Discover the editor in you: A complete guide to the profession of copyediting

Discover the editor in you

The profession of copyediting is relatively underrecognized in India; however, copyeditors play a crucial role in the book publishing process, alongside authors and publishers. “Discover the Editor in You: Copyediting as a Career,” curated by Vivek Kumar, founder of the Indian Copyeditors Forum (ICF), underscores the significance of copyeditors and provides guidelines to excel in this role. This book features contributions from authors hailing from various parts of India and around the world, offering a diverse range of skills.

Organized into four sections, the book covers fundamental aspects, including the responsibilities of copyeditors, such as maintaining the flow of reading by rectifying grammatical errors, refining sentences for clarity, and comprehensive editing. It stresses that any piece of writing remains incomplete without the meticulous touch of a copyeditor, who ensures error-free content before publication.

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Furthermore, the book highlights the essential skills required for copyediting, which encompass strong grammar proficiency and a passion for reading. A proficient copyeditor must embody both the traits of a skilled writer and an ardent reader. It also sheds light on the significance of copyright and permissions in writing, with copyeditors bearing the responsibility of ensuring proper permissions and verifying the originality of the text.


Copyeditors need to conduct thorough analyses of the given text, including the assessment of appropriate titles, fact verification, the inclusion of figures or tables, and the provision of references. The book quotes Stephen King, affirming that “Only God gets it right the first time, and only a slob says, ‘Oh well, let it go, that’s what copyeditors are for,'” thus underscoring the pivotal role of copyeditors.

Additionally, the book emphasizes the critical role of editing in newspapers, where rapid editing is essential due to time constraints. It recommends the skill sets required for newspaper editing.

In response to questions regarding AI’s impact on copyediting, Vivek Kumar asserts that AI can correct grammar but cannot guarantee contextual appropriateness, and AI-generated content lacks copyright authority.

In conclusion, “Discover the Editor in You: Copyediting as a Career” serves as an invaluable guide for aspiring copyeditors and those already in the field. It also offers insights into related professions like proofreading, alternative text writing, and indexing, elucidating their respective roles in the publishing process. Proofreaders perform final checks on typeset files to ensure accuracy, while alternative text writing aims to make visual content accessible to disabled readers.