Justine: Copy Editing Challenges You Can Easily Overcome: Apostrophes

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Cartoon by What the Duck.

Author by day, copy editor by night. That’s me. To keep myself occupied in the evenings (I’m not much for watching television) and to help pay for my book cover habit, I take copy editing jobs from select writers. In my former life, I had a ten-year career as a technical writer. Combine all of this experience and one starts to notice particular consistent misuses of various grammar guidelines (I don’t like the word “rules,” because there are some rules made to be broken).

Over the next several posts, I’m going to lay out a few basic guidelines, abuses, and misunderstandings of grammar in the hopes that you, fair writer, will learn them and will put them to good use. If you’re paying for copy editing, this will not only make your copy editor love you more (trust me, it will), but it will reduce the time it takes your copy editor to work through your manuscript.

Disclaimer: I use the Chicago Manual of Style as my “bible” for anything grammar- or copy editing-related. There are other style manuals which may offer differing views. Continue reading

Elizabeth: Self-Publishing 101 – Editing

publish_buttonSo far in our Self-Publishing series we’ve talked about the Benefits of Self-Publishing,  Book Covers  (the first and oftentimes only chance for a book to make an impression on a potential reader) and Taglines, Loglines and Concepts (those tantalizing bits that hint at what your story is all about).

Spending all that effort with an eye toward attracting readers will be for naught, however, if those readers give up on your book a few pages in due to grammatical errors, inconsistencies, uneven voice and the like.

Which brings us to today’s topic:  Editing. Continue reading

Justine: A Little Shot of Confidence

confidence, writing, shot in arm, justine covingtonAs a new writer (and even a seasoned one), we all go through periods when we wonder what the hell we’re doing and why. Is anyone going to like what we write? Will anyone want to buy the book we’ve been slogging away at for over a year (or more)? We begin to doubt ourselves, our abilities, and the wild left turn we took in life when we decided to become writers. We may even wonder whether we should continue on or find something else to do.

Then we get a little shot of confidence.

Continue reading