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Showing posts from June, 2017

There's Editing - Then There's Editing

While I've edited a lot of books and articles in the number of years I've been a professional, I've never done anything quite like my latest project, which was working with another writer to put his newspaper columns into a book. But before I tell you about that, let me back up to the beginning of this whole thing. Four years ago, I was contacted by Arcadia Publishing , asking if I would do a book about Winnsboro for their Images series. I think they found me online, which shows that an online presence can pay off, and they wanted my small town included in the series. Since I am relatively new to this area – sixteen years – I told the editor that I would be happy to do the book if I could work with the Official Winnsboro Historian, Bill Jones. They agreed, and Bill agreed, so we worked for a little over six months to put the first book together - Images of America, Winnsboro. As the title suggests, it is a book comprised mostly of photographs. After that book came o

Editing and Coaching in the Internet Age

Image by Sean MacEntee , via Flickr I’ve gradually shifted from enjoying the safety of expressing myself in writing (i.e., being able to edit and polish my critique reports and editing comments until they were perfect, and perfectly tactful), to preferring face-to-face conversations where I can gauge my client’s response and offer further explanations as needed. I think being time-poor has impacted on my frustration – I can no longer afford to spend a whole day crafting an email. With local editing clients, the solution has been simple. We meet up for a coffee and pore over the edits to a few chapters. But since I became active on the Internet, most of my clients have been longer-distance than is practical or possible for a meet-up. When I discovered Google Hangouts-on-Air, I realised it would be ideal for a virtual editing meeting – only to find that, when I finally had a chance to use it, Google had killed the “on-Air” part of Hangouts (it has, instead, been incorporated into

Writers: Famous, Infamous, and Just Plain Nobodies

Who knew that being an author could be so difficult? As if it’s not hard enough to write a book—and kudos to all those who have or will in the future—being taken seriously as a writer is sometimes beyond your control, even if you write a good book. Exactly what does that mean? Certainly, the best way for people to want to read your books is if they already know who you are. If you have a platform and you’re famous, even locally, you grab the attention of an agent who knows part of her work is already accomplished. A writer with built-in name recognition can parlay that into bookstore signings, panels at conferences, interviews, and reviews by the big review sites. Many TV personalities have developed a major revenue stream from their books, using their programs as prime advertisements. They’re lucky, because most of us plug away in the silence of our offices, knowing that writing the book is just the beginning. Networking is an important part of name recognition. That means going


Photo by Dru Kelly , via Flickr A spirited conversation occurred a few years ago between me, my daughter, son-in-law, and granddaughter, when my grandson, age 2½, came running into the room, sporting a diaper full of poop. “PU!” exclaimed everyone. (Except my grandson, who was too young to care.) And that started us off on the question of where did the exclamation PU come from? It’s an interesting question, but it turns out that no one really knows. (Linguists actually spend their professional time arguing about this question.) First off, no one knows how it’s even spelled. Is it pew? or P.U.? And if it’s P.U., what do the P and U stand for? Or is it an abbreviation of a longer word? Oh, how useful is the magic Google! What did we do before the Internet and we had to simply wonder about these fascinating questions? Unfortunately the internet wasn’t that helpful on this one. We found out that some linguists think PU is a shortened term for puteo, Latin for “to stink or sme

Proofreading Part 2 of 2

Recently, I had to take a long road trip. I decided to proofread while my husband drove. By sending the document to my iPhone, I realized that seeing it on the smaller screen highlighted certain errors. It also gave me a feel for how the e-book version would look on a mobile device. 1. Save your document as a PDF from Word. If you do not have this option with your word processing program, you may be able to upload the word document itself or convert the word document through another source, such as Nuance PDF or Adobe online. 2. Email it to yourself. 3. Open the email on your phone. 4. Upload the PDF to iBooks or other PDF reader. Note: iBooks allows you to annotate. 4. Read and take notes. 5. Update your draft. Keep proofreading until you can't find any mistakes. It helps to have other people read the final draft as well. They catch things you cannot because you have read it so many times. Especially if you self-publish, I recommend havi

Proofreading Tips Part 1 of 2

I recommend proofreading your manuscript in multiple ways. Each method changes the way the document appears. Your eye catches different errors with each pass. After my final editing passes are done, I proofread my manuscripts at least twenty times before publishing them. You can: 1. Read it on Word or other word processing programs in several fonts. The Four Layers of Conflict The Four Layers of Conflict The Four Layers of Conflict 2. Read it on Word with ¶ "reveal codes" on to catch spacing and formatting errors. 3.Read it on Word with two page view. 4. Read it as a PDF document as a single page + page width. The print will be larger. 5. Read the PDF version again as "two pages up continuous" to see the flow between pages and how the paragraphs, images, etc. line up. Remember the side on the left is actually the odd pages that will appear on the right hand side of the printed book. A chapter should always start on the printed right hand