Archive for the ‘Professional Development’ Category

The Time to Edit a Manuscript

Wednesday, February 1st, 2017

Editorial Inspirations Editing/Indexing/Proofreading www.EditorialInspirations.com

Recently, a potential client came to me with the idea that I could edit his book in a few weeks. Although there is no rule as to how long an editing job will take, there are ways to estimate how long it will take and how much to charge. A few weeks is certainly not enough time to edit an average-length book when you are also working on several other projects.

The Editorial Freelancers Association estimates that the pace for basic copyediting is 5–10 standard pages* per hour at an hourly fee of $30–$40. Heavy copyediting reduces the pages completed in an hour to 2–5 and increases the hourly fee to $40–$50. And for line editing, 1–6 pages may be completed in an hour with an hourly fee of $50–$60.

Personally, I leave the calculations up to Excel. First, I read a few pages from different chapters to gauge the type of editing needed. Then, I input the estimated number of pages completed per hour, along with the total word count, in an Excel formula, and it calculates how many hours the project will take and estimates the fee for the project.

Of course, estimates are just that: estimates. Every project is different and will have its own challenges. Be sure to add more time to your estimate if your project includes fact checking, is a text by a nonnative English writer, or has tables and references.

To learn more about the editing process, I offer Editing 101, where you will master the editing essentials! I will teach you how to be able to recognize the specific differences between critiquing, developmental editing, copyediting, and proofreading. Whether you offer only one service or more than one, you will benefit from knowing the difference between the levels of editing. For those who offer more than one type of service, I will explain how to easily transition between the various levels of editing when working on more than one project in a single day.

* A standard page is considered to have 250 words.

EI Offers New Indexing Course

Wednesday, May 1st, 2013

Editorial Inspirations Editing/Indexing/Proofreading www.EditorialInspirations.com

April Michelle Davis catered an online course, Indexing Basics, offered through the Editorial Freelancers Association, from February 21 to March 21, to eighteen individuals interested in learning more about indexing and in refreshing their indexing skills. The coursework covered the fundamentals and theory of indexing. As a bonus and to reinforce participant understanding of the material, the participants worked one-on-one with April Michelle, a master in the indexing profession, putting into practice the learned skills by indexing a portion of a book.

The demand of April Michelle’s courses is proof that these skills are sought after by professionals and transfer into a respectful-paying job.

The success of this hands-on learning experience is accredited to April Michelle’s leadership and expertise and in the indexing profession. April Michelle showcases her talents in this field as the chair-elect (soon to be chair) and the webmaster of the Mid- and South-Atlantic Chapter for the American Society for Indexing; in a recently published book, The Guide for the Freelance Indexer (Editorial Freelancers Association, 2012); in the articles she writes for Key Words, the American Society for Indexing publication, and for The Atlantic Indexer, the Mid- and South-Atlantic Chapter’s newsletter; and by teaching indexing courses and offering one-on-one training through Editorial Inspirations and other organizations.

Indexing Basics is a condensed version of Indexing 101, which April Michelle offers through Editorial Inspirations.

EI as Guest on NAIWE’s The Freelance Life

Friday, March 1st, 2013

Editorial Inspirations Editing/Indexing/Proofreading www.EditorialInspirations.com

In case you are a visual person, here are the notes from NAIWE’s The Freelance Life, from January 30, when April Michelle Davis of Editorial Inspirations was the guest speaker.

  • What is your business?

Editorial Inspirations provides independent editing, indexing, and proofreading for projects from newsletters and publications to manuscripts, both fiction and nonfiction. Through experience and training, I have developed my working style: Get to know the needs of the author or publisher and help develop the best writing to suit publication by being professional and pleasant.

  • What are your professional credentials?

I am currently the chapter coordinator for the Virginia chapter of the Editorial Freelancers Association and the chair-elect for the Mid- & South-Atlantic chapter for the American Society for Indexing.

Prior to starting Editorial Inspirations in 2001, I worked as an assistant editor at the National Society of Professional Engineers and a program assistant for the American Prosecutors Research Institute. I have a master of professional studies degree in publishing from the George Washington University and a bachelor of arts degree in English from Messiah College. In addition, I hold certificates in editing from the University of Virginia, book publishing from the University of Virginia, and professional editing from EEI Communications.

I frequently attend workshops, conferences, book festivals, and writers’ retreats—including the Communication Central Conference, University of Iowa Writers’ Workshop, Sewanee Writers’ Conference, Duke University Writers’ Workshop, James River Writers Conference—and I have been a member of the Editorial Freelancers Association since 2005, a member of the American Society for Indexing since 2009, a member of the National Association of Independent Writers and Editors since 2010, and a member of the American Copy Editors Society since 2012.

  • Is your freelance business a full-time job?

When I began Editorial Inspirations in 2001, I had a full-time job. In 2007, I completed my master’s degree, and I felt I now had enough experience and clients to freelance full time. Since then, I have been freelancing full time. Of course, there have been busy times and slow times, but I have always been able to keep myself busy enough to pay my bills.

  • What does it take to start a business?

A freelance editorial business has lower start-up costs than many other businesses. However, that also makes the competition more fierce because low barriers to entry makes for easy industry access. Therefore, even though most anyone can start this type of business since all a person needs is a computer, to succeed in this business, you have to be determined and hard working.

  • What do you think is more important in running a business: your talent or your business know-how?

Both talent and business know-how are very important, and it is difficult to say that one is more important than the other. A person can have a lot of talent and skills, but if that person does not know how to run a business and market those services, then there will be no business. The reverse is true. A person can be a great business person, bringing in a lot of work, but if that work is done poorly because the person has no talent, the person will not be in business for very long.

  • How did you start your business?

I took classes at the University of Virginia to get two certificates, and the professors of those classes were not traditional professors; they were people in the publishing field. One class had a guest speaker, and I remained in touch with this person. I remained in touch with this gentleman for three years, and after three years of contact and bothering him for a project, he gave me my first freelance editing job—I was to edit an entire book! It was a bit nerve wracking, but I worked hard and did the best that I could, and apparently it was good enough because he became my client for the next ten years.

  • What is the name of your book?

A Guide for the Freelance Indexer

  • How does your book relate to your business, and why did you write your book?

In my book,  I use my expert knowledge to tackle some of the tougher issues, such as dealing with names, numerals, and footnotes/endnotes as well as going into the step-by-step process of setting up an index entry.

The flow of the book brings together a complete work on the subject matter. Or each chapter may be treated as a stand-alone for the indexer who just needs a refresher on a topic such as main headings, cross-references, or invoicing. Included in the book is a chapter on software where I supply the reader with a basic understanding of each and a basis for comparison before buying.

  • What were your research techniques to obtain the information for your book?

A Guide for the Freelance Indexer has been many years in the making when you take into account that I, prior to teaching the Introduction to Indexing course through the Editorial Freelancers Association, earned a master’s of professional studies degree in publishing from George Washington University as well as certificates in editing, book publishing, and professional editing. I also completed the Basic Indexing course at the USDA Graduate School and Indexing: Theory and Application at the University of California, Berkeley. A member of the American Society for Indexing, I am chair-elect for the Mid-South Atlantic chapter. This is an important book for anyone embarking on an indexing career, or considering such a move. But editors and writers should not pass by this opportunity to discover a wealth of valuable information pertinent to their own work.

  • How will you promote your book?

The book is being promoted through the publisher, the Editorial Freelancers Association. The association advertises the book through its website, social media avenues, newsletter, and other resources. I have advertised the book through my website, blog, newsletter, social media sites, and word of mouth. And last month, in December, I was 1 of 20 authors at a book fair where I showcased my book.

  • Please share with us one social media marketing tip that has worked well for you and that you may use to promote your book.

When using social media to advertise, you have to realize that people are on social media all of the time, and that all of the people you hope to reach are not necessarily on at the same time you are. Therefore, when advertising, I try to post updates about my book at various times of the day, including non-work hours and in the middle of the night. For example, I know that I often work nontraditional hours, so I must also be aware that my audience does too. Just because it is the middle of the night where I am does not mean it is the middle of the night for someone interested in my product. My audience is online 24/7.

  • Who would be interested in reading your book?

Anyone who entertains the idea of learning to become a successful freelance indexer, my new book. A Guide for the Freelance Indexer is a must-have read—and it also makes a welcomed gift to a reference collection. My approach to presenting the information is logical and easy to follow. Beginning with the obvious question, “what is an index?” through to the conclusion, where I discuss the necessary steps to become a professional.  I detail the nuances of indexing in a way that even a novice can understand.

  • How often does the information change?

The indexing standards in this book will rarely change, making this book a great reference to keep on your desk. The section that discusses ways to format specific content, such as numbers, symbols, personal names, foreign names, geographic names, footnotes and endnotes, cumulative indexes, and tables and figures, is based on the 16th edition of the Chicago Manual of Style, so when the 17th edition comes out there may be some changes, but they should be minor.

  • Where can interested parties get a copy of your book?

People can order a copy of A Guide for the Freelance Indexer through Editorial Freelancers Association, Amazon, and Barnes & Noble.

  • Have you already started your next book?

While not working on another book, I do teach two editing courses, and I recently wrote 32 pages of new text for the correspondence binder for Editing 101: The Fundamentals of Copyediting. These new pages go into more detail on what clients are looking for in an editor; various levels of editing, such as critiquing, developmental editing, copyediting, and proofreading; how to determine which level of edit to do when the client doesn’t give clear directions; how to shift from different levels of edit for various projects within a given day; editorial processes; editing rules; and how to handle tight deadlines. Though the content of this binder is much more extensive, the price of the course remains the same.

In addition to being offered as a correspondence course, this course is also offered in person, and the next session is May 18.

Registrants can sign up for the course at EditorialInspirations.com.

In addition, I am teaching two classes through the Editorial Freelancers Association. The online course set to begin in February is Indexing Basics, and the in-person class in Richmond, Virginia, is Editing Basics. Registrants can sign up for these classes at the EFA website.

  • As the social media expert, please share how you became aware of the potential values that social media has for your business and how it’s affecting your business.

I am not a first adopter of anything, and so I waited awhile to see what all this fuss was about social media. As the hype continued, and the big three really became prominent, I joined them, along with a few other social media sites. Originally, I even hired someone to help me create a professional look for my profiles on these sites, including a business page on Facebook. I use my social media site only for business-related items, and I use my Facebook business page for only items directly relating to my business. In addition, I comment on other people’s Facebook postings when the posts relate to the publishing industry, and I try to be active on the social media sites almost every business day.

  • Is there any final piece of advice that you would like to offer our audience?

Like it, love it, live it. Like your genres, love what you do, live your profession 24/7.

April Michelle’s Roadmap to Success; The Book Chat

Thursday, February 7th, 2013

Editorial Inspirations Editing/Indexing/Proofreading www.EditorialInspirations.com

April Michelle was recently a guest on the National Association for Independent Writers and Editors’ The Freelance Life for a book chat. Where she spoke about her new book, A Guide for the Freelance Indexer. April Michelle’s book reads like an instruction guide to indexing. Do not be mislead, it is not just for indexers, but for writers and publishers to use as a reference when judging a good index. During the book chat, April Michelle also spoke about the business of freelance indexing, the process of becoming a successful freelance editor and indexer, professional development, and social media marketing.

April Michelle, named NAIWE’s Social Media Marketing Expert, initially promoted her book solely online. She uses Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, and other forms of social media as promotional avenues for her editorial services, as well as her classes and speaking engagements, and as touch points with potential clients. April Michelle draws on social media to successfully reach the social media market. Through the use of social media, her website, and blog, April Michelle has optimized her web presence. For example, Google “april michelle davis” and you will find that nearly every result on the first page is about her or Google “editor indexer” and the first result is about April Michelle.

As April Michelle has experienced, becoming a successful freelancer takes hard work, but it also takes business know-how such as how to use social media beneficially. April Michelle shares some of these techniques in her course Editing 101: The Fundamentals of Copyediting. To hear April Michelle’s Book Chat on The Freelance Life, the live audio conference was recorded for your convenience.

Getting Level: Evaluating the Manuscript and Editing at Different Levels

Monday, July 2nd, 2012

Editorial Inspirations Editing/Indexing/Proofreading. www.EditorialInspirations.com

Getting Level: Evaluating the Manuscript and Editing at Different Levels

October 18, 2012 at 11:30 AM – 1:00 PM

Editors are often challenged to edit at different levels, with some manuscripts requiring a developmental edit, some requiring a heavy copyedit, and others requiring a light copyedit. In this audio conference, April Michelle Davis of Editorial Inspirations will discuss the differences between the various levels of editing and how to easily transition between them when working on more than one project in a single day.

Here’s a sample of what you’ll learn:

* An editing process, which includes how to work with the client
* A list of tasks for each level of edit
* A checklist for use throughout the entire project
* Necessary resources

Editorial Conference

Friday, June 1st, 2012

Editorial Inspirations Editing/Indexing/Proofreading. www.EditorialInspirations.com

October 12 and 13 is 2012 Communication Central, a conference for freelance writers, editors, proofreaders, indexers, and others at the Courtyard Baltimore Downtown/Inner Harbor Marriott in Baltimore, Maryland! This year’s theme is “Build Your Business.” On October 13, the Editing Summit will take place, and–yours truly!–April Michelle Davis will be speaking, along with Erin Brenner, Janice Campbell, Laura Poole, John McIntyre, Carol Fisher Saller, and Barbara Hart.

Want to Learn to Edit?

Tuesday, May 1st, 2012

Editorial Inspirations Editing/Indexing/Proofreading. www.EditorialInspirations.com

Are you a freelance editor starting your own business, or are you searching for ways to make your editing business more successful? This May, Editorial Inspirations and April Michelle Davis bring you Editing 101 and Editing 102. Find out more and register today.

EDITING 101

Editorial Inspirations will be hosting and providing this specialized class designed for those who are in the editing industry (or who want to become freelance editors). This hands-on, interactive, one-day class will provide detailed discussions about the field, editing skills, and the business and IT requirements necessary to succeed. Add the course to your résumé, strengthen your skills, and learn how to run your editing business like a professional. Read More.

For those who cannot make it to Richmond, Virginia, on May 19, Editing 101 is also offered as a correspondence course.

Course Topics

• Publishing Industry Overview
• Editing Resources
• Marking Copy
• Spelling
• Grammar Review
• Punctuation
• Freelancing

EDITING 102

A continuation of Editing 101, this class provides advanced discussions about the editing field, query processes, and running a successful business. Add the course to your résumé, strengthen your skills, and learn more techniques for how to run your editing business like a professional. You do not have to take Editing 101 to take Editing 102. Read More.

Editing Courses

Sunday, January 1st, 2012

Editorial Inspirations Editing/Indexing/Proofreading www.EditorialInspirations.com

EDITING 101

Editorial Inspirations will be hosting and providing this specialized class designed for those who are in the editing industry (or who want to become freelance editors). This hands-on, interactive, one-day class will provide detailed discussions about the field, editing skills, and the business and IT requirements necessary to succeed. Add the course to your résumé, strengthen your skills, and learn how to run your editing business like a professional. Read more about the on-site course, or read about the correspondence course.

Course Topics
• Rules of an editor
• AP, Chicago, and house styles
• Hard-copy vs. electronic editing
• Editing vs. proofreading
• The art of spelling and spell check
• Parts of speech and sentence structure
• Punctuation marks and capitalization
• Business basics
• Handling taxes
• Marketing

EDITING 102

A continuation of Editing 101, this class provides advanced discussions about the editing field, query processes, and running a successful business. Add the course to your résumé, strengthen your skills, and learn more techniques for how to run your editing business like a professional. You do not have to take Editing 101 to take Editing 102. Read More.

Course Topics
• Author’s Voice
• Intellectual Property
• Marketing
• Professional Correspondence
• Client Relationships

Editing Courses

Monday, August 1st, 2011

Editorial Inspirations Editing/Indexing/Proofreading. www.EditorialInspirations.com

Are you a freelance editor starting your own business, or are you searching for ways to make your editing business more successful? This November, Editorial Inspirations and April Michelle Davis bring you Editing 101 and Editing 102. Find out more and register today.

EDITING 101

Editorial Inspirations will be hosting and providing this specialized class designed for those who are in the editing industry (or who want to become freelance editors). This hands-on, interactive, one-day class will provide detailed discussions about the field, editing skills, and the business and IT requirements necessary to succeed. Add the course to your résumé, strengthen your skills, and learn how to run your editing business like a professional. Read More.

For those who cannot make it to Richmond, Virginia, in November, Editing 101 is also offered as a correspondence course.

EDITING 102

A continuation of Editing 101, this class provides advanced discussions about the editing field, query processes, and running a successful business. Add the course to your résumé, strengthen your skills, and learn more techniques for how to run your editing business like a professional. You do not have to take Editing 101 to take Editing 102. Read More.

Editing Refresher Courses

Saturday, January 1st, 2011

Editorial Inspirations Editing/Indexing/Proofreading www.EditorialInspirations.com

Are you a freelance editor starting your own business, or are you searching for ways to make your editing business more successful? This March, Editorial Inspirations and April Michelle Davis bring you Editing 101. Or join us in May for Editing 102. Find out more and register today.

EDITING 101

Editorial Inspirations will be hosting and providing this specialized class designed for those who are in the editing industry (or who want to become freelance editors). This hands-on, interactive, one-day class will provide detailed discussions about the field, editing skills, and the business and IT requirements necessary to succeed. Add the course to your résumé, strengthen your skills, and learn how to run your editing business like a professional. Read More.

EDITING 102

A continuation of Editing 101, this class provides advanced discussions about the editing field, query processes, and running a successful business. Add the course to your résumé, strengthen your skills, and learn more techniques for how to run your editing business like a professional. You do not have to take Editing 101 to take Editing 102. Read More.