Wednesday, 28 December 2011

The Editor's Companion by Janet Mackenzie - Book Review

Title: The Editor's Companion
Author: Janet Mackenzie
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Publication Date: 2011 (2004)
Pages: 230
Format: Paperback
Genre: Non-Fiction
Source: Xmas Gift




As the knowledge economy takes shape, editors face many challenges. Technology is transforming publishing, text is losing out to graphics, and writing is distorted by cliché, hype and spin. More than ever, editors are needed to add value to information and to rescue readers from boredom and confusion. The Editor's Companion explains the traditional skills of editing for publication and how to adapt them for digital production. It describes the editorial tasks for print and screen publications, from fantasy novels and academic texts to web pages and government documents. It is an essential tool for professional editors, as well as media and publications officers, self-publishers and writers editing their own work. This revised edition features extended coverage of on-screen editing, single-source publishing and digital rights, a comprehensive glossary of editing terms and a companion website developed especially for students that includes editing exercises, expert 'tips' and essential weblinks. (Goodreads Synopsis)


As someone studying editing and considering it as a career option, I found this book to be highly useful.

This companion assumes that the reader is already working in/studying editing and has general knowledge of how to edit/proofread. What this book offers is insight into what might be expected from different editing jobs. It gives an overview of how different aspects of a publication might be approached and it offers advice on freelancing, including ideas on how to price etc.

This is a book aimed mainly at editors in Australia, and as such may not be quite so useful to those from other countries. It also refers regularly to The Style Manual for Authors, Editors and Printers and it would be good to read the two books in conjunction to make the most of the information in each.

This is the most recent edition and I was pleased to see how up to date it was in terms of information on new digital editing and publishing methods. Some aspects of my course are already out of date when they refer to e-books etc, so I was relieved to find that this book was better informed.

I am glad to have a copy of this book on my shelf as I pursue my studies and (hopefully) my career in editing. An invaluable reference work.

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