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

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Doesn't All Editing Cost the Same?

Doesn't all editing cost the same? Spoiler: No.

This is why an editor's total fee differs among projects. In a corner of my office, on the wall, I have these editing speeds (number of 250-word manuscript pages per hour) posted from years ago when I worked on a lot of fiction manuscripts for mass-market paperbacks*:

Really messy mss.: 9 pp./h

Average mss.: 12–17 pp./h

Easy juvenile mss.: 19 pp./h

The bulk of the editing I do today is of manuscripts for biomedical journals, written by non-native speakers of English. My general editing speed for those:

2 pp./h

And of course each editor's speed is different, and a lot depends on how much work the manuscript needs, whatever the genre.

*Printed dimensions: usually 6.75" × 4.25".

Friday, August 17, 2012

At the End of a Project

Today I sent my final invoice for the cultural memoir that I've spent a long time editing. The author, a highly intelligent man whom I respect a great deal, sent me this wonderful e-mail just now:

Thank you very much for your skillful and excellent editing of [book title]. Because of all the hard work put in by you, [it] is a much better book with smooth-flowing text that tells its story well. It has been a pleasure working with you, and thanks again for your collaboration. Please keep in touch, and I am looking forward to presenting you a copy of [the book] in person soon.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Video "What Is Substantive Editing?"

Sometimes you'll hear me talk about doing substantive editing, which is the type of editing I do all the time, both for native and non-native speakers of English. But what is it? In this video, the editor-in-chief of the journal Academic Medicine discusses substantive editing with the journal's director of staff editing. If you're an author, the video will help you understand more about what substantive editing is. If you're an editor, you might want to share the link to the video with your authors.


Wednesday, August 08, 2012

What "Thank You" Means to Freelancers and Mentors

Two little words can make a huge difference in my outlook—and in yours too, I'm sure: Thank you.

Those two words can motivate me to work harder, share more with colleagues, and be kinder to everyone around me. Do they affect you the same way?

Today I received the following e-mail from a colleague, and it inspired me:


I am a lurker on the X and Y [e-mail] lists and I just wanted to let you know that I am always appreciative of your interesting/informative posts to both forums! I have also learned a lot from browsing around your website and reading many of the excellent things you've posted there.

I have been doing part-time freelance work (copyediting and proofreading) since [year redacted]. . . . My day job . . . has been drastically cut back for the coming year and I'm looking at this as an opportunity to grow my freelance business. I really do believe I can be successful in this new endeavor, and a large part of my optimism is fueled by the sense of purpose and professionalism that I've passively cyber-gleaned . . . from more seasoned folks like you!

I'm sure you get feedback and kudos from your clients as well as from colleagues whom you've helped on specific matters. But I just wanted to let you know that there is at least one member of your "silent fan club" who is no less appreciative of your openness and sharing!

Thank-yous are especially important for the self-employed. We usually work alone, not in offices where we can hear such motivating words in person. Yes, we get paid to do what we do, but appreciation is rewarding too.

Thank-yous are also important to mentors. We help others because we enjoy doing so. But when we are thanked, we feel honored and moved to give even more.

Have you thanked a freelancer or a mentor today?

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