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Author Topic: Copy Editing and More: Publishing House Quality at an Independent Price.  (Read 5580 times)  

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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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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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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Offline Free Range Editor

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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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Offline Free Range Editor

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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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Offline Free Range Editor

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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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Offline 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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Offline Free Range Editor

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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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Offline Free Range Editor

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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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Offline Free Range Editor

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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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Offline Free Range Editor

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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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Offline Free Range Editor

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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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