of which representatives of the U.S. Congress receive contributions from which companies or organizations)
• Snopes.com (E-mail story sound too good or scary to be true? Check to see if it's an urban legend)
• Truth or Fiction (another reality check on email hoaxes, rumors, viruses, and advisories)
• Miscellaneous research tools (SPJ, Journalists' Toolbox)
• Charity Rating Guide & Watchdog Report (Charities rated from A to F on how much of the money they take in is spent on fundraising rather than charity, Charity Watch, formerly American Institute of Philanthropy).
• Verification Handbook: A definitive guide to verifying digital content for emergency coverage (free!), edited by Craig Silverman, who writes about it onPoynter (1-28-14).
• Don’t Get Fooled Again: Best Practices for Online Verification (Craig Silverman, Poynter webinar, 2-21-13)

The Fallacy Files (wonderful analysis of various logical fallacies)

Female Editors-in-Chief Make $15,000 Less Than Men (Alexander Abad-Santos), Stat of the Day, The Atlantic Wire, 9-26-12)

Finding an editor (Pat McNees, Writers and Editors blog)

Five good reasons to hire an editor (Editors' Association of Canada)

Footnotes, Endnotes, & References: Uses & Abuses Rich Adin, An American Editor, 3-29-10)

Freelance copyeditors, directory of (listing maintained by the Copyediting-L listserv.

Freelance editorial agreement, standard (a template provided by the Editors' Association of Canada)

Freelancing as a fiction editor
• Fiction Freelancing: Part I – Proofreading for Trade Publishers (Louise Harnby, 5-29-12). " One of the dangers of proofreading fiction is getting so wrapped up in the story that you end up reading the book rather than proofreading it." And you won't be paid as much as if you were proofing technical material.
• Fiction Freelancing: Part II – Editing Fiction for Independent Authors (rather than for publishers, a different kettle of fish) (Ben Corrigan, on Louise Harnby's site, 3-6-12)
• Fiction Freelancing: Part III – Editing Adult Material (Louise Bolotin, on Louise Harnby's site, 5-6-12))
• Fiction Freelancing: Part IV – Editing Genre Fiction (Louise Harnby interviews Marcus Fowler, 11-2-13).

Google Docs (one way of writing in the cloud):
• Why Google Docs is a writer’s best friend: writing on the go, instant back-ups, advanced organization & tons of space
• Writing a book using Google Docs (Steven Daviss on how he and two co-authors collaborated on Shrink Rap: Three Psychiatrists Explain Their Work
• Don't Lose Your Google Docs Data (Tony Bradley, PCWorld, 5-25-11, writing about what happens if Google crashes and my data disappears?)
• Microsoft Office vs.Google Docs: A Web Apps Showdown (Ian Paul, PCWorld 7-13-09)
• Publish Google Docs To WordPress To Twitter & Facebook ETC
• Google Docs tour and demo

Grammar Freaks Really Are Strange (Dennis Baron, The Web of Language, reposted on Cultural Weekly)

How to Edit and Proofread Your Way Around the World (Brendan Brown, GlobalEnglishEditing, 2-13-15)

Humor among peer reviewers. Cιsar Sαnchez, in his blog Twisted Bacteria, quotes from the annual December issue of Environmental Microbiology, which features humorous quotes made by peer reviewers while assessing manuscripts submitted to the journal.

In a Changing World of News, an Elegy for Copy Editors (Lawrence Downes, NY Times, 6-16-08)

In defense of fact checking (Laura Miller, Salon.com 2-8-12). A controversial writer, John D’Agata, and his fact checker, Jim Fingal, battle in a new book. Too bad neither gets close to the truth.

Newsthinking: The Secret of Making Your Facts Fall into Place by Bob Baker (how to structure a story so it holds the reader's interest)

Online Portfolios for Editors (Dawn McIlvain Stahl, Copyediting, 8-20-12, Part 1)
• Part 2, Clean Capture (9-10-12)
• Part 3, A Venue (10-02-12)
• Part 4, Enhanced Graphics with ThingLink (10-29-12)
• Your Portfolio on LinkedIn (11-19-12)
• Part 6, Unify Your Online Presence (12-10-12, all in Copyediting)

Parent-teacher relations for editors (Hazel Harris, Editing Mechanics, 5-21-13, on three approaches to editing). See also Why being on a publisher’s list might not be enough to get you work (3-1-13)

Paris Review "Writers at Work" Interviews(selections from 1953 on, a gift to the world, and with a single click you can view a manuscript page with the writer's edits)

PDF Editing Stamps (Copyediting-L's stamp tool for making proofreader marks on a PDF document. Go to "Resources" tab and under Miscellaneous you will find Diana Stirling's zip file of proofreading marks in red and black. Louise Harnby offers a set of stamps for UK proofreaders and editors.

The peripatetic copy editor (Ruth Walker, Christian Science Monitor, 3-27-14). On the road, stuck in traffic, copyeditors tend to proofread bumper stickers and road signs and wonders why everyone can't distinguish between "mass nouns" and "count nouns" ("fewer" or r "less" emissions, "10 items or less" or "fewer." Not to mention which state abbreviations are right in which contexts.

Picture research and permissions: Adding to your editorial toolkit. Panelists Kris Ashley, Veronica Oliva and Tim Cox on a Bay Area Editors' Forum; notes by Micah Standley 3-24-09.

A Primer on Medical Copyediting, Health fellow Angilee Shah interviews medical editor Katharine O'Moore-Klopf (for the Reporting on Health blog, 7-1-11). Much of KOK's work is editing medical articles from ESL (or EFL) authors, of which the supply is increasing, according to this article: China poised to overhaul US as biggest publisher of scientific papers (Alok Jha, Guardian, 3-28-11). The subhead: Royal Society report shows China pushing UK into third place in scientific publishing

Publishing: A helping hand (Karen Kaplan, NatureJobs.com, orig. pub'd in Nature 12-1-10). Can the growing number of manuscript-editing services turn a mediocre paper into a publishable one? A plug for the legitimate editing of scientific papers, with sidebars on Opportunities in editing and How to choose a manuscript-editing service. Writes Kaplan, "Prices — which vary depending on the level of service, the length of the paper and the turn around time — can be anywhere from $250 for a 6,000-word paper with a 14- to 21-day turnaround to $5,000 for a 12,000-word paper with a 48-hour turnaround."

Read First, Then Edit (Erin Brenner, Copyediting, 9-4-12)

Setting editing expectations with your client or boss. (Erin Brenner, Tip of the Week, Copyediting, 4-3-12)

The Seven Deadly Copy Editing Sins (Anne Glover, Poynter, 8-25-02)

Sharp Points (Bill Walsh explains his position on such issues as "a historic" or "an historic")

Speed reading vs. typography (Dick Margulis, words /​ myth /​ ampers & virgule, 5-29-06). See especially section on basic concepts for composing headlines and subheads, where to break, or not break, clauses and phrases, etc. For example, "If you have to break a phrase, keep modifiers (articles, adjectives, adverbs) with their targets."

Spell Checkers , software for spell-checking medical, scientific and technical, or legal documents (Inductel, which also produces definitions dictionaries)

Style guides and style sheets

• Style Sheets—The Setup and the Benefits (fiction editor Beth Hill, for The Editor's Blog, 7-12-11) "the style sheet is an aid for consistency...a reference document so that anyone working on the manuscript can see exactly how words should be spelled or capped or hyphenated or abbreviated
• Capitalization Policy Worksheet (Erin Brenner's extremely practical worksheet for copyedits, adaptable for each client)
• Typemarking (copymarking), a sample, as shown by Carolyn Rude in Technical Editing
• Editing and revising fiction, excellent articles specific to fiction editing, including such links as The Style Sheets — Part I: General Style (Amy Schneider, on An American Editor, 1-19-15), Part II: Characters, and Part III: Locations.
• CMS and AP Style Guide Differences (Erin Brenner)
• Editing with style (The Institute of Professional Editors Limited (IPEd), Australia)
• Style guides (examples of--see especially the one from Managing Care--posted by Copyediting-L)
• Balancing Competing Interests (by Erin Brenner, guest blog on An American Editor, 3-24-14). What to do when a client has several style guides--for example, a branding style guide, one for the annual report, and one more specific to a department for whom a "branding" style, for example, might not apply. (One keyword for this article: "office politics.")
• How an Editor's Style Sheet Can Help the Author Katharine O'Moore-Klopf, KOK Edit Blog, 6-8-12)
• List of style guides (Wikipedia) . See also
• Basic Style Guides
• Discipline- and situation-specific style guides and dictionaries
• Online style guides
• Grammar and style books for writers who wince at the idea of grammar and for popular reading
[Back to Top]

Summer Institute for Midcareer Copy Editors

Subcontracting (Rich Adin, The Business of Editing, An American Editor 4-2-14)

Tangled Web. Victor Navasky and Evan Lerner report on a Columbia Journalism Review Survey, which finds that magazines are allowing their Web sites to erode journalistic standards. See also the full CJR report: Magazines and Their Web Sites (click on opening page to get text).

Three Steps to Protecting the Author's Voice (Erin Brenner, Copyediting, 6-25-13)

Thinking About Money: How to calculate your effective hourly rate, or EHR (American Editor, 10-6-10)

33 Struggles Only Copy Editors Will Understand (Emmy Favilla and Megan Paolone, Buzzfeed, 10-16-14) 1. You are literally blinded by pain any time you see “is” or “be” lowercased in a title. And yeah, you don’t use “literally” figuratively.

Three Steps to Protecting the Author's Voice (Erin Brenner, Copyediting, 6-25-13)

Thsrs (the shorter Thesaurus -- great for headline writing -- gives you synonyms for the word you enter, the same length or shorter)

Tips on Tact and Tone (Pat McNees on Editing That Makes Authors Want to Cooperate)

25 Commandments for Journalists (former Guardian editor Tim Radford's manifesto for the simple scribe, Guardian, 1-19-11--some are about ethics, and some about style and substance)

25 tips for writing effectively for older readers (Sarah Carr, SfEP blog). See also Effective communication with older people (press release about the Society for Editors and Proofreaders developing a commercial package for organizations that interface with older people. See How to overcome barriers to effective communication with older people (digest of briefing and discussion 11-20-13) and see NUJ Guidelines on reporting age (PDF, National Union of Journalists, UK, 8-18-06 -- free download of 224kb PDF)

21 top tips to make the most of your freelance copy-editor or proofreader (Society for Editors and Proofreaders, UK))

Twitter, who's on:
• A directory of Twitter handles for book trade people
• Twitter lists for editors (KOK Edit). Follow the tweeters on Katharine O'Moore-Klopf's lists of good Twitter feeds. By category: Health and medicine, news media, science resources, scientists, freelancing resources, and edit-Long-Islanders.
• Best editor twitter feeds (Galley Cat's list)

The Typographic Oath (a set of copyeditors' commandments, Erin Brenner, Copyediting, 2-15-11). Do no harm. Respect the writer (some good sub-rules there). Don't be a search-and-replace editor. Look it up. He who pays makes the rules. That is some of them! See also Should You Be a Dog-Whistle Copyeditor? (Brenner, Copyediting, 9-25-12) "A dog-whistle copyeditor takes the time to edit the copy to such a fine degree that few people will notice the differences."

Unicode Standard, Unicode Character Code Charts (scripts), and Unicode Character Code Charts (punctuation, symbols, and notational systems)-- links to the formulas for Unicode characters in many languages

For and about translators and interpreters

• Five common myths about translators (Maren Feller, Word Matters, 10-23-14) See also More than words (why being a translator is not the same as being bilingual, and other things translators need to know).
• For non-linguists, the process of buying translation and interpreting services can often be difficult to negotiate. This section on the Institute of Translation & Interpreting website aims to help you find your way. See especially Step 3: How much will it cost?
• How to choose an English editor, translator or similar service provider (Mediterranean Editors & Translators)
• Interpreters and Translators Among Most In-Demand & High-Paying Jobs of 2014
(Melissa Castellanos, Latin Post 1-10-14).
• Working as a Translator or Interpreter (Diana Middleton, Wall Street Journal, 12-8-09)
• ALTAlk, blog of the American Literary Translators Association (ALTA)
• Translation: Getting It Right (a client education booklet about buying translation services, from the American Translators Association)
• Interpreting: Getting it Right (ATA's client education booklet about buying interpreting services)
• Translation: Buying a non-commodity (ATA) How translation standards can help buyers & sellers
• Translation and interpreting services agreements (ATA)
• Translation Workflow (Paula Gordon, dba Plan B blog 9-21-14)
• Due diligence links (Paula Gordon, Plan B) "Resources for freelancers vetting potential clients. Do this before you accept the job!" A very helpful page. See also her Top Ten Translation & Language-Related Links. There's much more on her website. Look around.
• Me Translate Funny One Day (Jascha Hoffman, NY Times Sunday Book Review, 10-19-12, on the challenges of translating humor)

• Associations of translators and interpreters

[Back to Top]

Wanna work in your PJs? Then be good (Meg E. Cox, Freelance Feast)

The Wealthy Freelancer: 12 Secrets to a Great Income and an Enviable Lifestyle by Steve Slaunwhite, Ed Gandia, and Pete Savage (available by Kindle or as paperback). The blog: The Wealthy Freelancer

What an Author Should Give an Editor (Rich Adin, An American Editor, 5-31-12). The things an editor needs to know about a manuscript to do the job well and efficiently, without a lot of back-and-forth Q&As.

Why being on a publisher’s list might not be enough to get you work (Hazel Harris, Wordstitch)

Working with self-publishing authors. Part 1: an industry of opportunity (Sophie Playle, for Society for Editors and Proofreaders blog, UK, 1-23-15). Part 2: expectations and implementation

Word and other software, making the most of it

Writers Vs. Editors: A Battle for the Ages (Michael Kinsley, Time, 4-10-08)

Writing Tics: Now You See Them, Now You Don't (The Subversive Copy Editor, 7-22-10, an interesting way of framing a common problem)

Why Editing Matters
• Why Editing Matters (microsite of the American Copy Editors Society, ACES)
• Why You Need a Professional Editor (Dave Bricker, 8-17-12). This is particularly good advice for writers who are self-publishing.
• (Harriet Evans, The Guardian, 6-16-11). Every good ebook needs a good editor. With the advent of ebooks, self-publishing has exploded, convincing some authors they don't need publishers. But they do need editors.
• Humbled by Copyediting (Elizabeth Fama, guest posting on Subversive Copy Editor blog, about how shamed and grateful she felt for a thorough copy editing -- 8-8-11)
• Spelling mistakes 'cost millions' in lost online sales (Sean Coughlan, Education and Family, BBC News, 7-13-11)
• Will Automated Copy Editors Replace Human Ones? (Michael King, American Journalism Review, 4-15-14) "Sometimes, [Beaujon] said, the supposedly significant changes copy editors make are really more like 'secret handshakes from editor to editor' to prove one’s knowledge of obscure, arbitrary journalistic style rules." But automated programs don't get nuance, irony, humor, or the big picture.
• The Price of Typos (Virginia Heffernan, Opinionator, NY Times 7-17-11). On a home page or a site offering commercial products, where there are concerns about trust and credibility, "In these instances, when a consumer might be wary of spam or phishing efforts, a misspelt word could be a killer issue."
• Students armed with sub-editing skills are given tools for life (Tim Luckhurst, The Times, Higher Education, 3-5-09 on the immense value of the sub-editor, "the lowest caste of editorial personnel who earn their meagre livings correcting the style, grammar and accuracy of their 'betters' on news and features desks." Even the finest journalists make mistakes, and bloggers, you need sub-editors, too!
• Why Editing Matters (Jake Sherlock's amusing video slideshow of images of typos in public, at ACES regional conference--there's a whole page of related videos on that YouTube page)
• Mind if We Watch? Copy editors matter. (Karen Dunlap, Poynter 11-9-02)
• Review of a book that really needed editing (both developmental -- who is your audience? -- and copyediting)
• Why you need a copy editor (marked-up memo from Toronto Star about reduced need for copyeditors)
• Readers prefer edited news, research sponsored by ACES finds (American Copy Editors Society 3-17-11)
• Regret the Error on the issues of media errors and accuracy. This page contains links to excellent resources on the public's perception of the press, human error, studies of newspaper accuracy, studies of broadcast accuracy, fact checking, and more.
• Why are there so many errors in The Anthology of Rap? The editors respond. It Was Written. Paul Devlin (Slate, 11-10-10) on how so many errors crept into this Yale University Press publication. (They apparently "leaned heavily" on material full of errors.)

[Back to Top]

What do editors and copyeditors (and proofreaders, etc.) do?

Do you want to hire (or be) a developmental editor, substantive editor, copyeditor, production editor, assignment editor, or proofreader? Read up on the different functions:
• Kinds of editors and levels of edit--what every writer should know (with links to material on levels and types of editing; fiction editing; copyediting; proofreading; newspaper editing; technical editing; freelance editing; the editor-author relationship; whether editors are valued and valuable; and becoming an editor)
• Why photo shoots need editors too (Julia Sandford-Cooke, SfEP, 1-13-15), Excellent overview of a position most of us don't think about, and should.
• Becoming an Editor (from the blog, This Crazy Industry)
• Interview with a TV (Copy) Editor (Adrienne Montgomerie, Copyeditor, 3-17-15) Crosswords puzzle editing led Duncan McKenzie into other fields, including TV. “On Train 48, there were no captions to check, but, with, over 300 episodes, we had a major challenge in keeping track of the information about each character. Actors improvised their dialogue, so, after each episode, we'd have to record key facts, and integrate that into the current database of facts about each character.”
• Style Sheet: A Conversation with My Copyeditor (Edan Lepucki, The Millions, 2-7-14) An enlightening Q&A with copyeditor Susan Bradanini Betz, both for copyeditors and those they may edit. Also a useful style sheet. Says Betz: "When I copyedit, I get closer to the manuscript than I was ever able to as an acquisitions editor. I read every single word, looking at each word and tracking the syntax, not skimming over sentences. It’s not my job as a copyeditor to suggest big-picture changes or comment on quality, so I am focused on the story and the language at the word and sentence level. I keep the reader in mind and try to anticipate what might be confusing or problematic; I check facts and dates, track characters and events for consistency; and I do the most thorough read I possibly can, coming away with an in-depth understanding of the work that wasn’t possible for me in acquisitions."
• Donna Tartt and Michael Pietsch (editor Michael Pietssch and novelist Donna Tartt in a Slate Book Review author-editor conversation). Donna Tartt does not like being "standardized."
• Editing and revising fiction (Writers and Editors)
• The 3 Stages of Copyediting: I — The Processing Stage (Rich Adin, An American Editor, 2010). Adin explains: "Mechanically, the copyediting process can be divided into 3 stages: the processing stage, where the manuscript is prepared for the copyediting process; the copyediting stage in which the manuscript is actually copyedited; and, the proofing stage, where the manuscript is checked for the misses that occurred during the copyediting stage. Adin talks here about using macros to speed up the process. Part II: The Copyediting Stage (8-4-10). And Part III: Proofreading.
• Some Copyediting Terms (Wendy Belcher, Academic Copyediting)
• Thinking Fiction: An Overview of the World of Fiction Copyediting (Amy Schneider, An American Editor, 9-8-14) A checklist of what you will and won't do as a good fiction copyeditor.
• The Mind-set of the Fiction Copyeditor (Amy J. Schneider, An American Editor, 10-6-14)
• What You Need to Know to Edit Fiction (Erin Brenner, on An American Editor, 8-25-14)
• Editing and revising fiction, excellent articles targeted to fiction editing,
• Two Slate editors debate their very different editing philosophies. (Dan Kois, Laura Helmuth, interviewed by Jennifer Lai, Slate Plus, available free for a while, 5-12-14). Two Slate editors debate their very different editing philosophies.
• Interviews with, and profiles of, agents and editors

Are you a writer or an editor? The following two entries, from The Open Notebook, provide insights into the main differences between writing and editing, especially about science. "Writers and editors work together all the time, but the two clans are somewhat mysterious to one another. Mutually suspicious, even. How do you know which career path you should specialize in? And how do editors become editors, anyway? Ann Finkbeiner and Laura Helmuth asked several journalists to describe the differences between writers and editors."
• Are you an editor or a writer? Part I: The writers. (posted by Christie Aschwanden, The Open Notebook, 1-16-13).
• Are you an editor or a writer? Part II: The editors. (posted by Christie Aschwanden, The Open Notebook, 1-16-13).
• 33 Struggles Only Copy Editors Will Understand (Emmy Favilla and Megan Paolone, Buzzfeed, 10-16-14) 10. You silently judge people for not knowing the differences between a hyphen, an en dash, and an em dash. 6. You evaluate potential mates on their ability to correctly use “fewer” vs. “less than.”

• Endless Rewriting (Helen Hazen, American Scholar, Spring 2013). When a novice writer received a letter from Jacques Barzun, asking her to write a book, how could she have known what she was in for? A great example of a top book editor helping a novice think through the main points and structure of her book--though few editors operate at the level Barzun did here.
• What Ever Happened to Book Editors? (Marjorie Braman, PW, 9-20-13). A veteran editor gets back to basics: "I can envision a model in which the in-house editor is the jack-of-all-trades that the publisher requires, while still editing select projects. For other projects, the in-house editor might need to work with a trusted freelance editor to help move things along. But publishers have to acknowledge what every editor—in-house or freelance—knows: editing is crucial and can make the difference between the success or failure of a book."
• The Twin Pillars of Editing (Rich Adin, An American Editor, 9-23-13). "The twin pillars of editing are the thinking and the mechanical... The thinking pillar is what attracts people to the profession. Should it be who or whom? Does the sentence, paragraph, chapter make any sense? Does the author’s point come through clearly or have the author’s word choices obfuscated the message? The thinking pillar is what professional editors live for; it is often why we became editors." Using • macro tools can speed up the mechanical part of editing.
• The Odd Role of the Publisher/​Editor (Josh Sternberg, Digiday, 3-7-13). Jason Pontin, publisher and editor-in-chief of MIT Technology Review, is the digital media version of the player-coach. "Being a publisher and understanding the business realities has made him a better editor." Says Pontin: "I’m much more focused on the idea of a curve on my wall of where I want the digital audience to be 6-12 months from now, not just in traffic or page views, but in return visits. And that matters to us. I want a high degree of audience engagement, as it benefits us editorially and as a business.”
• The Business of Editing: Light, Medium, or Heavy? (Rich Adin, An American Editor, 9-24-12)
• Editor, Editor, Everywhere an Editor (Rich Adin, An American Editor, 1-13-10). A good explanation of the differences between developmental editors (editing for structure, clarity, and the big picture) and copyeditors (the "rules-based" editor).
• Editing Titles vs. Editing Duties, Part 1 (Erin Brenner, Copyediting, 8-6-13). Editing titles don't always match up with expected editorial duties. Part 1 explains what a line editor and a developmental editor are expected to do. In Part 2 (8-13-13), Brenner covers proofreading and fact checking.
• Duties of an Editor & How Editors Help Writers (Fiction editor Beth Hill, The Editor's Blog 2-1-11)
• Black day for the blue pencil (Blake Morrison, Guardian)
• The Business of Editing: A Rose By Another Name Is Still Copyediting (An American Editor, 6-27-12, writes about the trend for publishers to outsource copy editing offshore for very low fees, getting poorly edited work back, and hiring American editors to "proofread" PDFs, by which they mean copy edit the poorly edited copy at proofreaders' rates.
• What does a copy-editor do? and What does a copy-editor not do. (FAQs, Society for Editors and Proofreaders, SFEP)
• Why good copy editors are ‘abnormal’ humans (Craig Silverman, Poynter, 8-9-13). If you’re a good editor, you’re “able to look at a page without using your brain,” Igarashi writes. “Put another way, you need to be able to look at words in a way that goes against everything your brain would naturally do when it looks at words.”
• Classifying editorial tasks (Jean Weber, Technical Editors' Eyrie). When rules-based and analysis-based edits overlap, which editorial decisions are negotiable with the writer, and which are not?
• Clarity for Editing (Justin Baker suggests clearer names for levels of edit, STC Technical Editing Sig 4-20-07)
• How Editors Talk to Editors Is Not How Editors Talk to Writers (4-22-2013)
• A copyeditor's commandments (Erin Brenner, Copyediting Tip of the Week, 2-1-12)
• Copyediting: A Duty of Care (Corporate Writing Pro, 12-7-11). An excellent list of the things a good copyeditor does, well-phrased, including, "Revising sentences to bring subjects and verbs closer together," "Moving subjects to the front of the sentence," and "Discovering hidden verbs, otherwise known as nominalizations."
• Copy editing (Wikipedia's entry is useful; Wikipedia's entry on Editing contrasts editing roles (print media, executive editor, periodicals, and scholarly books and journals); its entry on business editing is slightly peculiar.
**Copyeditors' Knowledge Base (superb links from KOK Edit: Katharine O'Moore-Klopf), on several themes, including The Basics, Business Tools, and Editing Tools.
• Definitions of Editorial Services (Bay Area Editors' Forum)
• Definitions of editorial skills (Canadian Editors) on developmental/​project editing; substantive or structural editing; stylistic editing, rewriting, copy editing, picture research, fact checking/​reference checking, indexing, mark-up/​coding, proofreading, mock-up (rough paste-up), and production editing
• Developing New Levels of Edit (Judyth Prono, Martha DeLanoy, Robert Deupree, Jeffrey Skiby, and Brian Thompson, STC, revising levels of edit for technical editing, as originally spelled out by Van Buren and Buehler), PDF
• Developmental Editing (Kristi Hein, Pictures & Words) describes what she did on a couple of developmental editing projects--good examples of what this macro level of editing entails)
• The Difference Between Copyediting and Proofreading (Mark Nichol, Daily Writing Tips, 4-2-11)
• What Copyeditors Do (Scott Berkun, 9-25-09, what copyediting looks and feels like)
• Do Editors Edit Anymore? (Caroline Tolley, guest blogging on Writer Unboxed, about the craft and business of fiction, 4-19-11). There are two kinds of editing, and most publishers don't have time to provide good editing anymore, so that fiction manuscript had better arrive already edited.
• Duties of an Editor & How Editors Help Writers (Fiction editor Beth Hill, on The Editor's Blog, who also wrote What Should an Editor Do for a Writer?
• Editing: What? (Delores Farmer and Sherry Southard on levels of editing)
• Editorial skills, categorized and defined (Editors Association of Canada)
• Editors on Editing: What Writers Need to Know About What Editors Do, a book that explains the publishing process and the special skills needed for particular areas, such as mass market and romance, edited by Gerald Gross
• Editors Roundtable: Introducing Nancy Wick and Julie Van Pelt (Kyra Freestar interviews two developmental editors of fiction, on The Editor's POV (a forum for freelance editors of fiction and creative nonfiction)
• Editors: Scourge of the Earth or Cheap Psychotherapists? (Rebecca Rosenblum, The Afterword, National Post, 12-6-11). An excellent explanation and appreciation of the differences between substantive or developmental editors, line editors, copy-editors, and proofreaders -- as distinct from acquisition editors and production editors.
• eLife: Can a Top-Tier Journal Run Without Professional Help? (Phil Davis, Scholarly Kitchen, 12-1-11). Davis predicts that a scientific journal with no professional editors will soon face the same problems PLos Biology and PLos Medicine did.
• ELSS Editing Requirements (Rick Weisburd on what's required for scientific editing and translation from Japanese, at one serious firm)
• An Evolving Model for Editing (Deborah Howell, Ombudsman, WaPo, on the changing role of the editor as newspaper staffs are cut)
• Five Ways to Recognize a Bad Editor (Popular Soda). With the recent ebook explosion, dozens of freelance editors have popped up, self-promoting, taking payment, and supposedly editing ebooks. How can you tell if you’re getting a good deal from a reputable freelancer or about to be screwed over by a misguided (potentially malicious) hack? Here are our five signs of bad editors.
• The Hidden Costs of Copyediting (Erin Brenner, Copyediting, 3-6-12). For publishers who think copyediting is too big an expense and should be cut.
• How (Freelance) Editors Operate (San Diego Professional Editors Network)
• How to Become a Developmental Editor (Scott Norton)
• Is Freelance Proofreading the Job for You? (Kate Rosengarten, KateProof, 8-1-12)
• Levels of Edit (San Diego Professional Editors Network)
• In Praise of Copy Editors (And Why We Need More) (Reid Norman, Communications Strategy 4-26-12)
• Lives and Letters, an interview with Robert Gottlieb. This Salon.com interview with the legendary editor is ostensibly about writing but gives helpful insights into the editing process (and the writer-editor relationship) inside a good publishing house. See also the Gottlieb collectionLives and Letters
• The role of the editor in the technical writing team (Jean Hollis Weber's excellent outline of what editors do, types of edit, and interactions with the writing team)
• Showcasing the Work Editors Do (Bay Area Editors' Forum), links to many useful articles
• So what does a proof-reader/​copy-editor/​transcriber/​copy-writer actually do? (A day in the month of Liz Broomfield, Libro Editing Services, 2-9-11)
• A day in my life (Glasgow editor Lucy Metzger, in the first of an SfEP blog series)
• So You Want to Be an Editor: Information about a Career in Editing (in one page, the Editors' Association of Canada provides a great overview of what being an editor involves and requires). On the second page of its standard freelance editorial agreement , EAC provides a breakdown of tasks required, and the type of editing those tasks typically fall under. Very useful!
• Stop Editing Me (Scott Norton on the editor's natural bent)
• Unraveling the Mysteries of the Editing Process (Erin Brenner, The Writing Resource)
• The things editors do (John D. McIntyre, You Don't Say 2-15-12) Take this sentence: Please welcome the Hart’s into our Diocesan family.
• What a Freelance Editor Can Do for You (Kathryn Craft, Writania, 7-12). When to hire a developmental editor, a line editor or copyeditor, or a proofreader.
• What a permissions editor does (Julie Cancio Harper, Permissions Trackers, on Publishing Careers 1-31-08)
• What Do Editors Do? (Bay Area Editors Forum)
• Adding to Your Editorial Tool Kit: Image Research and Permissions (panel for Bay Area Editors' forum, 3-24-09)
• What Do Hiring Managers Want? (Gail Saari's notes on a BAEF panel in 2003 featuring Lasell Whipple, managing editor at Jossey-Bass; Joy Ma, former managing editor for PC Games magazine, currently with Key3Media; Lorena Jones, managing editor at Ten Speed Press; and Walter Keefe, of Synergy Personnel Services, Inc.)
• What is substantive editing (Jean Weber, Technical Editors' Eyrie: Resources for technical editors). You can find answers to a lot of how-to questions here: Technical Editors' Eyrie

• What Editors Do (Lynette Smith's useful chart, San Diego Professional Editors Network), PDF
• What exactly does a newspaper copy editor do? (Bill Walsh, The Slot, on "The Lot of Journalism's Noble Misfits." Check his other entries, too, including How a Copy Desk Works, How Can I Become a Copy Editor? , and What's a slot man?)
• What Editors Do and What Editing Can't Buy (Writer Beware, SFWA)
• What is substantive editing? Steven L. Kanter, MD, editor of Academic Medicine, interviews Albert Bradford, director of staff editing (YouTube video). Bradford explains that far beyond "comma chasing," structural editing is working collegially (not correctively) with an author with something substantive to say to carve away the bad stuff (like Michelangelo carving sculpture) to reveal the "David," to be sure the substance (theme, idea, argument) is clearly and compellingly enough stated that even someone not in that field would find it of interest, and the author will feel grateful for having a better piece.
• What It's Really Like To Be A Copy Editor Lori Fradkin, The AWL, 7-21-10)
• What It Takes to Be a Medical Writer (Susan E. Caldwell, on her helpful biotech ink spots blog). Subscribe free to The Biotech Ink Insider for job info;,archived articles.
• What to Look for in an Editor (Author-Editor Clinic, PDF)
• What We Want in a Copyeditor (Jossey-Bass Managing Editor Lasell Whipple, for a BAEF gathering, 2003/​4)
• Why Copy Editors Are Necessary: A Small Treatise on the Publishing World (Nancy Hanger, Windhaven Press, on why copyeditors are necessary for fiction)
• Why Editing Matters (American Copy Editors Society, or ACES, which invites your comments)
• Why Children’s Publishing Needs Freelance Editors Now (Emma D. Dryden, Publishing Perspectives, 6-20-12)
• Your Copy Sucks: You Don't Even Know What "Edit" Means (TJ Dietderich, PRBreakfastClub)

How to work with an editor, proofreader, and project manager
• 21 top tips to make the most of your freelance copy-editor or proofreader (Society for Editors and Proofreaders)
• 21 top tips
to make the most of your project manager or managing editor
(Society for Editors and Proofreaders)
• Why You Need a Professional Editor (Dave Bricker, 8-17-12). This is particularly good advice for writers who are self-publishing.
• How to Brief an Editor (Institute of Professional Editors Limited, Australia). Be clear about what you want an editor to do before you engage them. What level of editing do you require?
• 7 Common Myths About Hiring a Freelance Editor for Your Book by Nancy Peske. Explains the various basic kinds of editing.
• Setting Editing Expectations (Erin Brenner, Copyediting 4-3-12). A checklist of possible tasks for a report manuscript; if the budget is tight, ask client to use this to specify which items are a priority -- create a triage list. The sample list of tasks to be done is help to show clients who think all that's required is a quick spell-check.
[Back to Top]

Book Doctors: What They Do

Independent (freelance) consulting editors who help authors fix their books often call themselves "book doctors." Some are better than others and charge accordingly. Here are some stories about what to expect.
Book Doctors: The Real Deal (Susan A. Schwartz on what to look for in an editor)
• The Doctor Will See You Now (interview with Lisa Rojany-Buccieri, who explains the difference between book doctors, editors, and ghostwriters and offers practical insights into what a book doctor can and cannot do)
• Common Rates for Editorial Services (Editorial Freelancers Association)
• Frequently Asked Questions about Editors (Tara K. Harper, who doesn't put much faith in book doctors)
• Independent Editors and Assessment Services (Writers Beware's excellent article and links, Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America)
• A Professional Critique: What Should You Receive for Your Money? (Margot Finke)
• Nine Signs of a Scam Book Doctor (Jerry Gross, an old hand in the business, on Writers, Agents & Editors Network)
• What a Good Editor Will Do for You (Jerry Gross interviews Viking editor Beena Kamlani on what to expect from an editor in a publishing house, Writer's Digest, 2-11-08)
• Kinds of editors/​editing and levels of edit

[Go Top]


The styles that clients may expect you to know (or have access to the style manual for) are primarily: Chicago, AP, APA, AMA, MLA, Microsoft, CBE/​CSE. Books purchased through Amazon links on this website return a small commission to us, which helps us rationalize spending too much time working on the site!

An Editor's Guide to Working with Authors by Barbara Sjoholm

• 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 Editing in the Age of Convergence by Brian S. Brooks and James L. Pinson. The basics of newspaper editing plus editing in "convergent environments, where skill in print, broadcast and online operations" are required. See also Student Workbook for The Art of Editing in the Age of Convergence

• The Art of Literary Publishing: Editors on Their Craft by Bill Henderson

As Always, Julia: The Letters of Julia Child and Avis DeVoto, ed. by Joan Reardon. (See also the story about DeVoto's involvement with publication of Elizabeth David's Italian Food: Importing Italian Food (Laura Shapiro, NY Times, 11-18-11)

The Business of Editing by Richard H. Adin (An American Editor). Download sample chapters, with TC and index, from Waking Lion Press.

• 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 (16th edition, baby blue cover: the style bible for books, geared to professional and academic authors. The Subversive Copy Editor offers a sneak peek at changes from the 15th edition. If you have the budget, you might also want Words Into Type). You may also sign up for FREE Q&A alerts (a free subscription to an informative monthly e-mail).

• Copyediting: A Practical Guide by Karen Judd (read the reviews before buying this one)

The Copy Editor's Guide to Working with Indie Authors: How to Find Clients, Market Yourself & Build Your Business by Sarah Barbour (Kindle, text-to-speech enabled)

*** The Copyeditor's Handbook: A Guide for Book Publishing and Corporate Communications by Amy Einsohn (3rd edition, -- essential for learning the basics or fine-tuning your skills, with helpful exercises and answer key.

Developmental Editing: A Handbook for Freelancers, Authors, and Publishers (for both fiction and nonfiction) by Scott Norton. Also available online at Scribd.

• 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

• 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, what various types of editors do, and, as someone else put it, "the different sensibilities required for different genres")

• 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. Tom was a mentor and is a friend, so I may be biased, but can quote someone else as recommending the book "because he is so good at explaining what makes someone a good editor for a particular manuscript. "

• The Fine Art of Copy Editing by Elsie Myers Stainton

• The Forest for the Trees: An Editor's Advice to Writers by Betsy Lerner

• A Freelance Editor's Guide to Book Production by Rachel Hockett (EFA)

• 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)

Good Prose: The Art of Nonfiction by Tracy Kidder and Richard Todd (also good on the author-editor relationship). See The Special Relationship by Scott Stossel (WSJ book review, 1-17-13). A Pulitzer Prize-winning writer and his longtime editor offer a guide to the craft of nonfiction -- and a look at an excellent author-editor relationship.

• The Great Typo Hunt: Two Friends Changing the World, One Correction at a Time by Jeff Deck and Benjamin D. Herson

• Handbook of Writing for the Mathematical Sciences by Nicholas J. Higham

APE: Author, Publisher, Entrepreneur-How to Publish a Book by Guy Kawasaki, Shawn Welch. Also in paperback.

• 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)

• Making Word Work for You: An Editor's Intro to the Tools of the Trade by Hilary Powers, download for $10.25, 80 pages, or order the book for slightly more.

• 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

• 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

*** Self Editing for Fiction Writers: How to Edit Yourself Into Print by Renni Browne and Dave King (teach yourself the basic principles of fiction writing AND editing)

• 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 (an excellent book for deeply understanding the structure of a sentence and paragraph)

Substance & Style: Instruction and Practice in Copyediting (Mary Stoughton, for Editorial Experts). Instruction about, and a workbook in which to practice, proper copyediting and proper copyediting marks (a do-it-yourself workshop)

• The Subversive Copy Editor: Advice from Chicago (or, How to Negotiate Good Relationships with Your Writers, Your Colleagues, and Yourself) by Carol Fisher Saller, the woman who writes those witty, informative responses for the Chicago Style Manual Q&As.

• Technical Editing (fifth edition) by Carolyn D. Rude and Angela Eaton

*** Technical Editing, by Judith A. Tarutz (learn how to do this more highly paid kind of editing)

• Thinking Like a Designer: How to Save Money by Being a Smart Client, by Michael Brady (at least one copy editor buys this to give to his clients, so they understand the intersection between editing and design)

• The Time of Their Lives: The Golden Age of Great American Book Publishers by Al Silverman (a delicious 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)

[Go Top]
Courses, workshops on editing, proofreading, and publishing

• Teaching the Art of Copyediting (Erin Brenner, on An American Editor, 5-19-14) If copyediting is teachable, why aren't there more great copyeditors?
• UC Berkeley Extension Professional Sequence in Editing. A four-semester sequence, either classroom and online training. Four required courses: grammar, mechanics and usage for editors; introduction to copyediting; intermediate copyediting; and either substantive editing or a professional sequence in technical communication (see also
• Author-Editor Clinic (Seattle-based online instruction in developmental editing of fiction and creative nonfiction--a structured approach to learning how to analyze manuscripts and to communicate with writers). See PDF FAQ about online classes .
• Columbia Publishing Course. Formerly a six-week summer course in which college trained in the basics of book editing, sales, design, and publicity, this year, writes Julie Bosman in the NY Times (7-15-11), the E-Book Revolution Upends a Publishing Course. Writes Bosman, "This year’s 101 students were chosen from more than 475 applicants, the highest number in years, showing that they were not deterred by the $6,990 fee for tuition and room and board on the Columbia campus — or by the limitations of entry-level positions that pay around $30,000 a year."
• Editorial Boot Camp (various locations) and Fiction Editing Boot Camp
• Online courses, webinars (online catalog, Editorial Freelancers Association)
• Copyeditors' Knowledge Base Katharine O'Moore-Klopf a/​k/​a KOK Edit's excellent and useful directory to venues for training (and certification) for editors.
• What Does Professional Certification Look Like? (Erin Brenner, on An American Editor, 6-23-14) See also Evaluating Editors (Rich Adin, An American Editor, 1-13-14)
• Editorial Freelancers Association, one-day workshops, seminars, and classroom and online courses for editorial freelancers
• Editorial Practices certificate, The Graduate School (formerly USDA, Washington DC). Certificate program, classroom training, online training
• American Copy Editors Society (ACES) offers various forms of training, including its annual three-day conferences, held in a different state each fall. Members who cannot attend conferences can get session handouts and stories posted on conference sites.ACES also offers regional editing boot camps In 2012, ACES entered into a training alliance with The Poynter Institute’s News University. Poynter NewsU provided discounted training for ACES members in exchange for ACES contributions on several Poynter NewsU training initiatives. More info here and in next entry:
• Poynter ACES Certificate in Editing (geared to journalism). Take the NewsU courses, complete the online assessment for each course, and you will receive your certificate from Poynter's NewsU.
• EEI Communications Training (the publishing think tank, Washington DC area)
• NYU Summer Publishing Institute (book, magazine, and digital publishing) and NYU Continuing Education
• Simon Fraser University (SFU) courses and workshops toward SFU editing certificate. See Amy Haagsman's From proofreading to plain language: A review of SFU’s editing program
• University of Chicago editing courses
• University of Denver (The Publishing Institute) (four-week introduction to book publishing)
•Yale Publishing Course, two versions of an intensive, week-long course for publishing professionals: Magazine and online publishing (July 10-15, 2011); Book Publishing, print and digital (July 24-29, 2011). Tuition: $4995. Earlier we ran this link to a story about Yale's course:Yale launches course for the magazine and book publishing industry (to fill the gap left by the closure of the renowned Stanford Professional Publishing Course (SPPC), which was offered from 1978 to 2009).
• Book publishing courses (Publishing Central, listed, but definitely not evaluated).
• The Publishing Training Centre (this British-based organization offers our distance learning courses in Basic Proofreading, Copy-Editing and Successful Editorial Freelancing, among others, as well as Quickfire (four-hour online) courses and classroom-based short courses. Here's Louise Harnby on Editing Digital Products: What's in it for the freelance proofreader?
• Does Training Matter? What Publishers Say about Proofreading & Editing Courses (Louise Harnby, Proofreader, 12-1-11). Louise's comments apply especially for British-based publishing professionals; there are definite differences between British- and American-style publishing but the principles of what she says are the same in both arenas.
• Why not a master’s in editing? (Anthony Haynes, Monographer, 2-18-13).
• Teaching yourself editing (John E. McIntyre, Baltimore Sun, 1-19-13)
• Co-mentoring: free continuing professional development for editorial professionals ( Hazel Harris, Editing Mechanics blog, 5-25-13)
• Maybe they could try to teach editing (John McIntyre, The Baltimore Sun, 6-20-12)
• Radcliffe Program (now at Columbia). See Salon.com article about the change of venue
• Society for Editors and Proofreaders (sfep) training , particularly helpful for British students. In addition to many onsite courses, SFEP offers distance learning (online) courses in proofreading, copyediting, editorial project management, and successful editorial freelancing, and Quickfire courses onsite.
• KOK Edit's page on Education and Training provides a fully annotated list of training resources for editors.

• Training in Editorial Freelancing (Louise Harnby's roundup of articles on editorial freelance training in the U.K., published in her blog, The Proofreader's Parlour
• Editorial Training and Industry Consensus? A View from the UK (Louise Harnby, posted on Cassie Armstrong's blog, Accidental Freelancer 5-21-12)
• Does Training Matter? What Publishers Say about Proofreading & Editing Courses (Louise Harnby, 12-1-11)
• Proofreading: How to Choose the Right Training Course (Louise Harnby, 2-16-12)
• Proofreading: Case Studies (Louise Harnby, for The Publishing Training Centre, UK)


[Go Top]

Books on Design
• Brady, Michael. Thinking Like a Designer: How to Save Money by Being a Smart Client
• Bringhurst, Robert. The Elements of Typographic Style
• Hendel, Richard. On Book Design
• Lee, Marshall. Bookmaking: Editing, Design, Production, 3d edition
• Lupton, Ellen, and Abbott Miller. Thinking with Type: A Primer for Designers: A Critical Guide for Designers, Writers, Editors, & Students. See Ellen Lupton's website
• Tufte, Edward. Envisioning Information and The Visual Display of Quantitative Information. See Edward Tufte's website, including PowerPoint Does Rocket Science--and Better Techniques for Technical Reports.

Books and Site on Indexing
• A Guide for the Freelance Indexer (April Michelle Davis, Lulu.com, 76 pages)
• The Art of Indexing, by Larry Bonura
• Beyond Book Indexing, edited by Marilyn Rowland and Diane Brenner
• Chicago Manual of Style (has a good section on indexing, and is an excellent reference tool for writers and editors)
• Indexes: A Chapter from The Chicago Manual of Style, 15th Edition
• Indexing: A Nuts-and-Bolts Guide for Technical Writers, by Kurt Ament
• **Indexing Books, by Nancy C. Mulvany
• An Indexer’s Guide to the Internet, by Lori Lathrop
• The Indexing Companion (Website Indexing), by Glenda Browne and Jon Jermey
Sites and Articles:
• Find an Indexer (American Society for Indexing)
• So You Want to Be an Indexer (ASI)
• Online discussion groups for indexers
• Indexing courses and workshops
• Making an Index (Authornet, Cambridge University Press)
• Guide to creating an index for McFarland (PDF)

[Go Top]

Interesting examples of
heavy editing in literature

Sometimes the editor helps create a piece, by carving away the flab and helping to find the artistic center within. Sometimes such heavy editing does not have such felicitous results. Among the most interesting examples of heavy editing in literature:

• F. Scott Fitzgerald's heavy cutting of Hemingway's The Sun Also Rises (see, for example, The Textual History of 'The Sun Also Rises' by Carmen Corral (Sigma Tau Delta) and various accounts of both the editing and its repercussions, including Fitzgerald, Hemingway And The Sun Also Rises (Literary Traveler, 7-12-99)
• Max Perkins' heavy editing and reorganizing of Thomas Wolfe's long, long novel manuscripts (including Look Homeward, Angel) is one example covered in Max Perkins: Editor of Genius by A. Scott Berg
• Gatsby Before He Was Great (Jimmy So, Newsweek, 5-6-13). "in a recent movie version, Luhrmann reportedly enlisted 'Trimalchio' to shape a 'darker' Gatsby, and we’re told that DiCaprio carried a copy of it everywhere he went."
• Ezra Pound's beautiful editing of T.S. Eliot's The Wasteland(Eliot's title was He Do the Police in Different Voices . (See interesting account in this Wikipedia entry.
• Gordon Lish's editing of Raymond Carver's short fiction--the subject of at least two interesting magazine pieces:
---The Carver Chronicles (D.T. Max's long fascinating 1998 piece in the NY Times Magazine about Gordon Lish's extremely heavy editing of Raymond Carver's early fiction) and its effect (good and bad) on Carver's short fiction. Raymond Carver's stories were at the center of American literary life in the 80's. Now they are at the heart of a battle over his legacy: Were some of them the product of collaboration? And why all the secrecy surrounding his archives?
---The Two Raymond Carvers (Giles Harvey, NY Review of Books, 5-27-10)
---"Looking for Raymond Carver" (A.O. Scott, NY Review of Books, August 12, 1999), subscription or purchase required
---"Rough Crossings: The Cutting of Raymond Carver" (Simon Armitage, The New Yorker, 12-24-07). (For some reason I have "David Remnick, unsigned" in my notes--anyone know why?)
[Back to Top]

Setting Editing Expectations (Erin Brenner, Tip of the Week, Copyediting, 4-3-12)

The Seven Deadly Copy Editing Sins (Anne Glover, Poynter Online, 8-25-02)

7 Stages of Revision Grief (Jordan Rosenfeld, Make a Scene)

Seven ways to make your LinkedIn profile more appealing to editorial project managers (Hazel Harris, Wordstitch editorial services, 3-14-13)

[Back to Top]
Indexing: why and how
Getting started indexing: Study the Chicago Manual of Style on indexing, read Nancy Mulvany's book, Indexing Books (second edition), and take online workshops of the American Society for Indexing, which also offers webinars. Get started by specializing in a niche, a special area you are knowledgeable in. Join at least one editorial or indexers' listserv as you'll want a place to ask peers questions about problems that come up. To get the work, be good at indexing.
• "An index is not an outline, nor is it a concordance. It's an intelligently compiled list of topics covered in the work, prepared with the reader's needs in mind." ~ Index Evaluation Checklist (American Society for Indexing)
• Index-L (helpful email list for indexers)
• Human or computer produced indexes? Why have a human-produced index where full text searching is available? (Society of Indexers)
• Book Indexing, Part 1: Is a Computer the Right Person for the Job? An article by Carol Saller explaining that "indexers harvest concepts as much as words." (Chronicle of Higher Education 5-1-12).
• Book Indexing, Part 2: Infinite Loops and Easter Eggs (Carol Saller, Chronicle of Higher Education, 5-9-12). How indexers have fun.
• Index Evaluation Checklist (American Society for Indexing)
• Editing an index (Jean Hollis Weber, Technical Editors' Eyrie)
• Indexing the Web (American Society for Indexing)
• Every nonfiction book needs an index: Here's why (Alan Rinzler, The Book Deal)
• Editors, How Much is an Index Worth to You? (how indexes are valued by bookstore buyers, educators and institutions, librarians, reviewers, your production staff, your typesetter, and why they should be done by professional indexers)
• Salman Rushdie's memoir would benefit from a good index (John Sutherland, The Guardian, 9-26-12). Indexing is as necessary to (non-fiction) books as oxygen is to lungs – even if you're Rushdie and want us to read every page.
• BBC Radio 4 "Front Row" program on indexing (11-11-03, listen to recording)
• FAQs about indexing (Society of Indexers, UK)
• Indexing software (ASI's excellent explanations and listings)
• Resources for indexers (Society of Indexers, UK)
• FAQs about indexes and indexers (Society of Indexers, so expect a British angle)
• Indexing software, about (American Society for Indexing)
• How to Contract with a Book Indexer (Dan Connolly, Word for Word Book Services, gives some idea of time needed and range of fees for various types of books)
• Indexer's Style Guide: Some Things to Think About (Cynthia Berman, BAEF)
• O'Reilly general guidelines on indexing (an interesting example of what to include in such a guide; I particularly like the flexibility on indexing prefaces and appendixes). One chapter in a fuller set of indexing guidelines, way more technical than I can fathom.
• The definite article: acknowledging ‘The’ in index entries, Glenda Browne's article in The Indexer on the many ways "the" causes problems for those who try to put things into alphabetical order.
• Indexing Biographies (Hazel K. Bell, Society of Editors, UK -- sold thru Lulu)
• Indexing Legal Materials (Society of Indexers, UK -- sold thru Lulu)
• Awards recognizing excellence in indexing (Society of Indexers links)
• ASI training course (available to members of American Society for Indexing)
• Training in indexing distance-learning course (Society of Indexers, UK)
• The Indexer: The International Journal of Indexing . (You can read sample articles online by clicking on Centrepieces, which seem to be about indexing personal names in various ethnic naming traditions)
• American Society for Indexing (formerly American Society of Indexers, ASI)
• Indexing Society of Canada (Sociιtι canadienne d'indexation). Resources include links to indexing discussion groups.
• Society of Indexers ( (UK)
• Association of Freelance Editors Proofreaders and Indexers (AFEPI) (Ireland)
• Indexing societies, worldwide (Louise Harnby's helpful list)
• Index Cafe (Yahoo discussion group for indexer socializing)
• Indexer's Network (LinkedIn group for indexers)
• Indexers' humor (site hosted by Leverage Technologies, which sells Cindex indexing software)
• Index, America's Funniest, Back of Atlantic Monthly (Peter Carlson, Washington Post, 3-1-05)
• An Index for Thalia (PDF, Julian Barnes' index as a humorous extension to his book Letters from London 1990-1995, posted on The Indexer website)
• Amusing Index entries (on Futility Closet, An idler's miscellany of compendious amusements)
• The Games Played in Pale Fire's Index (anarchy is hyperbole, to be read only if you have read Nabokov's book)
[Back to Top]

[Go Top]

Marketing (and where to find work)

It usually pays to join an organization that provides searchable listings of members that job-providers (or contract providers) can look through. (See Organizations for Editors and Publishing Professionals.) And sometimes it pays just to join an organization UNRELATED to publishing but about a subject you are passionate about -- and let everyone in that organization know that you edit or proofread or write for a living. (You may be the only editor those people will ever hear about.) People with money to spend and specialized skills that don't include wordsmithing don't have time to go through gazillions of resumes from people with limited skills, so they like the winnowing out that a targeted membership or a specialized directory helps provide. Budget to be listed in several places. As my old friend Alex Bespaloff used to tell me, "You have to spend money to make money."

This is a very partial listing, for editors and other publishing professionals. If you are looking for an editor or proofreader, this might also be an indirect way to find someone. See also Tips on marketing your editing and proofreading services
• Finding Work Katharine O'Moore-Klopf (KOK Edit)'s) excellent links and descriptions --for finding work on sites where jobs are posted, or by getting yourself posted or showcased on sites where people come looking for subcontractors. A good place to start if you're looking for job postings.
• Is There a “Best Industry” for Editors? (Ruth Thaler-Carter, on An American Editor blog, 4-7-14). Good on where to look outside of traditional publishing for work.
• Websites for Editorial Freelancers – Why? How? What? (Louise Harnby, Proofreader's Parlour). Excellent collection of tips on setting up a website for your freelance business. See Louise's marketing tips below, as well.
• Freelance Mailing List Job Links
• American Society for Indexing Jobs Hotline (free to ASI members, $100 a year to nonmembers)
• ACESjobs (American Copy Editors Society, for news and journalism editors)
• Bay Area Editors' Forum
• Bookjobs.com. All kinds of jobs in book publishing on site of Association of American Publishers
• Council of Science Editors Job Bank
• Editorial Freelancers Association (EFA). List yourself there, and members also get access to this EFA Job List
• Getting Noticed – Web-based English-Language Editing Services Listings (Louise Harnby's useful list)
• KOK Edit (Katharine O'Moore Klopf's Copyeditors' Knowledge Base)
• Journalism Jobs
• Preditors and Editors (P&E)'s guide to editing services (for editing, copywriting, ghostwriting, indexing, and software). Particularly useful for those seeking publishing professionals are the warnings about those who are "not recommended." P&E is a Science Fiction & Fantasy Writers of America site.
• Publishers Lunch Job Board
• Publishers Weekly Job Zone
• Society of Technical Editors STC's) Career Center for technical communicators
• Ten ideas to help you find work as a proofreader (sfep blog)
• Working for Academic Editing Agencies (Anna Sharman, guest posting on Louise Harnby's blog).
• The Write Jobs.
[Back to Top]

Tips on marketing your editing and proofreading services
• Marketing Your Editing & Proofreading Business by Louise Harnby. "Marketing can be summed up in four words: Being interesting and discoverable." In his review of the book, Rich Adin offers additional advice.
• Are Networking and Marketing Essential to an Editing Business? (Ruth E. Thaler-Carter, On the Basics, An American Editor 5-12-14)
• Lessons Learned: Marketing for the Small Business Owner (Louise Harnby, 3-11-13)
• Lessons Learned #2: The Daily Marketing Challenge and the Online Lunch (Louise Harnby, 4-25-13)
• Lessons Learned #3: Three Steps to Effective Directory Advertising (Louise Harnby, 6-4-13)
• 5 Social Media Sites You Should Be Using (Part I) (Erin Brenner, on An American Editor, 11-3-14) Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter, of course, plus Google+ and Goodreads. and in Part II (11-5-14): Storify, SlideShare, and Pinterest.
• How to Start Your Editing Business. Larry Jordan's advice may be useful, particularly for video editor.
• How I Got Started (SfEP blog) Graham Hughes makes transition from IT career to one in editing and proofreading. From the same blog: Samantha Stallion starts with translation work, Abi Saffrey moves from small editorial jobs to developing a specialty in economics--working for corporations, until going freelance (in which she kept building skills and developing niches), How Richard Hutchinso moved from work with math, modeling, and computers to copyediting and proofreading. He "still can’t quite believe that people will pay him money to read books, and are (mostly) happy to have their mistakes pointed out."
• Book Editing Associates FAQ . This is a great model for a FAQ page for editors and an interesting system of marketing a group's members' services.

Is it worth offering sample edits?

• The Question of Free Sample Edits, Part 1 (Jamie Chavez, Copyediting, 3-3-15) (reasons not to offer free sample edits to prospective clients) and Part II (3-10-15) on reasons to consider them, in certain circumstances.
• No More Missus Nice Gal (Jamie Chavez, Read>Play>Edit, 1-12-15)
• Why Give a Sample Edit (Lillie Ammann 2-28-11) A "sample edit isn’t appropriate for a very small project. But for a book-length manuscript from a first-time client, I insist on doing a sample edit—for my benefit and the benefit of the prospective client."
• Editing Tests (An American Editor, 2-13-12) "I no longer will hire an editor who hasn’t taken a test and passed it."
• Winning Copyediting Work, Part 1: Get to Know the Project (Erin Brenner, Copyediting, 11-12-13) Questions to ask the client. Remember: you want to know what the project is about and how tough or easy an edit it will be.
• Winning Copyediting Work, Part 2: Show Your Stuff (Erin Brenner, Copyediting, 11-19-13)
[Back to Top]

Websites, organizations, and other resources

Blog roll, too
and communities of book lovers
Best reads and most "discussable"
Fact-finding, fact-checking, conversion tables, and news and info resources
Recommended reading
long-form journalism, e-singles, online aggregators
New, used, and rare books, Amazon.com and elsewhere
Blogs, social media, podcasts, ezines, survey tools and online games
How much to charge and so on (for creative entrepreneurs)
And finding freelance gigs
Blogs, video promotion, intelligent radio programs
See also Self-Publishing
Indie publishing, digital publishing, POD, how-to sources
Includes original text by Sarah Wernick
Multimedia, cartoons, maps, charts and so on
Plus contests, other sources of funds for creators
Copywriting, speechwriting, marketing, training, and writing for government
Literary and commercial (including genre)
Writing, reporting, multimedia, equipment, software
Translators, indexers, designers, photographers, artists, illustrators, animators, cartoonists, image professionals, composers
including essays and academic writing
Groups for writers who specialize in animals, children's books, food, gardens, family history, resumes, sports, travel, Webwriting, and wine (etc.)
Writers on offices, standing desks, rejection, procrastination, and other features of the writing life
Contracts, reversion of rights, Google Books settlement
Plus privacy, plagiarism, libel, media watchdogs, FOIA, protection for whistleblowers
And views on the author-editor relationship