My previous post “Ten Handwritten Editing Marks” demonstrated the copyediting and proofreading marks for deletions, insertions, transposed letters, paragraphs, periods, commas, apostrophes, quotation marks, capitalization, and lowercasing. Today’s post demonstrates ten more handwritten editing marks: parentheses, spaces, bold font, italic font, remove formatting, en dashes, em … [Read more...] about Ten More Handwritten Editing Marks
My Very Occasional Book Review series is back with a review of the second edition of The Subversive Copy Editor: Advice from Chicago by Carol Fisher Saller. The Positives Carol Fisher Saller is the editor of the Chicago Manual of Style Online’s Q&A. She also writes a column called the Editor’s Corner for the CMOS Shop Talk blog. As a longtime reader of both of these … [Read more...] about Book Review: The Subversive Copy Editor by Carol Fisher Saller
There are many questions to answer before you hire an editor. Does the editor have experience in your field or genre? Is the editor’s technique compatible with your writing style? Can the editor meet your scheduling needs? In addition to those important questions (and many more), here are thirteen technology questions to ponder. Of course, some of these questions may not apply … [Read more...] about Thirteen Technology Questions to Answer before You Hire an Editor
Copyeditor or Copy editor? That is the million-dollar question! (Okay, maybe the thousand-dollar question.) I have been a proud member of the writing and editing community for over a decade. That’s long enough to have witnessed epic battles over the serial comma and near fisticuffs over hyphenation. (Believe me, no one wants to witness actual grammar-induced fisticuffs. That … [Read more...] about Am I a Copyeditor or a Copy Editor?
When we're editing long documents, such as manuals and research reports, we can easily get so focused on the main content that we forget to check ancillary items. Here is a basic list of things to review after you edit the main content: Cover or Title Page—Are the title, subtitle, and author's name spelled correctly? Front Matter—Have the preface, acknowledgment, and … [Read more...] about Editing Checklist for Long Documents
Today, Microsoft Word's Track Changes features are the editing tools of choice. But, red pens and hand-marked edits won't journey to the land of dinosaurs and VHS tapes as long as we still use real paper from time to time. Here is a simple graphic demonstrating ten handwritten editing marks: delete, insert, transpose, paragraph, period, comma, apostrophe, quotation marks, … [Read more...] about Ten Handwritten Editing Marks
Throughout this how-to series, we've explored various editing services and ways to find editors online and through professional organizations. We've also discussed the finer points of interviewing and hiring editors. Let's wrap things up with five tips for working with your editor so that you can make the most of your editing experience: 1. Document everything. As mentioned … [Read more...] about How to Hire an Editor, Part 3: Tips for Working with Your Editor
Over the past several weeks, we've discussed different types of services provided by freelance editors and how to find editors through Internet searches and professional organizations. Today, we'll cover the final phases of the hiring process: interviewing an editor, discussing payment, and establishing a schedule. Interviewing an Editor Once you've narrowed down your search … [Read more...] about How to Hire an Editor, Part 2: Interviews, Payments, and Schedules
Last week we talked about the different types of editing services provided by freelance editors: developmental editing, substantive editing, copyediting, and proofreading. Today we'll get down to the nitty-gritty of how to hire an editor or editors for your project. Deciding What You Need Will Help You Figure Out Whom You Need In a perfect world, every writer would hire a … [Read more...] about How to Hire an Editor, Part 1: Where to Find an Editor
A reader recently asked me to explain the different types of editors available to help her with her book. Although I have mentioned several types of editing services on my FAQs page, I thought I'd delve into the subject a bit more deeply here—after all, I'm always happy to oblige my readers! The four basic types of editors are developmental, substantive, copy, and … [Read more...] about Different Types of Editors
Editing our own writing may not be easy, but it is generally a walk in the park sipping an iced latte compared to the difficulty of editing another person's writing, particularly if that person is a coworker, friend, or relative. Here are six tips to take the sting out of editing other people's writing. 1. Ask the writer what he or she expects from you. Should you offer … [Read more...] about Six Tips for Editing Other People’s Writing
In a perfect world, we would have ample time to formally edit everything we write. From lengthy quarterly reports to casual emails, we would ensure that participles never dangle, metaphors never mix, and all misspellings are instantly vaporized. But, that's not reality--sometimes we just have to get the message out, and fast! So, how do we handle a very short document that … [Read more...] about Editing Tips for Very Short Documents
Have you ever edited a document several times, confident that you caught every typo and misplaced semicolon? But then you decide to give the piece one last go-round and you find an obvious typo that you missed? I have too! To avoid that frustration, here are my top five editing tips: 1. Play the waiting game. I covered this topic in a previous post titled How Many Rounds … [Read more...] about Five Editing Tips and the Document Death Spiral
Editing is a technical process, but it is also an art form (to some of us, at least!) And like most creative endeavors, there is no official rule for how long editing should take or how many times it should be repeated. This freedom leaves many people wondering when they should put down the red pen. I generally edit everything four times. I don't have a formal explanation … [Read more...] about How Many Rounds of Editing are Enough?