Interview with an Editor

Thinking about the next step towards publishing your book? 

Probably you’ve been advised to have someone cast a fresh eye over your writing to weed out any typos or smooth your grammar before it goes to print, but you might be hesitating because of the cost.

 

Is it worth it? you ask.

What does a proofreader do that the spellcheck can’t?

I’m going to share with you an interview I participated in a while ago: I was asked by a writer for my thoughts and experiences from this side of the laptop – looking at a new manuscript lovingly created by someone like you, now feeling nervous about entrusting it to a stranger with a red pen! (Well, red font I suppose).

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Question 1)

I would imagine proofreaders are easily able to put themselves in the shoes of a writer. To help a writer like me to see the process from your point of view, tell me some of the challenges you face as a proofreader.

I resigned from the 9-5 and then changed my mind!

When I first started thinking about setting up a freelance business, I signed up on a course to learn all the ins and outs of being self employed, finding my own clients and making money.

I had met the course tutor, found her to be very charismatic and clearly successful in her own business, and after attending a weekend taster course, I was ready to invest in myself. Parting with over £1000 for a 12 week distance learning course was a risk I was prepared to take, and I felt able to commit to it. Hadn’t I only recently completed a two-year degree course? Done the homework and submitted a lengthy dissertation?

It should have been easy. I connected with others on the course and made friends in the Facebook support group. I started on Module 1.

The first part was simple: it involved visualising and writing down how I saw my future, where I would love to be if money were no object. This was what the course would enable me to achieve.

But I found I had a huge handicap.

Colon or semi-colon: the same or different?

The colon (nothing to do with the bowels) is a useful little creature: 🙄 it introduces an idea or a list. 

In my previous sentence, I could have got away with just using a full stop after the word “creature” (or period, for American readers – again, no reference to biology intended here!)

But that seems boring and unimaginative to me: the colon keeps me interested, it tells me there’s more to come.

Body art – love it or loathe it?

Does it matter what your body language says?

The type of art that uses the body as a canvas to express someone’s feelings about something important in life. Some use it just to adorn themselves, like a permanent necklace or a bracelet. I’m not talking about piercings here, but tattoos, which are by no means a new fad – people have been applying permanent etchings to their skin for thousands of years.

In the past ten or twenty years though, this has become almost a fashion, like the mini skirt of the sixties or the ruffles and bows of the New Romantics in the eighties. But this is a fashion that you can’t discard: you can only embellish, add to or remove painfully.

 

Tattoos for cosmetic purposes

Maybe tattoos are a Marmite thing – love them or hate them. Opinions are definitely divided, and while some regard them as beautiful works of art, others see them as a

Love networking, hate mornings?

I love networking! It gets me out from behind my computer and I meet people – some are old friends, some will become familiar faces the more I network.

Until now, I have veered towards free or cheap networking groups in Essex, for obvious reasons. But after a while I began to realise that the lack of commitment to these regular meetings was not helpful in keeping me structured in my proofreading business. Then a Virtual Assistant friend, Stella, recommended to me 4Networking, which is membership only. She told me that since she had joined 4N four months before, her whole life and business had turned around after nearly two years of hard slog.

 

Your invitation

So let me get straight to the point: I have signed up! Yes, I have had to invest in myself, but if as a direct result of being in this group, I manage to sell just two of my new 2017 packages, I will have re-couped my annual fee with change to spare!

How a proofreader saves you embarrassment!

A proofreader’s skill goes further than just being good at spelling, deeper than knowing when he should or shouldn’t use an apostrophe. At WordPerfect, we never stop at proofreading alone – copy-editing is an essential component of perfecting each and every document.

From Christmas presents to packages!

It’s been a busy year, and I’m making big changes for 2017!

Clients often ask “How much does it cost to proofread my article?” and it’s hard to give them an instant answer. It’s like asking “How long is a piece of string???”

Well, to make it easier for all of us, I have found a way to make it clear just how much my proofreading and copy-editing service is likely to cost you from the moment we meet.

In 2016, I have been charging by the number of words I can edit in one hour – and that may vary from client to client, depending on the type of project, and how tricky or how good the writing is.

 

In 2017, I will be offering PACKAGES!

new year pine cropped 2That’s right, instead of having to get the calculator out, I will be able to say straight away, “This package will cost you this much.”

No ifs or buts, the package will detail everything you can expect from my service, including an agreed completion date.

However, I am not introducing packages until 2017, so for now you have the opportunity to take advantage of my 2016 rates, which will be specifically per word, per hour.

 

Pick up the phone and talk to me today to see if I can fit your work in before my 2017 price review. I’ll ensure no embarrassing typos slip through your marketing, no grammar-fails that mean expensive re-prints, and no dreadful ambiguities to leave you red-faced this year!

How to spot invisible typos when you write your book

You’ve read it and re-read it, you left it a day or so to see it with a fresh eye, you even got your partner to proofread it. And before that, you were responding to the red and green wiggly lines screaming at you from beneath your typing. But, you wonder, does it really matter?

So you publish it. It’s your latest blog or a new page on your website. Or it’s a novel that you’ve finally, FINALLY, managed to send to a publishing house.

And then the shame!

Why web designers need proofreaders

When did you last search the shelf for that dusty encyclopaedia or reference book?

And when it comes to shopping, do you still browse a glossy, but heavy catalogue for your winter wardrobe or this year’s Christmas presents?

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Unlikely. When we want to find out about something, we go straight to the web, via our smart phone (which these days is more or less attached to us!) or via our computer at home. It’s all there at our fingertips – and it’s instant!

But it took someone’s skill, effort and time to put it there and make it so easily accessible:

I am talking about you: the web designer!

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