Write. Edit. Share. Repeat.

About writing, editing, publishing & getting it out there

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EFA Long Island branch—Oct. 28 “Games & Goals” night

Games and goals night

Wednesday, October 28, 2015 (6:30 pm)

Come introduce yourself to the LI group! Bring business cards to exchange and some goals to discuss. We’ll conduct a goals-setting session, followed by socializing and board games.

Date: Wednesday, Oct. 28, 6:30 pm.
Meeting location: Panera Bread, 669 Hillside Avenue, New Hyde Park, NY 11040. Cost: free, but you’ll need to purchase food or drink from Panera.
RSVP: chap_longisland@the-efa.org

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Sat., Oct. 25: Benefitting from self-publishing, EFA LI branch

EFA_logo_100Long Island branch meets in Port Jefferson

If you’re an editorial freelancer on Long Island (or nearby), please join us for the October meeting of the Editorial Freelancers Association, Long Island branch.

You do not have to be a member of the EFA to attend this meeting, although I think joining is beneficial for those trying to make a go of freelancing.

I have asked my scheduled speaker from the last meeting to return, as we had a small turnout and he did not give his full presentation.

Topic: Self-Publishing’s Here to Stay—Benefitting From It

Our guest speaker is Stephen Tiano of Tiano Book Design (http://www.tianobookdesign.com/), a book designer, page compositor, and layout artist. His topic is about the impact of the growth of self-publishing on book design, freelancing, and freelancers’ rates.

Among other aspects of this topic, Steve says he’ll discuss strategies for dealing with self-publishers who have a tendency to want us to price our freelance services in line with their DIY mentality. That is to say, cheap …

I expect there will be some back and forth about negotiating rates and demonstrating our value to self-publishers.

Meeting info:

Time: 4:30-6 pm
Location: Panera Bread, 4959 Nesconset Hwy, Port Jefferson Station, NY 11776. We’ll be in the private meeting room.

Contact: Jan Arzooman at chap_longisland AT the-efa.org.

Please let me know if you are coming! 

Add to calendar

 

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Freelancing on Long Island

Editorial Freelancers Association

Long Island branch meets this Saturday, Sept. 20

If you’re an editorial freelancer on Long Island (or Queens or elsewhere; we’re not that picky), please join us for the September meeting of the Editorial Freelancers Association, Long Island branch.

I’ve recently agreed to step in as coordinator, and I’m in the process of planning future meetings (so anyone with an interesting specialty who wants to present, please let me know). You do not have to be a member of the EFA to attend this meeting, although I think joining is beneficial for those trying to make a go of freelancing.

The topic:

Self-Publishing’s Here to Stay—Benefitting From It

Our guest speaker is Stephen Tiano of Tiano Book Design (http://www.tianobookdesign.com/), a book designer, page compositor, and layout artist. His topic is about the impact of the growth of self-publishing on book design, freelancing, and freelancers’ rates.

Among other aspects of this topic, Steve says he’ll discuss strategies for dealing with self-publishers who have a tendency to want us to price our freelance services in line with their DIY mentality. That is to say, cheap …

I expect there will be some back and forth about negotiating rates and demonstrating our value to self-publishers.

Meeting info:

Time: 1-3 pm
Location: Panera Bread, 4959 Nesconset Hwy, Port Jefferson Station, NY 11776. We’ll be in the private meeting room.
Contact: Jan Arzooman at chap_longisland AT the-efa.org. Please let me know if you are coming!

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Improving your editing skills

Editorial Bootcamp: Copyediting Intensive

For beginning editors and those wanting to brush up on skills

For both new editors and those who have been editing for years, an intense, one-day training session on editing non-fiction will be held after the Communication Central conference in Rochester, NY, on Sunday, September 28, from 9 am to 3 pm.

The Copyediting Intensive is led by Laura Poole, senior editor at Archer Editorial Services and co-founder of Editorial Bootcamp. The Bootcamp is associated with but separate from Communication Central, and registrants for both events are offered discounts. Registration is on the last page of the Communication Central registration form. Read More

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Variety of services at Arzooman Editorial

Example_of_copyedited_manuscriptWhat I edit

I don’t know how many copyeditors work in just one genre (I suspect very few), but as far as my business (Arzooman Editorial Services) is concerned, I work in a variety of styles and genres.

I’m currently editing a non-fiction book about fighting diabetes, but the last book I worked on was fiction, a thriller about a serial killer. Read More

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Are you overusing capitals?

caps key 1Misplaced apostrophes (which other editing and writing blogs have gone on about ad infinitum) are one of my pet peeves, but there’s another kind of writing “crime” that gets to me: excessive, yet often random, capitalization. I am not sure how things got so bad, but it was probably someone’s misplaced effort to write “politely” and to honor folks with their correct titles, even though there was no reason why those titles needed to be capitalized. Even the president of the United States does not get capitalized in normal text, unless “President” is followed by “Obama” or is used in place of his name: “Mr. President, Putin is on the line.” Read More

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Let it go, already!

worriedmomI finished proofreading a manuscript recently and handed it in to the publisher I was working for. And then I started to get my usual bout of nerves about what kind of job I did. Did I find everything? Did I overstep my bounds? Did I insert my opinion too much and change things that did not need to be changed?

Sometimes as a proofreader I spot something in the book that’s wrong, and I have to point it out. Read More

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The self-imposed deadline

reading clip artAs a freelance editor and writer working from a home office, one of my biggest challenges is meeting self-imposed deadlines. I may have an external deadline—the manuscript must be copyedited by the end of the month—but I have to break that down into practical pieces. I know that’s no different than what I did when working in an office, but now I have to be my own supervisor. Read More

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Full-time editorial

Condensed version of announcement I made on Facebook:

I am now working full-time as a an editorial consultant, after 2-3 years working full-time and doing editing on the side.

My experience includes book editing (fiction, memoir, non-fiction), proofreading, self-publishing guidance, website creation and upkeep, blogging, marketing (social media and press releases).

I edit books for independent authors and established publishers.

I also work for companies of any size. If anyone finds me through my blog or on any of my social media sites, I give 25% off my standard rates for the first job.

Please spread the word if you know anyone who’s writing a book or who has a business for which they need marketing assistance. I am also available to speak with writing groups about editing and the publishing process. Please follow me on social media if that’s your thing (no biggie if it’s not).

Here are my links:

My professional website: http://arzoomaneditorial.com/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/Arzooman_Edit
LinkedIn: http://www.linkedin.com/in/janarzooman
G
oogle+: https://plus.google.com/115403852254268405476/posts
Thank you all for your support!

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There’s a story in here somewhere…

It’s my belief that if you think you can write, or you have the urge to write, you should never worry about whether you are good or not—you should simply pick up pen and paper or turn on your computer and start.

what are you waiting forOf course some writers are better than others, and some stories are better than others, but don’t worry about that right now. Writers often are self-deprecating, vastly underestimating their talent. But the pendulum of self-awareness swings the other way as well, judging by the mounds of awful books to be found on Kindle, B&N, Smashwords and elsewhere, simply because it’s so easy to self-publish these days, especially electronically. The main saving grace of some eBooks is that they at least haven’t killed any trees.

But back to the person who thinks he or she has a good story, such as a memoir: What are you waiting for? Just write the darn thing! Get a proofreader before you publish; that’s a given. But much earlier in the process, it’s just as important to have a copyeditor, or a developmental editor if you can swing it (the fee will be a little higher than for a copyeditor.)

A good editor does way more than catch typos. She can help point out a disjointed story line, or suggest from a neutral distance that certain scenes or characters don’t fit in. Your aunt may have been a fascinating person, full of crazy adventures, but unless you shared in those adventures or they affected your life, they probably don’t belong in your memoir.

Beyond the actual story, an editor can help a writer by spotting repetition or cliches or ill-fitting metaphors. The existence of any of these things does not make someone a bad writer. If you have a 300+ page manuscript and you’ve already read it multiple times, it can be easy to overlook something.

Most writers know they need someone else to check their spelling and grammar, but I think many assume that the editor will send the manuscript back with one or two misspelled words every ten pages. They seem a bit shell-shocked when there are a lot more corrections than they expected. On the one hand, it’s good to catch these things before presenting the book to the public, but on the other hand—”Jeez, I thought I had read this a lot more closely and caught everything!”

First of all, as I said, a misspelled word or a misplaced apostrophe does not equal bad writing. The story is what is most important. And I do try to remind writers that I am not the final decision-maker. A lot of my comments are simply suggestions or queries. I may say, “Do you think your audience will understand this?” or (in fiction) “Do you think this character would do that?” In a memoir it may be, “You might need to make your motivation more clear here.”

The writer may very well respond, “I think my audience will understand this” or, “Yes, I do think this character would do that.” And the writer knows this best. Even with grammar rules, it is up to the writer to decide to break them, or to decide that adherence to certain rules may take away from the voice of the book. I will be extra assertive only in cases where it’s probably going to make the writer look bad if I don’t. (Yes, you really do need an apostrophe there.)

I’ve read a couple memoirs lately that I felt were terrific stories. Some only needed minor tweaking, others more guidance. Several of these authors told me, “I’m not really a writer”—as I was staring at their finished manuscript.

So, what’s your story?