Jun 14

I’m get­ting really excited for June 27! That’s the day I’m attend­ing an all-day work­shop called “Edi­to­r­ial Boot Camp” in Min­neapo­lis, led by two women with years of pro­fes­sional expe­ri­ence in the copy­edit­ing field. Not only will they cover some aspects of proof­read­ing and copy­edit­ing, but they’ll also help par­tic­i­pants look at var­i­ous prac­tices for mak­ing the most of one’s own edi­to­r­ial busi­ness. I’ve been “learn­ing on the job” so far, as far as run­ning my own busi­ness goes, so I’m eager to gain some time-tested insights from Laura Poole and Car­olyn Has­sett, who have a com­bined 30+ years of editorial-business expe­ri­ence. I’ve already been get­ting to know Laura a bit via email and can sin­cerely rec­om­mend her, and this work­shop, to any of you who might have an interest.

Here is some info that comes directly from Laura and Carolyn:

Come to this unique, inten­sive pro­gram designed for those want­ing to break into the pub­lish­ing field as a copy edi­tor or proof­reader – and also for those who sim­ply want to boost their skills.

Sun­day, June 27, 2010 | 9am-6pm
Mall of Amer­ica (North Shore Room) | Min­neapo­lis, MN
Cost: $450/person (includes mate­ri­als)

Reg­is­tra­tion is now active, and we have room for 25 atten­dees; reg­is­ter now to reserve your space! (Scroll down the page a bit; their July work­shop is listed first, then the June 27 one.)

This will be a jam-packed full-day, hands-on train­ing. Here’s what we’ll cover (and more!):

  • Overview of the Pub­lish­ing Process
    Style and Ref­er­ence Guides | MS Word Opti­miza­tion, Cus­tomiza­tion, Plug-ins, and Shortcuts
  • Copy­edit­ing
    Spelling | Punc­tu­a­tion | Gram­mar | Style | Fact Check­ing | Queries | Author Voice
    Copy­righted Mate­r­ial | Style Sheets | Online Tools | Topic Specialties
  • Proof­read­ing
    Stage of Proofs | Mark­ing | Mate­ri­als | Style and Spec Sheets | Steps | Tools | Spe­cialty Work | PDF Proofing
  • Work Prac­tices
    Tips and Tricks | Time Man­age­ment | Com­mu­ni­ca­tion | Deal­ing with Problems
  • Busi­ness Prac­tices
    Get­ting and Keep­ing Clients | Resumes | Sam­ple Edits | Rates and Billing | Follow-Up Options | Net­work­ing | Pro­fes­sion­al­ism | Deadlines

I had seen Laura’s infor­ma­tion on LinkedIn for a sim­i­lar work­shop she was host­ing in North Car­olina in March. I wrote and lamented that I couldn’t make it to some­thing that far away but to let me know if she was ever going to be in Min­nesota. Lo and behold!, a cou­ple months later, she emailed to say they would be in Min­neapo­lis! I know I have some Min­nesota friends who just might be inter­ested in this, so please do check it out if you are one of them!

If this work­shop isn’t some­thing specif­i­cally for you, I hope you’ll still be inter­ested to check back in here in late June to hear about what I expe­ri­enced and read my follow-up thoughts.

Feb 19

Kim Staflund has writ­ten an arti­cle for Suite 101 which may be of inter­est to some of you. It is titled “Work­ing with a Copy Edi­tor to Pol­ish a Book.”

Ms. Staflund makes sev­eral points I greatly appre­ci­ate. One con­cerns the very nor­mal emo­tions a writer is bound to expe­ri­ence upon receiv­ing his or her work back from a copy­ed­i­tor. You’ve sent your “baby” off to a stranger (unless, by chance, you are for­tu­nate to know your copy­ed­i­tor per­son­ally or to have reached the point in your rela­tion­ship where you are more than acquain­tances), and that “baby” has been returned to you with a “hair­cut,” as it were! It’s nat­ural to feel a bit of resis­tance to sug­ges­tions made. Ms. Staflund offers help­ful advice for work­ing through such feel­ings to con­tinue to improve your manuscript.

Another point I am so grate­ful Ms. Staflund made is that, ulti­mately, in the self-publishing world, the final results — text, graph­ics, every­thing — are the respon­si­bil­ity of the author. I live in some dread (fairly slight, but present nonethe­less) that if an author’s book doesn’t sell well, he or she will try to sue me. I don’t know whether that’s ever hap­pened, but I’m relieved to see, in another writer/editor’s words, the same point I always try to express clearly to clients: that I will do the very best I know how for you, but in the end, you have the final call of whether to accept or reject my sug­ges­tions for change — and the final respon­si­bil­ity for the results. I, after all, am just one writer/editor — a good one, if I say so myself! — but just one human being with one opin­ion, no mat­ter how valid I may believe it to be. I’m trained in what I do, but I’m not per­fect. I do pledge, how­ever, to do my best as one part of the author’s “vil­lage” that, together, will raise the “child” — the pre­cious piece of writ­ing — to maturity.

Nov 20

I just dis­cov­ered the Writer’s Digest Com­mu­nity http://​ping​.fm/​Z​JpCT and am excited to link up in yet another way with fellow/sister writ­ers and editors!

It astounds me how much I’ve heard and read in just the past week regard­ing con­nect­ing with oth­ers via social-networking sites! I know all these arti­cles and ideas didn’t just come about this week, so I gather it’s because my mind has sud­denly been opened to the con­cept, thanks to a sis­ter busi­ness­woman who has quickly become some­one I count as a friend (shout-out to Tanya Mor­ri­son: www​.360de​gree​woman​.org !) and who led me, in turn, to link up with Sab­rina Gib­son (www​.Social​Net​work​ingRock​Star​.com) under whose tute­lage I will begin a Social Net­work Max­i­miza­tion men­tor­ing pro­gram in just a cou­ple of weeks.

Social-networking sites have grown by leaps and bounds over the past few years, and they’re not just for swap­ping gos­sip or quips about one’s day any­more! Not that there’s any­thing wrong with that casual social­iz­ing, but I find myself intrigued and fas­ci­nated by the (still rel­a­tively) new oppor­tu­nity for broad­en­ing our com­mu­ni­ties, our busi­ness net­works, the knowl­edge base from which we may ben­e­fit, and — if we are will­ing — our world­views in such a rel­a­tively easy and inex­pen­sive way. Even those of us who are self-employed and fairly “solitarily-employed” are by no means “out here on our own” any­more! In the words of the beloved Mis­ter Rogers, “It’s such a good feel­ing…!” and “It’s a beau­ti­ful day in the [cyber-]neighborhood!… Won’t you be my neighbor?”

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