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Author Archives: Liz Dexter

About Liz Dexter

Writer, proofreader, editor, transcriber. Also runner, gym-goer, endurance and athletics official and BookCrosser! My married name is Liz Dexter but my maiden name and the name on my books is Liz Broomfield.

New editing book review – Peter Ginna (ed.) – “What Editors Do”

Fellow editors who follow this blog but maybe not my book review blog might be interested to pop over there and read my review of this excellent book, edited by Peter Ginna, “What Editors Do: The Art, Craft, and Business of Book Editing”.

I would recommend this book to all editors, writers and people generally interested in the process of how books get from ideas to the printed (or electronic) page. The chapters I’ve singled out are by no means the only stand-out ones: it’s of a very good quality and level of interest throughout.

(read more)

 
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Posted by on July 28, 2018 in Business, Reviews

 

I want to publish my book but I’m confused! Do I need an editor, a line editor or a proofreader?

a hand writing in a bookI was recently writing back to a prospective client who had got very confused about the different types of editing and proofreading and the process needed for publishing their book. I sent them some resources from this blog and thought it might be useful to share those here, too.

So, here are some articles I’ve written about the different kinds of editing, the process of editing and proofreading (and where your beta readers fit in to that process) and how to make sure your editor and proofreader are, ahem, on the same page. At the bottom are two articles I’ve written about how to deal with an editor – that can feel like an alarming process in itself, so hopefully I’ll reassure you there!

This one talks about the different kinds of editing and proofreading (it’s biased towards fiction but also works for non-fiction):

https://libroediting.com/2014/05/22/do-i-need-editing-or-proofreading/

This one sets out the processes you go through and their order:

https://libroediting.com/2016/10/19/what-questions-should-i-ask-my-beta-readers/

It’s certainly best to have different people do the edit and final proofread, as it’s not great to have the same eyes going over and over a text (that’s why we can’t proofread our own work!). If you use two people for these stages, make sure your editor provides you with a style sheet to pass on to your proofreader – more on style sheets here:

https://libroediting.com/2016/01/14/what-is-a-style-sheet-for-people-using-editors/

And when you’re ready to talk to an editor (or proofreader), here are two articles explaining that side of the process, so you and your prospective editor can experience a smooth process and happy negotiation:

How to request a quotation from an editor:

https://libroediting.com/2016/11/30/working-with-an-editor-1-how-do-i-request-a-quote-from-an-editor-or-proofreader/

Ideas on negotiating and booking in your project:

https://libroediting.com/2016/12/07/working-with-an-editor-2-how-do-i-negotiate-with-an-editor-or-proofreader-and-book-my-project-in/

I hope you’ve found this very quick guide to dealing with the complexities of getting your book edited and proofread, and how to deal with contacting an editor, useful. If you have, please share this article using the buttons below, or leave me a comment. Thank you!
 
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Posted by on June 27, 2018 in Copyediting, proofreading, Writing

 

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How do I search in a whole workbook in Excel?

How do I search for a word or phrase across multiple sheets in a workbook in Excel 2007, 2010, 2013 and 2016?

Why would I want to search a whole workbook?

We think of Excel as being used primarily for numbers (although you might want to search for those, too), but I often encounter spreadsheets full of text. For example, when I’m localising text from US to UK English, or editing text that’s been translated, and it’s been output from a translation tool such as Trados, it often comes to me in an Excel spreadsheet.

Just like when I’m editing a Word or PDF file, I often want to either look for all instances of a word I want to change or check that I haven’t missed anything. And if that word might be in any one of many sheets in a workbook, I will want to search all of those sheets.

How do I perform a search in all the sheets of a workbook?

In this example, I want to find all the instances of the word “authorized” in all the many sheets in an Excel workbook.

First of all, press Control and F at the same time to bring up the Find and Replace dialogue box:

Using this search without changing anything will just search in the sheet I’m currently in.

Click on Options:

This brings up a load of options, including some other exciting ones we’re not looking at here, but which might be useful as well:

Click on the drop-down arrow to the right of Within: Sheet and change it to Workbook:

Now when you click “Find Next”, it will find the cell where that text is throughout the whole workbook.


In this article, we’ve learned how to search a whole workbook in Excel 2007, 2010, 2013 and 2016.

If you’ve found this article helpful, please do post a comment below, and if you think others would find it useful, please share it using the sharing buttons below the article. Thank you!

Other useful posts on Excel on this blog:

How to view two workbooks side by side in Excel 2007 and 2010

How to view two pages of a workbook at the same time

How do I print the column headings on every sheet in Excel?

How to print the column and row numbers/ letters and gridlines

How to change rows into columns and columns into rows in Excel

Freezing rows and columns in Excel – and freezing both at the same time

How to flip a column in Excel – turn it upside down but keep the exact same order!

 
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Posted by on June 20, 2018 in Excel, Short cuts

 

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What’s an acceptable error rate for an editor?

I have found this article from the marvellous industry journal copyediting.com considering acceptable error rates for editors extremely useful for sharing with clients and setting expectations. Although editors/proofreaders do tend to be perfectionists, we are human, and it’s good for us and our clients to remember this.

If a piece is full of errors, even a 99% accurate editor will leave some errors behind.

Read Adrienne Montgomerie’s article, “Error Rates in Copyediting” here.

 
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Posted by on May 31, 2018 in Copyediting, proofreading

 

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Small business chat update – Shelly Terry

Small business chat update – Shelly Terry

Welcome to another update and a big change for one of our former crafty ladies, as this time round Shelly Terry from hand-made card company, Evelyn Mae, has become Shelly Terry from social media management and strategy and coaching company, Sheldon & Co. We first met Shelly back in in February 2013,  and then updated with her in March 2014, February 2015, April 2016 and, most recently, May 2017. At that point, Shelly was still making cards and was thinking ahead to shifts in her daughter’s routine and how that might affect her business, a very real concern for all those entrepreneur parents out there: “Next year I have a feeling it will all change when my daughter starts to drop her naps – I am hoping this is the same time she can attend nursery, so I can still have some designated work hours, but we shall see!” But what happened next? Something exciting, I think …

Hello again, Shelly! I suspect not, but are you where you thought you’d be when you looked forward a year ago?

Absolutely not! My daughter did indeed drop her nap, and I have a better pattern for working, but everything else about my business changed!

What has changed and what has stayed the same?

So I have a brand new business that I didn’t plan on having this time last year! In September a business friend asked for help with managing her business Facebook account, and I now run a business as a social media manager, strategist and coach! I help other entrepreneurs to manage their social media accounts, build Facebook shops and put a social media strategy in place and help them to create content for their online platforms.

I also run a free coaching group in Facebook which gives business owners support in creating content for their social media platforms, and guidance on developing strategy to implement in their own business.

What have you learned? What do you wish you’d known a year ago?

I have learned to plan my year better, this business is already out-doing my previous one, even after 8 months, so there is so much room to grow, that I need to be organised. I absolutely love it!

I wish I had known that I would find a career that was a surprise, but that I adored – I might have pursued it before it found me! I have had a variety of jobs in the past from college lecturer to actress, and it has surprised me to find a career that encompasses all of that!

Any more hints and tips for people?

Be as prepared and as organised as you can be for your business ideas, and work towards that ‘ideal’ business you have in your mind’s eye- but don’t be so blinkered that you miss other opportunities that you don’t even know exist yet!

And … where do you see yourself and your business in a(nother) year’s time?

We are moving house, so I envisage I will be working out of a new office space that is far tidier and more organised than my current one. I also hope to have some larger clients on books, as my daughter will have 15 hours of pre-school so I will have a lot more time to invest in my exciting new business!

I also plan currently to continue with my greetings card business for now – but I think at some point I will have to decide how viable it is along side my new business. Time will tell!

Wow – an impressive shift. I love what Shelly says about being organised yet open to new opportunities – I’ve often mentioned that a whole half of my business came about when I saw a tweet from a journalist I followed who needed a transcriber and thought “Why not put my audio-typing training to good use?” and now I spend half my time transcribing for journalists, academics and ghostwriters, something I’d have never imagined when I started out as an editor. Have a look at these lovely new links and I can’t wait to see what Shelly does with her new business!

… and her lovely cards still going at www.evelynmae.co.uk

If you’ve enjoyed this interview, please see more small business chat, the index to all the interviewees, and information on how you can have your business featured. If you’re considering setting up a new business or have recently done so, why not take a look at my books, all available now, in print and e-book formats, from a variety of sources. 

 
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Posted by on May 26, 2018 in Business, Small Business Chat

 

What else do editors and other small business owners do?

I haven’t got a Small Business Chat to share with you all today, so I thought I’d have a bit of fun and ask the editing and general small business community … what else do you do?

I’ll go first, shall I, then I’d love it if people shared in the comments. I’m looking for maybe surprising things you do outside of your job / business, whether that’s sport, crafts, volunteering or family responsibilities, whatever any of those things mean to you.

I’m an editor, proofreader, transcriber and localiser, and while my long-lasting hobby of reading All The Things (see my book review blog here) also keeps me sitting on my bottom a lot, my other hobby is running and all things to do with running.

So as well as running myself (I’m pictured here with running chums having done my third marathon, a DIY one), I’m a qualified Run Leader (so I can support groups of new and established runners), I’ve just qualified as a Level One Endurance Official (meaning I am working my way up through the levels of officiating at cross-country and road races), I regularly volunteer to lead runs and support beginners at my running club and I’m a committed parkrun volunteer. Keeps me busy and on my feet and outdoors, which is really important for balance in my life and keeping me socialised, too!

How do you keep balance in your life and switch off from your work responsibilities. Do share in the comments, and of course feel free to include your URL!

 
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Posted by on May 5, 2018 in Uncategorized

 

What do I actually do? What do you actually do? Who does an editor or transcriber work for?

Taking a well-earned coffee break this week, my friend Jen challenged me to draw a Venn Diagram of what I actually do, for whom. I accepted the challenge.

Libroediting services venn diagram

Especially if you have a portfolio business, where you offer more than one service, can you draw out your customer base and services? How many attempts do you have to make (four for me!)? Can you see any patterns?

 

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