Alphabet soup? No problem.

It’s time to boast about my latest accomplishments.

This past week and the end of the previous week, I copyedited and formatted what was probably the most challenging scientific paper of my editing career so far. The paper was not long at all, but since it centered on immunology and pharmacology, it had a large number of abbreviations. I call these abbreviations “alphabet soup.” As an editor, if I don’t keep a record of these abbreviations, what they stand for, whether they were defined at first use, and whether they appear less than four times in the paper, I’m sunk. (The journal to which the paper was to be submitted has specific rules regarding abbreviations.) The PerfectIt add-on is good for this task, but despite its name, it is not perfect.

Copyediting the paper was actually the fun part of the job. The not-so-fun part was formatting. Let me please ask all scientific authors: If you do not want to pay a significant amount of money to have an editor do your formatting for you, then please pay attention to the format in which your target journal desires your paper, especially your references and in-text citations. If you have written all of your citations in numbered style, for example, be sure that your target journal doesn’t want them in author-date style. If you would rather an editor reformat your paper, no problem; the editor would love to do the job, but you will be paying more money if Edifix doesn’t have the specific format the journal wants. It’s all up to you.

When I turned in the edited, formatted paper, I was complimented on how quickly I did it. This was a surprise compliment to me, since I didn’t think that the time in which I completed the job was astoundingly fast. But then again, I don’t just meet deadlines—I very often beat them!

IMPORTANT NOTE: Next weekend, I will be on vacation with my hubby, so there will be no new blog post from me next week. I’ll see you all again on July 3rd.

Trees and ink are our friends.

Call me a “tree-hugger,” but like many people, I believe in saving trees. While it is necessary to make trees into cardboard, furniture, paper, and the like, we all should recycle whatever we can whenever we can. (My condo complex recycles [yay!] but they did not start doing so until 2014 [boo!].)

We also need to think of trees when we decide to use paper, and I’m thinking particularly of paper in our printers. Before we print, we need to decide whether we really need a printed copy of what we’re thinking of printing.

I have to admit that in the past, I have been guilty of printing items that really didn’t need to be printed. For example, less than six months after launching my editing business, I copyedited—for the first time ever—a document for a client whom I did not know personally. While I enjoyed the work very much, I was terrified that something bad would happen and I would lose all of my work somehow. I’m very embarrassed to admit this, but every evening during the time I was working on this document, I would print what I edited, with the tracked changes in red. My rationale was that if I lost my work, I could go back and put in all of my changes. Very paranoid of me. I can at least say that this was the only time I ever did this, but it certainly did use quite a bit of paper.

Also, in the very distant past, I would often print out my email. I suppose it was the Luddite in me that possessed me to do this. Now I am ashamed of doing so and I very, very rarely do it.

Another thing I believe in conserving is ink cartridges. Yes, they can be recycled and I recycle them, but a lot of people just throw them out. Ink cartridges clog up landfills and that is not a good thing. Following the advice above saves ink and makes a cartridge last longer. And please take your empty ink cartridges with you the next time you need to pick up something at your neighborhood office supply store and drop them off there—and by that, I do not mean making a special trip to the store just to drop off your cartridges, as this wastes gasoline (which, as we know, is outrageously expensive these days).

If you are an editor, what are some of the steps you take in order to save paper and ink?

I’m worth it.

I’m going to blog today about a subject that is quite uncomfortable for most business owners, including freelance editors like me. I’m talking about raising one’s rates.


If you have impostor syndrome, you feel guilty wanting to raise your rates because you (erroneously) believe that you aren’t good enough to command a rate that is competitive. You feel that you are not worth it. So you continue to market your talents at an abysmally low rate.


Sorry, that was a little harsh. But please hear me out: When you offer your services at a very low rate, you might at first think that people will love you because you cost less than everyone else. But then you become the Walmart of editing (or whatever you do). People will think that the quality of your work is lower than that of others who are more expensive. Walmart is the butt of many jokes for this reason, among others.

When I started editing as a freelancer, I consulted the website of one of the professional organizations I had just joined; the site had a page suggesting rates for copyediting. I decided to set my rates at the bottom of the given range because I was just starting out and had very little experience at the time. Also because I didn’t think I was worth more.

That was three and a half years ago.

During that time I gained more and more experience and established a reputation…and kept my rates the same. I just didn’t think I was worth a higher rate.

This “selling myself short” is ending this summer.

I am raising my rates beginning July 1, and have begun notifying clients of this. I have yet to encounter any griping about it. My rates are definitely still reasonable, and I am doing this to show that my editing has real quality and is worth the money.

And no, I’m not using today’s outrageous inflation as an excuse.