Monday, June 11, 2007

a letter of reference from an editing client

June 1, 2007

To whom it may concern,

This letter is to recommend Michelle Lynne Goodfellow as a competent copy-editor. A few weeks ago, as I was trying to muster the energy to read through the final proof of my upcoming book, I came across Michelle’s blog “tell it well”. I immediately contacted Michelle and told her about my situation and about my specific requirements. Michelle agreed to help. Since I wanted the work done very quickly, we agreed to work on my manuscript simultaneously, she starting from the beginning and I from the end. Michelle’s willingness to help made the looming task seem a lot less insurmountable to me and, together, we finished the project within a few days.

Because of the tight deadline and the late stage in the publication process, I asked Michelle to concentrate mainly on the consistency with which dates were given and commas were used. For example, I wanted month-year combinations to be given without a comma (“June 2007” rather than “June, 2007”) and I wanted serial commas to be dropped (“pigeons, robins, song sparrows and blue jays” rather than “pigeons, robins, song sparrows, and blue jays”). Not only did Michelle catch many offending commas, but she also drew my attention to a number of compound modifiers in need of hyphens, to the inconsistent appearance of a certain abbreviation I used and to one particularly awkward sentence. I believe Michelle’s work was both efficient and thorough and I would gladly turn to her again in the future for related assistance.


Elizabeth Sander

(Author of Social Dancing in Peter the Great's Russia: Observations by Holstein Nobleman Friedrich Wilhelm von Bergholz, 1721 to 1725, published by Olms in 2007)

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