Author Topic: Copy Editing and More: Publishing House Quality at an Independent Price.  (Read 5137 times)  

Offline Free Range Editor

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Hello authors!

My name is Julie MacKenzie and I have just launched a freelance editorial service for independent authors because I like to edit what I like to read.  I  copy edit, proofread, and fact check state supreme court decisions by day, and while it helps pay the bills, it does nothing for my soul.

Who should hire me? Authors who want their hard work to be flawless for their readers. I am a perfectionist who will catch every misplaced comma and misspelled word, note strange inconsistencies and generally make sure no reader ever says, "What the heck?" or leaves a review like this: "I really wanted to like this book, but I could not get over the vast number of spelling and sentence structure mistakes."*

Like the neighborhood crack dealer (well, maybe not your neighborhood), I offer free samples.  Let me edit four or five pages and you'll be hooked.

Find out more about my services, rates, and philosophy at Free Range Editorial: http://www.freerangeeditorial.com/

Your imagination.  Your vision.  Your voice.  Better.

Thanks for your interest.





*Actual Amazon review


« Last Edit: October 31, 2015, 01:09:53 PM by Free Range Editor »

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Offline Lorelei Logsdon

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Welcome, Julie! Congratulations on your new business venture! :)
Lorelei Logsdon, Editor & Author
Editing Website: LoreleiLogsdon.com
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Offline Rae Scott Studio

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Welcome! i will keep you in mind when it comes time for me to find an editor!


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Julie--

Welcome to Kboards!

You're welcome to promote your business and website here in the Writers' Caf, but we ask that the same basic rules be followed as we have for authors in the Book Bazaar:  you may have one thread about your service and must post to it rather than start a new thread each time.  New threads about the service wil be removed.  Please bookmark this thread so that you can find it again to post to.  And, you may not make back-to-back posts to the thread within seven days.  If someone responds (such as this post), you may reply but otherwise must wait seven days, thanks!

Betsy
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Offline Free Range Editor

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Re: Copy Editing and More: Publishing House Quality at an Independent Price.
« Reply #4 on: October 05, 2014, 11:10:06 AM »
Hello again, fellow KBoarders!

Today's words of wisdom were suggested by an ebook I read last week.

I don't care how much you like your copy editor, if he or she lets you go to press with a character kneading "flower" for bread, you need a new editor.

At my Standard rate I would have corrected that to "flour"; at my Super Deluxe rate I would have recommended changing "flower" to "dough," which is what you knead (and need) to make bread.

To learn more about my services, rates, and background hit the link under my signature.  For 10% off your first project, mention "flower" when you contact me.

Self-publishing should still be quality publishing.

Thanks,

Julie

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Offline Free Range Editor

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Re: Copy Editing and More: Publishing House Quality at an Independent Price.
« Reply #5 on: October 25, 2014, 08:25:07 AM »
To paraphrase a famous deathbed utterance, "Dying is easy.  Commas are hard." And so are semicolons and sometimes em dashes.

I can help.
 
With my editorial assistance you can concentrate on plotting and characterization and leave the worries about punctuation and grammar to me.

To learn more about my services, rates, and background hit the link under my signature.  For 10% off your first project, mention "commas" when you contact me.

Self-publishing should still be quality publishing.

Thanks,

Julie
« Last Edit: October 09, 2016, 03:21:15 PM by Free Range Editor »

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Offline Free Range Editor

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Re: Copy Editing and More: Publishing House Quality at an Independent Price.
« Reply #6 on: November 07, 2014, 07:05:40 PM »
Happy November, KBoarders!

While it turns out to be apocryphal that Eskimos have 100 words for snow, there may be nearly that many ways to say "small."

We all lean on certain words and phrases in our speech and even in our writing.  If you like the word "small" way too much in your novel and I'm your editor, I can help.  At my Standard rate I'll let you know that you used "small" 42 times; at my Enhanced rate I'll change "small" to suitable alternatives appropriate for the context and voice.  Tiny, minuscule, little, negligible, and insignificant are all fantastic options. 

Sometimes "small" is not the point; having some kind of description is the point.  In that case I might leave you a comment or suggestion about ways you can help your reader picture the item in question more vividly than by saying "small."

This is no small thing; this is a big deal.

To learn more about my services, rates, and background hit the link under my signature.  For 10% off your first project, mention "small" when you contact me.

Self-publishing should still be quality publishing.

Thanks,

Julie
« Last Edit: October 09, 2016, 03:23:31 PM by Free Range Editor »

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Offline zoe tate

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Re: Copy Editing and More: Publishing House Quality at an Independent Price.
« Reply #7 on: November 08, 2014, 06:06:05 AM »
Thanks, Julie. Very good "sales post", above - and an interesting website, too, which I've bookmarked.  8)

Offline Donnarich

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Re: Copy Editing and More: Publishing House Quality at an Independent Price.
« Reply #8 on: November 08, 2014, 08:47:28 AM »
One word I find is over used of late is "distain" and quite frequently it's in the wrong context, have you noticed this?
Donnarich@me.com Proofreading/copy editing, reasonable pricing , fast turnaround. http://www.kboards.com/index.php/topic,185208.25.html

Offline Free Range Editor

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Hello KBoarders,

Here's some food for thought.

Your MC is so angry he throws a chair out a 10th story window.

So.  How angry is he?

Is he merely irked or annoyed?  If so, you've got a psychopath on your hands.
Is he "very angry"?  If so, how about saying he's enraged or perhaps that he's furious?
Is he "really angry"?  Then why not use livid, seething, or maybe say he's gone ballistic?

p*ssed, ticked, peeved, maddened, incensed.

They're all out there, and they all indicate different, nuanced degrees of anger.  If you want a copy editor who can help you with the shades of anger--or happiness, sadness, or grief--check out my website.  I offer more than just moving commas around.

Self-publishing should still be quality publishing.

Mention that you're ticked off and get a 10% discount on your first project.

Julie
« Last Edit: June 17, 2015, 05:31:16 AM by Free Range Editor »

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Offline Adair Hart

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Welcome again Julie  :) I have your website bookmarked and on my list to check out for my second project!
The Evaran Chronicles - Join Evaran and his human companions on their journey through space and time!
The Earthborn - Join Blake Brown, a four-hundred-plus-year-old vampire exiled from Earth!
Adair Hart | Website | Facebook

Offline Free Range Editor

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Re: Copy Editing and More: Publishing House Quality at an Independent Price.
« Reply #11 on: August 30, 2015, 01:31:15 PM »
Trimming the Excess Verbiage

You've got lots to say, and there's nothing wrong with that.  On the other hand, using extra words to say it can get in the way.  Making readers plow through "by the fact that" usually serves no purpose and can slow down the story -- an almost unforgivable sin in genre fiction.

The next time you're tempted to write "by the fact that," try typing just "that" and see how it feels.  It should feel good!
 
Old: "He was upset by the fact that Mary was missing and might be dead." 

New: "He was upset that Mary was missing and might be dead."

Better?  Yes!

Self-publishing should still be quality publishing.

For 10% off your first project, tell me you were excited by the fact that I am offering 10% off.

« Last Edit: October 09, 2016, 03:25:40 PM by Free Range Editor »

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Offline Free Range Editor

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Re: Copy Editing and More: Publishing House Quality at an Independent Price.
« Reply #12 on: September 27, 2015, 01:21:02 PM »
I don't know that my garbage men are writing novels, but they could be. Same for the folks who sort the recycling. That's why I shred every manuscript I print. With a cross-cut shredder. And for you environmentalists, I always print double-sided. No putting those babies back together!

I take my clients' confidentiality interest in their work seriously. That's why I shred instead of toss. I've been thinking about making dog beds for my two German shepherd mutts and using the shredded manuscripts for stuffing.

What do you think?
« Last Edit: October 09, 2016, 03:26:30 PM by Free Range Editor »

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Offline Free Range Editor

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Re: Copy Editing and More: Publishing House Quality at an Independent Price.
« Reply #13 on: October 10, 2015, 03:57:03 PM »
Recently, in two manuscripts I came across words that made me question them in context. Of course, I run across words in every manuscript that make me question them in context, but these two are notable.

The first was the word "bae." In context it was surely a typo for "babe." As in, "Aw, bae, don't do me this way." Without hesitation, I changed it to "Aw, babe, don't do me this way." When I got the manuscript back for blueline, I saw the author had rejected the change. What?! I hit Google up and immediately found out that "bae" is a hip term of endearment. New to me. I'll still query it, but now I'll do so with a little more deference.

The second was the word "reparation." The context was a group of men performing a religious ritual. Since I don't know all that much about the prayers being recited, I flipped through my thesaurus and came up with "atonement" as the best alternative that would fit grammatically in the sentence. At blueline, lo and behold, the author had changed it to "preparation." Oops. That was a lot of overthinking on my part. To paraphrase Freud, "Sometimes a typo is just a typo."

If you're looking for a copy editor who puts this much thought into your manuscript and who loves to learn new stuff from her clients, hit the link for my website under my signature.

Self-publishing should still be quality publishing.

Mention bae in your communication to me and get 10% off our first project together.

Julie
« Last Edit: October 09, 2016, 03:28:49 PM by Free Range Editor »

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Offline Free Range Editor

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Re: Copy Editing and More: Publishing House Quality at an Independent Price.
« Reply #14 on: October 30, 2015, 04:11:50 PM »
Trimming the Excess Verbiage

He walked down the street holding an umbrella in his hand.
In his teeth, with his tail, under his tongue -- any of those are worth noting.  In his hand?  Not so much.

She kicked me hard with her foot.
As opposed to  . . .?

We zipped through traffic in an orange-colored Mustang.
Unless this is an acid-fueled novel, it's not likely to be an orange-scented or orange-flavored Mustang.

If you hire me for your copy editing, I'll take care of these.  Promise.

Self-publishing should still be quality publishing.



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Offline Mafalda Writes

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Re: Copy Editing and More: Publishing House Quality at an Independent Price.
« Reply #15 on: November 01, 2015, 06:11:24 PM »
Great post. I have bookmarked your services.

One question is can you give a sample of a rewrite? I am not clear how you would do them without losing the original author's voice.
thank you.

LA

Offline Free Range Editor

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Re: Copy Editing and More: Publishing House Quality at an Independent Price.
« Reply #16 on: November 26, 2015, 08:44:46 AM »
Happy Thanksgiving!

This year I am thankful for many things:

I am thankful for the gifted writers who trust me not to break their books.

I am thankful for Amazon for opening up the world to so much talent that might have remained unexpressed and unknown, and for the KBoards for helping us meet.

I am thankful for the Internet, which makes it possible for me to sit in my home atop Monument Hill in Colorado and work with clients from Australia to Israel.

I am thankful for my husband, who encouraged me when I started Free Range Editorial and kicked my butt to get my website up; who answers pop quizzes but who reads too many English mysteries and so thinks my Impala has a bonnet; who graciously cooks dinner while I switch gears from my day job to my fun job; and who buys and hangs my client clocks (two new ones this month).

There's a turkey in the oven and some grammar that needs to be checked. Thanks again, and now, back to work!

Julie

« Last Edit: October 09, 2016, 03:29:21 PM by Free Range Editor »

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Offline Free Range Editor

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Re: Copy Editing and More: Publishing House Quality at an Independent Price.
« Reply #17 on: December 14, 2015, 05:48:59 PM »
A New Feature: Answers to Questions Nobody Asked

Why do I charge by the word and not by the page or the hour?
Because it's fair.

If you send me 65,000 words, that's what you should pay for. It's up to me to charge a fee that adequately compensates me for my effort.

If I charged by the hour, when I get up for a cup of coffee, or three (and I will), should you pay for that time? Heck no! And while I can keep track of the minutes I spend letting the dogs out or chatting with my Jehovah's Witness during her monthly visit to tell me God's plan, I don't want to take the time. (Should I charge for the time I spend tracking my time?)

What about charging by the page, you wonder (or not). What's a page? I have one client who uses 16-pt. Garamond, and while it's really easy on the eyes, is it fair to charge him the same per-page rate as a client who prefers 10-pt. Times New Roman? Heck no! And what about a page that contains three lines of type?

So there you have it. Any questions?
« Last Edit: October 09, 2016, 03:31:06 PM by Free Range Editor »

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Offline Free Range Editor

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Re: Copy Editing and More: Publishing House Quality at an Independent Price.
« Reply #18 on: January 07, 2016, 07:54:03 PM »
Happy New Year!

Into vs. in to


What a pain these can be. The answer will usually be "into," the preposition.

She looked into his eyes. (She looked where?)

He walked into the police station. (He walked where?)

But . . . She turned the wallet in to the police station. (Otherwise, picture a wallet morphing into a police station.)

There is some disagreement about what you do at a motel (not that; get your mind out of the gutter). I go with: He checked in to the motel. You check in, not check. This is a phrasal verb. If you want to say someone researched the No-Tell Motel, you'd say: He checked into the motel. (An idiomatic expression.)

Other phrasal verbs include what you do on your computer (again, mind out of the gutter, you). You log in, you don't log. So . . . She logged in to her computer to see about some adult entertainment for the long weekend at the No-Tell Motel. (Happy now?)

I double-check every use of into and in to, as well as onto and on to.

Self-publishing should still be quality publishing.
« Last Edit: October 09, 2016, 03:32:28 PM by Free Range Editor »

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Offline Free Range Editor

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Re: Copy Editing and More: Publishing House Quality at an Independent Price.
« Reply #19 on: January 31, 2016, 05:08:55 PM »
I'm not sure how I feel about this.

The American Dialect Society has named the singular "they" word of the year for 2015. That means the organization has approved the use of "they" in the singular. For example: If anybody reading this post wants to hire an editor, they should get in touch with me.

It still gives me the willies, but, at the same time, no more need for the ungainly he or she, the ugly s/he, or the politically incorrect he.

So, unless anybody objects, I guess I'll start approving that usage.

Any thoughts?

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Offline Free Range Editor

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Re: Copy Editing and More: Publishing House Quality at an Independent Price.
« Reply #20 on: February 15, 2016, 07:33:17 AM »
It's changeover day!

I leave behind the rom-com thriller set in glamorous, contemporary Los Angeles and move on to a dark world where people and creatures lie, steal, and kill to survive. Hmmm. Maybe not so different from modern day Los Angeles, after all.

Thanks to all my clients for making my job fun.  If anyone would like to get on my schedule, just get in touch.  I'm now booking for June.

Remember, self-publishing should still be quality publishing.
« Last Edit: October 09, 2016, 03:33:09 PM by Free Range Editor »

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Offline Free Range Editor

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Re: Copy Editing and More: Publishing House Quality at an Independent Price.
« Reply #21 on: February 27, 2016, 10:53:30 AM »
When it's time to find a copy editor, trust your peers. 
Here are some recent testimonials from my clients:

Chelsea Field, author of the forthcoming Eat, Pray, Die series shared this: "I'm sure the manuscript is in better shape than it was a few weeks ago. I especially appreciated the US English fixes, consistency and plausibility catches, the occasional clunky/overlong sentence that had been bugging me that you kindly fixed, and your humor throughout (both adding in or strengthening a punch line and your fun comments). . . . You've done an awesome job, and have also made the whole process as painless and humorous as possible. I very much appreciate it!"

Al Macy had this to say: "I chose Julie MacKenzie after a careful evaluation of several editors, and I'm glad I did. She caught many important errors in my novel, Yesterday's Thief, and I will be using her for all my future books. She's a pleasure to work with, suggesting manuscript changes with just the right tone. Thanks, Julie."

Avi Domoshevizki commented:  "Thanks, Julie, for the amazing job on Green Kill$." Working with you was pure joy as is always the case when working with professionals!!!!!!!"

Pardon the pun, but I'm booking now for June.

Self-publishing should still be quality publishing.

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Offline Free Range Editor

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FANBOYS, independent clauses, and commas.

Many of you know the generally accepted rule about using a comma preceding a coordinating conjunction that is followed by an independent clause.  But there are times when it is incorrect to use the comma.  That's when the introductory clause relates to both following independent clauses.  Got it?

Yeah.

Here goes:

(1) While we waited for our food to arrive, I showed him the stolen gems and he updated me on the latest news from the field.

You don't need a comma before "and he updated" because both things happened while waiting for the food to arrive.

(2) By the time I reached the school, my skin was cold and I couldn't catch my breath.

Again, both things--skin being cold and the inability to catch my breath--relate back to the same introductory clause "by the time I reached the school."

Checking for errant commas is one of the hundreds of things I do automatically when I edit a manuscript, so don't let the FANBOYS get you down.  I'll keep them in line for you.

Self-publishing should still be quality publishing.

Now scheduling for September.

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Offline Free Range Editor

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Here's some more fun with commas!

A simple comma can change the meaning of a sentence. Use it incorrectly, and you can steer your readers wrong.

John's wife Nancy was in the kitchen.

Unless John is a polygamist (not that there's anything wrong with that) you'll want to put commas in there: John's wife, Nancy, was in the kitchen.

The commas indicate that the information between them is additional. If you take the material between the commas away, the sentence will still convey the important information. Think of this as a parenthetical phrase.

John's wife (Nancy) was in the kitchen.

(1) One teacher, directly in front of Shawna, twitched.
(2) One teacher directly in front of Shawna twitched.

In No. 1 you are asked to envision a bunch of teachers in the room with Shawna. One teacher twitched, and it was the teacher directly in front of Shawna.

In No. 2 you are asked to picture a bunch of teachers directly in front of Shawna. One of them twitched.

(3) Pedro was sitting at the table where I shot Jackson.
(4) Pedro was sitting at the table, where I shot Jackson.

In No. 3 Pedro is in a room with more than one table. He's sitting at the one where I shot Jackson.

In No. 4 Pedro is in a room sitting at the only table in it. The table is where I shot Jackson.

Sometimes when I'm editing, I don't have enough backstory to add or delete those commas. I will never flip a coin and pick one; I always leave a comment for the author. Your book. Your story.

Self-publishing should still be quality publishing.

Now booking September through November.
« Last Edit: July 28, 2016, 05:20:24 AM by Free Range Editor »

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Offline Susanne.

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I write British English. Would that be a problem?

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Offline Free Range Editor

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Re: Copy Editing and More: Publishing House Quality at an Independent Price.
« Reply #25 on: August 11, 2016, 05:06:39 AM »
Thanks to Susanne, November is full.  I'm now booking December and later for all kinds of work.

I do have room for proofreads in September and October.

Drop by my website and/or Facebook page for more information.  Susanne did.   ;)

Self-publishing should still be quality publishing.

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Offline Free Range Editor

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Re: Copy Editing and More: Publishing House Quality at an Independent Price.
« Reply #26 on: August 18, 2016, 11:27:29 AM »
Cut It Out!

Some more commonly used phrases that need trimming:

She had a terrified expression on her face.
(Where else would the expression be?  And let's make this active while we're at it.)
She looked terrified.

Rachel gave an apologetic shrug of her shoulders.
(Can you shrug your nose? Your knees?)
Rachel gave an apologetic shrug.

The sky was getting light outside.
As opposed to the sky getting light inside?

Fernando's voice sounded surprisingly perky.
(So, it wasn't his vision that sounded perky?  Just checking.)
Fernando sounded surprisingly perky.

Don't worry if you don't catch all of these kinds of problems.  That's part of what I get paid for.

Self-publishing should still be quality publishing.

Now booking October, December, and 2017.
Openings in September for short manuscripts or for proofreading only.
« Last Edit: October 09, 2016, 03:20:20 PM by Free Range Editor »

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Offline Free Range Editor

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Re: Copy Editing and More: Publishing House Quality at an Independent Price.
« Reply #27 on: September 08, 2016, 04:20:25 PM »
Here's a quickie.

If your characters are always walking toward something, do they ever get anywhere?
I recommend using "to" over "toward" whenever it makes sense.

The same goes for starting to walk, as in:
Lawrence started to walk down the hallway.

After all, how does one start to walk?  Well, by picking up one foot, moving it forward, and putting it down, then lifting the other foot, moving it forward, etc.  Sounds a lot like walking to me. Unless Lawrence is interrupted on his journey, not only did he start to walk, he walked.

Self-publishing should still be quality publishing.
Now booking December and 2017.
« Last Edit: October 09, 2016, 03:18:57 PM by Free Range Editor »

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Offline Free Range Editor

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Re: Copy Editing and More: Publishing House Quality at an Independent Price.
« Reply #28 on: September 25, 2016, 08:48:36 AM »
Some more easy fixes to tighten that language:

No matter what she said, he was the one who was the leader here.
No matter what she said, he was the leader here.

It happened on the evening when Liam called me.
It happened the evening Liam called me.

Nishant sat down, ignoring the women who were sitting at the table.
Nishant sat down, ignoring the women at the table.

It made me feel happy.
It made me happy.
(After all, it doesn't make you smell happy or taste happy. I don't think so anyway.)

Self-publishing should still be quality publishing.
Now accepting manuscripts for December and 2017.
« Last Edit: October 09, 2016, 03:17:27 PM by Free Range Editor »

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Re: Copy Editing and More: Publishing House Quality at an Independent Price.
« Reply #29 on: October 09, 2016, 03:15:31 PM »
If you want to get an idea of what kind of work I've done and for whom, check out the new portfolio page on my website. http://www.freerangeeditorial.com/portfolio/

Thanks to all my authors for allowing me to include their work on my site. They make me look good!


I won't tell you how long it took, but I need a drink. Now.

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Re: Copy Editing and More: Publishing House Quality at an Independent Price.
« Reply #30 on: October 25, 2016, 12:10:43 PM »
When you're looking for a copy editor and don't know where to start, it's a good idea to ask around.  Here's what one of your peers had to say about Free Range Editorial:

Ron Fritsch, author of Elizabeth Daleiden on Trial, as well as the award-winning Promised Valley series:  "I'm so glad I found Julie MacKenzie at Free Range Editorial. I won't publish another book without her assistance. She knows every good rule for present-day writing, every exception to those rules, and the reasons behind those rules. (She knows why that last sentence requires an Oxford, or serial, comma even though I don't ordinarily use one.) She also finds the bloopers all writers somehow can't get rid of down to their final, this-one-goes-to-the-editor draft. Best of all, for authors who don't yet know her, she provides free samples of what she'll do for what they've written. And here's another plus for writers who want the reading world to know they're professionals: Julie is a joy to work with."

Thanks to loyal clients like Ron, I'm generally booking three months out.  If your manuscript will be ready for a copy editor in February 2017 or later, visit my website to read more testimonials and get more information on my services.

Self-publishing should still be quality publishing.
« Last Edit: October 28, 2016, 10:29:50 AM by Free Range Editor »

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Re: Copy Editing and More: Publishing House Quality at an Independent Price.
« Reply #31 on: December 09, 2016, 11:00:03 AM »
Oh cripes! Burned out another shredder. Thanks guys, for giving me enough work that I needed to buy a fancier, extended-run-time shredder. Ooh, and here's a teaching moment . . .

Without the comma between fancier and extended it would mean that my previous shredder had an extended run time and that my new machine is merely fancier. As written, it means that my new shredder is not only fancier than my old one, it has an extended run-time, which my last one did not.

I shred every manuscript to keep my clients' work confidential.

Now booking March 2017.

Self-publishing should still be quality publishing.

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Re: Copy Editing and More: Publishing House Quality at an Independent Price.
« Reply #32 on: December 24, 2016, 06:18:44 PM »
I just wanted to wish all the KBoarders a Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah, and a wonderful New Year! 

Thanks in part to the lovely folks on the KBoards, I've had a full calendar pretty much since I launched my freelance business nearly three years ago.

If you're planning a new book for 2017, now's the time to get on my schedule.  I'm currently booking March and out.


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Re: Copy Editing and More: Publishing House Quality at an Independent Price.
« Reply #33 on: January 02, 2017, 05:57:21 AM »
When in doubt, cut it out.

Your readers want to find out what happened.  Who did it.  What she said. 

Don't make them slog through unnecessary language to get to the point.  One of the most important things I do for my clients is reduce clutter.

He returned once more to his knitting.
He returned to his knitting.   He picked up his knitting once more.

You'll need the password in this email in order to open the file.
You'll need the password in this email to open the file.

Clearly, Nita is the one who wears the pants in that relationship.
Clearly, Nita wears the pants in that relationship.

The location of the door was too close to the water fountain.
The door was too close to the water fountain.

Self-publishing should still be quality publishing.
Now booking for March and later.


« Last Edit: January 02, 2017, 07:38:54 AM by Free Range Editor »

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Re: Copy Editing and More: Publishing House Quality at an Independent Price.
« Reply #34 on: January 19, 2017, 11:22:47 AM »
Whether you're a newbie or an old hand, high-quality copy editing will help your book stand out from the crowd.

You're already on the KBoards, which indicates you value the opinions of your peers.  If you're looking for a copy editor for the first time or you're ready to make a change, read this from Susanne O'Leary, author of the popular Kerry Romance Series:

"I was so happy to have found Julie MacKenzie of Free Range Editorial when I needed an editor for my latest novel, The Prodigal. I found myself with someone I could trust, who truly cared about my book. It was wonderful to have this solid support and expert eye to help me make my book the best it could be. The fact that I write in British English was no problem at all, as Julie is so experienced in all forms of the English language. I look forward to working with her again."

You can read more here: Testimonials

Remember, self-publishing should still be quality publishing.
Now scheduling March and later.



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Re: Copy Editing and More: Publishing House Quality at an Independent Price.
« Reply #35 on: February 13, 2017, 11:19:30 AM »
Tightening up language isn't about saving space or simply using fewer words. It's about clarity, accuracy, and avoiding redundancy.

Farmland surrounded us on all sides. That's what surround means.
Adric nodded his head in agreement. As opposed to?
He squinted his eyes to read the tiny print. Ditto.

Self-publishing should still be quality publishing.
Now scheduling March and later.
« Last Edit: June 19, 2017, 01:32:21 PM by Free Range Editor »

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It's been a while since my last post.  I've (happily) been quite busy.  If you're looking for a little more than just a line edit, consider that I do fact-checking along with my grammatical work at my enhanced level of service.

Because I do, here are a few things I've learned in the last two weeks:

Where Jesus might have undergone the transfiguration.

There's a place in India called McLeod Ganj (which is weird enough) where the Dali Lama lives.

The Harris County Coroner (Houston) generally examines and releases a body in 24 hours or less.

The most important thing that will help you sell your house is location, location, location. (Okay, I already knew that one.)

I've got the best job in the world for someone who likes to add to her broad but shallow pool of knowledge.  Thanks to all my clients for helping out!

Self-publishing should still be quality publishing.
Now booking August 2017.
« Last Edit: June 19, 2017, 01:31:48 PM by Free Range Editor »

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Fifty Shades of ... Purple

It doesn't always matter what color something is.  But if you take the time to mention it, why not give your description a little...color? If you want your readers to see what you see when you write "purple," it's not that hard to do.  Here are some illustrations.  (They might also explain why I'm an editor, not a writer.)

She walked into the bar wearing a purple dress and sporting a black eye.
She walked into the bar with a black eye and a dress to match.
She walked into the bar with a purple dress and a black eye. They matched.
She walked into the bar in a dress the color of eggplant. It matched her black eye perfectly.
She walked into the bar wearing a dress the color of eggplant.  A perfect match for her black eye.

They pulled up to the house.  It was a hideous purple.

They pulled up to the house.
Ian turned to Wyatt. "Who paints a house grape soda purple?"
Ian turned to Wyatt.  "I didn't even know you could buy house paint in grape soda purple."
Ian stared at it, openmouthed. "Wow. What do you suppose they call that color?  Grape soda?"

The shoes fit just right, and they were a pretty shade of purple.
The shoes fit just right, and the color reminded her of the lilacs outside her bedroom window.
The shoes fit just right, and they were the exact shade of the lilacs in her bouquet.

Purple, lilac, lavender, violet, eggplant, amethyst, mauve, the color of a bruise, twilight sky, summer blackberries...choose your words carefully and you bring more life to your work.  If you need a little help, just ask.  That's what I'm here for!

Indie publishing should still be quality publishing.
Now booking August and later.
« Last Edit: June 19, 2017, 01:31:04 PM by Free Range Editor »

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Aw shucks.

Remember, when you're looking for your first copy editor or have decided it's time for a change, don't buy a pig in a poke.  Ask around on the kboards and see what your peers have to say.  Here's what my newest client just wrote:

"I found Julie MacKenzie through recommendations at Writer's Cafe on kboards.com. I couldn't be more pleased with her work. She was conscientious about correcting my grammar and spelling, and she even corrected a mistake I'd made in listing the title of one of my older books. Best of all, she doesn't try to change your voice or change your writing to conform to some academic standard. Her comments identified unclear passages and offered suggestions but left it to me to decide whether to make any changes. So many Kindle readers complain about poor editing in books. I'm glad I found Julie so you won't be reading that complaint, at least, about my books." Louise Louis

Self-publishing should still be quality publishing.
Now scheduling September and later. Get in touch and ask for a free sample edit.

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Re: Copy Editing and More: Publishing House Quality at an Independent Price.
« Reply #39 on: August 27, 2017, 06:49:23 AM »
Possession Is Nine-Tenths of the Law

Apostrophes are sort of like higher altitude commas and can be just as vexing, particularly when you're using them to show possession. So, where do you put the apostrophe to indicate possession when there are two people and a plural object involved?

Let's say there was a brawl. John and Tom got their asses kicked. Which of these is correct?

(a) John and Tom's ribs were broken.
(b) John's and Tom's ribs were broken.


The answer is (a). This was a trick question. John and Tom are conjoined twins, sharing a rib cage. But seriously, that's the only time (a) would be correct. John's ribs were broken, and Tom's ribs were broken. Each has his own ribs.

Michelle's and Peter's notes were stolen. (They are in the same history class, and a classmate is stealing things.)
Michelle and Peter's notes were stolen. (They work together as a team, and their project notes were stolen.)

Self-publishing should still be quality publishing. Now booking October and later.

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Re: Copy Editing and More: Publishing House Quality at an Independent Price.
« Reply #40 on: September 20, 2017, 08:08:59 AM »
Less is not more, it's less. But sometimes less is all you need.

We were ten miles away from the hotel.
We were ten miles away.
We were ten miles from the hotel.

He took one of the books from the shelf.

He took a book from the shelf.

I think she's the one who told him our secret.
I think she told him our secret.

She's from Nantucket originally.
She's from Nantucket.


Self-publishing should still be quality publishing.  Now booking December and 2018.

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Re: Copy Editing and More: Publishing House Quality at an Independent Price.
« Reply #41 on: November 04, 2017, 02:17:42 PM »
Comma, comma, comma, comma, comma, chameleon.

Yes, it's another post on commas.

I can't think of a more important punctuation mark.  Seriously, that little curlso easily overlookedcan change the meaning of your writing in some very significant ways.  Ask a contract attorney!

These sentences show intent:
He dragged the fish in and bent to net it when a bullet flew over his head.
Nancy stepped into the hallway when the nurse came in to prep her father.

Add the comma, and you have mere coincidence:
He dragged the fish in and bent to net it, when a bullet flew over his head.
Nancy stepped into the hallway, when the nurse came in to prep her father.

Get it?  If not, don't worry. I do.

Self-publishing should still be quality publishing.
Now scheduling mid-December and 2018



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Re: Copy Editing and More: Publishing House Quality at an Independent Price.
« Reply #42 on: December 15, 2017, 06:00:40 PM »
It's been a most educational month.

I learned a lot about border clashes and the founding of Israel, the difference between a moshav and a kibbutz, and that the name of a very important church is regularly shortened to the Church of the Multiplication.  Oh, and some interesting ways to eat hummus.

A little closer to home, I learned an amazing amount about towboats, including the concept of the telescoping pilothouse, which sounds fantastic! I also confirmed one more career I was not suited for.  To get his pilot's license, my client had to draw a fifteen-mile segment of a river, including all the buoys, mileposts, bridges (and their heights and widths), plus the depth of the river, and on and on.  From memory.  I cant go to the supermarket without a list!

Moving right along to a new project with another new client. This one's the first of six short stories to come.  Cant wait!

Openings in mid-January, mid-February, and the end of March.

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Re: Copy Editing and More: Publishing House Quality at an Independent Price.
« Reply #43 on: January 02, 2018, 01:42:33 PM »
Some nice words from Captain Tom:

Julie recently edited my first book and I am thrilled!

As a new writer stumbling along with lots of passion but little knowledge, her editing, advice, and help with some modest revisions was invaluable. I feel an enormous confidence that I didn't before, because I know that with her excellent assistance my first book will be recognized as professional quality.  I feel so blessed to have found her. She is the real deal, folks. I cannot give her a more marvelous and robust recommendation!

Thanks, Julie! You are the best.
--- Captain Tom Struve, author of the forthcoming All about Towboats.

Now scheduling March and later. 
« Last Edit: January 02, 2018, 05:48:51 PM by Free Range Editor »

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Re: Copy Editing and More: Publishing House Quality at an Independent Price.
« Reply #44 on: January 15, 2018, 06:13:59 AM »
When you're looking for an editor, how do you decide which one to choose?  Trust your peers and trust your instincts.  Trust me.  Here's the latest testimonial from a recent client:

"I am so grateful to Julie for contributing in a significant way to my first book. When my brother (Al Macy) suggested I try his editor, I was nervous about the cost.  Not only was Julie's editing affordable, but I was introduced to a top-notch editor.  Julie was accessible and made me feel like a very important client.   Receiving her edits in the mail was like opening presents.  Her responses to the draft of River Dragons and Other Reflections included so much more than where to put a comma or a semicolon!  Letting me know that waterbirds were not songbirds or that I might want to substitute a different word in a passage were just a couple of the suggestions I found invaluable.  Julie was quick to respond and the fast turnaround time was so appreciated!  It has been such a pleasure to have been introduced to Free Range Editorial.  If the book succeeds, it will be, in part, due to Julies skills as an editor. I look forward to more editing adventures with Julie in the years to come."

Carol Macy, Author, River Dragons and Other Reflections

Now scheduling April and later.
Self-publishing should still be quality publishing.

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Re: Copy Editing and More: Publishing House Quality at an Independent Price.
« Reply #45 on: January 15, 2018, 07:48:21 AM »
I have been editing a friend's romance (not the first I have done for her) and it has left me thinking that anyone who does this for a living needs a medal. It has driven me completely round the twist. She has commas where there should be full stops, full stops where there should be commas, or nothing at all. She is also having a serious love affair with the exclamation mark and sees questions where there are none.

Three times I have had to ask, in red, what the hell else the character would shrug. There are other things, but seriously, it is more than hard work.

Well done for not going crazy.  :o


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Re: Copy Editing and More: Publishing House Quality at an Independent Price.
« Reply #46 on: January 17, 2018, 07:47:10 AM »
Doglover,

And who says I haven't?

Gone crazy, that is. ;)

Seriously, I love what I do.  I left a full-time position copy editing for the world's second largest legal publishing company, where a raise meant moving my team to a higher floor.  Now I work with people who thank me.  People who call me just to chat.  People who joke about asking WWJD? (What Would Julie Do?) as they write.  Can't beat it!

If you get tired of copy editing for your friend, feel free to send her my way. I've got a pocketful of substitutes for shrugs and a bushel of suggestions for "placed," "big," "somehow," and "sighed."

Now, take a deep breath, shrug, sigh, even roll your eyes, and move those commas around!

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Re: Copy Editing and More: Publishing House Quality at an Independent Price.
« Reply #47 on: January 17, 2018, 07:58:14 AM »
Doglover,

And who says I haven't?

Gone crazy, that is. ;)

Seriously, I love what I do.  I left a full-time position copy editing for the world's second largest legal publishing company, where a raise meant moving my team to a higher floor.  Now I work with people who thank me.  People who call me just to chat.  People who joke about asking WWJD? (What Would Julie Do?) as they write.  Can't beat it!

If you get tired of copy editing for your friend, feel free to send her my way. I've got a pocketful of substitutes for shrugs and a bushel of suggestions for "placed," "big," "somehow," and "sighed."

Now, take a deep breath, shrug, sigh, even roll your eyes, and move those commas around!
Well, I started off correcting them, then I decided that  if I did that, she'd never learn. So I started putting red question marks all over the place. I just don't understand why it's so difficult. I've explained the significance of both the comma and the full stop no end of times, but she just doesn't get it so I can only think it must be me who isn't explaining well enough.

She can't afford to pay anyone; I get roast dinners cooked for me and she knits me jumpers!


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Re: Copy Editing and More: Publishing House Quality at an Independent Price.
« Reply #48 on: January 17, 2018, 08:24:26 AM »
Doglover,

You're a good friend.  Home-cooked meals and hand-knitted sweaters are lovely payment.

:)

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Re: Copy Editing and More: Publishing House Quality at an Independent Price.
« Reply #49 on: January 26, 2018, 03:31:36 PM »
Welcome to a new client. My first from Canada! He's a refugee from another copy editor, who told him what words he could and couldn't use.

Excuse me?

I tell all my clients the same thing: My suggested changes are just that, suggestions. At the end of the day, it's your book. I will never tell you that you MUST accept my changes.

Jeez.

If your copy editor is too aggressive for you, it's time to look for a new copy editor.

Now scheduling April and later.
Self-publishing should still be quality publishing.

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Re: Copy Editing and More: Publishing House Quality at an Independent Price.
« Reply #50 on: February 21, 2018, 08:42:35 AM »
"You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means."

Last week on Day 10 or possibly 11 of the flu, as I roused myself from one more unexpected nap, I thought about the complete and utter exhaustion I was experiencing.  How best to describe it? 

Tired?  Beyond belief.
Fatigued? Yes, but more.
Drained? Absolutely.

Enervated.  The perfect word, but so often misused and misunderstood. I have frequently seen "enervated" used to mean its polar opposite -- "energized" --and wondered why.  Then it came to me. Think about words beginning with the letters E-N:

Energize
Enhance
Enliven
Enlighten

They all indicate a growth, an abundance, an increase. So, why does "enervate" mean a lacking, an absence?  Simple, the prefix for "enervate" is not "en," it's "e." Rather than reproduce the etymology for you, here's a link to Merriam-Webster's word of the day podcast (https://dfkfj8j276wwv.cloudfront.net/episodes/5ba3284d-5e34-4800-8f18-790a129b93ab/b16551a89323195d9bc1a51942d59bc8d1ee5be8261c5007f66d7586c06263ee9eeec81515a1ede7a0893af5c164ae89d41d179fe0b18b1aa1eb7a19da1d619d/wd20110703.mp3).  Enjoy!

Self-publishing should still be quality publishing.  Now booking April and later.
« Last Edit: March 15, 2018, 02:20:19 PM by Free Range Editor »

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What do spinning thread, piloting a towboat, training a bird dog, and choosing a continuing care retirement community have in common?  Not a darn thing. Except this: thanks to A.M., Captain Tom, Shannon, and Ruth, I can now speak a bit more knowledgeably about all of them.

Teach me something new!

Now scheduling starting in June.
Self-publishing should still be quality publishing.

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Let's Do the Tighten Up!

The unhappy expressions on the faces of the people in the room told the whole story.
As opposed to the unhappy expressions on their shoes? The unhappy expressions on their ears?
Simple fix: The unhappy expressions of the people in the room told the whole story.

Generally speaking, if there is only one word that fits, you don't need it.

He nodded his _____ vigorously.
The only word that fills in that blank is "head." So, He nodded vigorously is sufficient.

She blinked her ______, confused.
What else would she blink but her eyes?

I'm not saying there aren't exceptions. But when you write a sentence like one of these, take a moment to think about it. Or don't, and I will.

Self-publishing should still be quality publishing.
Now scheduling September and later.
« Last Edit: April 05, 2018, 09:32:21 AM by Free Range Editor »

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Let's Do the Tighten Up!

He nodded his _____ vigorously.
The only word that fills in that blank is head.
I don't know. In the right category, say 'erotica' it might not be. :)


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Interesting point.  :)

Thanks for playing along!

(But seriously and a bit pedantically, the definition of "nod" is "to bend the head forward slightly and raise it again quickly, as a sign of greeting, command, acknowledgment, invitation, or, specif., of agreement or assent."  Intriguing image that creates for your example. And that's why copy editors get such a bad rap.  We're a little nitpicky.  On the other hand, that's what you pay us for!)

 Julie

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