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The Copyeditor's Handbook: A Guide for Book Publishing and Corporate Communications [Paperback]

Amy Einsohn
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)

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Book Description

10 May 2000 0520218353 978-0520218352
This is a practical manual for newcomers to publishing and for experienced editors who want to fine-tune their skills or broaden their understanding of the craft. Addressed to copyeditors in book publishing and corporate communications, this handbook explains what copyeditors do, what they look for when they edit a manuscript, and how they develop the editorial judgment needed to make sound decisions. The major topics include: procedures for copyediting on-screen and on hard copy; basic reference books and online editorial resources; mechanical conventions; solutions to grammar problems; handling of tables, graphs, illustrations, reference, notes, bibliographies and indexes; and typecoding and specification. The book is designed to be used for self-instruction or as a textbook in copyediting classes. The 15 practice exercises, ranging from sets of sentances to 900 word articles, are accompanied by answer keys and detailed line-by-line explanations. There is also a glossary of copyediting jargon, grammar terms and a checklist for analyzing the idiosyncracies of a publisher's "housestyle".


Product details

  • Paperback: 576 pages
  • Publisher: University of California Press (10 May 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0520218353
  • ISBN-13: 978-0520218352
  • Product Dimensions: 22.6 x 15 x 3.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,495,987 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

More About the Author

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Product Description

About the Author

Amy Einsohn is a professional editor with twenty years of experience in scholarly, trade nonfiction, corporate, and technical publishing. She has taught copyediting classes through the University of California's Extension Program and through editcetera (a San Francisco Bay Area editorial cooperative) and has also conducted on-site corporate training workshops.

Inside This Book (Learn More)
First Sentence
The three chapters in this part introduce the craft of copyediting. Read the first page
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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index | Back Cover
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Book 8 Jun 2006
Format:Paperback
This covers all the basics and enough of the complicated stuff to keep you on the right track. I write technical documentation and I find it invaluable, but it would be of value to you whatever field you happened to be in. Its the only book I've ever read that gives a decent explanation of how to properly use the comma. Its rules are easy to follow, and it has some nice exercises that allow you to see if you really understood them.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An excellent work albeit in US format 27 Oct 2010
Format:Paperback
This is a clear and comprehensively written work which I found extremely useful when copyediting typescripts. The only drawback for me is that the work is American and while excellent generally uses American typesettings. British typesetting is also explained but the default is American. The book works well so long as you bear this fact in mind. I couldn't seem to find a British book quite as well written and comprehensive as this one -- though one may exist. Highly recommended for anyone that needs to polish up their copyediting skills. Also useful for writers in need of reference when formatting work or proofreading.
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Amazon.com: 3.9 out of 5 stars  17 reviews
132 of 134 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent Resource 19 May 2000
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I'm an English teacher who does occasional freelance copyediting, and I found this book to be not simply a fine guide to copyediting but an excellent run-down of grammar and sentence structure, including the various 'debates' about split infinitives, email or e-mail, like or as, and so on. It is a clear and readable book (just as it ought to be!), useful and informative, but also enjoyable for its own sake.
63 of 64 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Essential training for copyeditors 24 Mar 2005
By David A. Hall - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
The Copyeditor's Handbook is a manual for learning copyediting skills. Copyeditors, a style manual and a dictionary are not enough. With this book, Amy Einsohn will teach you how to use these references.

She starts with a perspective on the task of copyediting: How heavy a hand should you wield? How long should it take you? How should you structure and pace your work?

Next she tackles the rules of English under the various headings of punctuation, spelling, grammar, style, etc. But she does more than just give you rules. She explains the rationale for the rules, gives you the range of opinions about those rules, and helps you choose which rules to keep and which to ignore. You can't just use a style manual and expect to be a good writer or copyeditor.

My advice if you're a writer, a copyeditor, or a person who works with copyeditors: get this book, read it twice, and keep it handy on your shelf as a reference. The Copyeditor's Handbook is weighty reading because it provides serious learning.
41 of 42 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A comprehensive guide for any editor 2 July 2001
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
This book is a wealth of clearly presented information. People considering copyediting as a career should certainly invest in a copy. I heartily disagree with the reviewer who gave it one star; rather than being too liberal, Einsohn succinctly presents the reader with a broad spectrum of opinions on common disputes about grammar and punctuation, allowing readers to make their own decisions. The book contains an excellent explanation of what copyediting is, how to copyedit your first manuscript, how to typecode manuscripts, what to expect from authors, etc. I found Einsohn's exercises and detailed answer key extremely useful.
37 of 39 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Complementary Reference Book 28 Jan 2004
By A. J. Vasaris - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
Sure, The Copyeditor's Handbook is full of information and advice for copyeditors, but I read it as a writer trying to learn more about the process and procedures of editing my own work. And for that I am grateful to Ms. Einsohn. In the process of writing, revising, writing some more and revising again, the editing procedures and formalities I garnered has help me become a better writer. I review my drafts in a different light, understanding now the editor's decision to move a sentence or a paragraph to make my writing clearer.
This book sits between my Chicago Manual of Style and Elements of Style, each complementing the other. The author's style is lively and won't bore you, while the excercises are great because the answers are in the book. Try it, you'll like it.
33 of 36 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent Resource! 13 May 2004
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
As a copy editor (and grammar nut), every day I rely on style guides, dictionaries, and other resources. This handbook is one of my favorite reference books. It's a great resource when you forget certain basic rules or when you come across an obscure grammar problem. It explains rules in simple English and provides plenty of good examples. It also includes several grammar practice tests. The index is very helpful and almost always leads you where you need to go. For those reviews that complained that it's not an engaging read, well, of course not. It's really more of a reference manual, not something you're going to curl up with in bed.
While it's probably especially useful for younger editors, I think it's still a helpful reference for old pros, too. I know that I'll keep it with me as my career continues.
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