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. I can also provide a clean layout of the book, including headers and footers, styles for chapter headings and subheadings, and building a table of contents.
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.
- 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.
In 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.
Pricing & Rates
Copy editing services will be provided at the following rate:
- $25 per hour (USD)
Content editing services will be provided at the following rate:
- $35 per hour (USD)
Basic layout services will be provided at the following rate:
- $25 per hour (USD)
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
- Elsevier Custom Solutions
- Elsevier eLearning
- Lawler Business Services
- Rob Floyd, owner of MyCoach
- Tom Woodcock, owner of Seal the Deal
What is your turnaround time?
Unfortunately there is no set answer. The turnaround time of a project depends on scope of the project and workload at the time. I can promise you that I will work efficiently, will work with you to develop a schedule/timeline that I will stick to, and will always answer emails promptly.
What file format should my documents be in?
I prefer to edit all documents using Microsoft Office products (Word, PowerPoint, Excel). However, at client’s request, I will edit using Google Docs or other online software, edit in Adobe Acrobat, or provide markups on printed paper. I will also provide your final document in PDF format if needed for publishing.
Do you have samples of your edited work?
Yes I do. However, because of the proprietary material I’ve edited, I can’t post other people’s/companies’ content on my site. I’d be happy to show you some samples if we meet in person. So contact me!
Why don't you price per word?
Every piece of writing is different and requires different types and levels of editing. Depending on the type of material and how much work it needs, I could spend 1 hour on 2 pages of content or zip through 10 pages of content in an hour. I also need to ensure that I’m getting paid for the time I put in, but also that I put in the time that’s needed to do a good job on the project. I also provide a personal touch, working closely with the author to offer guidance, answer questions, and ensure the author’s complete satisfaction with the end product.
Do you provide estimates?
Yes. If provided with a sample of your work (usually around 10 pages), I would be happy to provide a free estimate of your project. I’d also like to know about what you’ve written, how long it is (in pages), how you plan to publish, your timeline, and what type of editing you’re needing. Please note that an estimate is just that–an estimate of the hours to complete a project. I charge the time it actually takes me to complete the project, which could be more or less than the original estimate. I always communicate with you about the hours worked and if I think I’ll go over the estimate before I actually go over it.
What My Clients Are Saying
Karen edited my book You’re Not Sellin’, They’re Buyin’ in 2006. She did a fantastic job in a timely fashion while also giving me some good suggestions on verbiage. The book is in its 3rd print and the reviews have been outstanding. I attribute a portion of this response to the assistance Karen gave me through the process. She will be editing all my books in the future.Tom Woodcock
Karen was my confidant in writing The Playbook. She went above and beyond every step of the way, and was on call 24/7 when I had questions. Karen made the process fun and exciting. I’ll never use another editor in any project I work on going forward. She’s the absolute best.Rob Floyd
Karen has taken my book, Digital Painting with Krita 2.9, to a new level with her editing skills. Not only did she do a great job catching grammar, spelling, and style issues, but she also spent time understanding the content. I am blown away by how detailed Karen was when editing my book. A few times while making changes I took a break, laid down, and was overcome with relief with the embarrassment she saved me.Scott Petrovic
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.Denise Micka