I plan on doing an entire video about these resources, a video that will be much more thorough and informative. I’m mainly putting this list here for my own reference; these are all books and software I plan on investing in within the next few weeks. Having to look up everything I have a question about when editing is tiresome and often wastes time.
As of now, here’s what I use to edit articles for my school newspaper and fiction books for Limitless and my freelance business:
- AP Stylebook: It’s a free book provided by the newspaper team, but the one in the newspaper office is outdated and belongs to the school. I want a 2014 one that I can take home and study; further, if I buy one of my own online, I can also sign up to take quizzes that will help me better learn the materal.
- Webster’s New World College Dictionary: The online version, mostly. There’s a dictionary in the newspaper office when I edit, but I don’t use it; in fact, it may not be a Webster’s dictionary.
- PUC Chronicle Style Guide: Right now, it’s just a mish-mash of information. I plan on updating it.
- Microsoft Word Track Changes: Since all the computers on campus have the newest version of Microsoft Word, I make sure to edit the articles for the school paper every other weekend on campus. Articles are edited a number of times by a number of people, so having the mark-up feature of track changes is absolutely vital.
Limitless Publishing and Freelance Publishing
- Chicago Manual of Style: Unfortunately, I do not have the physical copy or the online subscription, so whenever I need to consult the Chicago Manual, I have to look for stuff online or double check with other editors in the Limitless Editing group.
- Limitless Publishing Style Guide: Most, if not all, book publishers have both an in-house style guide listing their own style preferences that’s supposed to be used in-tandem with a universal style guide (often the Chicago Manual of Style). Of course I only use the Limitless Style Guide for Limitless books. For Freelance books, I ask the individual author to choose their own preferences for certain words or sentence structures.
- LibreOffice Track Changes: LibreOffice is an Open Office document software. It’s free to download and free to update. You can edit, read, and save your documents in Microsoft Word format. It also has track changes. I use LibreOffice to edit manuscripts since I often edit on my laptop and I currently don’t have Microsoft Word.
- Merriam-Webster’s Dictionary (online, without the subscription) and OneLook Dictionary
Of course, I want to build an entire library of editing materials. No matter how great you are at editing or how much you think you know, this is a field where you’re ALWAYS learning. That’s why, with the money I’m now making as a full-time, stay-at-home editor, I plan on buying the following style guides, software, and instructional manuals. If you’re interested in editing, you should look into the following material as well.
Everything that I think is absolutely necessary is bold and I use a strike-out for anything I’ve already bought:
- The McGraw-Hill Desk Reference for Editors, Writers, and Proofreaders (with CD-ROM)
The Copyeditor’s Handbook: A Guide for Book Publishing and Corporate Communications
- Chicago Manual of Style (For Fiction Editing)
- Microsoft Office 365 University (I’m fine with LibreOffice; it has worked for me with no problems, but since I’m a university student and can get a discount, I see no point in not taking advantage of the deal).
- AP Stylebook (For Newspaper Editing)
- Merriam-Webster’s Dictionary (For Fiction Editing)
- Webster’s New World College Dictionary (For Newspaper Editing)
- Kirsch’s Handbook of Publishing Law: For Authors, Publishers, Editors and Agents
- Editors on Editing: What Writers Need to Know About What Editors Do
- Developmental Editing: A Handbook for Freelancers, Authors, and Publishers
- Strategic Copy Editing
- Garner’s Modern American Usage
- Copycrafting: Editing for Journalism Today
- The Gregg Reference Manual
- The Elements of Style, Fourth Edition
Are there any books you would add to this list?