Author Topic: Denise Barker, COPY EDITOR, 2008 to Present (first 5.5 years with Harlequin)  (Read 10401 times)  

Offline Denise Barker

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I've had a wonderfully busy month. I'm currently booked through 03.25.2017. I may have to extend my standing one-month turnaround time to become six weeks at the outside (or even two months). It's a nice problem for me to have.

But no worries. I do pad my individual deadlines given to each author who submits a job, taken on a first come, first served basis, per the date and time of the prepaid PayPal payment received in full by me. So, while I may give one author a specific deadline of twenty days later (based on what's already in my queue), I'm trying my hardest to turn in each and every project at least one day or two early (never compromising on the quality of my work).

Thanks for everything, y'all!

Denise Barker
Freelance US 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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Another week has welcomed us all. I've been swamped with work (always a good thing!), yet have done my taxes (ouchie!), spring-cleaned my kitchen (makes me smile), and enjoyed our warm weather here in Texas with my windows open as I sit in my office (love the sounds of the birds and other animal life and the clean smells of nature).

So take some time to enjoy yourself daily in common pleasures. Every day should be more and more a snapshot of your perfect life. That's my goal.

Denise Barker
Freelance US 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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Happy Monday to us all. Hope everyone had a wonderful weekend and has an equally good week ahead of them. Me? I need to get back to work to timely meet the six deadlines I have on the respective projects currently in my queue.

I love what I do!

Denise Barker
Freelance US 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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Happy First Day of Spring 2017! I mailed off my 2016 IRS forms this morning (patting myself on the back). One less thing on my To Do list. Now I just have fun copyediting projects to do, while cooking a few favorites of mine and even working in my yard some, enjoining our wonderful Texas weather.

It's all good.

Hope y'all have a great week.

Denise Barker
Freelance US 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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We had some supposedly golf-ball-size hail in my neck of the DFW woods, but, I have to tell you, it sounded more like ice basketballs dropping on my roof. Thankfully we had no tornadoes here.

Have a good week, all. Stay safe.

Denise Barker
Freelance US 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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Our April showers started early this year, with a hailstorm that sounded like iced basketballs were bouncing off my roof. Even with some thunderstorms passing through yesterday, we're due nothing but sunshine today in my neck of Texas. I'm looking forward to it.

Hope everybody has a good week.

Denise Barker
Freelance US 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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As of today, April 10, 2017, at 4:45 a.m. CST (while I write this), I am currently booked through May 20, 2017. I've also noted this in my opening post here and will update every so often. As I've shared in other posts, I do pad every deadline date I pass on to each author I work with. Some books require more time. Others less. Even from the same author. So I need those extra days for some projects but not all of them. That enables me the random day off (or half day), plus may provide me with a bonus week that allows for yet another project to be moved up and turned in early.

Which is my goal. Doing a great job and returning all of them early.

Have a wonderful Monday, y'all.

Denise Barker
Freelance US Copy Editor

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

Offline Denise Barker

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Tomorrow, April 18, 2017, is the extended tax deadline this year here in the States for filing our income tax returns. I did mine early this year (even though I owed more money and wasn't due a refund). It's always a big relief to take care of this as soon as possible and get it off my To Do list. Plus I never want to be at my local post office on the tax deadline day of any year. Just like I don't want to be out grocery shopping on Black Friday anywhere. My two preferences to live by.

Have a good week, everyone.

Denise Barker
Freelance US Copy Editor

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

Offline Denise Barker

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As Indie authors, we all have our own production process. Whether you use a writing group, beta readers, CPs, a book doctor, editors of various ilk (developmental, copy), cover artists/illustrators, and/or publicists/marketers, don't let any one voice override your own gut feeling. No individual can speak for "the readers." And we creative types can be very hurt when our baby is criticized. Don't allow that to trip you up. Just like some reviews, you need to step back, give it a few days, and see it in a fresh light. Especially certain one-time events. So remember, as the creator of your work, it is your name that appears on the cover. You should feel proud of every story of yours before you hit Publish. For you have accomplished a feat that most only wish and think and talk about.

Denise Barker
US 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'm swamped with work (a great thing), and my car is now running (a really good thing). So I hope everybody else's week has started off on the right foot too.

Denise Barker
Freelance US 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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Here's a reprint of my most recent blog post, entitled "Why I Do Two Complete Read-Throughs of EVERY Project":

I am getting busier and busier. Amen! Which means, I no longer have one-month-out as my normal "extended" deadline to go by when answering individual author queries. No. Now, at this exact moment in time, I'm booked through July 30, 2017, with eight projects, four of which are over 100K WC, and three of which are "priority" projects, namely Amazon Preorders (APs). In fact, one of those >100K WC projects is also an AP.

Double those WC tallies, and you can imagine how many words I digest/dissect in any one given day. But I love it! I basically read for a living. A perfect fit for me.

Plus I have one outlier (~90K WC), a project expected on or about August 30, 2017. I keep a running handwritten tally on a physical calendar topmost on my desk to keep me organized. I also have an Excel spreadsheet for each year's projects, which includes author name, title of book, WC, deadline given, date turned in, hours to complete project (1RT, 2RT, paperwork), fees prepaid, total pages, DS/SS, total chapters (+ Prologue/Epilogue). This helps me estimate my quarterly taxes due to the IRS. It can also give me an idea of how much I'm making an hour (if I'm so inclined to do that extra math calculation).

Still, no matter how busy I get, I remain steadfast about doing two complete read-throughs (RTs) for all my projects, fiction and nonfiction alike.

First and foremost, I have a real heart for the Indie authors (being one myself) and wish to work forever to dispel that horrible myth that our works are less properly edited than trad-pubbed offerings. Wrong. I find a lot of errors in trad-pubbed books I read (and report them to the respective publishing houses for correction before any reprint).

Second, we're human. We are not perfect (including me, no matter how hard I try). And I feel a crush to my soul when I find an error I've missed, even after a 2RT. But, between the author, the developmental editor, any beta readers, the proofreader, and me, I hope we all catch some of the leftover errors remaining in any one book. However, being Indie authors has a distinct advantage of immediately updating the online book offering when any error is found. And Amazon is so fast that it can be handled in one day. Amazing, right?

Third, when I'm doing 2RTs (complete, from beginning to end), on a fiction book, I find the 1RT is for clearing out all the distractions of misspellings, grammar errors, inconsistencies; cutting out "filler words" and "helping verbs" and multiple prepositional phrases in sentences; plus cleaning up confusing lines and adding clarity. Once those are out of the way, in my 2RT, I tend to find plotholes and unanswered storylines. And, for a 2RT of a nonfiction book, I look more to structure and organization and linear approaches to the subject matter, bolding/adding subheadings, etc.

What an Indie Author Can Take Away from This: Two Things to Watch For

As a copy editor, I'm embarrassed to see what I missed the first time around and am thankful to catch them myself the second time around. Here are two that immediately come to mind:

(1)  Most of those are overlooked missing words (expecting to see what isn't there, like a missing "a" or "the"). Which I thought just happened when rereading my own written pages, but this carries over when reading other authors' words too.

(2)  The next thing to watch for are homonyms (think, their, there and they're, and others of that ilk). But with the advent of speech-to-text software (where you dictate to your computer, and it types out your words), I find so many variations on a true homonym (think, honor and on her). Not to mention the fact that I don't always know when an author is using Dragon or other such software programs, so I have no advance warning. Watch out for those words that don't "feel right." That you know are "off," and yet you can't put your finger on the right word. Mark them however you wish and return to them later. You'll figure it out then, I bet.

Next time I'll post about "filler" words and give you a long, long list to watch out for. We all use them. It's just a matter of how much so. And, believe me, cutting these not-needed words from your sentences adds clarity and conciseness. Amazing how trimming your WC can make your book so much easier to follow along without stumbling over a word or a sentence.

And, if you pay by the WC to have your books professionally edited/proofed, you'll be saving money too on third-party fees. You'll also be saving me and other editors a bunch of time as well. For that, I send you my thanks.

Hope y'all have a wonderful week.

"If your vocation isnt a vacation, then quit, leap, change careers."

Denise Barker, Author, Blogger, 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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To all the tireless writing moms out there (who work on Sundays and especially those who worked yesterday, the Sunday that was Mother's Day), I send a belated Happy Mother's Day wish.

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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Hope everyone had a great weekend and that this week goes well for all. I'm busy with copyediting, so I'll get back to it.

Denise Barker
Freelance US 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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Today is Memorial Day in the States, remembering those we have lost in battle. God bless their families and also our men and women in service today and the sacrifices they and their loved ones have made.

Denise Barker

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

Offline Denise Barker

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June 5, 2017, already. Half the year almost gone with summer coming fast. We've had a mild spring here in Texas. And, even though I've been slammed with work (thanks!), I've taken the time to sit outside with my (covered) cup of coffee and to enjoy being in nature, if only for fifteen minutes every other day or so. We all need balance in our lives.

Enjoy your week, everyone.

Denise Barker
Freelance US 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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Father's Day is this coming Sunday, June 18, 2017. And the first official day of summer is June 20, 2017. Love this time of year. However, in Texas, keep hydrated as you work in your yard and choose the early morning hours for lawn maintenance. Hope everyone has a great week.

Denise Barker
Freelance US 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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Good morning, everyone. Tuesday is the first day of summer. Hard to believe half of this year is almost gone. Hope y'all have a great week. Now it's back to work for me ...

Denise Barker
Freelance US Copy Editor
BarkerDeniseAnn@gmail.com
« Last Edit: June 19, 2017, 11:51:29 PM by Denise Barker »

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

Offline Denise Barker

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Hope everyone had a great weekend. Now to have a fun and productive week ahead of us.

Denise Barker
Freelance US 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 of you here in the States, enjoy a happy, fun and safe Fourth of July. Regardless of where you live, I hope everyone has a great week.

Denise Barker
Freelance US 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've received five projects in the last three days, so I'm booked through Labor Day (as of this date and time).

Always good to be busy. Hope y'all have a great week.

Denise Barker
Freelance US 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'm in the middle of another rush project (two of two, then on to seven thereafter with some wiggle room), so just want to wish everyone a good week.

Love being busy ...

Denise Barker
Freelance US 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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Good morning, everyone. Check out my blog post for my writing tips over the years at LivingTheDreamPublishing.blogspot.com.

Hope y'all have a great week.

Denise Barker
Freelance US 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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Last week I celebrated my ten-year anniversary as a freelancer, but I didn't start copyediting until about nine months later. Thank you to all my authors who I am so blessed to work with. You know who you are.

Yes, it was scary to take that risk, to leap from a steady paycheck to no guarantees of money whatsoever. But you know what is even scarier? What if I hadn't made that blind jump at all? I'd still be doing what I had been doing for yet another decade. Now that would have been a bigger mistake.

Still smiling ...

Have a great week, everyone.

Denise Barker
Freelance US 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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Happy Monday, folks. I'm still swamped with work (thank you!), so I'm checking in to wish you all a good week, and then it's back to the copyediting.

Take care.

Denise Barker
Freelance US 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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Our total solar eclipse here in the States is one week away. Although I'm not directly in its path, it should be fascinating and a bit scary to watch what happens in my neighborhood and online.

Have a good week, all.

Denise Barker
Freelance US Copy Editor
BarkerDeniseAnn@gmail.com

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