Ebola…Now a Global Crisis

Originally posted on Gabriella West:

Nasty, isn't it?

Nasty, isn’t it?

I’ve been following the course of the Ebola outbreak with increasing dread. The Ebola virus was discovered in 1976 but never spread outside remote African villages till the latest outbreak in Guinea, Sierra Leone, and Liberia, where the disease is taking a devastating toll right now.

I found this recent interview with one of the scientists who first discovered Ebola back in the ’70s. It’s definitely worth a close read. Fascinating detail: they named the virus after a river near the remote village in Zaire where the first outbreak took place.

Clearly, despite reassuring statements by the CDC, we are not ready for Ebola here in the West, either. Just look at the shabby way the poor nurse’s aide, Teresa Ramos, has been treated in Spain…she had to practically beg for medical treatment and then found out she had Ebola though the media as she…

View original 126 more words

Summer 2014 Wrap-up

TrackingaShadowThanks to everyone who participated in the writers’ poll! The results stayed fairly steady: Sci-Fi/Fantasy was number one and Romance came in at #2, followed by a tie between Literary Fiction and “Other.”

I realize that I didn’t set an option for nonfiction books, which probably make up a large chunk of the “other” responses. Due to several recent inquiries I received about working on nonfiction, self-help books particularly, I changed my rates to clarify that I charge .008 a word for these jobs. Nonfiction is very welcome—but it takes a bit more time and effort to edit, and I wanted to make sure my rates reflect that.

I hope everybody has been having a good summer! Several clients of mine released books this summer that I copyedited, including R Weir‘s first full-length mystery/thriller, “Tracking a Shadow” and Donna Flynn‘s action-packed sequel to “The Dragon’s Gem,” “Aurora’s Dragon.”

The fall should be quite busy (especially with the rollout of the new Kindle Unlimited program on Amazon), so I encourage you to contact me soon if you need editing work for fall or winter releases.

Something new: a poll for my blog readers

Having never done a poll, I’m curious to see how this turns out! Thanks in advance for answering the question.

From The Red Line: Top 7 Misused Expressions

Freelance copy editor Kate Hamill has a blog called The Red Line; her columns run on Freelancers Union, which is where I noticed them. One thing I like about her posts is that it is great to have an authoritative answer on grammar/word issues. Judging by the funny comments on her blog posts, many editors read her pieces.

Here’s the latest one, called “Top 7 Misused Expressions.”

https://www.freelancersunion.org/blog/2014/04/07/red-line-top-7-misused-expressions/

I’m sure I could think of a few to add, but I’m a bit depleted by Tax Day and I’m supposed to be editing, so I will hold off for now :)

By the way, I have yet to see anyone write “on accident.” (Shudder.)

It’s National Proofreading Day

March 8th is National Proofreading Day. I didn’t know about this—did you? It’s not on calendars (yet) and the Google doodle is still up for International Women’s Day—check it out if you haven’t, it’s a lovely, lighthearted piece. In fact, it was a new follower on my Twitter account @editforindies who alerted me to the special day.

Proofreading is an occupation that has almost disappeared from the newsroom (I should know; I’ve worked in three newsrooms!). By that I mean that wages are so low and hours so curtailed that you can’t really make a living proofreading anymore.

EditorLoveBut although I don’t work on hard copy with a red pen anymore, we live in the days of the cyber red pen, at least, and there is still a need for proofreaders, as this graphic charmingly illustrates…

I do love words, and occasionally a typo or blooper will just leap off the page. Here are a few that I wrote down over the last year or so:

Fast foot giant (almost looks right, doesn’t it?)

800 bakers walked down Wall Street (this was a tricky one, but in the very dry, technical context it was obvious that it should have been bankers!)

A lesson or two in manors… (um, manners, perhaps?)

Her umpire waist… (since this described a dress, I was stumped for a moment and then realized the author meant Empire!)

And one of my favorites: “I grabbed my books with a drool look” (I was glad to catch this one to prevent author embarrassment. Methinks the author meant droll.)

To be honest, this is the fun part of the editing/proofreading job for me. (Fussing about em dashes, serial commas, and grammatical consistency, not so much.) Proofreaders work hard and need to be obsessive, but this work can be very rewarding. So, a shout-out to my fellow proofreaders and the people who “get” what we do.

Please, Mr. Postette

Gabriella West:

Reblogging here, since this is a piece about art and writing.

Originally posted on Gabriella West:

The East Bay Express ran an interesting story last month about a Berkeley (or Oakland) man who leaves colorful Post-it notes—expressing various positive sentiments—all over town (on bikes, bus windows, cafe tables).

The man prefers to remain anonymous; the article calls him Mr. Postette. And he’s doing it for the best of reasons:

Mr. Postette said he started to leave inspirational notes mainly because he needed to be inspired. “At one point, I was feeling really unmotivated and uninspired to do anything at all, so I wrote a bunch of quotes down on Post-It Notes and put them up on my wall, in my room. I took those down, and started putting them around town.” He uses different color notes for different themes. “The past is usually green. Change is blue. Hope is yellow. A lot of them are yellow because I like yellow. Sometimes I’ll assign a…

View original 190 more words

A New Editing Year Starts…

And so does the Chinese New Year. Happy Year of the Horse! I found some beautiful and diverse horse images today on the CBC’s blog and thought I would share them. Looks like we are in for a dynamic and creative year, doesn’t it?

So, what has Edit for Indies been up to? I am currently editing two full-length vampire novels (both over 90K words!) by novelists Donna Flynn (Blood-Red Tear) and Melinda Killen (Tangled in Blood)—quite a change from the last few months, when clients have typically brought me shorter works. (I did just edit Aditi Chopra‘s latest short romance novel, House of Love, though.)

On that note, I will now be charging a flat rate, starting at $99 (my new minimum rate) and going up to $279, for books under 50,000 words (see the Rates page for more detail). I know that my rates are still on the affordable side, and I strive to keep them that way.

ExceptionI wanted to share a nice testimonial that Erika Trevathan, author of several new adult contemporary romances, sent me last year. (I never got a chance to put it on my Testimonials page.) The points Erika highlights are exactly the ways in which I hope my copyediting work helps clients and offers value. I hope and intend to continue doing good work in 2014 for both new clients and old friends.

Gabriella,

Thank you again for working me in on such a short notice. You did a fabulous job and I am so pleased with your work!! It’s amazing how many mistakes I missed when reading through the manuscript on my own. I will definitely be getting with you for my next book. Also, thank you for the suggestions you made in your email. They were very helpful and very much appreciated.

Thanks so much,

Erika T., April 2013

2013 in review

Thanks for checking out Edit for Indies in 2013. Happy New Year!

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2013 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

A San Francisco cable car holds 60 people. This blog was viewed about 3,000 times in 2013. If it were a cable car, it would take about 50 trips to carry that many people.

 (That’s actually more than double the blog views in 2012!)

With a new year comes new rates… Please check out my changing rate structure for shorter jobs, and feel free to contact me with any questions or to discuss a quote!

Giving thanks for author resources

Gabriella West:

Reblogged from my author site… and Happy Thanksgiving to my clients and readers.

Originally posted on Gabriella West:

PenpaperIt’s that time of year, and I wanted to give thanks for the lists of author resources that are out there!

I wanted to mention a few of them that feature Edit for Indies. First and foremost, I was particularly impressed by a blog called “This College Dropout: Resources for Indie Writers.” There are 150 organizations on the list. They offer promotional services or cover design or editing or publishing assistance. You name it, it’s there. All I know is that it’s compiled by a guy called Charles Franklin, and he obviously spent a long time putting together this exhaustive list!

It would be remiss not to mention World Literary Cafe, which has a listing of editors in its Author Forums. I put my name and info up there when the list was quite small. It’s now rather large, and it’s a great place to browse…

View original 102 more words

Happy Halloween!

undyingIt’s been a busy season for Edit for Indies. In the last month or so, I copyedited a paranormal title that has become a best-seller, Valerie Grosjean’s Undying. Subtitled “a tale of love…and zombies,” this crisply written, fast-paced YA book has plenty of gore, suspense, and heart, as freshman Christian races home from college to save his beloved Iris after the zombie apocalypse. Based on how the book ended, I’m sure this is the start of a very successful series for the Bay Area author.

It was my pleasure this year to work on a series of werewolf/shifter titles (Donna Flynn’s Pack series) and also to edit author Lillian Francken‘s set of books, which have action, suspense, and dark elements to them, and are set in the Wisconsin area. I’m always grateful for return clients who ask me to work on multiple books; it’s really a vote of confidence in me as an editor, and I appreciate it.

Other books I’ve worked on recently include Aditi Chopra’s Mystical Desi Girl, the third book in her current series about Mahi, a young Indian-American woman in San Jose who is balancing a career and the ups and downs of a traditional marriage, and a delightful children’s book by writer-actor Byron Marc Newsome called Take That, You Scaredy-Cat! on the subject of bullying…

dickinsteinFinally, I also edited Shannon Yarbrough’s Emily Dickinson/Frankenstein mashup Dickinstein, out now from Rocking Horse Publishing. The novel has one of the most striking covers I’ve seen, designed by the author himself—and it’s beautifully written.

As we go into the chilly season things always die down a bit, in my experience, and so I’m happy to offer a winter discount of $25 off to new clients that will run through January 2014. (This applies to full-length books, of course.) Just let me know when you contact me that you’re interested in the discount.