Well, it’s the end of 2022 and time to look back at the last 12 months in life and business!
Health-wise, I’m pleased so far to have got through another year without contracting Covid-19. I don’t want to jinx this (and it hasn’t been easy), but up to now I’ve managed to avoid it.
This hasn’t been without cost though, because my social world has contracted. I’ve stuck with meeting colleagues and friends outside, and not attending the normal local networking events to connect and catch up with the people I know on the creative and business scene in my area.
Thankfully these days, online remains a viable option and continues to form a large part of my global work. I’ve had very positive and productive Zoom meetings with clients all over the world, which has proven invaluable to stay closely connected and collaborate effectively.
This year I’ve copy-edited a number of book projects which have been successfully published, including these:
– all useful guides written by subject-matter experts to help professionals reflect on their own practice and solve their pain points and problems.
Highlight of the year
Every book I take on for a client is incredibly important to me. This year, a particular success was working with Julia Elliott Brown, author of RAISE: The female founder’s guide to securing investment.
Being a business book editor tapped into the corporate zeitgeist, I was already conscious of the fact that female founders find it challenging to raise finance for their enterprises. Especially from venture capital (VC), which is largely a male-populated world. Even some men within the VC industry acknowledge the bias that exists.
When Julia approached me to ask if I might consider being her editor, I recognised as soon as I read her pages that this was going to be an important, seminal, groundbreaking book by a woman founder and CEO specifically for women CEOs. Someone who had been there, done it and come out the other side with the road muscle to coach others to their own success.
That this book was going to help many founders recognise and smash through those obstacles to get their companies where they need to go.
As a woman in business myself, I realised quickly that I was going to be very personally invested in this project. It was meaningful to me, and I knew it would be just as meaningful to other businesswomen too.
I definitely wanted to be the editor helping her to bring it to the world.
Thankfully, Julia saw in me a kindred spirit for her vision and was 100 per cent on board – a fantastic client with unwavering determination to see it through.
I couldn’t possibly have asked for a better author to collaborate with: our work together over a number of months to shape the book and get it to design was a real creative partnership.
This book will go a long way to inform the people who operate in that industry just how stacked the cards are against women CEOs who need funds to start and grow their businesses. It’ll be doing good work not just now, but well into the future.
I’m delighted to report that RAISE went bestseller on release in the Amazon Venture Capital category, has been enthusiastically received, and is going from strength to strength in the market with its target audience and tribe – which was exactly my goal for Julia and her brilliant book.
This year I produced six new mini-guides on writing and editing to help authors.
I decided to publish these because first-time authors and experts unfamiliar with publishing in particular often need clear, superfast guidance that breaks through the jargon, giving them exactly what they need to know.
My easy-to-access explainers deal with how to prepare a manuscript, what editing does and the publishing process.
They’re completely free, and available here.
One thing I understand from being a non-fiction editor is that authors (and readers) can be seriously time-poor. You already have more than enough on your plate!
I continued my blog series on points of writing and editing to help you gain clarity, boost your productivity and shape your work effectively.
I also included some posts on self-care, because it’s a misconception that authoring has to be a nose-to-the-grindstone, 24/7 activity.
Writing is incredibly intense work which can take a lot out of you. It’s important to structure your practice, and recognise that taking breaks, giving your brain time and space to process ideas, think, strategise and pull everything together can help.
This may seem counterintuitive, but doing nothing is as much a valid part of the creative process as actually sitting in front of your computer and plugging away!
I’m looking forward to continuing my blog into 2023, providing lots more helpful writing and publishing tips for you!
Continuing professional development
Even though I’ve been editing for a very long time, that doesn’t mean my knowledge or skills are set in aspic.
In fact, I can’t allow it to be so – there are always new developments in the publishing industry, editorial work and conversations with colleagues that inspire new knowledge to discover.
A fundamental part of working with words is understanding and accepting that language doesn’t exist in a vacuum. It’s a living, breathing thing that never stays still – is constantly in flux – and as a professional wordsmith I have to stay across that and all the associated developments that go with it.
This year I attended masterclasses by the Editors Guild and American Copy Editors Society (ACES), also the Alliance of Independent Authors’ (ALLi) Self-Publishing conference.
ALLi’s annual conference is an excellent (and free!) gathering of expert sessions for independent authors. If you’re an indie author – and even if you aren’t and want to know more about crafting and marketing your book – I recommend it to you as a source of great, practical information.
Reflection and looking ahead
As 2022 draws to a close, I’m still busy. Currently I’m working on an edit of a book into January which again, will be extremely useful to businesspeople in maximising both their profit and their endeavours.
I also have exciting development projects in career guides and travel out with my lovely authors for revision, due to come back to me in the new year and slated for publication in 2023.
Every so often, I stop and reflect on the enormous privilege that editing gives me to be deeply involved in the creative process. In bringing books to life that help people in the real world, and being able to fulfil my lifelong love of the written word through my work.
Although I’ve been doing this for a very long time, I still consider myself extremely fortunate every day to be able to get up, sit in front of my computer, open up a file and experience people’s lives and world through their writing.
I never take that for granted.
I hope your year has been fulfilling and a source of joy too.
I wish you a very happy and peaceful holiday and a bright and prosperous 2023.