Freelance Technical Editing Rates and Information

The following information was obtained through research for my EH 603 Technical Editing class; my professor suggested sharing it on the blog, so here it is!

Because of the global nature of business these days and the ability of editors to work remotely, it was difficult to find prices for freelance editors specifically for the Huntsville area. I did find a website (Editorial Freelancers Association, 2015) that listed a range of prices for various freelance editing jobs. The rates for a basic copyediting job ranged from $30-$40 per hour at an estimated pace of 5-10 manuscript pages per hour to $40-$60 per hour for substantive or line editing at a pace of 1-6 manuscript pages per hour.

According to Miranda Marquit in her blog (n.d.), beginning editors can charge around $20 per hour, experienced content editors can charge $50-$85 per hour, and experienced proofreaders can charge $25-$35 per hour.

Besides the copyediting jobs we have talked about in class this semester, some of the other roles and jobs that freelance editors perform, according to Allena Tapia (2016), include acquisitions editor, coordinating editor, developmental editor, fact checker, globalization/translations editor, and integrity editor. Some of these jobs are specific functions that fall within the overall umbrella of comprehensive editing. A brief description is given below:

* An acquisitions editor is responsible for accepting, rejecting, and finding manuscripts for publication within a specific publishing house. This type of editing is typically not a freelance job, since an in-depth knowledge of the publishing house is required.

* A coordinating editor is responsible for overseeing all the areas a manuscript may have to go through, such as writing, graphics, and proofreading. The coordinating editor makes sure all the tasks are accomplished and, as the job title implies, coordinates with each area to know what stage the manuscript is in at all stages of its production.

* A developmental editor is someone who improves upon the manuscript somehow; perhaps further developing the plot, structure or theme. A developmental editor is also referred to sometimes as a comprehensive editor, a term we are all familiar with.

* A fact checker is exactly what the title says: someone who checks facts in a manuscript. This can be done online, at a library, or through phone calls or interviews.

* A globalization/translation editor is another area we touched upon in our class this semester. This is someone who prepares a manuscript for a specific audience, such as another country or culture, and must have a knowledge of the customs of that audience and ensure the manuscript reflects this appropriately.

* An integrity editor is simply someone who ensures that all references and cross-references are correct within a manuscript.

As you can see, freelance editing encompasses a wide range of jobs with a wide range of prices. Freelancing allows editors to be their own bosses, but they typically do not have the benefits, such as medical insurance and paid vacation, that company employees have.

 

Marquit, M. (n.d.). How Should You Charge for Freelance Editing? [Web log comment]. Retrieved from https://mirandamarquit.com/how-should-you-charge-for-freelance-editing

Editorial Freelancers Association. (July 2015). Editorial Rates. Retrieved from http://www.the-efa.org/res/rates.php

Tapia, A. (October 2016). 21 Freelance Editing Jobs: Work as a Freelance Editor. Retrieved from https://www.thebalance.com/freelance-editing-jobs-1360401

Jason Isbell and an Alabama musical golden age

I’m a 2005 alum of UAH (art history/philosophy), and now, as part of the English graduate tech comm certificate program, I’m working on an assignment piece for EH603, Editing for Publication. I’m happy Dr. Robinson is interested in my topic choice, a personally and locally themed reflection on musician Jason Isbell and his place at the front of the emergence of music on the top shelf of Alabama’s exports, cultural or otherwise. It will flow as much writing can’t for me, and thus afford me a welcome respite from the frequently challenging requirement that our class projects be (as most of them should) more technical in nature.

Jason Isbell is a name known to likely more than half of this audience, I might hazard a guess. For the rest of you, it’s my pleasure to have a chance to turn you on (pending your tolerance for sadness and twang in your music) to one of the most talented natives of our state there has ever been. Isbell’s from Green Hill, Alabama, a ways yonder West on 72. He made his name as one of three songwriter-guitarists in the Muscle Shoals formed Drive-By Truckers. Considerably younger than his bandmates, he eventually drank and partied his way out of the band.

Isbell, to his immense credit, went on to make incredibly candid and moving records full of brutally honest poetry on his own demons. He also got sober, lost substantial weight, and married the beautiful Texan violinist Amanda Shires, who saw him through his rehab, made him a father, and harmonized with him on songs old and new. She’s now a part of his band, the 400 Unit.

The literal virtuosity of his skills as a guitarist and lyricist are evidently well recognized; his multiple night stands at the Ryman sell out in what seems a matter of hours, and he’s performed there with one of his presumable idols, John Prine. He’s won two Grammys, for whatever that’s worth to anyone, in the 2016 categories for best Americana album (Southeastern) and best “American roots song” (24 Frames).

I’ve been lucky enough to have tickets given me to see him perform outdoors twice. His ticket prices are a bit rich for my blood, and you know, I don’t even hate him for it. He deserves what he’s getting. And not for the narrative of his rehabilitation, just for the quality of his craft.

From Percy Sledge (my first concert, with my mother, at the VBCC), to Hank Williams, to the guy who sang “Easy Like Sunday Morning”, Alabama’s musical legacies are well documented, and it’s been a great joy of mine to discover them in the course of my life. “Dixieland Delight” makes me feel like buying a pair of overalls and going barefoot the rest of my days. I am very drawn to geographically referential music (and art generally), and this is naturally truer of my home state than anywhere.

Alabama Shakes do stuff like play classic blues covers at the White House while Obama sits and bobs his head. St. Paul & the Broken Bones of Birmingham are such crowd pleasers they’ve been on CBS This Morning twice. I’ve reveled in the last few years having seen my historically troubled home state produce such a flourishing of this particular culture and art form. Indeed, I think it holds water that music is now our state’s biggest export.

 

Finale Music-Notation Software

My project, Unpacking Finale for the Budding Composer, seeks to do just that: open beginning music composers to the world of music-notation software, Finale. Finale, has been around since 1998 when MakeMusic launched Finale 1.0. Since then, nearly every year, more than 25 updates have sharpened Finale’s extensive toolset into the preeminent music- notation software on the market. Not only is Finale a document creation tool, it also functions as a MIDI playback tool where composers, arrangers, and teachers can get instant feedback on the music they are entering into the software. Even more impressive, Finale can import music from scanned documents to make rehearsal tracks for concerts, recitals, or ear-training exercises. 

As a musician myself, I have been using Finale since 2004 and since then have created many documents and audio files, both original and transcribed, that stand up to any professionally published piece of music. Not only capable of producing accurate and musical audio playback (complete with various styles like classical, jazz, and 20th century), Finale has a host of editing tools where one can add accents, dynamics, tempo marking, and myriad other symbols directly into the score. 

Of course, Finale is too big a program to cover every facet of Finale’s powerful features for a beginner’s guide. Instead, I have opted to only focus on those features that will get beginners to create their own original content. The most-important features I will present are the following:

  • 1) How to create your first document (instrument choice, score arrangement, time signature, key signature, initial tempo, etc);
  • 2) How to insert notation into the score (speedy and simple entry methods);
  • 3) How to add articulations, tempos, and dynamic markings using the Tools Palette;
  • 4) How to change the play style to fit with the piece of music you are creating;
  • 5) How to save your document;
  • 6) How to print your document (extracting specific instruments or a full score, depending on the user’s needs);
  • 7) How to create audio (mp3, tiff, aiff) files of your piece to create rehearsal tracks.

In addition to these features, I intend to provide step-by-step tutorial demonstrations that will have beginning users create a piece of their very own. The use images from the program will greatly aid the comprehension and will likely lead to greater appreciation for the powerful music-notation capabilities present within Finale’s catacombs. 

The pressing question for this project is “Why do I need this user manual? Isn’t the online Help function enough?” To that I will say that Finale does provide an in-depth help system with detailed instructions to perform every task Finale can accomplish (no matter how minute). However, Finale doesn’t provide a help system that is specifically geared to beginners. My user guide will keep as its focus audience, first-time users. My background in the world of UX (User Experience) should help me tailor my guide with this audience top of mind. I feel that a guide is specifically geared toward this audience will generate enough interest and competency that they will continue to use Finale as they become more familiar with more advanced tools and features. Finale is a wonderful, creative, and powerful music-notation tool that any aspiring composer, arranger, or music teacher (or student) should not be without.

EH 603 Project 3: A Beginner’s Guide to PC Twitch Streaming

Project Background

For my final project in EH 603: Technical Editing, I am planning on creating a guide for how to get started streaming your PC gaming on Twitch. My idea for this project came from personal experience. I have played video games as a hobby almost all my life. About a month ago, I decided I wanted to stream my gameplay for friends who lived all over the country. It would be a way for us to interact on a regular basis through our mutual love of games and desire to laugh at how horrible I was at them.

So, I tried to start streaming. I set up my Twitch account and downloaded Open Broadcasting Software (OBS) to record and stream my games. I followed the steps outlined on the Twitch website’s guide to PC streaming for changing the settings in OBS to be able to stream (https://help.twitch.tv/customer/portal/articles/792761-how-to-broadcast-pc-games). Everything seemed to be set up correctly. Then I tested it, but it didn’t work. The audio from my microphone was fine and the game audio streamed, but the video did not show up. I spent over a week scouring the internet for different fixes to my black screen problem. It became increasingly frustrating when most of the guides kept telling me how easy it was to stream on Twitch. Then I would try their method of setting up OBS to stream to Twitch and it wouldn’t work. I became so frustrated that I almost gave up hope that my laptop could handle Twitch streaming.

Then finally, one night, I found the solution to why the video wasn’t going through to Twitch, and it was a simple setting that none of the guides I had found mentioned.

The Project

As I stated above, my plan for this project is to be a guide for getting started streaming on Twitch from your PC. However, this will not be a guide for the gamer who has built their own computer and spends hours gaming every day. Likely, that audience already knows how to stream on Twitch or has a friend who can teach them. This guide will be for the people like me who want to stream for fun as a hobby in their free time. Maybe they aren’t as tech savvy as an experienced gamer, but they love to play video games and want to share their experiences with the world on Twitch, but they just can’t figure out how to set it up. The goal of this project is to help PC gamers stream to their heart’s content.

I’ll start off by taking the reader through creating a Twitch account and downloading OBS. Then I plan to go step-by-step through the settings that helped me to finally stream with audio, video, and webcam. I will include screenshots of OBS and Twitch to help people see what to do with their settings, how to set up their account, how to find their stream and chat, and more. Most of the project will focus on how to configure the OBS settings to allow you to stream audio and video. This is because the problems that come up are most often caused by OBS.

My hope is that this project will help people like me who were frustrated and thought they were just not going to be able to stream. I will try to include information for Mac users, but I am limited in my knowledge of Macs because I personally have a Windows laptop. I will have to look into the differences in OBS between the operating systems.

 

Image source 1: http://www.noobgrind.com/twitch-to-ban-or-not-to-ban/

Image source 2: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LX04mw_xG6A (Video thumbnail for Jonesmedia’s video)

Teamwork Makes the Dream Work

For my final writing project in EH603 Editing for Publication, I will be editing a proposal. The principal investigator, or PI, for the proposal is none other than the course professor herself, Dr. Robinson. A principal investigator is the primary individual responsible for the preparation, conduct, and administration of a research grant (“Research Administration & Compliance”). In other words, she is the grant’s leading lady. (By the way, I will be using “grant” and “proposal” interchangeably.) There are a few other professors involved in the grant and not all of them are faculty at UAH. The Foundation funding the grant is the Spencer Foundation, named in honor of Lyle M. Spencer, the man responsible for founding Science Research Associates (SRA). The Foundation was established in 1968 and aims to provide funding for those seeking to improve education through research, programs, or activities (“Investing in Education”). The Foundation offers different categories of grants; Dr. Robinson’s falls under the Small Research Grant which has four deadlines throughout the year, and the next one is May 1.

The name of the research proposal is Psychological Safety Training Intervention for Improving Team Climate. The theory is, the more comfortable team members are with being themselves (referred to as psychological safety) while a part of a team, the better the team will function. For example, think back to a time when you were part of a group. Did you feel slightly withdrawn or want to tone down your personality until you got a better feel for the group? I know I’m guilty of that. Well, by toning yourself down, you’re not actually extending your “best foot forward.” I mean, it makes sense; how could you give the team/performance 100% of you if you’re not being 100% you, right?

The research behind the grant will first take place in the upcoming summer (2017). The objective is to determine what works best for promoting psychological safety (there’s that term again) amongst team members. Three focus groups will be observed as they discuss their past experiences in a team and what made it successful and the focus groups will answer a controlled set of questions; these questions and discussions will help the participants conclude what makes a team succeed. The PI and her collaborators will then analyze the data to create two separate series of videos, referred to in the grant as training module interventions; the videos will each be under five minutes. The data will also produce game-like activities. Then, in the fall (2017), Dr. Robinson and her team will employ the video interventions and activities to several students at three different universities (including UAH) along with surveys to query students’ perceptions of their team. Afterwards, those same students will be asked to perform group projects (all part of course curriculum; don’t worry, the students won’t be given additional work). Dr. Robinson and her team will measure the effectiveness of the interventions based on the results of the students’ projects. The exercises and research will hopefully lead to a set of methods that establish the ideal level of psychological safety for generating the most productivity among teams.  

Because most of the grant is already written, my job will be to review the text for any grammatical errors and inconsistencies. I am also to rearrange the information to keep it consistent with the funder’s formatting requirements. For example, the Foundation asks that the proposal include topic, methodologies, disciplinary perspectives and geographic scope (“Investing in Education”) and include a narrative. I will need to double check citations and any figures used in the text and remain mindful of the word count.

I am delighted to have a role in the project, even if it is a smaller one. I am determined to make my input relevant and useful.

“Research Administration & Compliance.” Roles and Responsibilities of Principal Investigators/Co-Investigators | Research and Engagement. N.p., n.d. Web. 31 Mar. 2017. <https://www.umass.edu/research/policy/pi-and-co-pi-roles-and-responsibilities>.

“Investing in Education Research for the Purpose of Making Education Better.” Spencer. N.p., n.d. Web. 31 Mar. 2017. <http://www.spencer.org/>.