POP Editorial Services LLC | The POP Newsletter, the blog home of POP Editorial Services, LLC and Katherine Pickett
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The PoP Newsletter

Where Does That Saying Come From? 3 Offensive Phrases You May Be Using

This football season the Washington Redskins have once again been urged to change their name. Although the team name is generally recognized to be a racial slur, the owner has thus far refused to replace it.   In 2011 it surfaced that Texas Gov. Rick Perry leased property at a camp commonly called "Niggerhead," of all things. The rock bearing the epithet was painted over, but the name lingers.   Both "redskin" and "niggerhead" are relics of a time when popular white society found racial slurs acceptable. Names like these tend to stay around because people are used to them and no longer question their origins. Such an attitude is problematic, however, because when offensive phrases become a part of our daily language we lose our sensitivity to the often deplorable history behind them.   Here...

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Quiz: 10 Questions to Help You Choose Your Route to Publication

As an aspiring author you have several options for how to get published. The two most popular are through a traditional publishing house and self-publishing.   Three other routes also offer viable ways to have your work published. You could partner with an organization or business, you could write on a work-for-hire basis, or you could use a publishing service, where you pay a company to shepherd your manuscript through the book production process.   Each of these paths comes with its own demands and requirements of the author. By assessing your own strengths and weaknesses, you can find the route to publication that fits you best. Take this 10-question quiz to get started.   Do you have at least $5,000 that you can dedicate to your book project? Do you want complete creative control regarding the...

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Cutting Ties with a Publisher

[caption id="attachment_708" align="alignright" width="150"] Courtesy of douceurs d'etre.[/caption] Because nonfiction books are often acquired before the manuscript is complete, sometimes it happens that the manuscript turned in to the publisher is not fit for publication.   Although it is rare, I have twice copyedited projects that were later canceled because the manuscript was submitted in such a state that it was deemed unacceptable.   In one case, the sentences simply did not make sense when put together in a paragraph. There’s no other way to describe it. I alerted the publisher of the problem, the managing editor reviewed the manuscript, and when it was determined that the book was not salvageable, it was canceled outright.   In another case, I was tasked with cutting 30,000 words—a quarter of the manuscript—in order to weed out the tangents and...

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Why Does Editing Take So Long?

"Hi, I'm looking for an editor. I have all of my notes and reference books, I just need help putting it together."   Hmm, I thought. Sounds like this guy needs more than copyediting. Maybe I can refer him to a book coach. . . .   And then,   "I need it Sunday."   It was Friday afternoon. I'm not sure what this person thought was going to happen, but certainly no one could seriously expect an editor, or really any publishing professional, to create something out of nothing and do so in 48 hours.   This is an extreme example of the sometimes unrealistic expectations writers have of how quickly an editor can work. Still, even reasonable people want to know why copyediting takes three to four weeks, why development takes eight to twelve weeks or longer depending on...

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Is Money the New Gatekeeper?

In publishing, the gatekeeper is the person who keeps your book idea from becoming a reality. Traditionally that has been the publishing houses and the agents who say "No, thank you" to your proposal. But self-publishing has eliminated those forces. Authors can circumvent the whole agent-publishing house system and put out their own book, in a matter of hours if they so choose, and no one can stop them.   To create a book that people will actually purchase, however, you need to do more than just publish your first draft. You need a professional editor and a professional designer (the designer so people will open your book, the editor so they will continue to read it). And those things cost money. So I ask you, Is money the new gatekeeper?   I posed...

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Why Does Editing Cost So Much? (Part 2)

"It's the rare book that doesn't require a good stiff edit." --Arielle Eckstut and David Henry Sterry, The Essential Guide to Getting Your Book Published   The Breakdown   With the importance of editing well established, it's time to find out how editors figure their fees. It may seem mysterious, but it's really quite a simple formula: amount of work × rate of pay = the cost of editing   Different editors may charge by the hour, by the word, by the page, or a flat fee. However, all of these metrics translate into an estimate of how much work will be required of them. The other variable in the equation, rate of pay, is based on the service requested.   Here's a breakdown of how the two variables are determined.   Amount of work   Length, complexity, schedule, and level of edit are...

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Why Does Editing Cost So Much? (Part 1)

"If there's only one thing you're able to spend money on, it should be hiring an editor." --Arielle Eckstut and David Henry Sterry, The Essential Guide to Getting Your Book Published   In Defense of Editors   If you have ever looked at a cost estimate for having your book edited, you may be scratching your head. More than $1,000 for copyediting? More than $3,000 for developmental editing? And that's for a regular old 250-page manuscript! That seems like an awful lot of money to spend on a book that you can't be sure will make a profit. How do editors justify charging so much?   Here's the short answer: Without a thorough edit, your book won't sell.   For years I didn't believe that. How would readers know the book was poorly edited until after they bought it?...

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A 9-Step Checklist for Reviewing Page Proofs

You've just received a set of page proofs for your book and you have no idea what to do with them. "Review them," you are told. OK, but what are you reviewing them for?   The following checklist outlines the tasks of a professional proofreader when editing page proofs. As the author, you should be on the lookout for many of these same problems.   Ensure all pages are included. Check pagination to ensure pages are numbered consecutively. There should be no page number on blank pages and a "drop folio" -- a page number at the bottom of the page -- on chapter openers. Check running heads to make sure they are correct and that none are missing. Check spelling carefully. Note that there should be no running head on blank pages or chapter openers. Running...

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Proofreading Equals Questioning: Tips for Self-Editing

Tricks and techniques for good self-editing range from reading your manuscript aloud to reading it from end to beginning. These tactics can help you spot errors that otherwise may go unnoticed. They are particularly good for detecting missing words or confusing constructions. But much of self-editing is simpler than that.   The essence of good editing is knowing what to question. If you're new to editing, the answer is, question everything. If you don't know if something is correct, look it up. As you become more practiced, you will question less because you will have learned the rules. Even when you know the rules, however, some areas should always be questioned. The following five points are common problem areas that spell-check will not reliably catch.   Every time you see "your," ask if that...

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