Posted in Self-publishing, Writing

Introducing Commissioner Debbie

This post gives an overview of one of the many freelance roles that make up my working week – the editing role that, with echoes of Batman’s Commissioner Gordon, I refer to in my head as my “Commissioner Debbie” job.

 

Picture of my desk
It’s not always this tidy

As you may know, I work full-time from home in the comfort of my own study, overlooking the garden of my little cottage in the English Cotswolds.

My working week is a patchwork of many things, of which the largest is the role of Commissioning Editor of the Self-publishing Advice blog run by the Alliance of Independent Authors (ALLi).

Yes, that is a long title – and no wonder we often abbreviate this when talking amongst ourselves in the group to the ALLi SPA blog.

ALLi is the global organisation that brings together self-publishing authors from around the world to share best practice and to campaign for a higher profile for indie writing.

Editing

ALLi logoAs its blog’s Commissioning Editor, my remit is:

  • to identify suitable topics for inclusion
  • to arrange for appropriate people (usually other self-publishing authors) to write guest posts
  • and to set them up to go live on the blog at the appropriate time

There’s a new and interesting post just about every day. To make it easier for readers to find what they’re looking for, the posts are loosely grouped into different strands according to the days of the week. For example, Monday is the “Opinion” slot in which writers sound off about controversial issues, and Thursday is the “Writing” slot in which we address topics related to the craft of writing.

Writing

World Book Day logo 2014Occasionally I write posts myself. This is either because my chosen topic is one that I’m well qualified to write about (for example, World Book Day), or because I’ve been inspired and informed by discussions on ALLi’s Facebook forum (a members-only group in which we discuss all aspects of self-publishing).

My latest post falls into that second category. Following a conversation about which version of English ALLi’s members choose to write in, I drew on my own experience of having lived in other English-speaking environments and stated my preference for adhering to British English (no surprises there). Although I can translate reasonably well into American English at least, I stick with what comes naturally. I also included quotes from authors writing in English in other countries, including the Scottish-born Catriona Troth, who grew up in Canada but now lives and writes in England (where she’s recently written a book set in Canada).

The post  – which you can read in full here – received lots of social media shares (53 at the time of writing this YoungByName post) and a flurry of comments (16 at last count, to each of which I gave a personal reply).

The author graduating from her American-style high school in 1978It also gave me the opportunity to use a photo that my editor at the Tetbury Advertiser used to illustrate my latest column there. It shows making a speech on graduation day at my American-style high school in Germany, Frankfurt International School. Worth every bit as much as my high school diploma was the fluency I gained in American English, though I retained my British accent.

Which version of English do you prefer? Do tell!

If you’re an aspiring writer or are already self-publishing your work, you might like to consider joining ALLi: click here for more information.

Author:

Optimistic author, blogger, journalist, book reviewer and public speaker whose life revolves around books. Her first love is writing fiction, including the new Sophie Sayers Village Mystery novels (out 2017), short stories and essays inspired by her life in an English village. She also writes how-to books for authors and books about living with Type 1 diabetes. She is Author Advice Centre Editor and and UK Ambassador for the Alliance of Independent Authors (ALLi) Advice Centre blog, an ambassador for the children's reading charity Readathon, and an official speaker for the diabetes research charity JDRF.

4 thoughts on “Introducing Commissioner Debbie

  1. One of the most interesting experiences lately is with the Thai student we had living with us – immediately I stepped into that place where we communicate without words – that under current of face, hands body and glance that translates long before pronunciation, word usage, formal and informal make their way out past the tongue. I guess I am going to say I like international english best – where new words come into play and enrich our lives.

    🙂

    Date: Tue, 8 Jul 2014 14:31:11 +0000 To: aarenp@live.com

    1. I cannot argue with that, my international friend! (Note to other readers: this American commenter was my best friend at Frankfurt International School; we shared a common bond from the day we met, despite the fundamental difference in our mother tongue.)

  2. I think most people write in what is most natural for them. For me, my prose is always written in British English yet – if I have an American character – the dialogue that belongs to them is often written in American English.

Join the conversation - leave a comment!

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s