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A Copyeditor’s Joy

Canaan Byrd

First of all, I feel extremely fortunate to be doing what I love most in the world: reading great books and sharing them with others. My love for stories stems from my father. During summer breaks as a child, when most kids were off at camp or playing outside late into the night, my father would have me read novels and then he would analyze each chapter along with me. My favorite was easily To Kill a Mockingbird—even though it was difficult to fully comprehend at a young age. He taught me the value of a story—how fiction can point out much larger truths—and how important sharing stories such as these can serve such a powerful purpose in our lives. To know that I have some role—no matter how small it may seem—in getting books into people’s hands is incredible!

As copyeditor for a fast-paced marketing and publicity team, I am responsible for writing, correcting, and delivering promotional and sales content for my department. When a publicist or marketing director requests my assistance with proofreading copy that will eventually be shared with an author, media producer, book reviewer, or consumer, it’s amazing to think that someone somewhere will be getting to know these books a little better with my help.

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And it’s not just about a book’s description or the popularity of an author—it’s important to share what’s most special about this book and why you should pick it up out of the tens of thousands of other choices that are available. As marketers, our work is all about making sure the material reaches an audience in the most effective way—whether it’s piquing your curiosity with a surprising twist ONLY found in this particular book or offering a sweet deal to simply get the word out.

I’ve also had the pleasure of taking the lead on our division’s blogger affiliate program, which allows me even more time to connect with consumers (such as yourselves) and reviewers who are always looking for new books to read and share with their followers. It’s a win-win!

As you’ve probably noticed, my absolute favorite part of working in publishing is the chance to connect with someone over a story. Sharing experiences (whether written or spoken), discovering that people are much more alike than different, and learning other lessons along the way—that’s what life is all about, right?