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Editors on Editing [Paperback]

Gerald Gross
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
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Book Description

12 Jan 1994
Since 1962 Editors on Editing has been an indispensable guide for editors, would-be editors, and especially writers who want to understand the publishing process. Written by America's most distinguished editors, these 38 essays will teach, inform, and inspire anyone interested in the world of editing. Editors on Editing includes essays on the evolution of the American editor; the ethical and moral dimensions of editing; what an editor looks for in a query letter, proposal, and manuscript; line editing; copyediting; the freelance editor; the question of political correctness; making the most of writers' conferences; and numerous other topics

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Product details

  • Paperback: 377 pages
  • Publisher: Grove Press / Atlantic Monthly Press; 3rd edition (12 Jan 1994)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0802132634
  • ISBN-13: 978-0802132635
  • Product Dimensions: 23.5 x 15.5 x 2.7 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 655,111 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Inside This Book (Learn More)
First Sentence
An editor is so many things to so many people that this rhetorically questioning heading is virtually impossible to answer in any concise form. Read the first page
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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Back Cover
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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars EXCELLENT BOOK - WORTH THE MONEY 9 Aug 2012
By Mavvis
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
If you are a writer looking to get published or someone who would love to be an editor this is the book for you. Do not be put off by the price because it is quite a "hefty" book with plenty of useful information that will help you in the long run.

This is NOT a step-by-step guide about how to get an agent. However, it does go VERY throughly into the mind of what editors are looking for when choosing a book for publication. I have read several books on publishing, getting an agent etc. This is the BEST book I have read on the topic. The book consists of a collection of essays by top editors with topics such as "What Editors look for in a query letter, proposal, and manuscript," to "How books are chosen," to "The copy editor and the author."

I learnt so much from reading this book. Now I know exactly what the role is of an editor, line editor and copy editor. I have a good idea of what types of books editors like to publish. Also, the book has specific chapters on the "money" aspect of publishing and why some good books don't make money. It takes you behind the scenes of the editing process. The last few chapters cover specific genres such as crime and children's literature.

The book was revised in 1993 so some of the dates and "money" aspects are a little out of date. Also, the book is about the American publishing industry. HOWEVER there is so much good information and I have enjoyed reading every page! I can't emphasise how useful this book has been.
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Amazon.com: 4.4 out of 5 stars  16 reviews
38 of 39 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars For potential editors as well 5 May 2002
By Jeffrey Leeper - Published on Amazon.com
I highly recommend this book for writers as well as for potential editors. It is a collection of essays by well known editors discussing their craft and the inner-workings of a publishing house.
For writers, this book will clear up some misconceptions on what an editor can, and can not, do for you. It lets you know what many editors are looking for, and explains the various kinds of editing. I would recommend Scott Walker's essay on small presses. After reading this, you should take a long look at which house you wish to publish your manuscript.
For potential editors, this book will give you a better view of the different kinds of editing and the way the editing world is changing. Above all else, I would read John Paine's essay on the reasonable suggestion. This will put things into perspective.
Again, I would highly recommend this book.
33 of 35 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Editor's Tell it Their Way 3 Nov 2006
By J. Nettles - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
If you are going into editing as a profession, it's a good idea to get information from people who have been around the profession for a while. The editors represented in this book are honest--editing is not all champaigne and caviar lunches with the most famous authors in the land. Editing is a job filled with politics, long hours, and sometimes very frustrating unknown authors.

What is most unfortunate about this book is that it is out of date. The last edition was created in 1995. At that point in time the publishing community was in turmoil. Many of the older publishing houses were being devoured by corporated entities that were more focused on making money than making intelligent literature. The overall sense given by the book is that the publishing field is doomed, and that true editing was being replaced by marketing strategies.

Much of this changed as the Internet took hold. Smaller publishers suddenly became important again, and the rise of on-demand publishing changed the entire publishing atmosphere. It would be nice to see a new edition featuring editors from this new wave of publishing. Still, as a historical reference to what was happening fifteen to twenty years ago in the field, it is a pretty good read.
22 of 22 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An excellent introduction to editing for editors 26 July 2005
By David A. Hall - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This book is a series of some three dozen essays written by prominent editors on various aspects of editing. Their reflections range from the thoughtful to the occasionally lighthearted-comments on what makes a successful editor, the history of editing in America, the ethical and moral dimensions of editing, how books are chosen, how editors schedule their work, the editor as negotiator, copy editing, line editing, etc. There are also a number of essays about editing various genres of writing: Christian literature, crime fiction, children's books, mass-market paperbacks, fantasy, reference, romance, and so forth.

While the title of the book indicates that it is written for writers, it is every bit as useful, if not more so, for aspiring editors. Yes, it is a great help for writers who want to work with editors. But there are too few books on the craft of editing. This one will give you an excellent introduction to the subject. Coming from thirty-some authors, it will give you a balanced view of how to be a great editor.
16 of 18 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars If you want to get published, read this book first! 16 Aug 2000
By Mark Waldman - Published on Amazon.com
Every published author and wannabe writer should read this book to understand what really happens behind the publishers door. It will help you get published and understand why your great american novel received a postcard rejection slip. I should know: I'm a developmental editor for Tarcher/Putnam books. It even helped me to get my own books published. Read it or weep!
12 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars What writers and editors need to know! 7 May 2000
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Editors on Editing is a must have reference for writers as well as to-be editors. It is a collection of real stories that teach you and make you think about the editorial world from every angle and in every step of production. It is especially helpful for new editors and people looking to get into editing. It will definitely answer a lot of your questions and will dispell many myths.
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