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The Nitpicker’s Nook: September’s linguistic links roundup

The Nitpicker’s Nook is a monthly collection of language-related articles, interviews, and blog posts from around the Web. If you read something that would make a good addition, email your suggestion to [email protected].The Nitpicker's Nook

By Robin Marwick

  • What makes our form of English unique? According to James Harbeck, “The core of Canadian English is a pervasive ambivalence.” (BBC Culture)
  • Many freelancers struggle with setting prices for projects. Too high, and you may not get the job; too low, and you may end up working for free. In this two-part post, Richard Adin covers how to calculate a price that works best for you. (An American Editor)
  • Meanwhile, Jake Poinier lists some “fudge factors” you may want to keep in mind when calculating those quotes. (Doctor Freelance)
  • Although writers and editors want the same thing—the best manuscript possible—they don’t always see eye to eye on how to achieve it. Jeannette de Beauvoir suggests that bridging the gap is a matter of communication. (Copyediting.com)
  • John E. McIntyre recently reposted his macro-editing checklist; it’s a great list of big-picture items for editors to keep in mind, including focus, structure, organization, credibility, and tone. (The Baltimore Sun)
  • On a micro level, this post by Beth Hill on the many possible ways to change a sentence for the better is equally useful. (The Editor’s Blog)
  • Chuck Wendig’s post on 10 mistakes new writers make is profane, funny, and entirely accurate. (Terrible Minds)
  • And finally, a kind BoldFace reader sent in this example of one global search and replace gone terribly wrong. Thank you, Sara Scharf! (Language Log)

Robin Marwick is a Toronto-based freelance editor, medical writer, content strategist, and dog lover.

This article was copy edited by Valerie Borden.

The Nitpicker’s Nook: July’s linguistic links roundup

The Nitpicker’s Nook is a monthly collection of language-related articles, interviews, and blog posts from around the Web. If you read something that would make a good addition, email your suggestion to [email protected].

By Robin MarwickThe Nitpicker's Nook

  • Too much work, too little focus? Cartoonist Katie McKissick found herself battling burnout and came up with some novel ways to beat it. (Symbiartic)
  • Editing Goes Global is long over, but that doesn’t mean you can’t still learn from it. The organizers have collected all the recaps they could find and put them on one page. Don’t miss the link to the session handouts! (Editors Canada)
  • If you’re like most editors, you want to do your absolute best with every project that comes your way, but that’s sometimes easier said than done. Rich Adin discusses some keys to high-quality editing, starting with the decision whether to accept a project or not. (An American Editor)
  • Freelance editing has its joys and its crises: for starters, no work, too much work, or finding out you’ve made a catastrophic error. Liz Dexter discusses what to do in six common freelance crisis situations, including how to prevent them from happening again. (LibroEditing.com)
  • Speaking of errors, yes, even editors make them. Arlene Prunkl looks at when to freak out, when to let an error go, and when to be a little kinder to ourselves and others (hint: all the time). (Penultimate Word)
  • Testimonials from satisfied clients are a persuasive marketing tool. Adrienne Montgomerie suggests easy, effective ways to get them and explains what to do with testimonials when you have them. (Copyediting.com)
  • Some writing rules are made to be broken, especially in fiction. Here are 20. (Emma Darwin)

Robin Marwick is a Toronto-based freelance editor, medical writer, content strategist, and dog lover.

This article was copy edited by Valerie Borden.

Tips for finding work editing self-published authors

FreelanceBy Valerie Borden

The growth of self-publishing has created an exciting opportunity for freelance editors. To take advantage of this trend, it’s important to be aware of the many ways to market your editorial services and connect with self-publishing authors.

Recently, I spoke with three editors who have experience in self-publishing, who gave me useful information for the freelance editor.

Beth McAuley, senior editor of The Editing Company in Toronto, advises making your website inviting to authors, since many do not see the need to have a professional editor working on their manuscript. To allow potential clients to search for you, she recommends listing your services in the Editors’ Association of Canada’s directory. You can also write blogs and put up flyers where writers meet. In other words, “Go where writers go.”

Beth emphasizes, “Do not agree to anything unless you have read the entire manuscript.” By assessing the whole manuscript, the type of editing required can then be determined. From there, a contract or letter of agreement is negotiated, which defines tasks, fees, and timelines. It’s important to educate the novice author about the process of editing. It takes time to produce a good book and a lot of reading, assessing, editing, rereading, reassessing, and copy editing.

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My career change: Taking the leap into freelance editing

train-tracks

By Valerie Borden

A few years ago, I realized that I was losing interest in my work as a holistic nutritional consultant and decided that I needed to go back to the world of words. This was the main catalyst for my career change in 2011 from the field of natural health to the world of freelance editing.

I was, and still am, an avid reader, the kid who spent her summers with her nose in a book. In high school I excelled in languages, so I decided to become a translator and obtained my bachelor of science in languages from Laurentian University. However, certain events caused me to change direction, and my dream of working with words was put on hold.

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