I can offer help at all stages of the publication workflow, from writing to publicity. Here is a breakdown of my editorial services, including my favourite DIY software tips and tricks...

Copy-editing

First, I like to speak with you to understand your needs and deadlines, then I look at a sample of your work to determine where to begin, and approximately how much time is required. For instance, it's going to take longer if your text requires substantial, structural editing. Check here if you're all done and just require an index of a complete manuscript.

Generally, I can offer three flavours of editorial services:

  • basic proofreading (which can be done in tandem with indexing);
  • standard copy-editing (which includes corrections for spelling, punctuation, grammar, word choice, consistency, concision, sentence structure, basic logic, and clarity); and
  • substantive, or structural editing (which may require clarifying or re-organization of content.)
In the publishing workflow, this last is usually done first, in collaboration with the author, and this is where we make stylistic changes. The next stage is copy-editing, and I use the 'track changes' feature to show you my suggested revisions. I can also show you how to use various collaborative tools at this stage, like Etherpad, for group editing. Once we have the basic draft text, then comes the design stage (see below.) Finally, when we have checked, print-ready PDFs, I do another pass at proofreading as I index.

In order to estimate what kind of editing your manuscript will require, I recommend you take a look at the various "Definitions of Terms" at the end of the Editor's Association Standard Freelance Editorial Agreement.

As a long-time enthusiast for the creative commons, I'm interested in giving credit where credit is due. I make sure all long quotations are clearly indented, and I can run your text through an online plagiarism detection process, to confirm originality. Attribution for all images and figures is very important to me, although if you need me to secure permissions for these, or to source original artwork, it does add time to the editorial process. I am also quite familiar with various standards of academic citation styles. I've spent years working with APSA and the Chicago Manual of Style, and can assist you with standardization of in-text citations, your bibliographies and references. (Please specify if you require APA, MLA, Harvard or other style-guides to be used.)

Manuscript Preparation & Design

Moving along through the publication workflow, consistency remains key to the process. I'm interested in creating the most lean, clean code possible so that the final document can be published neatly in a variety of formats. I can accept various pieces of digital copy (text and images) in a wide assortment of formats and integrate these into a single consistent document which meets digital publishing standards. I use open source software to meet all your production requirements. I've developed a number of basic templates (using Open Office Writer) to pull together disparate word processing (or image) files that you send me. (Often each author contributing to a collected work submits their chapter with their own idiosyncracies of layout.) I systematically go through and standarize the format of all your titles, subtitles, text bodies and hanging indented quotations, footnotes, references, tables and illustration inserts. I remove all the extraneous code formats, extra spaces, tabs and lines, and I carefully (and confidentially!) handle your raw manuscript files to prepare for publication, helping you to match the style guidelines and author checklists put forward in your publisher's contract.

I can proceed through to design and help you with print-on-demand self-publication, or, I can help you to meet the pre-press design specs of your publisher, and then create an index when they're done with the layout. (At that stage, I use CINDEX software together with the supplied PDF proofs.)

I use the open source tools, GIMP, Scribus and Inkscape for artistic cover design, and Acrobat & PDF Chain to put together final PDFs.

Born-Digital Formats: EPUB & MOBI

I use Calibre for generating clean EPUBs (great for Android & most tablets or phones), as well as .MOBI files (for Kindle.) These can be rather simple and straightforward, with a linked Table of Contents, and embedded footnotes, or we can include more complexities, images and stylistic design.

Open Publishing: Web 2.0 and beyond...?

I can help you to publish your book or journal online, accessible in all these formats, and can even build you a website, which can range from the very simple static/basic through to your own complete content management system. These have become remarkably easy to install in the past few years, and I'm familiar with a wide array of different options. (If you want to insist on the tangible, dead-tree paper printed version of your book, I can help walk you through that process, using a commercial print-on-demand service, such as Amazon's CreateSpace or alternative.) My recommendations for author tools and website software will come after some discussion regarding your scope of use and your current and anticipated needs. Do you want to keep track of various on-going research projects, manage all your working citations and your unpublished works-in-progress? Are you a single author, or will you be collaborating amongst a large editorial collective? Is it a static, one-time publication, or will new versions evolve later? Is this a small 'zine, or are you embarking on publishing an academic journal with blind peer-review processes? What sort of privacy and security challenges do you face?

I like to set up (and then help you to configure) proven, reliable, open source software installations, optimized for security, accessibility, portability and ease of maintenance. I often recommend packages from the Public Knowledge Project at Simon Fraser University: Open Journal Systems for journals; Open Manuscript Press for book publishing, and Open Conference Systems for live events and publications of proceedings).

In addition, I've been setting up Drupal sites for more than 10 years now, so if you wish to go that way, I can help you out. (I prefer drupal 6, but use 7 most commonly, though I'm leaning toward the new Backdrop fork for the sake of maintenance simplicity.) I am most familiar with LAMP based software & apps (having used Linux for 20+ years, I know my way pretty well around Apache/MySQL/PHP environments, and am comfortable in either the web-based control panel, or on the command line.) I know how to register your domain name, point it to your site, and how to configure your email and mailing list needs. I've got a decent working knowledge of HTML(5), xml standards, and how to use CSS & Java & PHP to build strong, portable sites that you can maintain yourself into the future.

I'm dedicated to constantly learning and improving my/our grasp of open publishing, always aspiring to the production of clean, neat metadata, and the creation of well-indexed files that will be able to be found and around long after I'm gone. To this end, I try to keep abreast of global open metadata reference standards, and not only the Dublin Core Initiative, but I'm a big fan of projects like LOCKSS (Lots of Copies Keeps Stuff Safe) to perpetuate the publication of these books into the hands and minds of future generations of readers.

Please get in touch if you would like to discuss your upcoming project.