Kankana Basu

Kankana Basu - Editor

Vancouver, BC, Canada

Prose polisher with a keen linguistic sense, a love for story, and trade experience with Penguin Random House, HarperCollins, Hachette.

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As an efficient, organized editor with excellent communication skills as well as experience managing diverse projects in trade publishing, I am passionate about delivering engaging, effective, error-free content.

While I have primarily worked on books, my innate joy of close reading, attention to detail, eye for consistency and flair for the written word make me a well-rounded editor across mediums. I have edited and managed 100+ books across several genres in children’s publishing, including picture books, skill builders, activity books, classic fiction, historical fiction, reference books, quiz books, anthologies, poetry, young adult literature, fantasy, biographies, folk narratives and mythology, as well as adult fiction and non-fiction. I am particularly drawn to narrative non-fiction as well as contemporary fiction, namely multigenerational sagas, books that centre belonging and intersectional realities, and those that speak to the human condition.

In my copy-editorial role at Penguin Random House India, I was tasked with handling the majority of the bestselling and award-winning titles on the list. Some of these accolades include the Crossword Book Awards, the Publishing Next Industry Awards and the Hindu Young World-Goodbooks Awards. As a copy editor, I endeavour to balance adhering to style guidelines and tailoring my edits to the requirements of individual projects. As a developmental editor, I make sure to visualize the big picture, paying close attention to the development and resolution of the plot, characterization, language and tone, as well as assess market viability for the intended readership, all without altering the original voice and intent. Thorough fact-checking is a key part of my editorial approach towards non-fiction projects. My proofreading lens is as microscopic as it is panoramic in weeding out all errant oversights. And, with years of in-house experience with a premier Big Four publisher under my belt, I know all about making your pitch stand out.

Whatever your editorial requirement — whether evident or yet unknown — let's touch base to figure out how I can help you. After all, I find the collaborative process of stepping into the author's universe to identify their needs and amplify their voice to be most rewarding. And I am acutely aware of the misgivings that come with entrusting your labour of love with another pair of eyes. So rest assured that while I am a meticulous and methodical editor, I am also a discerning and sensitive reader, ensuring editorial finesse and author satisfaction. That's the word on the street, anyway.


‘She’s a sentence spinner’—Aparna and Sanjana Kapur, Ruckus on the Road

‘Her attention to detail is quite something. I really admire her pursuit of excellence. She has personally had a huge impact on the story’—Deepak Dalal, the Feather Tales series

‘She is the best at what she does, and the book looks splendid. I do think I was lucky to have got the chance to work with her. She’s superhuman simply for handling that monster of a bibliography so meticulously! She brought in a natural ease to the serious narrative. Now it’s enjoyable despite it being full of information—all thanks to her skill’—Nalini Ramachandran, Lore of the Land

‘My X-ray-eyed editor, who saw the bones of this story and gave them flesh’—Payal Kapadia, Twice upon a Time

‘My thanks are due to her for painstakingly fact-checking the stories and for her careful copy-editing’—Anita Nair, Muezza and Baby Jaan

‘Her cuts didn’t leave any marks’—Anupam Arunachalam, Tooth and Nail, Fur and Scale

‘A terrific editor; her inputs made the book much better. The blurb is captivating’—Roshen Dalal, India at 70

‘I trusted her style and understanding’—Namita Gokhale, Lost in Time

‘She made the copy-editing process a breeze! Her brilliant suggestions, efficiency and editorial finesse have helped turn some messy jottings into a book’—Mamta Nainy, A Brush with Indian Art

‘Her edits were quite detailed—and not to forget—thoughtful’—Arefa Tehsin, The Globetrotters

‘She subjected the book to savage scrutiny, and it’s so much better for it. It really did seem like it was in the hands of someone who cared deeply about it, and I think that’s the most reassuring thing for any writer’—Kautuk Srivastava, Red Card

‘It was very reassuring working with her—a persuasive yet sensitive editor!’—Anupa Lal, Oddbird

‘She took a microscopic look at the warts and moles of my baby and smoothed any rough edges. The blurb is very effective and sums up the book beautifully’—Roopal Kewalya, The Little Rainmaker

‘Her meticulous editing pruned and polished my book’—Khyrunnisa A., the Butterfingers series

‘She made for a considered, and considerate, copy editor. I thank her for her careful, kind, precise reading’—Siddharth Dhanvant Shanghvi, The Rabbit and the Squirrel

English (CAN)
English (UK)
English (US)
Biographies & Memoirs
Coming of Age
Contemporary Fiction
Literary Fiction
Middle Grade
Women's Fiction
Young Adult


  • Master of Publishing (Simon Fraser University, attended 2019-2020)
  • Master of Studies, English and American Studies (University of Oxford, 2015)
  • Bachelor of Arts, English Literature (University of Delhi, 2014)

Work experience


May, 2019 – Present (about 3 years)

My clients include Penguin Random House, HarperCollins, Hachette, Greystone Books, Yali Books, as well as independent authors.

Copy Editor

Penguin Random House
February, 2016 – April, 2019 (about 3 years)

Portfolio (32 selected works)

The Rabbit and the Squirrel

Siddharth Dhanvant Shanghvi

I Need to Pee

Singh, Neha, Singh, Meenal, Egerup, Erik

In My Heart

Nandana Dev Sen

The Little Rainmaker

Kewalya, Roopal

Red Card

Srivastava, Kautuk


Warrier, Shashi

Nobody's Child

Banerjee, Kanchana


Mookerjee, Priyanka

The Globetrotters

Tehsin, Arefa, Crishna, Nafisa Nandini

The House that Spoke

Chopra, Zuni

The Paradise Flycatcher

Dalal, Deepak, Shenoy, Krishna Bala

A Bagful of History

Gupta, Subhadra Sen, Guha, Tapas

A Brush with Indian Art

Nainy, Mamta, Mukherjee, Aniruddha

Twice Upon a Time

Kapadia, Payal

Kankana has 15 reviews

Communication & Punctuality
Communication & Punctuality

Sonia Garrett
Kankana's copy edit exceeded my expectations. She completed a detailed style sheet, ensured consistency and made insightful comments. Through her work, I believe my work has improved. Thank you for your help polishing all my hard work.

Sonia Garrett, January 2022

Carlos José Camblor
Working with Kankana on my novel was a great experience. She gets the job done and tells it like it is. Always available to answer questions and help steer you in the right direction, her professionalism is top notch and undeniable. She's great!

Carlos José Camblor, December 2021

Jessa Hastings
Kankana was giving so incredible, professional and prompt. She was flexible, gracious and patient with me, I was an absolute stress head and we were working in what felt like an impossible timeframe, but she made it happen. Grateful for your work, Kankana. Thank you for everything. Hope to work together again.

Jessa Hastings, November 2021

David Seale
Kankana from the start expressed what she could do for my manuscript and she able to deliever on that. She was easily approachable, very polite and explained full regarding what she thought regarding the manuscript. She worked diligently throughout, I always believed that my work was in capable hands.

David Seale, October 2021

Sally Dickson
Kankana was kind and encouraging. Her feedback was very helpful. Thanks.

Sally Dickson, October 2021

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