Changing the world one comma at a time
You’re a professional, and your materials should be professional too, right down to the last comma. Think about the impression you want to give. What goes through your mind when you visit a website riddled with typos and obvious errors? You immediately question the credibility of the site. Don’t give people a reason to doubt your expertise. Hire a professional editor.
Who is the Comma Queen?
I’m a freelance content editor who has worked as a copy editor for a publisher of manuals for computer networking professionals, for a major medical/health sciences publisher, and for a Catholic communications publisher. I’ve been working as an editor since 1998 and have been freelancing since 2002. Since 2013, I’ve been building my own client base as an independent content editor. Although I’ve mainly edited technical material the majority of my career, after editing my second motivational book, Rob Floyd’s The Playbook, I realized that I wanted to be working on more nonfiction and fiction books for self-publishing authors. Being able to transform 90 pages of stream-of-consciousness writing into a structured, focused book that effectively presented Floyd’s point of view sparked a passion in me.
My number one priority as an editor is to let the author’s voice shine through. My job is to make the material into complete sentences structured into a logical sequence while keeping an author’s unique voice, style, and point of view. As a book editor, I can help structure the book into clear chapters that highlight the main points. By recommending changes in the content where I see weaknesses or incomplete material, I collaborate with the author and put him or her in the driver’s seat when it comes to major changes. I help bring out the strongest, most focused content from the author. Once any major rewrites or reorganization of content are done, I go through the whole book with a fine-toothed comb to correct any grammar, spelling, and punctuation errors and to make the writing consistent and in parallel structure.
Besides books, I can edit any material to be published, whether it’s website content, pamphlets, mailings, presentations, manuals, or in-house communications. Spell-checker gives a false sense of security, but it can’t tell when you’ve used the wrong “there”, “their”, or “they’re”. I’m the one who remembers those seemingly random rules of grammar from 7th grade and knows how to use a semicolon correctly. You’re the professional, and your materials should be professional too, right down to the last comma. Materials edited by the Comma Queen provide credibility and professionalism to your writing.
Editing and Layout Services Offered
- Correct errors in spelling, grammar, and punctuation.
- Ensure consistency in capitalization.
- Follow style guide as chosen or provided by client.
- Flag unclear sentences to determine meaning.
- Ensure consistent use of technical terms and acronyms.
- Put references in correct format and verify they correlate to in-text citations.
- Ensure consistency of content and style across multiple publications for the same project.
Content EditingIn addition to services provided with copy editing, the following will be included:
- Check content for factual errors.
- Check content for contradictions.
- Check content for inconsistencies.
- Eliminate clichés, slang, and redundancies.
- Ensure theme and main points have been developed properly.
- Check for an opening to the content that grabs the reader.
- Ensure the author’s voice remains predominant.
- Reorganize content as needed.
- Help author structure book, if needed.
- Suggest chapter and section breaks in appropriate places.
- Ensure consistent look to document.
- Ensure page and section breaks are placed properly.
- Create paragraph styles for consistent formatting.
- Use and follow any templates provided by client.
- Create template as requested by client.
- Create Table of Contents, if needed.
- Create index, if needed.
- Insert appropriate headers and footers.
- Save final document as PDF, as needed.
I charge an hourly rate based on the type of service needed, the project, and turnaround time. I provide free estimates for a project when provided a sample. Please contact me to find out my competitive rates!
All Comma Queen Editing services will be provided in the following format:
- In most cases, copy editing and content editing will be performed using Microsoft Word and utilizing the Track Changes and Comment features.
- At the client’s request, copy editing and content editing services may be provided using traditional pen markups on printed paper.
- Basic layout services will be provided using Microsoft Word or PowerPoint depending on the content being developed.
- At the client’s request, copy editing and content editing may be completed online using project-specific websites and software.
Frequently Asked Questions
What type of clients do you work with?
I have worked directly with the publishing department of large corporations on ongoing outsourced projects and small consulting firms on project-specific tasks such as training materials, manuals, and presentations. I also work with independent authors to help them through the self-publishing process. A list of some of my past clients is provided below.
- Beth Clauss Consulting
- Clinical Care Options
- Creative Communications for the Parish
- Denise Micka, Goleta Press
- Edward Jones
- Elsevier eLearning
- Mission Possible Press
- Ned Lips, author Reset series
- Rob Floyd, owner of MyCoach
- Tom Woodcock, owner of Seal the Deal
What is your turnaround time?
What file format should my documents be in?
Do you have samples of your edited work?
Why don't you price per word?
Do you provide estimates?
What forms of payment do you accept?
I accept personal checks and money orders made payable to Karen L. Tucker. I also accept payment electronically through Zelle.
What My Clients Are Saying
Karen didn’t just edit my book; she dove in and learned about these characters—knowing them as well as I do. She connected me with other talents to help move the book along, and she didn’t hesitate to get in the boat with me and travel the waters through its duration. She pushed my book more than anyone else, becoming its biggest cheerleader.
Working with Karen Tucker, the Comma Queen, has been such an enlightening and gratifying experience. Her attention to detail, her ability to clarify intent and meaning, and her tenacity to work through difficult projects, staying true to the author(‘s) message, is so appreciated. As a writing coach and publisher, she has taken our projects to another level. Our books are better because of Karen. My only regret is that I didn’t find her before the first 30 books!
I wanted to tell you how much better your edits make the writing and the story. I love your suggestions, especially where I have trouble explaining my thoughts. Really, thank you.
I may not be the greatest writer in the world, time will tell, but Karen makes me look like I am. Her help with my prose, timing, word usage, proofreading and flow are incomparable. I’ve worked with several other editors, and no one makes me look as good as Karen.