I am happy to announce a new book from a fierce female entrepreneur: Choices Change Everything. I collaborated with Cheryl Ecton a few years ago to get the ball rolling on her memoir about being a woman entrepreneur in a male-dominated business, the commercial cleaning industry, while also raising two children, one who required a lot of medical attention in her early years.
Cheryl was a joy to work with, and I wish her the best as she gets her book out into the world.
Natalie is amazing. I am a first-time author, and Natalie instilled life into my nonfiction manuscript. Thank you.
Greetings from the office of Silver Scribe Editorial Services! It’s been a very productive few months, and I wanted to share some recent projects.
The above quote is from a review I received via Reedsy for a developmental editing project I completed this month. The author needed me to help him organize and massage his book on video game addiction in children and teens. I wish him the best as he completes the publishing process and works to get this book in the hands of exasperated parents.
I also copyedited a book in March about parenting infants from birth to twelve months and am wrapping up an edit for a manuscript about skin care practices that reduce the effects of aging. Both of these authors found me on Reedsy.
Another client and I are collaborating to publish his memoir. We’ve had several meetings on Zoom to discuss his writing journey, and I’ll begin editing the manuscript this spring. He began with just a kernel of an idea in fall 2021 and will have a finished memoir by the end of summer.
I continue to write for Healthline, copyedit various academic journals, and complete miscellaneous publishing administrative projects (permissions, test question editing) as well.
I am so grateful for the opportunity to work on such a range of projects and am happy to help make your publishing dreams a reality. Please reach out if you need any guidance.
I recently reread Elizabeth Gilbert’s Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear. This is a wonderful book about the creative process, and it encapsulates the value creativity brings to our life. Gilbert, who you may know from her wildly successful memoir Eat, Pray, Love, is the author of both nonfiction and fiction works, and she brings a strong work ethic to her vocation.
Some of the advice that she shares in Big Magic relates to just putting one foot in front of the other (or, in the case of writing, one word in front of the other):
“Perfectionism stops people from completing their work, yes—but even worse, it often stops people from beginningtheir work” (p. 166).
“I keep remembering what my mother always used to say: ‘Done is better than good'” (p. 176).
“A good-enough novel violently written now is better than a perfect novel meticulously written never” (p. 177).
“Be careful not to quit too soon” (p. 247).
—Elizabeth Gilbert, Big Magic
These are inspirational for anyone considering writing a book or, more specifically, their memoirs.
Might you consider these quotes as you endeavor to publish that book you always meant to write?
I’d love to meet with you about your creative process and help you map out a writing schedule that works for your needs but also factors in some accountability. I can check in with you regularly and create a publishing plan so your work in progress (or, for that matter, idea for a book) can become a fully realized goal by year’s end.
My years of experience pushing deadlines through will help you become a published author. You can reach out to me at silver.editorial(at)outlook(dot)com.
Here’s a quick digest on fall 2021 happenings in the home offices of Silver Scribe Editorial Services.
I mentioned previously that I helped someone write their life story this spring and summer. I am so pleased that the author is getting positive feedback from his family and friends about the book. I’d love to help you write your memoir as well!
I continue to work for University of Illinois Press, copyediting issues of several journals, including Journal of Animal Ethics, Jazz and Culture, Bulletin of the Council for Research in Music Education, and Process Studies.
I write several articles monthly for Healthline, an Internet resource for all things health and lifestyle. An editor was kind enough to point out that my article “How to Read an Audiogram” was getting a lot of traffic. Other topics I’ve covered in articles recently include nail health, laser eye surgery, and insect bites and stings.
This summer, I edited test bank questions for a large publisher and wrote case studies for a consulting firm.
In addition to editing and writing, I also offer publishing services. This includes permissions projects for publishers. In this capacity, I contact individuals and companies to acquire formal permission to reprint material in forthcoming publications.
A Stroll Down Memory Lane
I wanted to share a piece of my professional past here, as it’s useful to visit our memories from time to time to remember interesting things that we’ve done (especially if you’re writing a memoir—see above). I had the good fortune of attending the Frankfurt Book Fair in Frankfurt, Germany, four different times in the aughts. This celebration of books occurs every October in Frankfurt, and it’s where publishers gather to acquire and sell rights to their books (think translations).
I attended the fair as a young editorial assistant and then as a managing editor. I worked for a small book press and wore many hats, so I was in charge of selling book rights to publishers in other countries. During this massive book fair, I would hold meetings in my small stall in the English-speaking convention hall (hall eight, in case you ever attended), showcasing my publisher’s new releases on shelves. I got to meet people from all over the world, and after a few years had befriended several young professionals my age. While the task of traveling, setting up the stall, and meeting with publishers was a big undertaking for a twentysomething, it was also a huge opportunity to understand and contribute to publishing.
I wish my time in Frankfurt had occurred in the smartphone era, as I would have done a much better job documenting these trips. Nonetheless, I was able to dig up a few pictures that brought me back to my early days in publishing.
In spite of these unusual times, I am here to report that the written word still lives! Of course 2020 has taken more twists and turns than we could have ever anticipated, but in spite of these circumstances, we continue to produce, publish, and read.
In the last six months I have worked on the usual projects with longstanding clients, but self-publishing authors have also approached me to work on their books as well. I recently edited works on topics including infertility as well as parenting and the digital age.
Earlier this summer I marked five years as a writer for Healthline. I write more than fifty articles a year for this site, and some recent ones include:
This sampling of articles shows the variety of topics I get to research and write about. Life as a writer is never boring, and I am always learning.
In closing, I want to thank my one-time, sometimes, and regular clients who continue to keep me in business. I have been working as a freelancer now for seven years and am eternally grateful for the opportunities to contribute to so many publications.
Despite my absence here on the blog in the last few months, I am still working away on both editing and writing projects! I’ve had the pleasure of collaborating with some individual authors lately on large-scale publishing projects, particularly books and dissertations. Here are a few words of praise I’ve received recently, in the event these hearty endorsements convince you that I am capable and easy to work with for your own project.
“Great job, no complaints. I would be happy to hire Natalie again.” —Barbara, author of a forthcoming book on writing for academia
“Natalie does great work and it was a pleasure doing business with her.” —John, author of a forthcoming book on tuning instruments
“I am reviewing the editing and it is wonderful. . . . Thank you so much.” —Michael, author of a forthcoming book on boating and sailing
July 1 marked the halfway point of 2019, so I thought it would be a good time to take stock of my freelance work so far this year. Professionally, it’s been a very rewarding year for me, and I hope the trend continues this summer and fall.
Here are a few highlights from the first half of 2019:
I am now collaborating with a few new clients. One client has hired me to write case studies to help a company market products in the higher education field. I have also found new clients via Reedsy and have been helping authors with their works on gestational diabetes, jazz, and instrument tuning (so far). I always say that I love my job because I come into contact with and learn about such diverse material. It’s a great fit for a lifelong reader and learner!
I still edit several academic journals each year. I have now copyedited several issues of the Bulletin for Research on Music Education, the Journal of Animal Ethics, Process Studies, and Jazz and Culture. The work going on in these fields is fascinating.
In addition to these highlights, I wrapped up a long-term ghostwriting collaboration with someone, copyedited/proofread a few upcoming trade books, and used my permissions-acquiring skills with a large medical-educational publisher.
Please let me know if there is anything I can help you finish as the year enters its second half.
If you are unfamiliar with the publishing process, you may wonder how a writer, editor, copyeditor, or proofreader can help you. I have worked on projects in all of these roles, and here’s my brief overview of how they serve a publication.
Writer: You may need a writer if you have a lot of ideas but you can’t seem to get them down on paper. A writer can take your stream-of-consciousness thoughts or interview you to create the document you intend to publish. That may be a website, a book, or something else. Writers can also create documents with prompts you give them or a research topic to investigate. I write for many different clients and some of my projects have included writing articles, ghostwriting books or blog posts, summarizing case studies, and more.
Editor: This is a very general title and I would lean toward putting the word “developmental” in front of the title as it concerns an individual seeking help. This person can look at your work so far and give you ideas of how to reshape or retool it to meet your intended audience. A developmental editor can also help you work on flow and ask probing questions to help you dig deeper into your document. At a publishing house, an editor may also be a managing or acquiring editor. A managing editor coordinates all aspects of the publishing process and an acquiring editor finds content to publish.
Copyeditor: This person will copyedit a document that is in very good shape and almost ready for publication. This person uses a style book or style guide (and a dictionary!) to correct grammar, usage, and style errors. A copyeditor may also point out sentences that need clarification or suggest adding headings to improve readability. A copyeditor will also format references in a bibliography or notes section as well as inquire about permissions for artwork or long passages that you borrowed from another source. Your copyeditor may also be willing to fact-check a document if you request it.
Proofreader: A proofreader looks at a nearly published document usually set in its final form. A proofreader will only correct egregious errors like misspellings or the odd (or missing) punctuation mark. The proofreader ensures that everything looks clean and tidy to avoid embarrassing mistakes appearing in the final publication.
There are of course other roles in publishing like typesetters, designers, agents, reviewers, fact-checkers, translators, and more. Before you get too far with your work, however, consider whether you need one (or more) of these types of people involved in your document. Feel free to contact me to chat about your project, and I can provide you with an assessment of what I think you need.
I just finished reading Between You and Me: Confessions of a Comma Queen by Mary Norris, a longtime copyeditor at The New Yorker. Her book is a memoir/reference hybrid, combining lovely anecdotes about her life as well as grammar lessons. Some passages in the book resonated with me, especially those about the role of a copyeditor:
On the purpose of copyediting:
The whole point of having things read before publication is to test their effect on a general reader. You want to make sure when you go out there that the tag on the back of your collar isn’t poking up–unless, of course, you are deliberately wearing your clothes inside out. (p. 36)
On what writers think of copyeditors:
Writers might think we’re applying rules and sticking it to their prose in order to make it fit some standard, but just as often we’re backing off, making exceptions, and at least trying to find a balance between doing too much and doing too little. (p. 38)
And on why copyeditors will always be important, despite technology improving:
Because English has so many words of foreign origin, and words that look the same but mean something different depending on their context, and words that are in flux, opening and closing like flowers in time-lapse photography, the human element is especially important if we are to stay on top of the computers, which, in their determination to do our job for us, make decisions so subversive that even professional wordsmiths are taken by surprise. (p. 113)
Finally, Mary’s enthusiasm of pencils (especially soft-leaded no. 1 pencils!) is particularly endearing in the chapter “Ballad of a Pencil Junkie.” In this penultimate chapter, she also remarks on her lacking handwriting (“I’d had complaints about it since third grade,” p. 171) and shares an interesting observation about those with neat handwriting: “Later, as a graduate student, teaching comprehension, I noted that the student with the neatest handwriting often wrote the dullest prose” (p. 172). The quote reminds me to be gentler on my own children with their sometimes-sloppy (often-sloppy?) handwriting.
This delightful book about the editing life is the twenty-sixth book I’ve read this year for pleasure (only four more to go to meet my goal for the year!). It does not count the hundreds (probably thousands) of pages I have read for work. Nothing makes me happier than sinking my teeth into a new subject or work. I am thankful that I’ve been able to make reading a hobby and a career.
My 2018 family vacation is just wrapping up, and I am excited to return to the world of editing and writing after a few weeks away from the computer screen. I have been lucky to have a lot of interesting projects in 2018 so far, and I am looking forward to what will come my way as the year advances.
The projects I’ve completed in this calendar year include the typical copyediting, proofreading, and writing tasks, but I’ve also been securing permissions for several large textbooks as well. I love having variety in my weekly and monthly calendar, so keep me in mind for whatever publishing services you need.
I continue to work with several publishing clients, including independent, academic, and trade publishers as well as individuals who need writing, editing, and communications services. I appreciate your referrals to others who are facing the daunting task of editing a dissertation, blogging regularly, retooling a website, or trying to write a book. It’s a pleasure to help people achieve their publishing aspirations.
Enjoy the rest of your summer. I hope you are in the middle of a good book and relishing these more leisurely days of the year as I just did. When you are ready to get back to work, I’ll be here!