Author Topic: Denise Barker, COPY EDITOR, 2008 to Present (first 5.5 years with Harlequin)  (Read 9997 times)  

Offline Denise Barker

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As a US copy editor, I've worked the traditional publishing arena as well as the Indie-pubbed side. As an Indie author myself, I have a real heart for making Indie authors' work outshine the trad-pubbed books. While I may have started in the romance genre when working with Harlequin, I have branched out to encompass so many other genres: sci-fi/fantasy, thriller/suspense, mystery, self-help nonfiction, memoir and more.

CURRENT AVAILABILITY: As of 05.21.2018 at 8:44 a.m. CST, I'm booked through 06.21.2018, with a backlog of at least four books hung up earlier in the production pipeline that may hit me all at once. Another thirtysomething titled projects are sprinkled throughout all of 2018, plus at least two unnamed series of an unknown number of books expected sometime this year as well. HOWEVER, I do pad my deadlines on each and every project to allow for eventualities (internet outages, sickness, etc.). So, with each project I finish early, I can then move ahead to the next one and finish it early. Rinse and repeat until my queue is empty. Please contact me directly at any time for my current status, as any delays in ETAs of projects can lead to a week "off" for me a couple times a year.

As a copy editor ($0.01/WC), I'm the spelling and grammar police (with 17CMS, released September 2017, and Web11 as my US guidelines). But I am so much more. I've expanded my list of writing criteria to become the Nine Cs of Effective Writing, which are:

Continuity
Clarity
Conciseness
Communication
Consistency
Coherence
Correctness
Chronology
Credibility

I'm also a proofreader ($0.009/WC as of 2018), catching spelling and grammar issues, plus obvious snafus that present themselves without actively checking time lines or major plot points or fully activating the various copy editor duties listed above. However, once that copy editor mind-set is activated, I cannot turn off my hypersensitive attention to details.

I work on Microsoft Word docs only (no Mac docs), using Word's Track Changes program. I have never missed a deadline and turn in projects early in 99 percent of the cases. The remaining 1 percent are turned in on the due date. Prepayment in full via PayPal is required before my work begins. I'll share my PayPal business email address with interested parties as it does not match any of my currently used email addresses.

UPDATE as of September 8, 2017: Before this date I could always say that I would (and did) complete the projects in my queue within thirty to sixty days of receipt at the outer limits. But I'm busier now, so expect any new project to have outer limits of four months or more currently. HOWEVER, I am allowing for high activity which may not always be the case. Regardless, I can give a better estimate of a proposed deadline when an author emails me directly, and we can confirm what's already in my queue at that time and date, with the last project's deadline. Then I can add on the proposed length of time for the new project (based on a sample thereof). For instance, it may take me one week to do my line edits/copy edits in two complete read-throughs of a well-written 50K novel or perhaps ten days for a "clean" 90K novel. Just FYI to give you an example.

Two important things to share here: (1) I do two complete read-throughs for each manuscript to catch as many errors as humanly possible. (2) I reserve the right to refuse to take on any project if the dialogue punctuation is so massively wrong that it would entail a third read-through by me to fix it. The one time I ventured to change just the horrid, mangled dialogue punctuation within a manuscript took fifteen hours. I'm not doing that again. Not even if paid $1 million. Whether in cash or gold or bearer bonds. Ha!

For even more details about my copyediting process, see my blog post here: http://livingthedreampublishing.blogspot.com/2015/12/denise-barker-freelance-copy-editor.html. NOTE: My 2016 rates for KB authors listed herein are discounted and are the same for 2017. So the 2016/2017 rates published in my blog post mentioned above are higher than I give here. Be sure to mention you found me on the KB site.

Expect a nominal rate hike for 2018. I should have those posted sometime in December 2017.

Thank you for considering me. Find me in the KB Yellow Pages and at LivingTheDreamPublishing.blogspot.com. Best wishes to all us Indies!

Denise Barker
US Editor/Copy Editor/Proofreader
DFW Metroplex, TX, USA
BarkerDeniseAnn@gmail.com
« Last Edit: Today at 06:44:59 AM by Denise Barker »

DENISE BARKER, author, blogger, freelance copy editor
Denise Barker | Living the Dream Publishing

Offline Denise Barker

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Thank you for considering me as the copy editor for your next novel.

DENISE BARKER, author, blogger, freelance copy editor
Denise Barker | Living the Dream Publishing

Offline Denise Barker

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Thanks to all who consider me. Many, many thanks to those who hire me or buy my copyediting book.

DENISE BARKER, author, blogger, freelance copy editor
Denise Barker | Living the Dream Publishing

Offline Denise Barker

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Thanks for considering me.

Denise Barker
barkerdeniseann@gmail.com

DENISE BARKER, author, blogger, freelance copy editor
Denise Barker | Living the Dream Publishing

Offline Denise Barker

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Many thanks to my faithful authors who repeatedly choose me to be their copy editor. Also thank you to those who are now considering me too.

DENISE BARKER, author, blogger, freelance copy editor
Denise Barker | Living the Dream Publishing

Offline Lisa Blackwood

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I'm not in the hunt at the moment, but I bookmark like crazy ad there may be lurkers curious.  ;D

I'm not trying to put you on the spot, btw.

So, first questions/random thoughts.

I assume you do sample edits etc? And is there a place interested persons can see you list of works/clients etc? Credentials etc? (forgive me, I didn't poke around your blog and you may have answered my questions there--I'm in drafting mode and shouldn't even be here at the moment. lol)

Offline dwpenny

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I never post online, but for Denise I will make an exception. She is thorough and professional. I strongly recommend her to any author looking for a copy editor or proofreader. You won't be disappointed. If you need a personal recommendation, feel free to PM me.

D.W. Moneypenny | website

Offline Denise Barker

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I will consider doing one-page double-spaced sample edits up to 250WC per Microsoft Word, for those who are interested. However, I have to limit this activity to be done only after all my paying copyediting jobs are completed. As for authors I have worked with, D. W. Moneypenny has graciously given me a recommendation in this feed. Thank you, David! Also R. J. Castro and Zachary Jones have listed me as their copy editor for one each of their books on Amazon's website.

Thanks for considering me.

Denise Barker
Freelance Copy Editor
BarkerDeniseAnn@gmail.com
« Last Edit: July 27, 2016, 01:34:59 PM by Denise Barker »

DENISE BARKER, author, blogger, freelance copy editor
Denise Barker | Living the Dream Publishing

Offline Denise Barker

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I'm an Indie author myself, plus worked with patent and trademark attorneys in my previous career, so I come armed to professionally copyedit Indie authors' manuscripts with these two advantages as well. I'm not a professional formatter, but I know enough by experience uploading my sixteen books to date to offer valid advice to other Indies. Thanks for checking me out!

Denise Barker
Freelance Copy Editor
BarkerDeniseAnn@gmail.com
« Last Edit: July 27, 2016, 01:37:00 PM by Denise Barker »

DENISE BARKER, author, blogger, freelance copy editor
Denise Barker | Living the Dream Publishing

Offline Denise Barker

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In my previous career, I was a legal assistant, working with lawyers of various specialties, but of particular interest here to Indie authors was my work with patent and trademark attorneys. While I'm still not a lawyer, I am sensitive to certain issues that need to be reviewed by an attorney, said topics noted in related comments within my Track Changes document the author receives from me. Just another reason why I'm especially gifted for the job of copy editor.

Thanks for considering me.

Denise Barker
BarkerDeniseAnn@gmail.com
« Last Edit: April 14, 2016, 09:10:49 AM by Denise Barker »

DENISE BARKER, author, blogger, freelance copy editor
Denise Barker | Living the Dream Publishing

Offline Denise Barker

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Thanks to my loyal clients and some new referrals, I have at least one (long) project already scheduled for each of the remaining months of 2016. I appreciate you guys so much more than you know! I still have room for more manuscripts, but, instead of faster turnarounds given for these early bird authors, I'll have to give longer deadlines for completion (like one month or maybe more). Just FYI.

Denise Barker
Freelance Copy Editor
BarkerDeniseAnn@gmail.com

DENISE BARKER, author, blogger, freelance copy editor
Denise Barker | Living the Dream Publishing

Offline Denise Barker

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I am so lucky to work with my favorite authors (who write long books, over 100K WC, and/or who are prolific, putting out two to three or more books a year), which, as you can imagine, fills up my calendar with projects pretty fast. But I still have room for more books to edit/copyedit/proofread: fiction/nonfiction, long/short. So keep me in mind ... Thanks!

Denise Barker
BarkerDeniseAnn@gmail.com

DENISE BARKER, author, blogger, freelance copy editor
Denise Barker | Living the Dream Publishing

Offline Denise Barker

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Here are more details about my process:

1. I only work on Microsoft Word documents (no Mac docs).
2. I use Track Changes in Microsoft Word to edit the document.
3. My guidelines are The Chicago Manual of Style, Sixteenth Edition (16CMS), for US English grammar rules and Merriam-Webster's Collegiate Dictionary, Eleventh Edition (Web11), for US spelling of words (which may or may not be the same dictionary as used with Microsoft Word's spell-checker).
4. I prepare documents for publication in the United States (so I'm not using UK English guidelines, for instance).
5. Prepayment in full via PayPal is required before my work is begun.
6. Once you and I agree to work on one of your books, I will provide you with my special PayPal address to make payment and also my deadline for returning the Track Changes doc to you. I have never missed a deadline.
7. For even more details, see my blog post here: http://livingthedreampublishing.blogspot.com/2015/12/denise-barker-freelance-copy-editor.html. NOTE: I have special rates for KB authors, which is why my advertised fees here are less than those mentioned in my blog post for my 2016 rates (see link given above). So be sure to mention you saw my KB ad to lock in these 2016 KB rates.

Thanks for considering me.

Denise Barker
US Editor/Copy Editor/Proofreader
BarkerDeniseAnn@gmail.com

« Last Edit: May 09, 2016, 05:44:46 AM by Denise Barker »

DENISE BARKER, author, blogger, freelance copy editor
Denise Barker | Living the Dream Publishing

Offline Denise Barker

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As of the date and time of this posting, I'm booked through 06.30.2016, with other projects penciled in for receipt/prepayment later on anticipated dates throughout the balance of this year. Once a project is prepaid, I set its deadline to complete same and return to its author. I do buffer my deadlines (for uncontrollable electrical outages, for if I were to be sick, etc.) so that I never miss a deadline but fully intend to turn in each and every project earlier than stated.

Denise Barker
US Copy Editor/Proofreader
BarkerDeniseAnn@gmail.com

DENISE BARKER, author, blogger, freelance copy editor
Denise Barker | Living the Dream Publishing

Offline Denise Barker

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June 2016 was and continues to be a busy month for me, but I see the light at the end of the tunnel now as I work on my two remaining novels. While I have penciled in two more for next month, otherwise July 2016 is wide open as of this date and time, subject to the receipt of my next prepaid project.

Meanwhile, on this the first official day of summer, I hope everyone has a great one!

Denise Barker
Freelance US Copy Editor
BarkerDeniseAnn@gmail.com



« Last Edit: June 20, 2016, 12:52:34 PM by Denise Barker »

DENISE BARKER, author, blogger, freelance copy editor
Denise Barker | Living the Dream Publishing

Offline Denise Barker

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Happy Fourth of July holiday to my fellow Americans. For all those across the pond affected by Brexit, my prayers for a smooth transition are with you as this change is made.

Denise Barker
Freelance Copy Editor
BarkerDeniseAnn@gmail.com
« Last Edit: June 30, 2016, 06:52:18 PM by Denise Barker »

DENISE BARKER, author, blogger, freelance copy editor
Denise Barker | Living the Dream Publishing

Offline Denise Barker

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For July and August 2016 only, I'm offering big-picture editing (developmental editing aka DE) for $500 per MS of less than or equal to 75K WC (per Microsoft Word's tally).

In September 2016, my price returns to $1,000 for 75K WC MS (pro rata for MSs above 75K WC). All fees are to be prepaid in full via PayPal. I'll share my PayPal info as needed.

This differs from the jot and tittle detailed work that I do as a copy editor (grammar and spelling police stuff). For DE, I look to see that your main characters are believable, empathetic, so your reader can identify with said characters. I check your plot for holes. I watch for too much or not enough dialogue (which is considered action), narration, introspection, other action or too much of one character and not enough of another (say, one who dies at the end but nobody cares because we didn't connect with him throughout the novel). Overall I see if your narrator is credible and if your storyline is believable (not a melodramatic tale that won't keep your reader involved). If you are interested, send me your first five pages of your MS to BarkerDeniseAnn@gmail.com as I reserve the right to refuse some MSs due to certain subject matters (like spousal/child abuse, etc.) and to confirm my availability. Thanks for considering me.

Hope everybody in the States had a safe and fun Fourth.

Denise Barker
Developmental Editor, Copy Editor, Proofreader
BarkerDeniseAnn@gmail.com
« Last Edit: July 08, 2016, 03:19:15 PM by Denise Barker »

DENISE BARKER, author, blogger, freelance copy editor
Denise Barker | Living the Dream Publishing

Offline Denise Barker

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We're hitting some one-hundred-degree days here in Texas. Hope it is pleasant wherever you are. Enjoy your summer. Get out a bit. Remember to even out all that hard work with some playtime, some downtime.

Denise Barker
Freelance Copy Editor
BarkerDeniseAnn@gmail.com

DENISE BARKER, author, blogger, freelance copy editor
Denise Barker | Living the Dream Publishing

Offline Denise Barker

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For those authors more in the beginning stages of creating their books, I understand what you're going through. I've been a hybrid planner for many years, part seat-of-my-pants and part plotter (knowing two things: as many as seven main plot points and up to sixty possible scenes). That's worked for me the three times I completed NaNoWriMo. But that resulted in three stand-alone novels in draft form, not Books 1 through 3 of the same series.

A series is a different animal. It takes forethought, much more so than for a single novel. To write a series, I needed a setup and a cast that I would enjoy working within and with for years. Also the wherewithal to add new characters. I needed an overarcing storyline that ran through each of the books (like murder mysteries solve the murder in each book, except I'm not writing murder mysteries), yet each book within the series was a self-contained unit. It's a major undertaking. You don't want to end up in the middle of Book 2 with no way out for your characters and no plausible plotline while staying true to the setup given in Book 1. Contemplating a viable series was daunting.

So I've written books to help me in plotting a single book, which I would apply to preparing my series, projecting even three books into the future. My latest publication was the Build A Book Storytelling Checklist which contains 110 items to make note of when plotting a book. I took gems amassed from myriad books on plotting, then took the best of the best and arranged them chronologically. My other releases that help me in plotting are my four volumes of quotations. To me, they represent writing prompts. When I'm stuck in the plotting process, one of the things that can help me the fastest is to read a few pages of quotes. I'll hit upon a theme, about which I can talk/write forever (spanning three or more books even, I hope), or I'll find a few quotes that evoke a rush of emotions. Then I play around with those themes and emotions, brainstorming and/or mindmapping to see where it leads me.

Invariably I have to let it simmer on the back burner of my mind. Then, in the shower, unloading the dishwasher, mowing the lawn or whatever mundane chore I'm doing, I'll have a moment of inspiration where it all falls together. It's wonderful when that happens.

At this magical moment, I have to immediately write everything down. Usually as a letter to myself, stream of consciousness fashion, just getting it on paper or into my laptop before I forget a thing. Afterward, I work through the Snowflake software, from a logline to a fully fleshed-out plot and scenes list.

Anyway, that's my process. And I've started Book One of my proposed series in my daily hour or two of downtime, with future books in this series becoming more and more apparent. I'm proof positive that the muse visits those while writing (not just waiting).

Hope this helps someone else get over the plotting hump. Take whatever resonates and toss the rest. Happy plotting!

Denise Barker
Author, Blogger, Freelance Copy Editor
BarkerDeniseAnn@gmail.com
« Last Edit: July 28, 2016, 07:03:52 PM by Denise Barker »

DENISE BARKER, author, blogger, freelance copy editor
Denise Barker | Living the Dream Publishing

Offline Denise Barker

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I've been in research mode this weekend for my own series. What fun! Really. I love reading. Have one book to finish, two more to go. Have a good Sunday, everyone.

Denise Barker
Author, Blogger, Freelance Copy Editor
BarkerDeniseAnn@gmail.com

DENISE BARKER, author, blogger, freelance copy editor
Denise Barker | Living the Dream Publishing

Offline Denise Barker

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My seventeenth book was just released, entitled DON'T DO THAT! Common Grammar Errors in Manuscripts. Amazon seems to be getting even faster about reviewing and making live these brand-new e-publications. I pressed Publish about 11:00 p.m. yesterday and bought the first copy only a half hour or so ago. Amazing.

Here's the online description for those who may be interested:

I'm a professional US copy editor, working since 2008, the first 5.5 years with a well-known traditional publishing house. Since then I've worked totally with Indie authors. Over all these years and these hundreds of books I've copyedited, what I find odd is how the same grammar mistakes are made over and over by myriad authors, both pro and newbie alike, akin to about four hundred unrelated Americans all having the same dream on the same night. But our US English language rules are not easy to learn, as the rules are not always consistent and do not always make common sense. Plus the rules have exceptions. Some of those exceptions even have exceptions.

Thus this book represents an organized compilation of those "universal" errors I've collected over the years, specifically gathered for American authors publishing fiction and nonfiction in the United States, using accepted spelling and grammar practices for this venue: The Chicago Manual of Style (Sixteenth Edition) aka 16CMS and Merriam-Webster's Collegiate Dictionary (Eleventh Edition) aka Web11.

However, copy editors, like me, do much more than catch grammar errors and misspellings. I also look for what I call the:

NINE Cs OF EFFECTIVE WRITING
Chronology
Clarity
Coherence
Communication
Conciseness
Consistency
Continuity
Correctness
Credibility

The Nine Cs of Effective Writing are among the more than seventy topics covered in this seventy-one-page (single-spaced) book, serving as a shortcut for you, making your life easier and helping your writing shine brighter. You may be amazed to find a rule or two that you didn't know about. Better to read these few pages than the 1,026 pages of the 16CMS or opening up Web11 fiftysomething times a day, right? Okay, you may still have to consult Web11 more than you thought possible, but my general hyphenation rule as to joining base words with prefixes/suffixes will save you valuable time and will yield the correct spelling more times than not.

As any professional author will tell you, this writing career is all about continuing education, about the growth of the author's expertise. I'm here to help with that.

Let's dig in.

Denise Barker
Freelance Copy Editor
BarkerDeniseAnn@gmail.com
« Last Edit: August 14, 2016, 03:00:45 AM by Denise Barker »

DENISE BARKER, author, blogger, freelance copy editor
Denise Barker | Living the Dream Publishing

Offline Denise Barker

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Sending prayers and well-wishes to all the people displaced in Louisiana from the recent flooding (like two feet of rainwater fell in twenty-four hours). I was born in Baton Rouge so my heart goes out to those people there and in Ascension Parish and related areas.

Denise Barker
« Last Edit: August 21, 2016, 09:48:11 AM by Denise Barker »

DENISE BARKER, author, blogger, freelance copy editor
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Offline Denise Barker

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As a copy editor and as an Indie author, I get upset when I see grammar-challenged people spouting off insane "rules" as "everybody knows that ... " rhetoric, unfounded (not based on 16CMS), giving the wrong info to newbie and pro authors alike, plus making Indies look bad when they put this to use in their books.

Below is a reprint of my recent blog post on this, entitled "Don't Propagate False Grammar Rules and I Name Today as Be Kind to Your Copy Editor Day."

I'm a professional (and highly competent) copy editor. This makes me the queen of grammar and spelling aka the spelling and grammar police. Even so, I've been told one time too many some version of the "everyone knows the rule is ... " about something. Which turns out to not be a valid rule and yet was spoken by a person who considers himself/herself as a grammar expert. No, the US grammar expert in those cases would be me.

Anytime someone tells you the "rule is," ask them for the following:

1. the name of the publication that they are using as a reference guide;
2. the year of publication of such guide (hopefully within this century);
3. if the publication is widely accepted within the States (or the appropriate reference guide for whatever country you find yourself living in and publishing in);
4. the rule number or the page number of such "rule"; and
5. a Xerox or scanned copy of same from that person's hard copy book that they've read and keep handy to consult with often, or a screenshot from any online version or from an e-book.

Bet they can't provide any of the above. Because it's a false rule. Yet I can give you the exact 16CMS rules for my edits (including screenshots or copies of said 16CMS rules, as needed) and can point you to the Web11 (or give a screenshot for the truly lazy among us, to settle any dispute) for the preferred spelling usages. Both these guides are American mainstays for fiction and nonfiction alike, both published this century, with 16CMS in 2010 and Web11 in 2007.

Granted, if you write articles for a US newspaper/magazine, you probably go by the AP rules here in the States. For medical white papers, the AMA. For Christian works, the Christian Writer's Manual of Style. And so on and so forth.

I'm reminded of NCIS where Gibbs tells his people to double-check everything. Take nothing at face value. Don't believe anything people tell you until you've confirmed it. Applies perfectly here.

Just within the last three days [of the original publication date of this blog post], I've heard two such fallacies. One was about how supposedly there are no spaces before and after an ellipsis. Wrong. See 16CMS 13.48 and 13.51. The other was the stupidest fake grammar rule I've ever heard (to date anyway): how there should end up being two periods at the end of a sentence that terminates at a word with a period (like "etc.") or with a person's initials (like, instead of Charles Daniel spelled out, using his initials, "C.D."). OMG. Wrong again.

A WRONG Example: Here are my copies of the 16CMS, Web11, the manuscript, etc..

See 16CMS 6.117 and 10.12. And that last one comes from an otherwise gifted storyteller who got hit by a ginormous stupid stick the day she adamantly stated this two-period "rule," like some valid grammar rule to follow instead of the 16CMS rule I explained. Not the first time for her to conjure up these aberrations either.

So, Indie authors, to protect yourself from these misguided people who purport to be grammar experts, ask them for the five items listed above. And for you guys spewing this dung, who are too quick to hand out these supposed "rules," please, please, please don't pollute the waters with this misinformation anymore. Go check it out yourself, for God's sake. Consult 16CMS, Web11.

If you are a US author and don't own a physical copy of 16CMS and Web11, both reference guides have online resources available (some for free). Even the first full page of a Google search will tell you to not ever end a sentence with two periods. Duh! It doesn't hurt to double-check yourself, as we are all human, subject to misinterpretations or giving someone too much credence.

I'm begging you to not make our self-published authors look stupid by giving them these made-up rules that were pulled out of someone's a**.

Plus do not insult your professional copy editor by espousing one of these inane rules as the gospel truth, who (if any good at being a copy editor) knows ten times more than you combined with your ten best writing buddies, who just think they know about English grammar rules. Your copy editor is there to make your books shine, not to make you look like an idiot by applying these pseudorules. If you have a question, ask me. I'll gladly discuss it with you.

So don't mistreat/abuse/bully/delay paying your copy editor (or, worse, Reject her grammatically correct edits within your Track Changes doc on a whim or merely thinking how much smarter you are than your copy editor). That's not making good use of your copy editor's expertise on 16CMS grammar rules. Meanwhile, your copy editor remains the consummate professional, doing her usual outstanding work in spite of your shortcomings. Because her work (as originally completed, not as adulterated by some grammar-challenged author) is her trademark. Her work is her brand. Her work speaks for her integrity, for her skill. If your copy editor is competent, he or she is worth every penny (and more) that you pay for such services. So, for Pete's sake, treat said copy editor like the skilled professional that he or she is. You can't learn what I know in two to three days of on-the-job training. Not even with two to three months' worth.

I shouldn't have to tell intelligent adults any of this. Yet here I am. Because obviously growing up physically is no guaranteed marker of growing up mentally or morally or socially. Or grammatically.

While I'm on my soapbox, if you have a disdain for the US grammar rules, don't hire me to be your copy editor. It's like going to Starbucks, asking for Folgers, when you should be at Kroger. (And I happen to like all three brands here, so don't get me wrong on that.) Now I won't speak for any other copy editors. You can check with yours on this issue as needed. I'll repeat what I said in my opening: I'm a copy editor. This makes me the queen of grammar and spelling aka the spelling and grammar police.

So, if you have no intention of following the grammar rules or the spelling guidelines, don't even want to be bothered with my notations of them within Track Changes comments to explain the reason for my edits, then please reciprocate. If I can't share with you the 16CMS rules, then don't begin to proffer your imaginary ones, like they have merit or something.

Save your money and my time, and go hire instead your gardener, your dry cleaner, your yoga instructor, your favorite niece or that writing partner who agrees with you about everything. No fact-checking needed. No exceptions to the exceptions within the 16CMS grammar rules to cull through. No use for Web11 or any dictionary as you'll just spell stuff phonetically, right? "The spell-checker catches all that," a naysayer may retort. Nope. Even with a version of Microsoft Word that lets you choose your default dictionary (always go with Web11 for US texts), a human eye is still needed for those pesky homonyms, for context problems, for missing words, for one-letter words that should be two-letter words, even for some instances of ALL CAPS, etc.

Let me make myself clear. I'm not belittling any of the professions listed herein. I'm just pointing out that, given the choice of a competent copy editor or a gardener or your dry cleaner or your yoga instructor or your favorite niece or your (very gifted) writing partner, if you are looking for the expert on grammar rules simply by these individual descriptions alone, go with the copy editor. Again duh! This should be a given. I'm shaking my head still at how this is not understood by enough people. Are we humans, as a group, getting stupider as time keeps ticking away?

You should respect the copy editor you work with (or get one you do respect), giving him/her the appropriate dues for reading the 16CMS alone. You go read it. Time yourself for ten minutes and see how many pages you have read and understood. I double-dog dare you. The 16CMS is 860 pages of mind-numbing text (not counting the appendixes in the back matter), each page therein with probably an average of at least 10 rules per page. The 16CMS contains so much data that your mind shuts down pretty quickly, so this would never be a quick one-sitting read.

In all likelihood ~8,600 rules are in the one volume. The first part deals with fiction, and the last part deals more with nonfiction. And I've read over 90 percent of it (all the sections dealing with fiction writings), checking more nonfiction-related rules as needed. And, of course, I search it often to confirm how to treat certain anomalies that arise within myriad sentence constructions.

What are my qualifications to be a grammar expert? Honors English classes in high school. Decades of working with attorneys, honing my attention-to-detail skills. It's amazing how my innate gifts for clear and concise communication, plus a curious nature to go to the source and to read the rules (TRCP), which all made me a great legal assistant, are the same traits that make me a brilliant copy editor. Then there are the 8.5 years and counting where I've been a paid professional copy editor, first for Harlequin for 5.5 years, overlapping with the four or so years I've devoted myself to Indie authors. Plus my reading of the 16CMS gives me a definitive edge over all the posers. And I like to think my 150 IQ and my 80 percent eidetic memory don't hurt me either.

So I deem today as Be Kind to Your Copy Editor Day. Or maybe it should be a weeklong reminder. Go forth, and send your appreciation and thanks to people you may not have told yet.

Denise Barker
Author, Blogger, Freelance Copy Editor
BarkerDeniseAnn@gmail.com
« Last Edit: August 28, 2016, 03:29:33 AM by Denise Barker »

DENISE BARKER, author, blogger, freelance copy editor
Denise Barker | Living the Dream Publishing

Offline Denise Barker

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Re: Denise Barker, COPY EDITOR, 2008 to Present (first 5.5 years with Harlequin)
« Reply #23 on: September 04, 2016, 02:13:51 AM »
When something can be read without effort, great effort has gone into its writing.
Enrique Jardiel Poncela

Amen. And what a beautiful quotation to explain the copyediting process.

If a sentence/paragraph is hard to understand, has to be reread, then the meaning isn't clear enough yet. Rework that section marked as confusing by your beta readers. Also even the author can find these messy parts when reading sections out loud.

Denise Barker
Freelance Copy Editor
BarkerDeniseAnn@gmail.com
« Last Edit: September 04, 2016, 09:19:18 AM by Denise Barker »

DENISE BARKER, author, blogger, freelance copy editor
Denise Barker | Living the Dream Publishing

Offline Denise Barker

  • Status: Arthur Conan Doyle
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Re: Denise Barker, COPY EDITOR, 2008 to Present (first 5.5 years with Harlequin)
« Reply #24 on: September 11, 2016, 09:04:38 AM »
Praying for world peace on this anniversary of 9/11, as well as for the survivors and families who lost loved ones. May God bless you all.

Denise Barker

DENISE BARKER, author, blogger, freelance copy editor
Denise Barker | Living the Dream Publishing