In last week’s Tip, I talked about what type of questions to ask a potential client. The goal is to get to know the project and the client to help you make good decisions about it. The next step is to prove your skills.
I’ve talked before about how to define an editing project before you take it on. Inspired by questions from my copyediting students, in this new series, I’ll break down that process into more detail.
Getting to Know the Project
After all these years, I still find it a joy when someone expresses interest in hiring me to edit a project. No matter how I get to that point, once I’m there, it’s like Christmas. Someone wants to pay me for doing something I love!
For Who the Bell Tollsis a new grammar and style guide by David Marsh, production editor of Britain’s Guardian newspaper and coauthor of the paper’s publicly available style guide. Clearly the book comes out of Marsh’s work at The Guardian, reflecting many of the rules in the paper’s style guide.
Last week I received an email asking me to bid on a copyediting project. The author had self-published three novels previously and just wasn’t happy with the editing. English is her second language, and the previous copyeditor had failed to make her sound like a native speaker.
The author said she’d found my profile on a reputable directory website. Her website is written in a similar voice to her email and puts her books front and center. The books are available on Amazon and Barnes and Noble, and the snippets do reveal books that could have been edited better.
Last week, my copyediting students asked about pay rates for editors and how they could determine what to charge. I’ve talked in this space before about what a copyeditor earns, but this seems like a good opportunity for an update.
Love it or hate it, Microsoft Word is a copyeditor’s most used software. We might sometimes edit in PowerPoint, InCopy, or another program, but for most editors on most days it’s all about Word.
And though we try out other word processors in hopes that we’ll find a replacement that’s more stable or faster or just plain easier to use, few of us rarely make the switch. Most other word processors can’t do everything that Word does.
During last week’s #PuncChat, one participant wondered about adding a comma after an introductory phrase. When do you need the comma? When can you drop it?
These are questions of grammar and rhythm, often addressed to varying degrees by style guides. Apply the following five questions to help you decide whether to drop the comma, your style guide notwithstanding.