Eva van Emden, Freelance Editor

Certified Copy Editor and Proofreader

eva@vancouvereditor.com

November 29, 2011

A scam that targets editors

A few editors I know have been approached for a potential cheque overpayment scam. Here’s how it works: the editor is offered an editing or translation job, typically with a very quick turnover time. The client insists on paying by cheque. After the payment has been made, the client discovers that he has overpaid and asks the editor to send back the overpayment, or the payer asks the editor to send some money on to another payee. After the editor cashes the client’s cheque, it turns out to be invalid.

Signs that an editing job might be a scam

  • There are signs that the client is contacting many people at the same time. The email you receive might not be addressed to you by name, or you are bcc’d on an email addressed to someone else.
  • The client shows more interest in a quick turnaround time than in the price of the job or the quality of your work.
  • The information about the client is incomplete or inconsistent.

How to protect yourself

Be careful with cheques from new clients you don’t have complete confidence in.
  • Make sure the name of the issuer of the cheque matches the name of the client. Do a web search on the name of the client and name of the cheque issuer.
  • The Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre recommends against accepting any cheque for more than you are owed.
  • Be aware that just because the money is made available in your bank account, that doesn’t mean the cheque was valid. According to a recent CBC article, “Depending on how good the counterfeit is, it can take weeks for a financial institution to detect the fraud. By then, the scammers are long gone with the money, and the victim is on the hook for the amount on the cheque.”
  • If your business takes on many one-time clients and bad cheques are a concern, you might find that PayPal, Interac e-transfer (within Canada), or bank transfers are safer.

Further reading

November 22, 2011

Anne McCaffrey

Dragonsong cover I was sorry to hear that Anne McCaffrey died today. I was about twelve or thirteen when I read Dragonsong. It must have been one my first forays into speculative fiction; I remember the strange words—“sevenday,” “blackstone”—and the foreignness of the names of the characters and places. I struggled to understand the mysterious Thread, but I didn’t have any trouble imagining the dragons. Giant, gentle, flying, talking animals don’t need much explanation.

In the years after I read Dragonsong, I read almost all of the other Dragonriders books, as well as a selection of her other books. Her characters were thoroughly imagined and their relationships had depth and richness. She wrote some very realistic female characters—some of them downright villains. Villains aside, the people in her books weren’t threatened by mystical forces of evil, they were threatened by natural forces, and by their own inability to work together to solve their problems. They were saved by personal courage and sacrifice.

I still have a selection of my favourite Dragonriders books on the shelf, including the lovely edition of Dragonsong shown here. I still find them tremendously satisfying stories and they are among my favourite comfort reading. Thank you, Anne McCaffrey.

November 14, 2011

Watch the process of writing

Screenshot of Stypi Paul Graham has written about the process of writing. He uses a tool called Stypi that allows you to collaboratively edit a piece of text and view the editing process in a video replay. He had a special version of Stypi made that shows text that will be deleted in the final version in yellow. It’s interesting to watch the process of text being written. It looks like a sentence is either right the first time, or else it gets rewritten many times.

November 1, 2011

Try hand-kerning some tricky pieces of text

Badly kerned letters This online kerning exercise presents you with words in different fonts and invites you to drag the letters around for the best spacing. Then see how your solution matches the typographer’s solution.

Thanks, Christina Vasilevski for the link.