Books for editors

Recommended: reference books about editing

Cultivate excellence. We believe these titles offer useful, interesting ways of thinking about language and communication — in any medium.* It’s about so much more than grammar and spelling… but those, too.

Books about editing

Great for novice and experienced editors and writers. Keep them near to clear the cobwebs and settle disputes.

Eats, Shoots & Leaves
Why, commas really DO make a difference!
What Editors Do
The Art, Craft, and Business of Book Publishing
Bugs in Writing
A Guide to Debugging Your Prose
The Copyeditor’s Handbook
Book Publishing & Corporate Communications
The Elements of Editing
A Modern Guide for Editors and Journalists — Arthur Plotnick

English language

Strunk — because if we don’t know our history, we’re doomed to repeat it. And it’s helpful to understand where today’s rules came from when considering contemporary usage.

Dreyer’s English
An Utterly Correct Guide to Clarity and Style
Workbook: Elements of Style
Strunk: Writing Strategies with Grammar, New Lessons on Writing with Style
Fowler’sDictionary of Modern English Usage
2015 edition, Jeremy Butterfield ed.
STET! Dreyer’s English
A Game for Language Lovers, Grammar Geeks, and Bibliophiles


A different kind of art… with dashes of science, biology, and psychology.

The Elements of Typographic Style
Renowned typographer Robert Bringhurst
An Essay on Typography
Just like Gill: exasperating, exorbitant, exciting.
Lessons in Typography
Lessons, exercises, and examples

Left Field

Challenging how we think, and because most editors benefit by also being generalists.

Getting to Yes
Negotiating Agreement Without Giving In
Gödel, Escher, Bach:
An Eternal Golden Braid

Arm yourself well.

  • Use Dupré for fast, practical answers.
  • Try Hofstadter and Bringhurst to inspire yourself (and to impress visitors).

Give them a few minutes daily and find yourself cultivating excellence — editorial and otherwise.

Why worry about website typography?

You will find an interesting overview in this article concerning design and typography, from the respected website “A List Apart.” When you are convinced, order a copy of Bringhurst — it’s invaluable.

* External Design is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program. That does not determine our choice of titles.

Recommended: reference books about editing
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Recommended: reference books about editing
Recommended reference books about editing, for novice and experienced editors. Cultivate excellence in English usage and style, find inspiration.
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