An American Editor

July 7, 2014

Worth Noting: A Great Book Deal at Smashwords

Do you like to give indie authors a chance? I do and I’m happy to say I have found and read a great many excellent books by indie authors, some of which I have reviewed here on An American Editor (see, e.g., “Worth Noting: Daisy’s War by Shayne Parkinson,” “On Books: Eden by Keary Taylor,” “The Book of Adam: Stimulating Thought Via a Novel,” “On Books: Ice Blue,” and my favorite indie author, Vicki Tyley, “On Books: Murder Down Under“; other reviews of indie books can be found by searching An American Editor).

I usually wait until the summer and winter sales at Smashwords to buy indie books because of the significant discount that many authors give. Sometimes it is a coupon to get the first book in a series free, sometimes it is a coupon for 25%, 50%, or 75% off the usual retail price. Regardless, I usually find a few books to add to my to-be-read pile. In addition to the discount, all of the books let you read a significant portion for free, either by downloading the sample or online. You don’t have to buy and hope.

The Smashwords July Summer/Winter Sale has begun and it runs through July 31. Use the filters or just start browsing all of the on-sale books. (NOTE: Books purchased at Smashwords can be downloaded in all popular formats and are DRM free.)

Additional books are generally added throughout the month so it is a good idea to make a couple of trips to the Smashwords sale to see what new books have been added (they appear at the beginning of the lists).

I suggest bookmarking Smashwords and visiting it regularly throughout the year. It is an excellent place to find indie authors. Also, titles that appear at Smashwords also often appear at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and other online ebook sellers.

If you buy some books at Smashwords, please be sure to let us know what they are. Other An American Editor readers may well be interested in the books.

Smashwords July Summer/Winter Sale 2014

Richard Adin, An American Editor

(Neither Richard Adin nor An American Editor receives any compensation of any type for promoting Smashwords or the July sale. I promote it because I think it is of great value to readers and to indie authors.)

June 30, 2014

Worth Noting: The “Be a Better Freelancer!” Countdown — LAST DAY

The Countdown Ends: Last Day

Today is the LAST DAY to take advantage of the special discount that An American Editor subscribers can receive for the upcoming “Be a Better Freelancer! (Re)Invent Your Business,” the ninth annual Communication Central conference for freelancers, September 26–27, 2014, in Rochester, NY.

Topics include launching your business, macros and other efficiency/productivity tools, working with MS Office, organization tips, a self-publishing roundtable, balancing freelancing and family life, resources, benefiting from social media, and more.

Until midnight (New York time) today, AAE subscribers can receive a special discount. Use this link to register and receive the special AAE price (the password is 2014c-c). Be sure to make your hotel reservations early — the conference coincides with the last weekend of a film festival and space will be at a premium the closer it gets to September.

Questions? Contact Communication Central owner Ruth E. Thaler-Carter, at conference@communication-central.com or 585-248-0318.

Remember that the countdown ends today. This is 0 day — the day when the AAE conference discount expires. You have until midnight (New York time) today to register and receive the AAE subscriber discount!

Disclaimer: Neither I nor the An American Editor blog has any financial or other interest in this conference. — Richard Adin, An American Editor

May 28, 2014

On Books: Marketing Your Editing & Proofreading Business

What is the one thing that every freelancer needs to do but most don’t do? Self-marketing!

Many freelancers have websites or participate in social media, but their marketing efforts are more passive than active. We are uncomfortable with active marketing largely because we do not know how to do it.

Years ago I taught marketing to editors and writers. It was an all-day course and I was surprised at how few people attended and, in follow-up, how few of the few who did take the course actually implemented what they learned. I suspect that in those pre–social media days, we believed that our community was small enough that personal relationships were more important and “marketing” was an unnecessary evil. (This view was often stated on editor forums.)

I admit that my view was different and for many years, I dedicated at least 10% of my gross income to marketing my services. My experience convinces me that smart marketing was and is necessary. Over the years I would read in online forums complaints from colleagues about having too little work, too long between jobs, too low an income, etc. These were phenomena with which I was unfamiliar and I attribute that to marketing. But I was preaching to the deaf.

It appears that the new generation of freelancers recognizes the need to market but needs direction on how to do it. At long last, there is a starting point for learning how to market. Louise Harnby has written Marketing Your Editing & Proofreading Business, a guide for freelancers through the labyrinth of self-marketing.

Harnby’s book is not perfect and I have some disagreements with some of her statements, but then I look at marketing through much different glasses. For example, early in her book (p. 6), Harnby writes: “The truth is this — there are no rules.” Yes, there are rules. What there aren’t are limitations to what can be done — marketing is limited only by your imagination and pocketbook. But there are fundamental rules to successful marketing.

One such rule is that to be successful you must repeatedly market to the same audience. You cannot, for example, send an inquiry once to a prospect and leave it at that, even if the prospect says no or ignores you. If you want to work for that prospect, you must repeatedly remind that prospect of your interest and availability. Harnby both makes and skirts this point in Chapter 10, “Regular Marketing.” She emphasizes the need to keep marketing but doesn’t point out directly the need to keep marketing to the same group.

One of the great strengths of Marketing Your Editing & Proofreading Business is its “case studies.” I wish more detail was given in some instances, but every case study was enlightening. Importantly, the case studies reinforce the idea that what Harnby suggests is both doable and worthwhile. I particularly liked her sample marketing plan. If you read nothing else in the book, you need to read this because it is a good introduction to preparing a marketing strategy.

Another exemplary chapter is Chapter 20, “Going Direct.” When I worked in advertising and marketing in the very early 1970s, going direct was a cornerstone of a marketing plan for a small business. With the growth of the Internet and social media, going direct declined greatly or turned into spam. Harnby explains both how to go direct and why to go direct, making the case for its use even in the age of social media.

Not talked about in the book, but something that should be included in any revision, is the marketing calendar. Creating and maintaining a marketing calendar is important and a key to marketing success. Marketing is about timing as well as content. Great content that is used at the wrong time loses impact. A marketing calendar lets you focus on creating a marketing tidbit around a specific time or event. For example, I used to send out special gift packages for Halloween with my marketing pitch, which pitch was also Halloween oriented. Next up on the calendar was Thanksgiving. Because I kept a calendar, I knew when I had to prepare the material for each of these marketing events and when I had to mail the items. It would do little good to send something for Thanksgiving and have it arrive after the holiday or when no one was likely to be in the office to receive it. In addition to the detailed marketing plan that Harnby discusses, the detailed marketing calendar is also important.

Another item that should be included in a future edition is the marketing budget. How to create one, how to fund one, how to spend one — these are all important issues that need addressing when dealing with any marketing effort. For example, an issue that would fall under the budget category is should you design your own website or hire a professional? How do you make the budgetary analysis?

Harnby’s book, Marketing Your Editing & Proofreading Business, demonstrates that any of us can do successful marketing. All we need is a little help and guidance, which Harnby’s book provides. It is the first book on marketing for freelancers that I would whole-heartedly recommend. It covers the essentials in sufficient detail for any freelancer to start a successful marketing campaign.

Marketing Your Editing & Proofreading Business is a must-have book in my library. I learned quite a bit that I was unaware of and that I am not taking advantage of in my marketing efforts, which I will think about rectifying. I am convinced that freelancers who follow Harnby’s advice — and persist in their marketing efforts — will ultimately find themselves overwhelmed with offers for work. For more information about Marketing Your Editing & Proofreading Business, click this link.

Richard Adin, An American Editor

May 23, 2014

Worth Noting: Be a Better Freelancer! (Re)Invent Your Business

The Countdown Begins

Wondering how to launch or improve an editorial business, whether you offer writing, editing, proofreading, indexing or other related services? Come to “Be a Better Freelancer! (Re)Invent Your Business,” the ninth annual Communication Central conference for freelancers, September 26–27, 2014, in Rochester, NY, with an Editorial Bootcamp on September 28 at the same location.

Topics include launching your business, macros and other efficiency/productivity tools, working with MS Office, organization tips, a self-publishing roundtable, balancing freelancing and family life, resources, benefiting from social media, and more. Keynote speaker is Jake “Dr. Freelance” Poinier. Other speakers include Erin Brenner, Ally Machate, April Michelle Davis, Daniel Heuman, Katharine O’Moore-Klopf, Dick Margulis, Greg Ioannou, Geoff Hart, Jack Lyon, Laura Poole, Ben Davis, Amy Schneider, and Ruth E. Thaler-Carter.

Until June 30, AAE subscribers can receive a special discount. Use this link to register and receive the special AAE price (the password is 2014c-c). Be sure to make your hotel reservations early — the conference coincides with the last weekend of a film festival and space will be at a premium the closer it gets to September.

Interested in Laura Poole’s editorial bootcamp? Info for the Editorial Bootcamp is included in the conference registration PDF. The Editorial Bootcamp may be taken without attending the conference.

Questions? Contact Communication Central owner Ruth E. Thaler-Carter, at conference@communication-central.com or 585-248-0318.

Remember that the countdown begins. There are 38 days until the AAE discount expires.

Disclaimer: Neither I nor the An American Editor blog has any financial or other interest in this conference. — Richard Adin, An American Editor

November 29, 2013

Worth Noting: The Business of Editing Now in Kindle Format

Some good news for those waiting for the Amazon Kindle version of The Business of Editing — it has arrived! Here is the link:

http://www.amazon.com/Business-Editing-Effective-Efficient-Prosper-ebook/dp/B00GWU2AC8/

Coming shortly is a hardcover version of The Business of Editing.

Here are links to the other options for buying the book. For the print version of The Business of Editing, go to:

  1. Waking Lion Press at http://www.wakinglionpress.com/businessofediting.htm or
  2. Amazon at http://www.amazon.com/Business-Editing-Richard-H-Adin/dp/1434103692/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1385545644&sr=1-1&keywords=the+business+of+editing
  3. Barnes & Noble at http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/the-business-of-editing-richard-h-adin/1117405104?ean=9781434103697

For the ePub version of The Business of Editing, go to https://www.swreg.org/com/storefront/47578/product/47578-23

November 23, 2013

Worth Noting: The Business of Editing in eBook Form

I am pleased to announce that The Business of Editing: Effective and Efficient Ways to Think, Work, and Prosper, is now available in ebook form in the ePub format. Kindle (Amazon) format is expected to release shortly,  so for those looking for the Kindle format, keep an eye on Amazon.

To purchase the book in ePub format, visit https://www.swreg.org/com/storefront/47578/product/47578-23.

For more information about the book, see “Worth Noting: The Business of Editing in Print.”

November 15, 2013

Worth Noting: The Business of Editing in Print

Over the several years that I have been writing the An American Editor blog, some readers have urged me to write a book on the business of editing. I admit that writing a book has not been one of my driving life passions, but eventually I caved.

The result is the just-published The Business of Editing: Effective and Efficient Ways to Think, Work, and Prosper (ISBN 978-1-4341-0369-7). The book is a compilation of many of the essays I have written for An American Editor (and some guest essays, too). Aside from the essays being in one easily accessible place, the book organizes them by topic and has a comprehensive index, making it easy to locate the information you seek.

The Business of Editing

The Business of Editing

The Business of Editing is for new editors, persons thinking about becoming editors, and experienced editors. The book focuses on the business aspects of editing; not on how to edit, but on how to run an editing business.

The book is available directly from the publisher, Waking Lion Press and Amazon. For some reason I don’t understand, Barnes & Noble lists the book but says it is not available through B&N. Hopefully, for people who prefer B&N, that status will change in the near future. The book may be available through other outlets as well.

If you order directly from Waking Lion Press before December 1, 2013, there is a publisher’s discount. For details, go to the Waking Lion Press website. A sample of the book is available from the Waking Lion Press website or from this link.

No book should stand on its own in the sense of the author doing it all, some of it competently, some of it not. I’ve written numerous times in An American Editor that every author needs a professional “pit crew.” And so it was true with The Business of Editing.

The Business of Editing was professionally edited and organized by Ruth E. Thaler-Carter and Jack Lyon. Jack also did the layout, and Ruth and Jack also wrote introductions to the material. The book was professionally indexed by Sue Nedrow. This “pit crew” took what would have been just another book and made it into a wonderfully useful tool for professional editors.

October 18, 2013

Worth Noting: Republican Fears of Democracy

Filed under: Politics,Worth Noting — americaneditor @ 4:00 am
Tags: , , ,

I realize that everything in Washington, DC is done with politics in mind, but this ploy by the Republicans seems to me to strike at the very heart of democracy. Although I disapprove of the Republican tactics to defund the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare), I was at least willing to say that the basis was a philosophical disagreement. But after seeing this video, from the floor of the House of Representatives, and thinking about what it means, I wonder if the problem is less about health care and more about Republicans wanting to move our country away from democracy and toward authoritarianism.

September 16, 2013

At Long Last — EditTools 5.0

It has been a long time since the last update to EditTools was released. Macros can be troublesome things, and it has taken longer than I had hoped to make some of the macros perform as I wanted.

EditTools 5.0 is a free upgrade for current registered users of EditTools. It is available at wordsnSync.

EditTools IS Usable By All Editors

Before I describe some of the enhancements in version 5, I want to discuss a couple of common misconceptions about EditTools. First, EditTools is usable by ALL editors — whether the editing subject area is STM, humanities, law, business, fiction, science fiction, or any other area. Alas, too many editors take a look at EditTools and the examples of what various macros do, see that the default labels and the examples are for medical books, and go no farther. The labels and examples are because I do medical editing and I created these macros for use in my work.

However, most of the tabs in the dataset managers are easily renamed. There is a button on the tabs titled Change Tab Name. Just click it and you can change, for example, Never Spell Words to Always Change These Words or to Matilda’s Vocabulary Checker or to whatever has more meaning for you. And the datasets that these tabs use can be named anything you want and contain the information you choose.

Although not all of the macros are usable by every editor in every editing job, most editors who use EditTools have a few macros that are favorites and used regularly; but as is true of any macro collection, there will be macros that are not used at all by a particular editor. Several of the macros that I used with great frequency 5 years ago, I rarely use today (e.g., MultiFile Find and Replace); others I use many times an hour, every day, and on every editing job (e.g., Toggle and Search, Count, & Replace). Some of the macros are intended to be used only once on a document (e.g., Never Spell Word and Journals).

My point is that if you have not tried EditTools because you think it is for STM editing only or because you  see some macros that you think you would never use, you should rethink your view of EditTools and give it a try.

I push EditTools, the Editorium’s Editor’s Toolkit Plus, and Intelligent Editing’s PerfectIt because I know, from my own experience and from the experiences users have related to me, that these three programs can help you increase your productivity, efficiency, speed, and profitability. In the case of EditTools, the need to increase those aspects of my editing is what led to the original creation, and the continuing enhancement of, EditTools.

New in EditTools 5.0

New in version 5 of EditTools are these macros: Cleanup; the complementary macros Convert Highlights to Styles & Convert Styles to Highlights; Change Style Language; and Quote Conversion. In addition, numerous fixes and enhancements have been made to other macros. What follows is a brief introduction to the new macros.

Cleanup

Although I run the Editorium macros that clean up my files, there is always something that Editorium’s FileCleaner (included in Editor’s Toolkit Plus) doesn’t do because no one would have imagined an author doing this. That’s where Cleanup comes into play.

Cleanup lets me design my own cleanup macro. It has a manager that makes it easy for me to enter things I would like changed universally without tracking on. (Cleanup does not offer the Track Changes On option.) For example, if a client wants all em-dashes changed to spaced en-dashes, I use Cleanup to do it.

Cleanup has both a general (things I want done on all files) Manager that saves to a general file, and a Specialty Manager that lets me create a separate, special cleanup file for a particular project or client. Cleanup should be run on a file before any other EditTools macro is run.

For more information, see the explanatory page at wordsnSync.

Convert Highlights & Styles

The Convert Highlights to Styles and Convert Styles to Highlights are paired macros; that is, you run Convert Highlights to Styles before you begin editing and — very importantly — before any other EditTools macro except Cleanup. Convert Styles to Highlights is the very last macro you run and — very importantly — it must be run after Remove All Highlighting.

This macro pair is useful in many situations, but here are the two primary uses I make of the macros.

The first situation is when I receive files from clients where some material has been highlighted and the client wants the highlighting to remain. Before these macros, this was problematic because EditTools relies on highlighting to communicate with the editor. Consequently, the client would receive either a file loaded with extraneous (to the client) highlighting or without any highlighting at all, unless I manually rehighlighted what the client wanted left highlighted, which would be a waste of my time and cost me money.

The second situation, which is the more usual one, is when I receive a file with no highlighting that the client wants kept but that has callouts for figures and tables (or anything else) that have to be brought to the compositor’s attention. In these cases, I like to use highlighting but haven’t been able to unless I searched for and manually highlighted each callout/item after I ran Remove All Highlighting. That wasn’t so bad when there were only a couple of tables or figures, but I have had files with dozens of each called out.

In the first instance, running Convert Highlights to Styles converts all of the client’s highlighting to a style and removes the highlight. Then, when I am done editing and have removed all of the highlighting I have added, I can run Convert Styles to Highlights and the client’s highlighting is back in place. And for callouts, I can apply the style to them so they are highlighted as well.

In the second instance, I search for the first callout and I apply highlight to it. I then run the macro to convert it to a style. This adds a style to the list of styles. Now when I come to a callout, I simply apply the style. Then, when I am done editing and have removed all of the highlighting I have added, I run Convert Styles to Highlights and all of the callouts are in highlight.

For more information, see the explanatory page at wordsnSync.

Change Style Language

I find it frustrating when I receive a file and the document language is not set to English. So, I apply English to the “whole” document only to discover that in many of the multitude of styles the document has, the language has been set to something other than English and/or Spell Check has been turned off in the style, and my attempt to set the whole document to English and turn on Spell Check has failed.

Change Language Style lets me choose a language and choose to turn Spell Check on or off and have that information made a part of each style in the document. Running the macro means it goes through all of the styles in the document and changes all of the language and spell check settings to what I have chosen. Unfortunately, it doesn’t work on all styles. Microsoft has some built-in styles that cannot be changed this way (particularly “attribute styles”), but the change is made to the great majority of styles. It may not be perfect, but it makes life easier and solves a problem editors often encounter in a minimum amount of time.

Quote Conversion

The final new macro is Quote Conversion, which has two submacros: American Quotes to British and British Quotes to American. This macro is simple but effective. If you receive a document that uses British quotes that need to be Americanized, run British Quotes to American. To go from American to British quotes, run American Quotes to British.

EditTools 5.0 adds valuable macros to an already existing array of valuable macros. Check it out and if you are a registered user, be sure to download and install your free upgrade.

September 13, 2013

Worth Noting: Business Planning for Editorial Freelancers

A few weeks ago, in Worth Noting: Proofreaders-to-be: Loving Books Isn’t Enough, I commented that Louise Harnby’s book, Business Planning for Editorial Freelancers: A Guide for New Starters, looked interesting and that I planned to check it out. I did and I want to report that this is an excellent basic guide to the business of freelancing.

(I suppose I should disclose that to my surprise, I am mentioned by name in the book in connection with my EditTools macro collection. However, I assure you that the mention is fleeting and not why I’m reviewing the book now.)

Harnby’s book begins with the basics and gives good advice. American readers should be aware that it is written from a British perspective, but the advice crosses all geographical boundaries and is as relevant and accurate in the United States and Spain as it is in England. As I have stated numerous times, business is business — the basics do not change.

It is the basics that Harnby addresses. Things like why a business plan is a good idea, why one should have a business name and a domain name, networking, finding clients, getting experience, and the myriad other things that new-to-the-business-of-freelancing people need to know.

The book is not detailed, which is a weakness, but then it is not intended to be more than an overview. It does act as a checklist and guide. I think even experienced freelancers who are struggling with the business aspects of freelancing would benefit from this book. Information about the book and how to order it are available at Harnby’s website: Louise Harnby Proofreader.

It is an inexpensive investment (£5.99/US$8.99), but one that could set you on the right path. I encourage you to checkout Business Planning for Editorial Freelancers: A Guide for New Starters by Louise Harnby.

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