Proofreading as a career – some pointers

Copy editing and proofreading are completely different (although closely related) jobs. Read on (click on the link) to find out the difference between a copy editor and a proofreader. Usually, a copy editor will earn a little more money than a proofreader.

Proofreading as a career – some pointers.


ObamaCare and Facts for a Small Business

COMMENTARY: As much as I hate politics, ObamaCare impacts me directly. As a small business owner, I purchase my health insurance independently. Due to negative publicity, misinformation, and scare tactics used by politicians, all U.S. citizens should educate themselves about ObamaCare.

Personally, I think ObamaCare is the beginning of a solution for the crime and poverty issues in our country. Many people who live below the poverty level often have to choose between health care, food, or rent. Such a choice forces a cycle of personal neglect that has only one logical outcome—disability or death. Who wouldn’t resort to crime in such a situation? President Obama is a visionary. As Marcus Aureilus said centuries before, “Poverty is the mother of crime.”

Do you think there is a link between health care, poverty, and crime?

Social Media Mistakes for Small Businesses

Advice from Social Media Marketing Guru, Gerry Moran. 
Gerry Moran’s blog ( is a must read for any new small business or freelancer. 

small-store-social-media (1)Social Media Advice For Small Business When Using Direct Mail

My advice to most small businesses is:

  • Promote Your Social Media Channels. If you have social media channels, include them on your direct mailer to make sure you are connecting with customers on their terms.
  • Always Link To Your Business’ Social Media Channels. Make sure you are not linking to a personal social media account to make sure are delivering an experience that supports your business.
  • Use More Than Social Media Logos. All businesses need more than a Facebook or Twitter logo. Make sure to include your Twitter handle (e.g., @JoesGarage) and Facebook (e.g., Facebook/JoesGarage) name, so customers do not have to search for your account.
  • Keep Your Social Media Pages Updated. Don’t waste your time listing Facebook and Twitter pages if you are not going to update them daily – twice a day for Facebook and 4-5 times a day for Twitter. And, if you are a food business, you really need to be on Pinterest!
  • Tell Me Why I Need To Scan A QR Code. Make sure to tell your customers why they need to scan these codes. Make sure to give the proper real estate to the offer vs. the QR codes.
  • Add More Contact Information On Your Mailer. Place your website and social platforms prominently along with your phone numbers, since you need to connect with the customer on their terms.
  • Use Google Plus To Make It Easier To Be Found. If you are not using Google Plus, your small business is suffering from underperforming search engine optimization (SEO). That means your customers are not finding you! If you don’t know what this means or understand the importance of Google+, then you need some help!
  • Find A Part-time Marketing Coach To Add To Your Team. Do not rely on your direct mailer sales staff as a social media or marketing consultant. When working with them, ask about their social media and integrated marketing experience.

Link to article:

Worth Noting: Business Planning for Editorial Freelancers

I’m going to check out this book!

An American Editor

A few weeks ago, in Worth Noting: Proofreaders-to-be: Loving Books Isn’t Enough, I commented that Louise Harnby’s book, Business Planning for Editorial Freelancers: A Guide for New Starters, looked interesting and that I planned to check it out. I did and I want to report that this is an excellent basic guide to the business of freelancing.

(I suppose I should disclose that to my surprise, I am mentioned by name in the book in connection with my EditTools macro collection. However, I assure you that the mention is fleeting and not why I’m reviewing the book now.)

Harnby’s book begins with the basics and gives good advice. American readers should be aware that it is written from a British perspective, but the advice crosses all geographical boundaries and is as relevant and accurate in the United States and Spain as it is in England. As I have stated…

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Serial commas: Dangerous or not?

The article,, discusses the serial comma, aka the Oxford comma. For our non-grammar enthusiasts, the serial comma is the one that comes right before the coordinating conjunction in a series, e.g., periods, commas, and question marks. I get confused about the serial comma every time I write. As a journalism major, I omit the serial comma when writing. However, as a technical writer, copy editor or online writer, I usually add the serial comma.

QUESTION OF THE DAY: Do you add or omit the serial comma when writing? Why? In a series, do you include or exclude the serial comma? Do you think the Associated Press has an adequate solution?

(C’mon, it’s still funny!)


How to Edit Your Own Writing

How to Edit Your Own Writing“Considering my own experience as both a writer and an editor, I agree that it can be incredibly challenging to fill these roles simultaneously. Moreover, it’s something that I definitely don’t recommend doing. If you are going to self-publish, I highly recommend enlisting the help of a third party to both edit and then proofread your work (and again, these two roles should not necessarily be held by the same person). Having an extra set of eyes on your work is more or less a rule to live by, regardless of if you are a would-be author, a business pro, or even an academic submitting a thesis. Simply put, you are too close to your work to do it all.”

AGREED. I miss more errors in my writing than I ever do as a copy editor. Truthfully, I often publish on social media platforms with barely a glance for errors. The Web and desktop publishing created a phenomenon where most writers are their own editors and publishers. How easy it is to push “enter” without reading with an editor’s eye.

 Question of the Day: Do you find it harder to proofread and edit your own work or someone else’s work?

Grammar Girl is not where it’s at

An education in linguistics seems very beneficial. I’ve always like the term “language arts.” Guidelines for grammar, and other aspects of the English language, are necessary, especially for copy editors. We can’t all go around making up the rules as we go along! However, the flexibility of these guidelines are also a must. English is, as James pointed out, a crazy language with a lot of turns and twists. Grammar Girl, I think you’ve tried your best to answer all of English’s idiosyncrasies — it’s just not meant to be!


One of the problems that I and other linguistically trained, open-minded writers run up against in building an audience is that people really seem to want someone to just tell them “Do this and don’t do that.” And they want nice, simple explanations. So they turn to people like Strunk and White, Lynne Truss, and Mignon Fogarty – the Grammar Girl* – who give them nice, reasonably simple answers and guidelines to live by.

Folks, if you want nice and simple, speak Esperanto. English is fun precisely because it’s, not to put too fine a point on it, crazy. English is not like one of those old ’70s video games with one level of play. English has more variations and levels of play, more nuances and negotiations, more little subtleties and twists and turns, than any computer game anyone’s ever devised. By orders of magnitude.

Yes, there is a…

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