Every now and then I’ll meet someone new in a social setting (gasp!), and during our getting-acquainted chitchat they will ask what I do for a living, and vice versa. This is of course normal for most of us. Usually, instead of immediately launching into a detailed explanation of what I do in my workaday world, I’ll abbreviate it with a one- or two-word descriptor couched in terms of who I am. We all do this. We say, “I am a teacher . . . plumber . . . carpenter . . . homemaker . . . sales manager . . . pastor . . . circus clown . . . accountant . . . police officer . . . business owner”—whatever. If the other person wants more detail, we’re usually happy to oblige.
For the past twenty years, I’ve worked in various capacities in higher education. I’ve been an instructor in the classroom (both undergraduate and graduate); I’ve been a research technician, conducting statistical analyses using data sets both large and small; and for the lion’s share of the past twenty years I’ve been a counselor—an academic counselor. I retired from full-time employment at a large university five years ago; since then, in semi-retirement, I have worked part time at a community college as an academic counselor, and I love it. I also enjoy my freelance work at home as a copyeditor, blog writer, and occasional voiceover guy. I keep busy and, for the most part, out of trouble. Continue reading “How Do You Explain What You Do for a Living?”
I’ve been following Liz Dexter’s blog for a while and often appreciate her helpful posts. As a copyeditor who uses style sheets with every project, I’m taking her up on her offer to reblog this informative piece. (Thank you, Liz!)
If you work with a proofreader or editor on any project, either for a publisher or working independently or as a student, you might receive a Style Sheet from them with your corrected work. This article explains what a style sheet is, the purpose of a style sheet, and what might be included on it. I’ve also written this article to send to my clients so they understand what the document I’ve sent them is – so if you’re one of my clients, hello!
To make this article easier to read, I will refer to the person who has worked on your document as your “editor” – although I might refer to proofreaders in some places, too.
If you’re an editor or proofreader who wants to find out more about style sheets, I’ve written an article just for you, too.
Recommended for church leaders and interested believers.
I’m grateful for the opportunity the past few years to copyedit several books authored by Dr. John L. Amstutz, missionary, professor, leadership trainer, pastor, and long-time denominational leader in the Foursquare Church. Beyond that, he is a genuine Christian and a godly man. A few days ago I completed a fourth manuscript for Dr. Amstutz: Great Commission Church Movements: Learning from the Early Church, God’s Missionary People, to be published early next year.
Pictured here are two earlier titles I had the privilege of copyediting. Dr. Amstutz is making a positive difference in the world and I’m thankful to help in a small way.
All are published by Editorial RENUEVO (www.EditorialRenuevo.com).
Is there are difference between the roles of a copyeditor, a copywriter, and a proofreader? Or are they simply different words for the same thing?
Let’s begin with definitions. A copyeditor takes text (or copy) that someone else has written and ensures it is clear, coherent, consistent, and correct, all for the purpose of effective communication. I’ve heard it rumored that business owners place a high premium on effective communication. If they write anything for current and prospective customers and clients—flyers, website text, correspondence, and so forth—they should care about stuff like that. If they don’t know why they should care, have them contact me and I’ll be happy to explain it over a cup of coffee.
Answering commonly (un)asked questions about copyediting.
A copyeditor’s job is to take an author’s written document and ensure that it is clear, concise, coherent, and correct. I often say that a good copyeditor will make an author’s piece shine a little brighter (and in some cases a lot brighter). A copyeditor’s job is not to “proofread” a document, which is a separate step in the publication process normally handled by a different person after all the copyediting and revising have been completed. Copyeditors will certainly catch many of the errors proofreaders catch—typos, missing or incorrect punctuation, misspellings, and so forth—but that isn’t their primary job.
Here are the three basic steps I typically take in copyediting a piece of writing for a client:
1. Provide the author with a cost estimate based on reviewing—and possibly editing a sample of—a portion of the material the author sends me via email (e.g., book manuscript, article, essay, letter, thesis, website content, etc.). The estimate will be based on two things: the number of words and the amount of copyediting involved, whether basic or heavy. The rule of thumb in the industry is that 250 words of text equals one manuscript page. So, for example, a 60,000-word document equals 240 manuscript pages, and that goes into the cost-estimate formula. Continue reading “How I Do My Job as a Copyeditor”
Prospective customers, clients, and patrons judge your business or organization by the impression you make in print and web-based materials. It may not be a conscious thing, but they do. Whether you’re part of an information-heavy business with lots of written text or you make your living by the sweat of your brow—people with a good grasp of English will be more impressed with the public image you present if your text is carefully polished, easy to read, and error free. This is true for the yard care specialist or auto shop owner who creates simple advertising flyers, and it is true for the proprietor or professional who produces multiple pages of text, whether for a website or in hard copy.
If you are trying to build your client base or nurture existing clients, you have something important to say. A good copyeditor can help you say it more effectively. So what does a copyeditor do? In short, he or she takes text (i.e., copy) that someone else has written and ensures that it is clear, coherent, consistent, and correct, all for the purpose of effective communication. But not everyone is convinced they need this service. Continue reading “If You Write for Your Business or Organization, Consider This”