Sunday, February 1, 2015

The Importance of Software

I'm always excited to get a new story, chapter, or entire manuscript in my inbox. It's a new landscape, open for adventure. I'm a copyeditor because I love to read! I accept text a variety of ways - various office-based software (several examples pictured above - does anyone in the room over 30 remember when Corel was the preference?), a Google doc, text in the body of an email, and even text in a Facebook message. Copy and paste exist on my computer for a reason.

But perhaps you would like to know why I would bother copy and pasting. What if an author doesn't have some sort of office-based software in which to open and review my corrections? After all, I'm sitting here writing directly into blogspot software; why not copy and paste corrections into whatever  method of submission was used? Microsoft Office is expensive for an indie author just beginning his or her career!

Here's the thing: tracking changes in an office document is so incredibly efficient and clear; following completion of editing, a precursory review of the document on the part of the author can offer so much information even prior to his or her detailed corrections session. And - here's the exciting part - there are multiple free options for office-based software that will ensure you can see the corrections made, even without purchasing MS Word. Experimentation will lead you to the one that works best for you, and it won't take you much time at all - and I know how valuable everyone's time is!!

Another note: why don't I encourage hard-copy submissions? I watch my indie author friend Danielle sift through her corrections after a printout - so why not accommodate that? And, in fact, I can accommodate that - but the turnaround is much. I type over 100 words per minute; my handwriting capabilities are nowhere near that fast. If an author wants a printout after I've done the editing, that's perfectly acceptable - I'll just tack on the cost of printing it at the copy shop and the shipping cost - neither of which is exorbitant, and I'll certainly provide receipts for both, from the Belfast Copy Center as well as the local post office. But if you send it to me digitally, and I'm able to send it back to you in the same fashion, we avoid that post office cost, and then you're welcome to print it utilizing whatever method you find that's the most cost effective!

Copy and paste are my two best friends. Free office software should be yours! :)

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