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The Subversive Copy Editor, Second Edition: Advice from Chicago

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4.52  ·  Rating details ·  104 Ratings  ·  21 Reviews
Longtime manuscript editor and Chicago Manual of Style guru Carol Fisher Saller has negotiated many a standoff between a writer and editor refusing to compromise on the “rights” and “wrongs” of prose styling. Saller realized that when these sides squared off, it was often the reader who lost. In her search for practical strategies for keeping the peace, The Subversive Copy
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Kindle Edition, 208 pages
Published April 18th 2016 by University of Chicago Press (first published 2016)
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Bronwyn
Aug 25, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I don't think it's an exaggeration to say that The Subversive Copy Editor is essential reading for anyone who works as an editor, either in-house for a publishing company or other organisation, or as a freelancer. As most editors will know, the mechanics of editing is often only a fraction of what's required of you in the job, with the added complications of deadlines, accurate record keeping, and navigating difficult relationships with authors occupying the rest of your time. Carol Fisher Salle ...more
Shayla Raquel
Jul 05, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I'm so frustrated that I didn't read this book back when I first started in the editing world. Carol hits hard on all the things we go through as copyeditors, and for that, I'm grateful for such an advocate.

My favorite topics:

1. Working for the Reader, through the Writer — I cannot amen this enough. You aren't really working for the author. Think about it. You're working for the reader. It's your job to keep the reader happy.

2. Know Thy Word Processor — Seriously, folks. This thing needs to wo
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Stacey Kondla
Dec 17, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2017
I enjoyed this book more than I thought I would. It has a ton of advice and direction for fledgling copy editors, a chapter written towards authors who may not know what copy editors are good for, and solid general advice on business skills, communication and decorum. It is highly readable with a bit of humour and a worthwhile read for anyone in publishing.
Steve
Sep 08, 2018 rated it really liked it
Using this in a course I'm teaching on copy editing. Definitely good advice for anyone interested in editing as a profession.
kaitlyn
May 24, 2016 rated it it was amazing
I love the subversive copy editor so much.
Ivan
Nov 10, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: writing-craft
As an editor, a good chunk of my job involves editing articles, book reviews, etc. I've also done some freelance editing for publishers. So this book is a good book—full of actual situations and conversations between editors and writers, freelancers and publishers, etc.—that help copyeditors navigate the sometimes tricky waters.
Nancy
Jan 06, 2018 rated it it was amazing
A REAL Perspective

Thank you, Ms Seller. As a "wanna be" freelance editor, I especially like reading material written from obvious experience. Your book will stay on my reference book shelves
Lynda Dietz
Aug 03, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This is such an excellent book if you're a copyeditor or thinking of becoming one. Great resource for advice that covers not only what to do, but what not to do, and how to be successful and competent at all of it. Highly recommend it.
Serena W. Sorrell
Oct 26, 2018 rated it it was amazing
A lot of useful information and fun witticisms. I liked the chapters focusing on relationships between editor and writer the most, followed by writer expectations. I think much of the text will be helpful.
Elaine
Aug 18, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Fun read and great advice for anyone who writes or edits for a living -- lots of practical tips from an expert (the author is the Q&A editor for Chicago Manual of Style) and quirky reflections on authors, texts, words, and commas!
Ken
Dec 31, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: textbooks
A very helpful read for learning more about the editing profession and creating productive relationships with colleagues and writers. My experience at a Writing Center made it particularly funny and resonant for me, and I enjoyed reading the Q&A portions of the chapters.

Rating: 4.5 / 5
Samantha Grace
Jun 16, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: reference
Excellent.
Helen
Apr 14, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: work-related
Fun required reading for anyone who works as an editor.
Jonathan
Oct 31, 2017 rated it really liked it
This book covers a specialized field, but for that field, it's an excellent resource. I would recommend this to anyone who is considering a career in editing.
Emily Stewart
Dec 05, 2017 rated it really liked it
The Subversive Copy Editor is an entertaining look at editing that provides a lot of practical advice. It is an excellent resource for editors and writers.
Angie
Oct 16, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This is the most useful book on editing I've ever read. Funny, too. Lots of good advice and insight from someone who knows her field, and the people who work in it.
Vanessa Fuller
Feb 05, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I love this book.

Copyediting and proofreading as a job entered my life rather unexpectedly and perhaps entirely because I was the only native English speaker in an office of Russians. Such skills have lead me down career paths I never envisioned, and at times upon completion of various gigs left me reeling from unending headaches or bursting with immense pride in equal measure.

Carol Fisher Saller is witty, insightful and brutally honest throughout this book. Reading her is like chatting with a
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Suzzanne Kelley
Jan 21, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: publishing
I love the intuitive and sometimes outrageous advice that Carol has to give. For several years, I have used the First--and now the Second--Edition in my publishing classes at North Dakota State University Press. Carol takes a humorous route to talk about serious business, and her scenarios always generate interesting conversation among my students. And then . . . we get to work editing books and navigating details with authors, all the smarter for Carol's sage advice.
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Carol Fisher Saller grew up in Peoria, Illinois, and as an adult moved around for some years before settling in Chicago. She works at the University of Chicago Press as editor of The Chicago Manual of Style's online Q&A, which led to her write The Subversive Copy Editor.

Eddie's War is her first novel for children. Set in rural Illinois during World War II, its collection of vignettes portrays
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“Knowing how to tinker with a broken piece of prose until it hums is a source of contentment known by all who have mastered a worthy craft.” 4 likes
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