Celebrating Ten Years of Being a Work-at-Home Editor

Celebrating Ten Years of Being a Work-at-Home Editor

Yay! Ten years ago (can it really be that long?), I was laid off from my job as an editor at a small Bible college due to financial cutbacks. It was a difficult time; I didn’t want to go. I had no idea what we would do. Would we have to sell our house and move away? What would I do for a living? We took a step of faith and, with the help of family, remodeled a basement room into a home office while I worked part-time at FedEx and started editing books from home. More than two hundred books and five publishers later (and certainly after some lean, difficult times), I’m still gainfully employed at home, and my wife is a virtual assistant for an outreach ministry to Jewish people. Yes, I went from a forty-hour workweek to sometimes a sixty-hour one, but I get to see my…

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Speech Tags or No Speech Tags?

Each novel manuscript I edit for my day job is a learning experience. It either reveals what doesn’t work in fiction writing or reinforces what does. In this post I want to talk about the speech tag. I briefly wrote about it in this post, but I wanted to expand on some key ideas here. Why? Because strong dialogue is so important for good fiction. It reveals character, it depicts drama, it reveals vital information, and it pushes the story forward. Used correctly, it can do so much for a story. But use it unwisely, and it can really be a drag. Of course, the primary purpose of speech tags is to ID the spakers, but I’ll just come right out and ask it. Are speech tags even necessary? What do they accomplish other than giving the reader more words to read? Because, I would argue, there’s a better way…

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Book Review: Proofreading Secrets of Best-Selling Authors

Book Review: Proofreading Secrets of Best-Selling Authors

I’ve been a fan of Kathy Ide ever since I learned about the Christian Editor Network and The Christian PEN: Proofreaders and Editors Network, two organizations that were a tremendous help to me when I began editing from home in 2006. Kathy was especially gracious in helping a newbie like me learn the ropes in the scary world of editing books from home. She even referred some projects to me, which helped me earn income to support my family. I’m saying all this in the interest of full disclosure before I talk about her new book, Proofreading Secrets of Best-Selling Authors. What Is This Book About? What a treasure this book is, especially for book editors like me. I refer to the online version of The Chicago Manual of Style¬†(CMOS) almost every day. If asked, my book editing buddies would probably agree with me that sometimes putting our fingers on…

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