Since joining us and contributing to the VERY popular Dun Writin’ Now Whut? Free Professional Editors Advice and Tips articles, and her original Introduction that you can refresh your memories about by clicking HERE, I asked Susan to tell us how she got started in the business – TSRA 😀
I am happy to take this opportunity to introduce myself formally to the Ape’s virtual friends and family and let you know more about myself and my business, Adirondack Editing. I’ll use the Ape’s promotional outline, amended.
Why did you become a copy editor?
I have always loved to read, and what better way to make a living than to get paid to read great books? I was lucky enough to have gained the required skills through years of paid employment in other industries and to have the opportunity to edit a relative’s books. On top of that, I’m a nit-picky kind of person who enjoys rules, structure, and placing tiny commas in their proper places!
How did you get started?
Every wanna-be editor asks me this, so I might as well answer it publicly. I had the opportunity to start copyediting while I still had a stable income, so I copyedited for free for a year. Now, before all the other copyeditors in the world decide to hate me for stealing their work away, let me assure them that I actually lost some jobs because authors knew I was a newbie and they wanted a professional. I already knew how to edit, but working without charging gave me the chance to figure out how I wanted to structure my business without using paying customers as guinea pigs. It was an opening to discover what worked for me and what didn’t, and what worked for customers and what didn’t. I also needed time to learn to implement Chicago Manual of Style manner of writing instead of business style.
What other interests / hobbies do you have?
I love Sudoku and other logic puzzles, simple computer games such as Chuzzle (think of Bejeweled with fuzzy blobs of animated life instead of jewels) and electronic Hoyle card and board games, and listening to my Kindle read books aloud while I crochet. I don’t have any commercial TV channels (even with an antenna, due to my remote location in upstate New York), but I have a TV and watch movies sometimes.
Where can potential customers find you?
Thanks for reading, and if you ever need a copy editor, don’t hesitate to look me up!
6 thoughts on “Meet Special Guest – Professional Editor Susan Uttendorfsky”
It is nice to “formally” meet you, Ms. Uttendorfsky! 🙂
Thank you, Master Erik. 🙂
Excellent post! It’s interesting that Susan copy-edited for free for a year just to get into the groove of things – great advice for anyone hoping to get this kind of work. Also, we all need a nit-picky kind of person who enjoys rules, structure, and placing tiny commas in their proper places when we hire someone like this. Nicely done 😀
Thanks, Dianne! 🙂
I was one of those fortunate souls who Susan cut or re-cut her teeth on, and I have to say that I can’t imagine it being any better if it had been paid. And while I don’t know about the others who took her up on her offer, I know that it was absolutely invaluable in my case: I’m a political writer who scrapes by at an income level most folks would laugh at, and would never have been able to afford the kind of editing that was needed. Without Susan, my 175,000 word book (including 20 pages of fine-print citations) would have taken me at least another year to whip into shape and STILL wouldn’t have ended up as well as it did!
– MJM (You can see some excerpts of what Susan edited at http://bit.ly/TobakkoNacht although I may have introduced some errors in the webification!)
LikeLiked by 1 person
Thank you, Michael! It was a pleasure to work on your book and to work with such an intellectual, thoughtful author. 🙂