Craft Book Spotlight: What Editors Do

Writers and editors alike will find a wealth of professional knowledge in this ode to publishing's gatekeepers.

We all know how important book editors are; we all know our manuscript will eventually need one if we intend to see it traditionally published. Editors are usually listed right behind an author’s spouse, parents, or god on acknowledgment pages – and sometimes even before.

But what do they really do?

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That’s the question What Editors Do: The Art, Craft, and Business of Book Editing attempts to answer, featuring essays written by 27 different publishing professionals. Edited by editorial veteran Peter Ginna, the anthology tackles both the editing process as a whole (“from proposal to book”) and in-depth analyses of editing niches: literary and genre fiction, academic nonfiction, freelancing, line editing, and more.

In a starred review, Library Journal calls What Editors Do “a vital resource for writers and readers seeking a comprehensive exploration into the author-editor relationship, the lifecycle of a book, and how editors for publishing houses big and small have adapted to an industry in constant flux.”

“These honest and unflinching accounts from publishing insiders are a valuable primer on the field at a time where the value of editors and publishers has been increasingly questioned,” praises Publishers Weekly.