Q&A with Callie

Callie5Thank you so much for visiting my website! I can’t wait to learn more about you and how I can help you succeed. Until then, here are a few things about me and what I do. Are you interested in working with me? You can contact me here!

I’ve pulled together some frequently asked questions I get from my clients. If you have any other questions, just ask!

Part I: My Qualifications

Q: How long have you been doing this?

I began editing in 2008 for my college’s newspaper and literary magazine, and I started my freelancing business in 2013.

Q: Where did you go to college and what was your degree in?

I went to Hardin-Simmons University and graduated Summa Cum Laude with a Bachelor of Arts degree in English and minors in Communications and Honors Interdisciplinary Studies.

Q: How have your experiences shaped your talents now?

Before I started freelancing, I served as Chief Copy Editor of my university’s student-run newspaper, The Brand, and as the Head Literary Editor for the school’s literary arts publication, The Corral. While in the Creative Writing program at Hardin-Simmons, I completed a senior chapbook of thirty poems, The Healing Under Highway 20,  and presented it publicly in May 0f 2012. I received the Campbell-Lacy Creative Writing Award my junior and senior year. I also worked as a Freelance Writer for NOW Magazines, a publication serving the southern Dallas-Fort Worth area, from 2012 to 2014 (you can read the articles I wrote here). I’m a member of the National Association of Christian Women Entrepreneurs. All of this led to a set of skills that makes me a great editor and designer: a critical eye, a core knowledge of the English language, and the ability to find creative solutions to problems.

Q: Why did you decide to start your own business?

My first job out of college was as a secretary in an office. I spent a year there and left the position because I felt underutilized, underpaid, and not challenged. I needed a way to pick the projects I work on and do something I’m really good at to make a difference. I knew freelancing was the way to go, and I haven’t looked back! I love my job because I’m constantly solving problems and helping people, two things I really enjoy doing. Now that I’m a mom, the flexibility of freelancing is a lifesaver.

Q: How many projects have you done?

Countless! If I had to guess, several hundred. I’ve worked with over 150 clients over the years. Some of them have been as close as the next room (my husband) and as far as Germany (and all over the US and Canada)!

Q: Why should I work with you?

Instead of the disconnected service you might receive from a corporate company, you’ll get personalized and customized service when you work with me. I believe in going the extra mile and not quitting until everything is correct. I like to teach, I like to learn, and most of all, I like to fix things.

Part II: What I Do

Q: What is your normal client like?

Impossible to say! My clients are all different. I’ve worked with men and women, teenagers and 70-year-olds, large corporations and sole proprietors. My clients have been doctors, entrepreneurs, motivational speakers, counselors, teachers, authors, social workers, psychologists, publishers, professors, accountants, therapists, and many others. You’ll fit in just fine!

Q: How much do you charge?

That varies depending on the project. I would be happy to give you a price estimate! Contact me here.

Q: How does your editing process work?

I believe in collaborative editing, which means my process is more than “you send me your book, I mark it up and send it back, end of story.” We might pass it back and forth a few times until it’s perfect, and that’s fine with me. When editing a book (or short story, or anything with words really), I’ll use the track changes feature in Microsoft Word to show you my suggestions, and then you can accept or reject them based on your preferences. At the end, you’ll have a clean file ready for publication. Learn more about my editing services here.

Q: I want to self-publish my book, but I don’t know where to start. Can you walk me through the process?

Sure! After we’re done editing, we can take it a step further by formatting your book (designing the interior pages), editing the cover material, and using a print-on-demand service to get a copy into the hands of your readers. I prefer to use Kindle Direct Publishing (KDP) for print books and eBooks. I can design you a book cover, as well. Learn more about my publishing services here.

Q: What is the difference between editing and proofreading?

Editing is an in-depth, personal process. I review your document thoroughly looking for grammar mistakes, confusing phrases, style discrepancies, and ineffective writing. Proofreading is meant to be the last check before sending a book to be published, so your book should already be formatted and ready to go. When proofreading, I check basic things like spelling, but also for printing mistakes (like if a word is accidentally split between pages or if a page has accidentally been left blank). Because proofreading needs a fresh pair of eyes, I can’t proofread a book I’ve already edited. Learn more about my proofreading services here.

Q: Which style guide do you use?

For all print material, I use the Chicago Manual of Style (CMS). Exceptions are dissertations (which use APA) and online articles (which use AP). I’m also very familiar with MLA (I was an English major, after all) if you happen to be working on a college research paper.

Q: Do you build websites?

Yes! Let’s discuss what you need and see if I’m a good fit. I prefer to work with the WordPress platform, but I’m also familiar with SquareSpace. Visit this page to learn more.

Q: Can you give my website a “makeover”?

Of course! I can come in and organize it for you and get it looking spectacular. Like I said above, I prefer working with WordPress, but I also know how to use SquareSpace. Keep in mind, to work on your website, I’ll need access to the back-end, which will include a username and password (don’t worry, your privacy is very important to me). Visit this page to learn more.

Q: Which social media sites do you work with?

Mostly the standard ones: Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest, YouTube. However, I’m always up for learning something new! Click here for details.

Q: What do you mean by “document design”? What kind of documents?

Just about anything! Here are some examples: business cards, brochures, flyers, workbooks, surveys, handouts, magazines, photo collages, eBook covers, resumes, speaker sheets, journals, PowerPoint presentations, Excel spreadsheets, invoices, and many more.

Q: I need my résumé revised. Do you do that?

Of course! That’s one of my specialties. I’m great at persuasive language, which is what you’ll need to make your résumé stand out from the crowd. And we can make the design as simple or fancy as you’d like. Learn more here.

Q: I’m applying for jobs, but all these digital applications are so confusing. Can you help?

Yep! I know technology is difficult for some people, and navigating digital applications is a lot different from the paper applications you might be used to. I’ve helped several people apply for (and get!) great jobs, mainly teachers. Learn more here.

Q: My office/house/garage/life is a mess. Do you make house calls?

This used to be a big part of my business, but I’ve cut back since having children. However, feel free to contact me and we can talk about it! I offer virtual organizing sessions, too, if you have a lot of digital clutter.

Q: Can you help me make great videos for YouTube and Facebook?

Yes! I love making YouTube videos. I can help you make introductions, add music, edit out parts you’ve messed up, and make you attractive thumbnails. Learn more here.

Q: I have a blog, but I’m struggling with it. What services do you offer?

I have several options for blog editing, which you can find here.

Q: Do you do copywriting or ghostwriting?

I used to write for several publications, but I found that writing about something I wasn’t passionate about wasn’t good for my mental health. However, if you think you have a topic I would love, let me know!

Q: Do you edit dissertations?

Yes, I do! Contact me for details.

Q: I want to start a newsletter, but I have no idea how. Do you know how?

Yes, I can help with that. I usually suggest starting with a free service like MailChimp, but if you have a budget, there are several other paid options that might have features that interest you. I can design templates, edit the content of your newsletters, and even send them for you so you don’t have to worry about a thing.

Q: Do you offer indexing services?

Surprisingly, yes! I say “surprisingly” because indexing is a very tedious job, but I think it’s pretty fun. If you have a scholarly book you need indexed, feel free to contact me.

Q: What is your business mission?

My goal is to help others become more successful through personal critique, constructive criticism, and creative collaboration.

Part III: Get to Know Me

Q: Where do you live?

I live in Dallas, Texas. I was born in Texas and have lived here all my life. I love it here!

Q: How old are you?

I was born in 1989, so you can do the math!

Q: Who is in your family?

I love my family! My husband Sam and I were married in 2011, and we have two sons, Greyson and Stellan. We also have a goofy black lab named Sadie and a chinchilla named Rigby.

Q: Name three words that describe you.

Kind. Persistent. Loyal.

Q: What is a normal day like for you as you run your business?

I wake up, get my husband off to school (he’s a teacher), and then have a cup of coffee (very important!). I work during my kids’ naptimes, and I’ll take some conference calls in between if my clients don’t mind some noise in the background. The kids and I always walk the dog in the afternoons before Sam gets home, and we all have dinner together. Then, the kids goes to sleep and I sometimes (depending on my energy level) work 2-3 more hours before going to bed myself. I don’t typically work nights or weekends unless it’s a rush assignment.

Q: How long have you been writing? What is your favorite thing to write?

I’ve been writing since I was six. I was always writing silly poems for my mom or for my teachers, and I also liked writing stories. As I grew up, writing became my escape during my teenage years. I used to write stories with my friends, and I kept multiple embarrassing journals. When I began my freshman year of college, I decided to dedicate my life to the English language and declared a degree in English. From there, I took several intensive courses in creative writing and ended up excelling in the program. These days, I love journaling and writing poems still. I also write elaborate stories in my head every night before I go to sleep that rarely make it to the page.

Q: What do you like to read?

As a kid, I loved Roald Dahl, Shel Silverstein, and, of course, J.K. Rowling. I still love those, but my favorite genres these days are realistic fiction, fantasy, biographies, memoirs, and young adult fiction (my guilty pleasure). My library card gets a lot of use!

Q: If you could be anywhere other than here, right this minute, where would you be?

The steps of the National Gallery in London! I spent a semester studying in London in college, and that spot was my favorite place to sit. From there, you can watch people come and go through Trafalgar Square, and you can see Big Ben in the distance. I loved going there early in the morning to drink a cup of coffee or at sunset to watch the city lights come on. I miss London and hope to go back one day!

Q: Flashback to when you were 10 years old. What did you want to be when you grew up?

Actually, I wanted to be an author! I think that’s why I love helping authors get published. I’m not published (yet), but it’s fun helping others in the meantime!

Q:  What do you want to make sure you do before you die?

Publishing a book has always been at the top of my list! I also want to visit New York, buy a house, and learn a second language.

Q:  What are you happiest doing, when you’re not working?

Spending time with my family. I love when we go to the park together or cuddle in bed together watching TV.

Any other questions? Just ask! You can contact me directly or post on my Facebook page.

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