Thursday, June 26, 2014

Toein' the Company Line

Back in my former life, I worked in a marketing department.  One of my duties was to update this binder with marketing procedures.  I never quite appreciated one of those marketing procedures until I started proofreading for a living: the corporate branding procedures.  (And I still flash back to the knowledge that PMS 312 is the correct color for the logo!)

But now, I have a deep appreciation for those branding procedures.  It's the way companies make sure they are represented the way they want to be out there in the world, whether it's in an ad, a blog, or in a book.

And so, dear reader and author, please remember when writing: there is a real reason to make sure those product names are correct in a manuscript.  For some reason, Apple products seem to trip up a lot of people.  The way they name their products is pretty consistent, but I've seen the names mangled up in some very interesting ways (often in the same manuscript). 

From the Apple Trademark website:
iPhone, iPad,or iPod, always typeset iPhone, iPad, or iPod with a lowercase i and an  uppercase P followed by lowercase letters. For iPod touch, always set touch with a  lowercase t. The name iPhone, iPad, or iPod should start with a lowercase i even when it is the first word in a sentence, paragraph, or title. Never set Mac in all capital letters. Use an uppercase M followed by lowercase letters.

And Twitter has some guidelines, and Google (they are really not fond of their name being used as a verb), and Microsoft, and the Boy Scouts, and Best Buy, and Walmart, and...well, you get the idea. So, it's time to toe the company line and make sure you use those names the right way.

Monday, June 23, 2014

The Writing's on the Wall

I have a list of Google Alerts that I use as a source for my tweets on Twitter; I have them for the keywords of book editor, authors, writers, and writing.  Some of the hits, unsurprisingly, are not what I am looking for or am even slightly interested in.  Say, for example this gem:

Although, sometimes there's some stuff about the entertainment business, which might catch my eye:

But one thing I see all the time is the overuse of this, either in the headline or in the body of the news article:

So I totally ignored this one:

But, through the magic of Facebook, I saw another link for it and WOW! This is a cool video. 

 If you want to read about it a bit more, try Rolling Stone and Bustle.

Friday, June 20, 2014

Maybe I Need A Dictionary

So, any longtime followers of this blog (and thanks for keeping me on your list of blogs to read!) may have noticed a slight downturn in blog posts.

According to the dictionary, slight means to a small degree. Hmmm, maybe I need to re-think that sentence.  

Okay, there may have been a standstill (cessation of movement forward or backward, state of rest, stop) in my blog posting. 

And the newsletter - oh, that poor, poor newsletter.  I think I have to change it from "a monthly" newsletter to "a whenever I can manage to get it done" newsletter.  Or a "whenever I can get some interesting, time-worthy, and inspirational information" newsletter.  

Maybe I really should consult that dictionary before I do too much more damage to the English language!  

All that aside, my lack of getting these things done has been bothering me.  I will be trying to post more often, but I want to make sure that what I post has some value, isn't just fluff or a bunch of hooey.  I'm thinking of working out a schedule, or a list of possible topics (that appeals to the organized side of my brain) but when it comes time to put those ideas down on paper, they seem to disappear like wisps of wind that I can't catch.  And I'm working on some author interview requests, so hopefully you'll be hearing from some great authors, too.  

So, dear readers, do you have any topics you want more information on?  Something you'd like to know about in the grammar/editing world?  Drop me a line and maybe it'll be featured as a blog post/newsletter item!

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Colons: What to do with them

I've always been fond of colons.  I'm not talking about those internal organs (although I suppose they have their place in my life), but those lovely little two dots of punctuation.

They seem so elegant, so refined: they help define things.  Typically, you have the first part of the sentence, then the colon, and then you can list the particulars, or give an appostive, or amplification, or an illustrative quotation.

Here's a little example:
I peeked into his grocery cart to see his treasures: gourmet chocolates, a bottle of Prosecco, and strawberries. 

A nice little list, right?  But here's where I really like the colon - or the reverse colon, as I call it in my head.

Gourmet chocolates, a bottle of Prosecco, strawberries: just what did he have in mind for tonight?

I just love how that sentence reads. (And not just because I'm fond of those items.)

So how about it, authors: do you feel the love for the colon?

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Special Delivery

Look at what I got today - special delivery from Laurie LeClair:

I subscribed to her newsletter and she posts the occasional contest and giveaway...and guess who won this time?  (Hint: ME)

It's kind of cool to get a copy (whether electronic or hard copy) of the finished project: when it's no longer just a manuscript but a real book.  And it's extra cool to have the books signed by the author!

So, if you are an author, consider reaching out to your readers with a contest for a free copy (digital or paper).  And if you're a reader, be sure to support your favorite authors by giving reviews online (either on Amazon or Goodreads, or maybe your own blog) and follow them on Facebook or Twitter to see what they're working on next!

And you can be sure I'll be using that lovely pen for some editing notes, so watch out!

Monday, June 9, 2014

I Did it! I Wrote a Blog Post!

Well, I sort of wrote a blog post.  But it's not really a post, and it's not really on my blog.  But I did write it!

Author Kevin Hardman was kind enough to ask me to answer some questions for his blog.  Check out his questions and my answers here.

And hopefully soon I'll have an actual post for my own blog!