May 7, 2013

Ghost Burglar Wins IPPY

Posted in Book Talk tagged , , , , , , , , , at 2:13 pm by The Word Jar

Ghost BurglarWay back last year before my blogging hiatus, I posted about Ghost Burglar: The True Story of Bernard Welch – Master Thief, Ruthless Con Man, and Cold-Blooded Killer by Jack Burch and James King. Well, we just found out that Ghost Burglar has won the bronze medal in the True Crime category of the Independent Publisher Book Awards (or IPPYs, as they are known in the industry).

According to the IPPY website, “[t]he Independent Publisher Book Awards were conceived in 1996 as a broad-based, unaffiliated awards program open to all members of the independent publishing industry. The awards are intended to bring increased recognition to the thousands of exemplary independent, university, and self-published titles produced each year, and reward those who exhibit the courage, innovation, and creativity to bring about change in the world of publishing.”

So, I offer a grand huzzah to the authors. Their hard work paid off. As any writer knows, writing is such a solitary endeavor (even with co-authors), and it’s nice to receive recognition from the outside world for your effort. And now they get to go to NYC for the awards ceremony and cruise around BookExpo America. Color me jealous!

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May 3, 2012

My (Editing) Mark on True Crime

Posted in Publishing tagged , , , , , , , , at 1:55 pm by The Word Jar

I love true crime books. It’s really a strange fascination, to love true crime books. They aren’t written as instruction manuals. If you read The Stranger Beside Me, it’s not likely to keep you from falling into the clutches of the next Ted Bundy. I guess it’s a voyeuristic venture. Peering into the minds and lives of those who are so utterly different than who I am. Unless I become an unfortunate victim, I doubt I’ll be written about in a true crime book. I don’t even eat grapes at the grocery store.

But, I will be leaving my mark on a true crime book. I’m currently editing Ghost Burglar: The True Story of Bernard Welch—Master Thief, Ruthless Con Man, and Cold-Blooded Killer by Jack Burch and James King. Ghost Burglar chronicles the life and crimes of Bernard C. Welch, who stole millions of dollars of goods from the elite in Washington, D.C., in the late 1970s. Co-author James King lends an insider’s knowledge to the book, as he was one of the detectives hunting Welch at that time. He was the first to identify Welch as the suspect, even as police struggled to locate and apprehend him. Welch was finally arrested on December 5, 1980, after murdering Dr. Michael Halberstam (brother of author and journalist David Halberstam) in a botched burglary. Even though he had been shot multiple times, Halberstam ran over the fleeing Welch with his car on his way to the hospital. And as if being a thief and murderer wasn’t enough, Welch also successfully (for a time) escaped from prison twice.

It’s been a fascinating experience to edit a true crime book. The authors did a wonderful job with the writing. The majority of the work I’ve done is to structure the book so that it flows smoothly, weaving between Welch’s lavish life on the lam and the police desperately pursuing him.

Ghost Burglar is also my first attempt at being more than just an editor. I’ve been put into a sort of publishing coordinator role for this bookcreating the publishing schedule, designing marketing materials, setting up a blog, creating and sending out ARCs, as well as trying to gather reviews. As the editing process winds down now, Ghost Burglar will go for layout and design next week, and then ARC distribution will soon follow. It’s off to the printer in June and into bookstores in September.

If you’d like to review Ghost Burglar, let me know. I’d love to hear what you have to say. I’ll have a few ARCs to distribute here, and I’m also trying to set up a giveaway through LibraryThing’s Early Reviewer program.

Check back soon for more Ghost Burglar updates!

August 25, 2011

The Old Navy Typo T-Shirt (Now Available for Your Back-to-School Wardrobe)

Posted in Word Fun tagged , , , , at 9:49 am by The Word Jar

Nothing says, “I’m a collegiate success!” quite like a huge typo across your chest. If Old Navy has their way, college sports fans across the country will be sporting their new Typo T-shirts as they cheer for their favorite teams this fall.

Image from OldNavy.com

In case the typo eludes you, as it did the Old Navy proofreader, “Lets” should be “Let’s.” And don’t even get me started on “Dawgs.”

I know it seems frivolous to harp on missing apostrophes on T-shirts when there are clearly bigger issues in the world, but searching out and destroying typos is why I get paid the big bucks. And I have to imagine that someone at Old Navy also gets paid the big bucks to prevent just this sort of thing from happening before the items hit the store. Perhaps there isn’t an individual dedicated solely to proofreading clothing, but surely this T-shirt passed in front of dozens of pairs of eyes before being given the final approval. No one caught this? Even more discouraging is that these T-shirts represent many different institutes of higher learning, not to mention some heavy hitters. Is this a good way for colleges and universities to represent *their* product, a rather pricey education?

I know no one was harmed in the making or wearing of these T-shirts, so I’ll go easy. But if Old Navy would like to prevent such an atrocity (at least in my proofreading eyes) on future products, I’m officially offering up my editorial services.