Written by Nancy Tinari; copy edited by Karen Barry
Review of “Yes, I Could Care Less: How to Be a Language Snob Without Being a Jerk” by Bill Walsh.
Yes, I Could Care Less is a funny book for editors. It’s for editors because, like Bill Walsh, we care about words deeply. We recognize aspects of our own personalities in his self-mockery about his obsessive-compulsive quirkiness and his editorial pet peeves. It’s a book for editors rather than a general audience because Walsh, a copy editor at The Washington Post since 1997, tackles some of the most difficult copy-editing conundrums that often stymie editors. Topics include subject-verb agreement “follies” with expressions like “a lot” and “one of those people,” restrictive/non-restrictive clauses with their tricky use of commas and the which/that choice, how to handle trademarks, difficult decisions about hyphenation, and the pitfalls of typesetting technology.
Yes, I Could Care Less reveals what a subjective task editing can be. There are rules, style books, and house style guides, but there are many issues upon which even expert copy editors will not agree. The book opened my eyes about the potential for creativity and what Walsh calls “tiny acts of elegance” in editing work.
Written by Amy Haagsma; copy edited by Meagan Kus
Review of “Marketing Your Editing & Proofreading Business” by Louise Harnby, in association with The Publishing Training Centre.
Last week we reviewed Louise Harnby’s book Business Planning for Editorial Freelancers, a how-to guide for preparing a business plan. Harnby included a lot of great information on marketing, but she has also covered the topic in more detail in her more recent book, Marketing Your Editing & Proofreading Business.
Harnby touts this as “a book for editorial business owners, by an editorial business owner.” She promises that it is not a marketing textbook and that she’s done her best to avoid using jargon; rather, she’s tried to give editorial professionals real advice in the same manner she would in a face-to-face conversation.
Even the introduction is packed full of useful information, and the first item Harnby tackles is dispelling the notion that editors and proofreaders are not marketers. Everyone, she says, is a marketer, and having a marketing strategy is essential. After you’ve invested time and money in setting up your business, marketing is the next step to help you find clients and sell your services. Being good at what you do is not enough; you need to be found in order to be successful. Once you have built up your client base, regular marketing helps you stay in the minds of your clients.
Written by Amy Haagsma; copy edited by Michael Ferreira
Review of “Business Planning for Editorial Freelancers” by Louise Harnby, in association with The Publishing Training Centre.
As a new editor, I have set out to learn as much as I can about editing, both the business and the craft. Among the many fantastic resources I’ve discovered are Louise Harnby’s blog, The Proofreader’s Parlour, and books, Business Planning for Editorial Freelancers and Marketing Your Editing & Proofreading Business.
Harnby is a UK-based proofreader and an advanced member of the Society for Editors and Proofreaders. She has more than 20 years’ experience in publishing and started her own business in 2005.
Business Planning for Editorial Freelancers is written with the complete beginner in mind and assumes no prior editorial experience. It aims to cover everything a new editorial freelancer would need to know, from education and training to finding clients and growing your business.
by Eric Damer
Review of Unearthing Canada’s Hidden Past: A Short History of Adult Education by Michael Welton (Thompson Publishing, 2013).
Ours is a learning society that goes well beyond schooling for youth. Historian Michael Welton adds that all societies are learning societies and always have been. Adults have always learned new job skills, cultivated leisure interests and even tried to change their society to make it a bit more fair, inclusive and democratic. This last activity—learning for progressive social change—interests Welton the most in this accessible account of adult education in Canada over several hundred years. Unearthing Canada’s Hidden Past: A Short History of Adult Education invites the reader to consider not only how adults have learned to adjust to their world but also how they have learned to change it. Welton has a special plea for adult educators to “keep faith with our emancipatory traditions” (p. 229) to tackle some of the pressing problems of our current age.
by Frances Peck
Book review of The Subversive Copy Editor by Carol Fisher Saller (The University of Chicago Press, 2009)
What does it take to get really good at the business of editing? I’d boil it down to four things: turn in great work, treat clients well, meet your deadlines, and maintain your perspective (code for: keep calm and carry on).
Written by Jeff Beamish, 2013, Oolichan Books; Reviewed by Corinne Smith
They’re called sneaker waves because they appear without warning, running high up onto the beach with sometimes deadly force; they are an apt metaphor for the unpredictable ways in which the lives of the characters in this novel are affected by their choices.