Editing “Harry Potter” — the job of a lifetime

In honor of the release of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part 1 on DVD this week, an interview with the woman who once had one of the coolest jobs on the planet, in my opinion: proofreader and later editor of J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter books.

Riverton woman says editing ‘Potter’ books was top-secret job.

Susan Jeffers had the privilege of reading Harry’s new adventures before any of the rest of us — but she couldn’t breathe a word of what she’d read to anyone.

There were many who would have loved to leak the plot before the book was published. Some websites even made up the plot of the next books and tried to pass them off as authentic. Susan says she felt an obligation to kids all over the world to keep things quiet.

“The kids were waiting so anxiously for each one,” she says. “I just felt that there was no way this could be spoiled for them.”

Jeffers described it as “the job of a lifetime”, and I concur — enviously.

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    Harry Potter Copy Editor Speaking at Toronto Schools

    Toronto, Ontario — April 19, 2011

    On Friday, April 29, hundreds of lucky Toronto kids will learn about the “top secret” process of publishing the Harry Potter book series from copy editor Susan G. Jeffers.
    Ms. Jeffers, a copy editor for Scholastic, USA, and a number other major publishers, was part of the creative team that produced the Harry Potter book series, and is the subject of a recent news article in which she discussed the “top secret” editing and production process of the Potter books. http://www.sj-r.com/top-stories/x911070733/Riverton-woman-says-copy-editing-Harry-Potter-books-was-top-secret-job
    The article was picked up by bloggers around the world, and Ms. Jeffers is increasingly being asked to talk with children about the Harry Potter books and about the importance of reading.
    On April 29, she will be speaking to students at Jesse Ketchum Public School at 10:00 a.m., The Study School at 11:45, and wrapping up the day at Huron Street Public School from 2:30 to 3:30.
    The media is welcome to attend Ms. Jeffers’s talks. For more information, please telephone Kandace Keithley at 416-964-7154 or via email at krkeithley@gmail.com.

    Kandace Keithley


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