Why accredited training does not equate to consummate professionalism

Posted by on Mar 31, 2019 in Blog | No Comments
Why accredited training does not equate to consummate professionalism

There was a recent tweet asserting that training from a renowned organisation was intrinsic to becoming a consummate proofreader or copy-editor. I agree that many folk who think they are professionals in this field due to a university education are not a good fit, but I do not agree that accredited training is integral to being […]

Stocktaking

Posted by on Dec 23, 2018 in Blog | No Comments
Stocktaking

Evaluating the freelancing year   Time, I suppose, to take stock of the past year, focusing on the positives (a pox on late payers and non notice-givers).   ♦ Gained two major clients via word of mouth. There will be repeat jobs from these companies. (‘Sylvia is quite simply an exceptional copy-editor. I’ve called on her […]

Dealing with clients who make changes while the editor is working on the document

Posted by on Oct 9, 2018 in Blog | No Comments
Dealing with clients who make changes while the editor is working on the document

Having recently worked on a novel of pretty epic proportions, I was distraught to learn the author had been making his own changes while I was working on the document. The book had needed a thorough – almost ruthless – developmental edit. While working through the manuscript, the writer emailed a set of changes he’d […]

Helping clients understand the reason for editorial amendments

Posted by on May 7, 2018 in Blog | No Comments
Helping clients understand the reason for editorial amendments

Clients hire copy-editors to be pedantic.   Each publishing house has its style guide, but what about those instances when a client ignores or disagrees with your copy-editing knowledge?   It is better to avoid saying you’re more experienced; instead, show where your experience lies. You could point to your testimonials, to previous assignments, or […]

Hiring a professional copy-editor versus editing your own work

Posted by on Aug 23, 2017 in Blog | No Comments
Hiring a professional copy-editor versus editing your own work

A first-time author asked what changes I would make to improve her novel. Here was my response: Hmmm, how can I help? Well, with the book I’ve just finished copy-editing (a massive 600 pages), I found, of course, spelling mistakes, grammatical errors and problems with punctuation, but I also deleted extraneous words (‘that’ is probably […]

Hiring a freelance copy-editor

Posted by on Jun 12, 2017 in Blog | No Comments
Hiring a freelance copy-editor

The advantages of commissioning a sole trader I’ve been mulling the merits of engaging a freelance copy-editor over employing the services of an editorial consultancy. Here are my conclusions: • Employees are answerable to the boss; the sole trader is answerable to the client. • The one-person company (OPC) is flexible: the sole trader does […]

Grammar nerd/nazi: a classic misnomer

Posted by on Dec 30, 2016 in Blog | No Comments
Grammar nerd/nazi: a classic misnomer

Friends say I’m a grammar nerd, yet grammar plays such a minor role in editorial decisions. By far the greatest changes a copy-editor makes to documents concern punctuation. A brief and incomplete guide to punctuation follows. • The colon expands on the sentence that precedes it, or introduces a list that elaborates on a topic. […]

Pain and pleasure

Posted by on Aug 16, 2016 in Blog | No Comments
Pain and pleasure

It was with equal parts excitement and terror that I moved north, after spending almost exactly half my life in the south. The first example of normality (‘normalcy’) was in the manner of the train conductor. He had a laugh and a joke: ticket checking was a small part of his job; talking to passengers […]

Job-role assumptions

Posted by on Jun 18, 2016 in Blog | No Comments
Job-role assumptions

We each have talents. Stuff we’re really good at, subjects at which we excelled at school. Subjects we didn’t have to study because their content was hugely interesting to us. We all have weaknesses. I, for example, find mathematics a foreign language. I tried and I try, but the language is elusive and alien. I […]

Pronunciation prejudice

Posted by on May 13, 2016 in Blog | No Comments
Pronunciation prejudice

Today’s news declared that northerners should modify their accents (http://www.theguardian.com/education/2016/may/12/trainee-teachers-from-northern-england-told-to-modify-their-accents). We’ve been here before. Being a northerner, I have come up against this prejudice since I travelled south in 1987. Fortunately for me, my long-standing boss was from Belfast: he recognised my worth to the company and I became his ‘proofreader of choice because of […]