The working life of an editor – read all about it

Despite the valuable work of editors, they often don’t have a high profile. While newspaper or magazine editors can be well known names, editors who do substantive editing, copyediting and proofreading can be almost invisible. The cover designer of a book may get more recognition than the book’s editor. Editors work closely with authors of both fiction and non-fiction to improve their work to better meet the needs of readers.

To learn more about the working life of an editor, check these four books: three are autobiographies or memoirs and one is a biography.

  • Under Cover (2015) by Craig Munro, editor at University of Queensland Press
  • The Word Detective: A Life in Words (2016) by John Simpson, editor of Oxford English Dictionary
  • The Subversive Copy Editor (2016, 2nd edition) by Carol Fisher Saller, Q&A editor for Chicago Manual of Style at University of Chicago Press
  • Max Perkins: Editor of Genius (1978, re-released 2016) by A. Scott Berg about editor Max Perkins of American publishing house Scribner’s. Winner of the National Book Award for Biography (US), it is the basis of the film Genius (2016) starring Colin Firth.

The end-of-year holidays are a great time for reading (as is the rest of the year). Hope there are books under your Christmas tree which have been carefully edited.

Under Cover

The Word Detective

The Subversive Copy Editor

Max Perkins: Editor of Genius

1 thought on “The working life of an editor – read all about it

  1. Kim @ Kim Woodland Editing

    Thanks for the book recommendations Rhonda. I recently finished “Under Cover” by Craig Munro and found it to be a great overview of independent publishing in Australia. “The Subversive Copy Editor” was also an excellent way to peek into the world of editing to see how other editors work. I hadn’t come across the other two so I’m off to look them up – as well as the “Genius” film. Have a lovely Christmas and New Year!


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s