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The Copyeditor's Handbook: A Guide for Book Publishing and Corporate Communications Second Edition, With Exercises and Answer Keys Edition

4.7 out of 5 stars 24 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-0520246881
ISBN-10: 0520246888
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Editorial Reviews

Review

"The first three chapters alone are worth the cover price. It's a book that acknowledges an assortment of vexing copyediting questions and offers multiple answers to most of them."

From the Inside Flap

PRAISE FOR THE FIRST EDITION:

"The first three chapters alone are worth the cover price. It's a book that acknowledges an assortment of vexing copyediting questions and offers multiple answers to most of them."—Gary Hernandez, Technical Communication

"An excellent textbook to teach the essentials of copyediting. An excellent reference work for workplace writing."—Mark Armstrong, Business Communication Quarterly

"Brims with valuable information, good advice, and helpful suggestions for novice copyeditors and experienced practitioners."—Alice Levine, The Denver Publishing Institute

"An indispensable reference tool."—Kim Hawley, President, The Chicago Book Clinic

"Thorough, useful, helpful, and smart."—Constance Hale, author of Sin and Syntax and Wired Style

"Straightforward, sound advice for beginning or intermediate copyeditors working with pencil or online."—Priscilla S. Taylor, The Editorial Eye

"Lays out the copyeditor's obligations with humor, style, and perspective."—Walter Pagel, Science Editor
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 574 pages
  • Publisher: University of California Press; Second Edition, With Exercises and Answer Keys edition (December 7, 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0520246888
  • ISBN-13: 978-0520246881
  • Product Dimensions: 9 x 5.9 x 1.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.6 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (24 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #335,492 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
When I compared the Table of Contents with that of the 2000 edition, I could not find any changes in section titles of page numbering.

Whereas most Style Guides are written for reference, rather than for reading from cover to cover, this Handbook is an extremely readable tutorial for "new and aspiring copyeditors who will be working on nonfiction books, journal articles ... and corporate publications" -- and it comes complete with exercises and answers. There's also a side-by-side comparison of light, medium and heavy copyediting of a sample text.

In addition to useful practical guidelines for paper-based editing, there are also useful guidelines for using word processor redlining to highlight changes in computer-based edits.

It covers practical, perennial questions like "How can you reliably estimate completion dates, i.e. what's a reasonable workload in terms of pages per hour?" "When should you query the writer, and how can you write more effective queries?"

I have two main criticisms about this book. One is that the type is small and rather faint -- maybe it is the poor quality of the paper? The other is that the title of the book is inappropriate -- this is not just a book for copyeditors; it is also a "must read" for technical writers and technical translators. But that is not so much a criticism as a compliment.
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Format: Paperback
This book has been useful on so many fronts. The tone is much more conversational than the Chicago Manual, material is easier to find and explained at greater length (especially the incredibly helpful discussion of comma usage), and the exercises it contains are invaluable for beginning copyeditors and proofreaders. As an editorial professional, this book has been a welcome companion to my work.
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The "Copyeditor's Handbook" is a must-read for the editorial professional. It is an essential guide to grammar, various styles, mechanics, and copyediting and proofreading functions--for which it includes numerous examples, charts, and a glossary of terms. It also provides samples of different copyediting levels with suggestions for estimating fees for light, medium, and heavy editing. Beyond Grammar, a lengthy, but important chapter toward the end of the book, focuses on four broad areas that copyeditors normally face: organization, expository style, bias-free language, and publishing law. As an editor and copyeditor, I use numerous reference books, including "Chicago," "Words into Type," AP, and whatever other style manuals a house publisher dictates. "Copyeditor's Handbook" isn't this type of a style manual, but a handbook that will not only guide newer copyeditors through the editorial process, but will also be an appropriate read for many writers and communication professionals.

This is my second time purchasing this book, because I highlighted my first copy too much and wanted to start fresh. I tend to do that with reference books that are extremely helpful, which is why I know that this one is a good one.
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Format: Paperback
As a professional writer, I like to believe that my work does not need copyediting. But of course, there are always some improvements that a copyeditor can bring to any text. And as a writer, I can learn from the guidelines in this comprehensive, clear, and very readable book. It will likely gain a place next to the Chicago Manual of Style as a secondary reference to check for questions about grammar, punctuation, etc. The book's exercises and the explanations that accompany the answers will help you develop your writing skills and understand why copyeditors make certain changes in your work.
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I like this book because it's very readable. A more formal textbook on the same subject-manner might have been onerous, but this book's tone is almost conversational. Not yet being an editor, I suppose I can't formally judge how useful or accurate this book is on a professional level. As a student, though, I think it's great.
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The Copyeditor's Handbook was purchased to supplement The Chicago Manual of Style, The Associated Press Stylebook, The Elements of Style, and Fowler's Modern English Usage. Not only does it give tons of information for writers and communicators of all levels, but it also allows one to fine-tune their skills with exercises. Well worth it! I learn something new each time I pick it up!
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Format: Paperback
A copy editor does not need much else besides this book. Not only is it full of those mechanical issues that trip up even good writers, but this book also offers practical suggestions for approaching copy editing job (especially important for the newbie in the field). This is an extremely user friendly book, including quick reference charts, many examples, and practice exercises.
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This book has been assigned in every copyediting course I've taken for my certificate and her knowledge is invaluable. It's great to have sitting alongside your CMS.
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