Press Release: Saller, The Subversive Copy Editor

March 17, 2009
By

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“This author is giving me a fit.”
“I wish that I could just DEMAND the use of the serial comma at all times.”
“My author wants his preface to come at the end of the book. This just seems ridiculous to me. I mean, it’s not a post-face.”
Each year, writers submit over three thousand grammar and style questions to the Q&A page at The Chicago Manual of Style Online—and one woman, Carol Fisher Saller, reads every single one of them.
These writer-editor standoffs are classic, hilarious—and, as Saller points out in her new book, all too common. In The Subversive Copy Editor, Saller asks her readers to become “subversive” in two ways: one, by rethinking their understanding of the author as the enemy, and two, by keeping in mind that it’s okay to break the rules sometimes (like when it benefits the reader). In one chapter, Saller takes on the difficult author, in another she speaks to writers themselves. Throughout, she includes useful tips for prioritizing work, freelancing effectively, organizing computer files, and writing the perfect e-mail. Saller’s fresh emphasis on negotiation and flexibility will surprise many of us who have absorbed—along with the dos and don’ts of our stylebooks—an attitude that our way is the right way. After all, and as Saller puts it, “the point is not how to copyedit, but how to survive doing it.”
Read the press release.
Also, read the introduction to the book and see the author’s website.

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