Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Meeting Deadlines - Part 1





Here's another great article by Barbara Ardinger, freelance editor.  If you're looking for somebody to edit your book, please consider Barbara.  She does a fantastic job and she's a lot of fun to work with (and professional too!)  Visit her website to learn more: Barbaraardinger.com

Part 2 will be posted on Thursday.


Meeting Deadlines
I sold my life to one of my authors a couple weeks ago. She had a deadline, and it was my job to help her meet it: she had to deliver a hard copy and a CD of her book to her publisher on Monday, May 17. Like nearly all of my authors, she’s really smart, but she’s not a good writer. In fact, toward the end, she was copying her old PowerPoint presentations into the book and turning her bulleted lists into paragraphs and charts. Her topic was a good one—no matter whether it’s our personal or professional life, it’s our relationships with our family, friends, and colleagues that make our worlds work. I don’t remember if she used the word “networking” in her book, but that’s what I learned thirty years ago when I was a member of women’s networking groups and met people who are friends to this day. In her book, my author gives guidelines for establishing, building, and nourishing relationships that will lead to success.

I develop relationships with nearly all of my authors, so when this author asked me to be available to her that week, I said, “Sure. You’ll get top priority.” She’s on the east coast and I’m on the west coast. I checked my email more often than usual, and she sent chapters as soon as she finished them. If I was working on another project, I clocked out of that one and clocked in to this author’s. (My timesheets always show when I begin and end work on any given day on any given book I’m editing.) A couple nights that week, I didn’t turn my computer off until nearly eight o’clock … which was eleven o’clock for her. That’s proof that authors work hard.

What did we do to meet her deadline? First, she set a self-imposed deadline. She told me she was planning to leave her home at two o’clock Monday morning and drive up the coast with her manuscript and CD to arrive at the publisher’s front door at the start of business. During the week, facing her self-imposed deadline, she emailed chapters, parts of chapters, and front matter and back matter to me. For a couple days, the same chapters went back and forth several times as I edited and she rewrote and I edited again. Since I know something about her topic, I asked questions, made suggestions, and added sentences that clarified her examples. This was in addition to making sure her subjects agreed with her verbs, her introductory clauses and phrases agreed with the subjects of the sentences, her punctuation was correct, and her paragraphs and ideas flowed logically from one to the next.

Stop by Thursday for the rest of this helpful article!