Plagiarism: how to spot it and what to do about it
Whether it’s done accidentally, unthinkingly or with malice aforethought, plagiarism is a perennial problem in publishing. Sometimes it might result from an author’s genuine ignorance of the rules and conventions surrounding the reproduction of others’ work; sometimes it might be a shortcut (for example, if an author is commissioned to write in a language other than their own and struggles to formulate their own words); and sometimes it is simply the deliberate theft of another author’s words.…Read More
Capitalising on feedback and embracing fragility
Not long ago, I met up with three old university friends who are all employed by (or have been employed by) large public-sector organisations. Their work environments (the support and demands of a corporate structure; the necessity of wearing shoes with rigid soles) couldn’t be more different from mine (the freedom to improve or damage my business unchecked by rules set by others; an office six metres from my bed).…Read More
How to help (and hinder) your typesetter
Copy-editors and proofreaders rarely get any direct contact with or feedback from typesetters. As such, we can never quite be sure whether our markup and working practices are helpful and sufficient or whether we’re causing confusion and wasted time. Developments in technology – for example, the use of styles in Word and the use of Acrobat’s built-in markup tools – have led to further options and possibilities, with the result that there is no single ‘right’ way of marking up text.…Read More
The seven deadly sins of freelance editors
You’re a good editor. You can juggle serial commas and breathe fire at dangling modifiers. Your ninja coding skills can subdue even the most tortuous of manuscripts.
But, however good your editorial skills, they may not be able to save you from losing a client to certain common etiquette pitfalls. I’ve collected seven of these below.…Read More
What makes a professional copy-editor or proofreader?
‘Professionalism’ is one of those rare things: a buzzword with longevity and real value for both the professional and the client who benefits from that professionalism.
But what exactly does it mean to be a professional copy-editor or proofreader? As a project manager, I have worked with the very best to the very worst on the scale of professionalism.…Read More
Parent–teacher relations for editors
As the awed daughter and granddaughter of several teachers, I have long believed I would be unsuited to that most demanding of professions. Luckily, I stumbled on a career that would enable me to help people who could already write rather than attempt to teach smaller people to write in the first place. Proofreading turned into copyediting and project management, and here I am.…Read More
Eight thoughts on what makes a great project manager (or, how to make your freelancer love you)
In my previous post I gave some tips for freelance editors, proofreaders and indexers on how to keep getting rehired by clients. A contact subsequently suggested a mirror article on how those clients could improve in their dealings with freelancers.
Given that client relations are a perennial bugbear of freelancers, this seemed an interesting topic to tackle.…Read More
How to get repeat editorial work from publishing clients
Here’s the situation: you’ve got yourself onto a publisher’s or other editorial client’s list of freelancers and, after a few months, you receive an email offering interesting work at a great rate of pay. You accept the job and complete it on deadline and to the best of your abilities, and the client seems happy (or, at least, you don’t receive any negative feedback, which is often the best feedback a busy client has time for).…Read More
Seven ways to make your LinkedIn profile more appealing to editorial project managers
Being an editorial project manager (PM) can feel a bit like being a very delicious, but very forbidden, cake. When I tell other freelancers that part of my work involves hiring copy-editors, proofreaders and indexers, I sometimes find myself the object of longing glances from those who seem to feel themselves starved of work. However, I’ve met enough freelancers to know that a person’s talents may not be equal to the amount of work they are receiving – it may be how they are presenting themselves that is to blame.…Read More
Why being on a publisher’s list of freelancers might not be enough to get you editing work
As a copyeditor, proofreader or indexer, you may think that getting yourself onto a publisher’s list of freelancers is the holy grail of freelancing and will be enough to get you hired regularly.
However, it’s often the case that the people on publishers’ lists who receive regular work have done so for years, and always work with the same contacts.…Read More