KOK Edit: Your favorite copyeditor since 1984(SM)
KOK Edit: your favorite copyeditor since 1984(SM) KOK Edit: your favorite copyeditor since 1984(SM) Katharine O'Moore Klopf

Friday, June 07, 2019

Courses About Medical Editing

A colleague on an email discussion list asked about continuing-education courses in medical editing. I'm sharing here the info I gave her:

  • "Macroediting" (has nothing to do with using macros), webinar available through the American Medical Writers Association (AMWA)
  • "Medical Editing," webinar available from the Society for Editors and Proofreaders (SfEP)
  • Various courses available from the Drug Information Association; see its catalog

Friday, April 12, 2019

How to Run an Editing Business

Self-employed editors don't just edit. They must also run their own editing business. No one just hands them clients and projects; they have to go out and get those themselves. In this guest post, my colleague Amy J. Schneider explains for editors new to business what that entails. What appears here is a version of material that she originally posted in an editors' Facebook discussion group. She has given me her permission to repost it here.

Let us remember that even a part-time business is still a business, and we must treat it like one. All businesses require capital investment: professional training and development, equipment (computer and peripherals, Internet connection), software (general and industry-specific: Office, Acrobat, editorial plug-ins, etc.), and more. You'll need to consider taxes, local business licensing (if any), bookkeeping, time tracking, scheduling, quoting and setting appropriate rates, invoicing, contracts, client relations, marketing, networking, online/social media presence, IT self-education and maintenance, and the list goes on. Much if not all of this is covered in Katharine O'Moore-Klopf's Copyeditors' Knowledge Base (CKB).

Remember also that your clients will not be interested in what editing will do for you, but rather what you can do to meet their needs. You may have to do less of an edit on a project than it needs, or than you think it needs. You may need to edit to different styles (style guide or house style), or be asked to make or leave things "wrong." Your clients will expect you to be a problem-solver and a self-starter, with minimal hand-holding from them, to give them the edit they want. You are a vendor to them, just as a service provider such as a plumber is to you; they expect you to take care of things so they don't have to.

When I started as a freelance editor, I didn't know what I didn't know. Now when newbies approach me for advice, I send them to three resources: CMOS [the Chicago Manual of Style], Amy Einsohn's Copyeditor's Handbook (the 4th edition will be available in May 2019), and the CKB. That's enough to keep them busy for a while. In my 24 years of self-employment, no one has ever come back and said that they still wanted to be a freelance editor after reviewing those references. They all apparently had a very different idea of what it was all about. It's a lot more work than many people think, and it's not always glamorous or fun. It is most certainly a profession and a business that requires a generous infusion of cash, time, blood, sweat, tears, and, yes, talent. But the least of these is talent. You will get out of it what you put into it.


Amy J. Schneider is the owner of Featherschneider Editorial Services and has been providing professional editing and proofreading of textbooks, trade books, and fiction since 1995.

Where to find Amy: editing and proofreading; LinkedIn profile

Friday, January 25, 2019

Writers and editors: Do you know why and how to use patient-friendly language in documents? In this article I wrote for ACES: The Society for Editing, I share some of my tips for creating patient-friendly language.

Thursday, October 18, 2018

Self-Employed Editors, Can You Build a Clientele Instantly?

I’m seeing requests everywhere from new editorial freelancers who are seeking tools and techniques that will get them get a steady clientele very fast.

I’ve been self-employed almost 24 years, and my experience tells me what other self-employed editorial pros have said in various venues: building up a clientele takes time. There are no methods that work instantly. It would be lovely if there were.

But keep marketing, to make your presence and skills known. This involves doing things like these:
  • Blogging
  • Commenting on the blogs where potential clients hang out (without doing a hard sell)
    • Participating in professional associations
    • Contacting clients (past, current, and desired) to talk about how you can help lighten their project load—and not starting by reciting all of your academic degrees and training
    • Sharing your professional knowledge (without doing hard sales pitches)
      • In email discussion groups
      • In Facebook discussion groups
      • On Twitter
      • On LinkedIn
      • All over the place
    • Doing presentations to share helpful knowledge at meetings where potential clients hang out
    • Teaching courses in person or via the internet
    • Finding ways to build up the number of word-of-mouth referrals you get

    If you don’t take the time to do at least some of those things on a regular basis, clients just won’t land on your desk. There are ways to do them without using up all your editing time and without spending lots of money.

    I know you can do this. I’m an introvert, and I do it.

    Thursday, May 31, 2018

    How to Scope Out Associations' Cultures, Keep Up with Their Conferences, and Learn from Them

    Here is a 3-part tip for those who can't afford to attend annual conferences of editorial associations and/or who are considering joining one or more associations:

    • First, bookmark links to the websites of associations you're interested in. If you want to know about more associations than just the few you've already heard about, check out the association links in the "Networking" section of the Copyeditors' Knowledge Base (CKB).
    • Second, watch those websites for notice of upcoming conferences. During conference time, head to Twitter to find the associations' Twitter accounts. (Follow the links to those Twitter accounts that appear in the "Networking" section of the CKB.)
    • Third, follow those accounts' tweets that are about the organizations' conferences. Most associations include an appropriate hashtag, or topic marker, in their conference tweets. For example, ACES: the Society for Editing is using the hashtag #ACES2020 for its tweets about its 2020 conference. You can search Twitter for that hashtag if you know it. [Updated October 11, 2019.]
    You'll get a good sense of what the organizations have to offer you, and you'll also be engaging in some continuing professional development. Note: You do not have to have a Twitter account of your own to follow those tweets.

    Wednesday, January 24, 2018

    A Tale of Parenting and Self-Employment from the Low-Tech Days

    This tale may resonate with those of you who are self-employed and have small children at home to care for. It's funny to me now, way after the fact.

    Back in 1996, I was already self-employed as an editor. A child of mine, who shall be referred to as Toddler here, was in diapers. [Kind readers, please do not reveal Toddler's real name in the comments.] One morning I was editing a book manuscript—I don't remember whether it was fiction or nonfiction—and needed to do some fact-checking using reference works other than the ones I owned. I didn't yet didn't own a computer or cell phone, much less a smartphone, so I couldn't do Internet searches for the information I needed. That meant a trip to the library.

    Did I want to take Toddler with me? No, Toddler would be bored because the reference section was nowhere near the children's section of the library. What to do? Brilliant idea: leave Toddler with my father-in-law, who at the time was a jazz-and-blues musician who worked nights, so both Toddler and I would be happy during the 30 minutes or so when I was at the library. Father-in-Law agreed, so I left him with Toddler and some of Toddler's toys.

    I did my research at the library, and I returned home, thinking how happy the book manuscript's author and acquisition editor would be with the thoroughness of my fact-checking. I went to the downstairs apartment within my home, where my in-laws live and where Father-in-Law was taking care of Toddler.

    I opened the door, and there stood Toddler, wearing a disposable diaper that was secured on each side with silver duct tape. I found that very odd. How had the duct tape gotten there?

    I had forgotten to leave Father-in-Law with extra diapers, so when Toddler filled up his diaper, as toddlers will do, Father-in-Law improvised. He removed the diaper, disposed of its contents, put it back on Toddler, and used duct tape to secure it because he couldn't get the diaper's adhesive strips, put in place by the diaper's manufacturer, to work.

    And that happened because I had no cell phone on which Father-in-Law could have called me to request clean diapers.

    Tuesday, October 17, 2017

    What You as a Researcher Get for My Fees

    As an international physician-researcher, you can pay another editing service less to edit your manuscript, but will you get the same level of attention and care that you can get from KOK Edit?

    Medical journal editors want manuscripts that are spelled and punctuated correctly. They want manuscripts to have proper grammar and to follow the journal's preferences. And other editing services will do that for you.

    But journal editors want more than that. They want manuscripts to be well structured, to have the right tone for their publication, and to tell a research story rather than just recite data. That's where I can help you.

    In addition to having extensive training in editing, I am board-certified as an editor in the life sciences. I will advise you when a table or figure will illustrate your findings better than text alone, help you report your research concisely, and even help you write a cover letter to accompany your submission.

    For more than 2 decades, I have been editing manuscripts written by non-native English writers, so I know exactly how to help you hone your writing to meet journals' expectations. Authors whose manuscripts have been rejected by journals often come to me for help and then achieve publication after my in-depth editing.

    You will face competition from many other researchers when you submit your manuscript to a journal. I will work with you to set deadlines that will honor your manuscript, so that I can take the time necessary to help you make your manuscript its best.

    When I edit for you, I am your advocate in the publishing process. I help you communicate your research well to your English-speaking peers worldwide. I polish your writing so that it sounds as if you are a native English writer. And I help you decrease the amount of jargon in your manuscript so that more people will want to read it.

    Contact me today to get started.

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