Author and Editor at Work: Making a Better Book


85 pages
Contains Index
ISBN 0-8020-6449-3




Reviewed by Toby Rupert

Toby Rupert was a librarian living in Toronto.


Ms. Stainton was formerly managing editor of Cornell University Press. This book is an adaptation of her seven articles that appeared in Scholarly Publishing between 1977 and 1980. The first two-thirds of the book cover, in a general sense, some of the obligations and responsibilities that authors, editors, and authors-editors together have in the preparation and release of a manuscript. For authors, this means information on revisions, punctuation, grammar, metaphors, footnotes, cross-references, tables, charts, and abbreviations. For editors, it means sections on how to create prefaces and introductions, and what to do about new words, foreign words, non-sexist pronouns, and “British vs. American” usage. For both authors and editors working together, this means coming to grips with house styles and indexes, to take only two examples of the meshing.

The last third of the book is really an annotated bibliography to dictionaries, style books, and grammar books that Ms. Stainton has found useful over the years. And it is probably this section that is extremely worthwhile for any editor or author, no matter how experienced he or she may be.


Stainton, Elsie Myers, “Author and Editor at Work: Making a Better Book,” Canadian Book Review Annual Online, accessed April 24, 2024,