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Happy Birthday, Libro!

Happy birthday, Libro

I’m proud to celebrate Libro’s third birthday today! In August 2009, I really had no idea that I would be working for myself full time, doing such varied things as transcription, writing and editing as well as thesis proofreading, which is what I started out doing.

I am going to have a small celebration at some stage soon, perhaps with friends of Libro, perhaps just with Matthew. I was considering marking the occasion by buying myself something, perhaps a piece of jewellery. But then I had a better idea.

I’ve been doing Kiva loans for a while now: we’ve got two loans on the go and re-loan them as they get paid back. Now I’ve helped to fund five more women entrepreneurs (which means those loans will be on-going too and help more people as they get paid back). Kiva funds grassroots organisations that help people do small, sustainable things that will make a difference to their lives. Here are the groups and people I’ve chosen to donate to. I’ve also made a donation to LUCIA, a charity close to my heart, run by friends from the Library where I used to work, who do the same kind of work in Ethiopia.

So, I’ve helped these women:

These ladies are in Paraguay, where my friend Sandy spent her year out at University, and they make textiles, which is an interest of mine.

This lady from the Lebanon supplies special food for Ramadan – an appropriate time of year to lend to her!

This group of ladies in Mali (location of Timbuktu, twin town of Hay-on-Wye) have already had and repaid several loans.

This lady goes spear fishing to send her children to school. A bit different from sitting at a desk typing to afford to buy millions of books!

And this lady is from Georgia – I met someone from Georgia at the Social Media Surgery last month, so that seemed appropriate.

If you want to start using Kiva, you can have a FREE $25 Kiva loan to make to an individual or organisation: follow this link to sign up and get your first loan for free! (the management of Kiva have sponsored a certain number of free loans to encourage people to sign up).

Thank you for everyone’s support of me and Libro over these three exciting years. Here’s to the next three!

There had to be a cuppa and a bun somewhere in this post …

 
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Posted by on August 1, 2012 in Business, Celebration, Ethics

 

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Competition time

This competition closed in February 2012 so no further entries are being accepted!

It’s competition time! This is aimed at giving you a taste of what I do all day (in one of the areas in which I work). I’m going to give you two texts. Text 1 has a certain number of mistakes. Tell me how many on the form below! Text 2 needs to be helped to make sense. If you want to, write a new version in the form below.

Text 1

you shoul’dnt have gon eto the pub last night, it was a misstake,” She said, “how did i nkow that!’ said him.

Text 2

We need to concern about the incidences of bad spellling in the document and how they can be made made better. It influences on perception of the text in readers. However it makes it harder to understand. Because clearity is the main aim of all writing unless its v creation.






I will accept entries up until midnight in the UK on 10 February 2012. Winners will be decided by a panel of two and the prize is a Libro post-it note pad and notepad!

 
 

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What I got up to in December

In my previous years of Libro work, December has been really quiet, as people seemed to feel they needed to leave me alone for Christmas. This was usually a bit frustrating, as the University where I worked gave us a lot of time off over Christmas and I was raring to get on with stuff with nothing to get on with. This year, I knew I had Jury Service starting in early January, so I thought I’d be able to take advantage of the downtime to get a bit of rest, get some work done on my Iris Murdoch project and pre-write all the blog posts I needed to cover the time I’d be out of the office.

It didn’t quite work out like that! I’d have been even busier than this if two big writing projects hadn’t slipped back (through no fault of my own, just circumstances). I had Christmas Day off, but apart from that I worked pretty solidly. As we all know by now, I left my library job on 12 December, and I actually corresponded with a potential client the evening of my leaving do – I must have done a decent job with the good old Blackberry, as I ended up booking in the work for that week! I then went on to a mixture of pre-booked and just-in-time work for various clients, old and new …

Edited some articles for a local academic who’s a non-native speaker, including putting the documents and bibliographies into the specific format demanded by the publications for which they were written. Also edited English translations for two agencies, one in China and one in Poland, and did the usual checking for my long-term translator client and my French HR consultant who’s writing a series of blog posts.

I transcribed quite a lot this month: a long webinar for my novelist client (more of her later) and I had a large project for an agency, transcribing presentations given at an international conference by non-native speakers of English (on the whole: things got a bit faster when I got the odd British or American presenter, but it was all interesting!).

I wrote some web text and a downloadable “dos and don’ts” piece for my retail shelving client and had a chat on the phone with their new SEO people as I’ll be writing more web content for them in the New Year.

I proofread a PhD thesis and several essays and dissertations, both for my direct clients and the ones I work for via a larger student proofreading company.  I’ve got a couple of coaching clients booked in – I proofread their work but also make suggestions on how they can improve their written English, write out lists of common mistakes they make, etc., throughout their course.

Of course, that’s what we call proofreading, but isn’t really – I did also do a proper proofread on a long sectionof a big document outlining responsibilities and guidelines for the updated manual of a professional body, comparing the new version with the older one to make sure they matched but any dates were changed appropriately.

And I did a final line-edit on a novel by a successful self-published author. I had to read the first novel in the series so I could check for continuity, noticed the odd issue in that one and ended up doing an edit on that book, too, so I spent much of Christmas Eve and Boxing Day concentrating on fast-paced religious thrillers set in various catacombs and other exciting places – not traditional Christmas fare, maybe, but very interesting!

I did manage to work half days in the week between Christmas and New Year, more or less, with just some student work to get on with. And my lovely regular clients are all aware of the Jury Service and keeping things as light as possible for these two weeks.

In the end, December was a very busy and successful month, which encouraged me to think that yes, it was a good idea to leave the Library after all! I had my best month yet for income, which meant I nearly met the biggest of my three targets for the calendar year – so I set some ambitious ones for this year, too.

Things were a bit quiet on the networking front, it being the festive season, but I did have time for some socialising, and I also started my new blog, which is going to chart my experience as I take Libro full-time.

Libro offers copyediting, copy writing, proofreading, transcription, typing and localisation services to other small businesses, individuals and corporations. Click on the links to find out more!

 

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Season’s Greetings and Happy Holidays from Libro!

Just a quick post to say Season’s Greetings and Happy Holidays from Libro – and thank you to friends, Matthew and my lovely clients for making it a happy and successful year. I hope 2012 is full of health, happiness and success for all of you!

 
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Posted by on December 19, 2011 in Celebration

 

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What I’ve been up to in November

November is traditionally another quieter month, but actually I stayed pretty busy through the month and brought in more income than I did in October.  I had quite a varied month workwise, ending up doing the following …

Proofread some chapters of various PhDs and full Master’s dissertations, as well as a couple of articles which needed their bibliographies put into the format the journals required (which took longer than proofreading the text)

Copyedited a large number of documents for a client’s important project – sometimes working at very short notice and getting up very early in the morning (and getting lots of thanks and a lovely quotation for my references page, I’m happy to report!)

Did a substantive copyedit on a non-fiction/humour book – I really tore it apart, re-ordering sections and deleting chunks. There’s always the temptation to include everything you’ve researched when it’s your own book; I have no such compulsions and will rip it out if it doesn’t fit perfectly! Anyway, the author’s now going through the new version and adding references where needed, before I convert it into Kindle format and we put it up on Amazon.

Re-wrote some web text and letters for a client I “met” on Twitter.

Polished some articles for a client whose first language is French – she writes up articles about HR issues in English and I go over them for her and smooth them out into more natural English – as I do speak French, it’s useful sometimes to know what word she would have used in that language in order to express it correctly in English, so it’s a bit like translating in some respects.

Edited a Terms and Conditions document and wrote an article on overseas procurement for my retail display client.

Edited and proofread the usual Yacht Club and Moseley magazines – very different publications but with surprisingly similar issues in their layout and text!

Coached a postgraduate student who needs to get his PhD written up – we have a weekly arrangement to make sure he keeps going with it and sends me something to look at every week.

Transcribed two journalist interviews, three webinars and a corporate panel discussion – a lot of transcription this month, and a lot of keeping the heater on in my study so my fingers were warm enough to type fast!

Launched the first edition of my new Libro Newsletter; recipients told me they enjoyed it!

Attended a Social Media Cafe, where I chatted to friends old and new …

And last but not least, resigned from my part-time Library job – so I’ll be taking Libro full-time from December 13. I have started a new blog in which I’ll record what it feels like to do this – do pop along and have a read if you haven’t seen it already!

Coming up …

December is usually quiet, but I’ve got some transcribing and editing booked in already, plus I’ll be doing some work on my Iris Murdoch project. Oh, and having a rest. January sees me officially full-time with no other means of support, but I have Jury Service in the first two weeks! I’m adjusting my pricing too, and will be blogging about that in another post.

Libro offers copyediting, copy writing, proofreading, transcription, typing and localisation services to other small businesses, individuals and corporations. Click on the links to find out more!

 

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What I’ve been up to in October

October is traditionally a quieter month after the student Master’s dissertation rush of August and September, and I have certainly seen a slight drop-off in workflow, although it’s still kept ticking along. I’ve …

Edited some PhD theses – some ongoing, some in their entirety; some large documents and a PowerPoint presentation for one ongoing client (discovering that, even if you can’t Track Changes, you can stick sticky notes all over the slides); quite a few blog posts for a new ongoing client who is not a native English speaker (picking up a lovely reference along the way); and all sorts of business and academic writing for my translator client.

Edited and proofread my usual American magazine’s quarterly publication and the MoseleyB13 local magazine.

Edited two articles for publication, ensuring they conformed to the journal’s style guide.

Set up a coaching relationship with one PhD student, where we talk via email every week about the new work he’s completed in an effort to get his thesis written up this year.

Transcribed interviews for my journalist client, who’s got some cover stories in women’s magazines as well as the usual music magazine pieces, and a new client who presents teleseminars and interviews on writing and marketing your work (learning a lot as I go along!).

And I also …

Ran my fourth Birmingham Half Marathon, with a personal best time!

Wrote some blog posts on starting your own business, including starting a proofreading business, pre-launched my new Libro Newsletter by telling people about it and inviting them to sign up, and placed some more guest posts.

Attended a Social Media Cafe, where I talked through a business problem with my peers – very useful.  I attended the Kings Heath Business Association AGM and will hopefully be helping out on their committee in the New Year, and I went along to the Entrepreneur meetup and met some more lovely, enthusiastic people with great business ideas.

Phew! I’ve also received the 22nd questionnaire response for my Iris Murdoch research project, and this month/December I will be applying to present a paper on it at the next Iris Murdoch Conference and writing up some results!

Coming up …

The Big Decision is coming up now: when to take Libro full-time. Working part-time while running the business is getting tiring, and where I haven’t had to turn any work away, I have had to turn down a few opportunities for networking and other events which could potentially drive some new business my way. I also want to be able to be more flexible for my clients as to when I can do their work, and have time for my partner and my friends! So … it’s decision time this month!

Libro offers copyediting, copy writing, proofreading, transcription, typing and localisation services to other small businesses, individuals and corporations. Click on the links to find out more!

 

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What I’ve been up to in September

September is another traditionally busy month for Libro, although again, like in August, I’ve had a good range of non-seasonal work as well as the expected deluge of Master’s dissertations. So, what has this proofreader, editor, writer, typist, transcriber and localiser been up to in the past month … ?

Copyedited at least 21 Master’s dissertations and three whole or part PhD theses (including one which was dictated into Dragon software, giving some interesting new issues to look out for!).

Copyedited several texts that have been translated into English from another language by native speakers of the other language, to make sure they flow well and conform to either British or American English standards.

Transcribed tapes for my long-term journalist client (an interview with a writer), and some new clients including a Chinese company who has outsourced transcription of tapes by American career coaches to me, and a company involved with helping writers market themselves.

Edited and written text for websites for a cleaning company and a faith-based charity.

Edited various company policies and tender applications for another long-term client.

Written some articles on retail display shelving for a fairly new regular client who has kindly been Tweeting my praises on Twitter.

Localised online content for the UK market for a football game, an exercise company and a big corporation that I can’t name because I was working for an agency on that one.

Edited and proofread the usual Yacht Club publications.

In non-paid work news, I’ve also …

Written a website (a very simple one in WordPress) for a locally based charitable organisation.

And I also

Attended a Social Media Cafe, where I was told I was an “oracle” who kept connecting people with one another! and went to my first Kings Heath Business Association breakfast.

Phew! I’ve also received the 21st questionnaire response for my Iris Murdoch research project, and I should be back on track applying to present a paper on it at the next Iris Murdoch Conference and writing up some results soon!

Coming up …

More of the same, really … well, fewer dissertations, but I’ve got some PhDs booked in to finish off and then it’s ongoing work with my regulars and hopefully picking up some more bits and pieces. And, of course, planning when and how to take Libro full-time!

Libro offers copyediting, copy writing, proofreading, transcription, typing and localisation services to other small businesses, individuals and corporations. Click on the links to find out more!

 

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