Vegas: Third time is an editing charm

Paris, the view of where I stayed. #nofilter
Paris, the view of where I stayed. #nofilter

What happened in Vegas … I brought back in knowledge to apply to my work.

As a freelancer, it’s easy to become a homebody, so I made it my New Year’s resolution to get more involved in professional communities (ie: network. Outside the home). I should’ve done this years ago, but I finally made it out to my first ACES conference. In Vegas. You can imagine how difficult it was for me to decide whether to really go. (It wasn’t.)

After getting rid of the initial nervousness of not knowing a single soul attending the conference, I had an educational four days listening to/speaking with my professional idols and other well-respected people in editing.

Three takeaways from the conference:

1. As intensely as editors squabbled over the news that broke during the conference that The Associated Press wouldn’t be making a distinction between using “over” and “more than,” we should fight harder for our jobs and our industry.

2. The phrase “BuzzFeed generation” is a misnomer. We can be just as into finding out which Olsen twin we are (I’m Ashley) as we are with reading the latest Atlantic cover to cover. Millennials can’t be pigeon-holed into one reading type. Quality still rules, whether it’s a quiz, listicle, long-form article and more. (But apparently slideshows are in the down and out. Not a surprise there.)

3. Copy editors always need to remember to be truth-seekers. We’re more than the rules and style guides we follow. On that note, we need to be more flexible and not brainlessly apply rules like robots.

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Freelancing: Editing how-to books

One of my favorite copy editing gigs is for Open Air Publishing, which produces how-to books for touchscreen devices. I get to play around on the iPad and learn about topics like Blackjack and knife skills in the kitchen.

What makes these interactive books stand out from the competition is that because they’re specifically designed for the iPad, meaning learning involves swiping, playing and listening. Novels and such are just thrown onto your reading device with no thought for the different ways we absorb information. Can you imagine textbooks being created like this? How much fun would learning be then?

One of the titles I helped edit, Wine Simplified, this week was named best nonfiction app! Check it out. Seriously. You won’t be disappointed.

Wine