Wednesday, 22 February 2012

Launch of my book editing and proofreading service

Added on 23rd Feb:
I've just introduced a little jumping frog called Eddit onto my editing site... see

Hi there!

Some of you may know me in another life as Sheila Glasbey, who is sort of the same person as Rosalie Warren and sort of different. We share a number of relatives and friends and a love of chocolate, books, sea-swimming and gigantic cups of tea. She writes... I pick her up on plot inconsistencies, spelling mistakes, typos, bad grammar, etc - and I sometimes make her cross. Mostly, though, we get on... which is probably just as well.

Anyway, as Sheila, I have just launched a service to help authors edit and proofread their books. The kind of thing you might need before you publish your eBook on Amazon Kindle, on Smashwords, etc, etc. Or perhaps a final check, once you're sure your story is working well, before you send your precious work to an agent or a publisher. Because no one, after all, wants to spoil the ship for a ha'porth of tar, as my nan used to say.

You can see my brand new editing and proofreading website at

There's also a link to it from the right hand column of the blog you're currently reading... if you see what I mean.

I'm happy to edit right across the range, from children's picture books (the words, not the pictures!), through short stories and novels for all ages, to non fiction and technical work. I've had a fair bit of experience in all these fields. I'm qualified to PhD level as a scientist and have spent many years correcting technical reports, journal articles and dissertations - both my own and those of students, colleagues and so on. So if your work is a treatise on relativity or solar energy: don't worry, I might well be impressed, but I won't be fazed.

And you cosmologists out there - I love cosmology. And neuroscience. And philosophy...

I've also edited many stories, novels and so on, for children and adults.

I'm happy to work either with a printed version or online, whichever you prefer.

My prices are reasonable, and will remain so, but now is a good time to approach me. Once I have my proofreading qualification from the Publishing Training Centre, my prices may go up a little. But my aim will always be to provide a friendly, flexible, professional and speedy service that does not charge over the odds.

If you think we might be able to work together to get your work on top form, contact me in the comments below. (Rosalie will pass them on to me :-) ). Or contact me through the website at:

(There's an easy-to-use contact form.)

And yes, I do know the difference beyween hyphens and en-dashes! An awful lot of authors don't, and getting them right can make all the difference to how professional your manuscript looks in electronic format or in print.

Hope to hear from you soon!

Sheila Glasbey
aka Ros Warren

Sunday, 19 February 2012

Things I knew when I started writing that I wish I knew now...

You read that right. I didn't say it the wrong way round...

But isn't it meant to be the other way round? Don't writers, a few years down the line, dispense the advice they wish they'd had when they started out, as in 'Things I wish I'd known when I started writing'?

Of course they do. And I have some of these too, of course. One of these days, if you bear with me, I may even post them on my blog.

But today is not that day. Today is a day for looking back with nostalgia on those early days of innocence, back in 2006 or so, when I first started taking my writing seriously and sat outside on my swingseat, day after day in that warm summer, scribbling away in a notebook, page after page after scrawly page.

I made tons of mistakes, of course (still do). But what I had, back then, was focus. Yes, I had a computer with a broadband connection - 2006 is not that long ago. But I didn't have Twitter or Facebook, and I knew nothing about 'author platforms' and the like. Oh, long lost, glorious, halcyon days...

Don't get me wrong. I'm pleased to have had several novels published in the years since then, and more on the way. I love my work and enjoy the publicity side of things, most of the time. I certainly enjoy hobnobbing with fellow writers, on and offline, and I wouldn't be without my social media now.

But having said all that - here's my list of things I knew then that I wish I still knew today:

1. The actual writing is what counts.

2. Reading is one of my chief pleasures. Not reading with an eye to the market. Not studying how other authors achieve the things they do. Not reading my own stuff, struggling to find a good title. Not reading in fear - has this person stumbled upon the same plotline as me and got there first? Not reading with envy or scorn or anything else. Just reading with sheer delight, because that's what books are for.

3. Anything is possible. I know nothing, in 2006, about the requirements of agents or editors. I have faith in myself. Yes, I need to learn, but I have confidence that I can learn.

4. I'm still young! Well, not exactly young, but six years younger than I'll be in six years' time...

5. I am very lucky to have been able to retire from a stress-filled job into a blissful existence where I have the time and energy to write.

6. Just to repeat... The actual writing is what counts.

OK, younger self, I'm listening. I know a fair number of things now that I didn't know back then, and some of them are worth knowing. I wouldn't really want to go back.

But you had some things right, and it's time I got them right again.