“In my mind, I’m going to Carolina; I’m going to Carolina in my mind.” — James Taylor
Welcome South Carolinians!
We’ve discussed this expansion for a while now. With virtual meetings, geography is no longer a barrier—some South Carolina-based members had already joined us. Now we’ve received the SC member list, just in time for our next meeting!
So welcome, everyone; we hope to add value to your EFA membership by providing new networking and professional development opportunities. And, if nothing else? Come take a break from staring at words to chat with some friendly folks! We’re glad to have you!
We’re looking to add a South Carolina-based Chapter Coordinator.
Please contact us if you are interested.
May Meeting Topic:
Favorite Marketing Platforms
There’s no many options out there for marketing yourself and your business, which in our realm can be a blurry boundary.
Should you have a website? Social media “presence”? What the heck is an “influencer” and should you try to be one for editing? How do you keep your private online presence separate from your public presence? How much time should you dedicate to marketing?
Come share your experiences with fellow editors and find out what has worked for them. You might discover a better way.
April Meeting Summary.
— Eighteen attendees!
Andrew Sullivan introduced us to Fixional, which uses a machine learning AI algorithm to assess and rate manuscripts and eventually promises to learn the user’s preferences. Still in Beta testing, a little clunky yet. Andrew uses it in his role in running an independent publishing house, not in his role as a freelance editor.
Google Docs – the love/hate editorial relationship.
Key takeaways for using it wisely:
- Manage client expectations for this collaborative program
- Discuss who will be in the current document and when
- Alternatively, editor can manage sharing controls (Viewer vs. Editor) to temporarily lock authors out while they’re working on it
- Use version control, either built-in or by agreeing on file naming conventions
- Ex: Odd version numbers for author, even version numbers for editor
- Some add-ons, like Consistency Check, mimic Word add-on programs
- Doesn’t have the full functionality of a paid version of Word; some features clunky
- Some editors export to and edit in Word, then upload back to Docs
- Does not faithfully import/export DOCX!
- Formatting is lost or messed up
- Traditional publishers work with Word; if author receives a file from a publisher in Word, they (and you) should absolutely not work on it in Docs—only use Word from then on or your publisher will be very unhappy
Alternative free or inexpensive program options for authors:
- Word Online – like Google Docs, collaborative & cloud-based, limited functionality
- LibreOffice (updated OpenOffice) – works pretty seamlessly with Word
- Word Perfect – much less expensive than Word, has some nice features
- 2020 version can export to ebook formats
Other programs briefly discussed:
- Fictionary, PerfectIt (vs ProWritingAid), Macro Express
- Jack Lyon’s Wildcard Cookbook – for improving Find-Replace searches by using “wildcards”
- Free download (not sure how long this will work): https://intelligentediting.com/blog/free-ebook-wildcard-cookbook-for-ms-word/
- Paul Beverly’s Macros free ebook
- Loads of useful macros, many of which are identical to other editing software tools
- Some functions are not available in many existing writing or editing software programs, such as looking for proper nouns spelled in multiple ways.
As you can see, we covered a lot of ground between our two software roundtable meetings. If it sounds like we were all business and didn’t have any time at all to socialize, think again! We’re a cheerful bunch and occasionally share a joke or some personal news.
Recordings are available for both meetings, if you’d like to see us in full color. Use the RSVP link, above, to contact Jim and Elizabeth for more information.
Carolina Chapter Co-coordinator