Book Review

The Frugal Editor: Do-It-Yourself Editing Secrets

If you write anything, you need The Frugal Editor

Jacquelyn Lynn
3 min readMar 11, 2023


Jacquelyn Lynn reviews The Frugal Editor: Do-It-Yourself Editing Secrets by Carolyn Howard-Johnson
Image created by Jacquelyn Lynn using MockupShots

I’ve always appreciated the reality of gatekeepers — those people you must get past to get to the person you want to reach. Of the many things that will get you blocked by a gatekeeper in the writing and publishing world, poor editing is at the top of the list.

Carolyn Howard-Johnson makes that point early and often in the third edition of The Frugal Editor: Do-It-Yourself Editing Secrets. While much of this book is geared toward the book publishing industry, the information is invaluable for anyone who writes anything, including books, blogs, reports, web copy, even emails — and we all do that.

Howard-Johnson writes:

“The most important part of the editing process is getting over the idea that readers won’t notice or care, or that someone else does or doesn’t do this editing stuff for you. Editing matters big. It matters in places you never suspected it would.”

The Frugal Editor is not another dry, textbook-style list of grammar rules (although it has plenty of those). It’s entertaining and obvious that Howard-Johnson had a lot of fun writing it. As you read, sometimes you’ll nod in agreement that a particular error is irritating to…



Jacquelyn Lynn

Inspirational author, business ghostwriter. Need some great quotes? Get “A Book of Proverbs: Wisdom of the Ages” free. Download at