When not writing mine, I am better editing yours

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MANILA: Readability is the first problem. Always. Here is a book that deserved the best author's editor in the world but did not get him, so now I'm editing after the fact of publication. Internet Marketing Guru meets Internet Editing Guru.

This continues my earlier review of the book VIRTUAL CAREERS (Earn Dollars At Home, Eliminate Daily Stress, Embrace Your Family More); (see my "Your online job awaits for your domestic dollar delight," 25 September 2015, A Magazine Called Love. blogspot.com). In the image above, I have cut off the top half that contains the title and subtitle.

VIRTUAL CAREERS is for home-based professionals that my son Jomar launched 16 September 2015 at the Manila International Book Fair at the SMX Convention Center, Mall of Asia Complex, Pasay City. Is it any good? I can tell you it's excellent – but not perfect. This is an author editor speaking.

I've been editing articles, theses, and manuscripts for books in the last 40 years, in the last 18 years digitally, that I can smell an error 5 pages away. On the book cover itself, there are 2 items that visually impair you. Can you read the entry "Bonus Chapter by John Jonas, Founder, online_jobs.ph"? Of course not – white on gray. Can you read "Foreword by Bo Sanchez"? Hardly. Black on red. You have to be kind to the eyes of your readers.

When I was the Chief Information Officer of the Forest Research Institute in the mid-70s, I used to watch the printers (people running the presses) and stop the press when I didn't like what was coming out. Even today, you have to watch the printing too, not only the desktop publishing of your book. It's easier now to correct an error with modern software and digital printing, but someone must be watching over it.

Open the cover of Jomar's book and what do you see on the title page? I can hardly read: "Foreword by Bo Sanchez. Bonus chapter by John Jonas." White on gray. There's more:

Page 3: "Thank you to all who, in one way or another, hurt me or went against me. You have made it possible for me to have less choices in life, making me superbly successful as a result. Galing, 'no?" That should read like this: "... challenging me to become superbly successful." Obstacles or less choices do not make you successful; it's your efforts to overcome them that do.

Page 4: "Jomar's passion and generosity in sharing his knowledge about work from bahay is very contagious. It inspired me to push..." Mixed tenses; should read, "was very contagious."

Page 8: "With him as your mentor you will be always be updated in the Internet." Delete either "be" and you'll be okay.

Page 9: "Thank you, Jomar, to the moon and back!" should read, "for a trip to the moon and back!"

Page 17: "Jomar Hilario is the eldest son of Frank and Amparo, two government employees in Laguna." Should read, "... in Laguna, now retired."

Page 32: "Still, I encouraged everyone to close their eyes and visualize a screaming crowd of fans filling the stadium." Should read, "... the audience to close their eyes..." The word "everyone" calls for a singular verb.

Page 52: "So if you can't even speak in plain English, then maybe being a virtual assistant is not for you." Add: "But if you have read this far, you don't have an English problem."

Page 61: "If you're going to be typing a lot, I'd like you to consider the Microsoft ergonomic keyboard that costs around P2,000." Add: "Or the cheaper A4Tech ergonomic keyboard."

Page 70: "I'm in this race to win a prize / The odds against me / The world has plans for my demise." Should read, "The odds are against me." I checked and the error is in the original lyrics of "Underdog" by Audio Adrenaline.

Page 70: "Since you don't meet your clients face to face, they pay you electronically. We will cover four ways." Should read, "... four ways they can do that."

Page 87 and elsewhere: "Resume" should be "Résumé" (note the diacritical marks).

Page 88: "Entrepreneural Mindset. You're not an employee but you earn monthly like one." Should read, "Entrepreneurial." Same on page 101, and page 104.

Page 109: "Yes, I know there are other softwares like Google Slides and Haiku Deck." Should read, "other apps like..." There is no plural for software, and the word is used in general to refer to all computer programs. "Apps" is the new term.

Page 110: "When clients read your presentation, they should only see seven or less words per slide." Why?

Page 111: "These hazards – plus the office politics, stressful workload, and the negative vibes in the office – tell me my compensation is no longer worth it." Should read, "... told me my compensation was no longer..."

Page 111: "I got tired of being an employee and I realized that I have other more important things to do in life." Should read, "...that I had other more important..."

Page 120: "I thought all interviews need to be video interviews over Skype or other video applications like it." Should read, "... interviews needed to be..."

Page 121: "'I'm already a fan of yours!' and 'Great lady!' are some comments I received that make me more excited to do my work and do it well." Should read, "...I have received that make..."

Page 125: "For example, our first attitude is strategic laziness." Should read, "... our first A-player attitude..."

Page 126: Sure, my father Frank A. Hilario, the 70-year old MS Word geek..." Should read, "the 75-year old..."

Page 134: "Go for it." Add: "Go for it. By the way, my father is now 75 and he taught himself blogging, and he keeps blogging like crazy."

Page 136: "How about bullets? Don't use them." Insert: "They are boring, and they tell your audience that you did not think of them much."

Page 140: "I work full-time as a work-from-home social media manager for an award-winning Singaporean marketing agency for about a year now." Should read, "I have been working full-time as..."

Page 144: "Below are some of the tutorials you can pick from. Pick all of it or get inspired by the list..." Should read, "Pick all of them or get..."

Page 146: "Since I already resigned in the office and had started working from home, I had no problems leaving." Should read, "Since I had already resigned from the office and started working..."

Page 152: "Creating mobile apps... Using Wisemetrics... YouTube marketing..." Should read, "How to create mobile apps... How to use Wisemetrics... How to use YouTube marketing..."

Page 156: "(like the bench)" should read, "(like the Brainbench)."

Page 158: "I think Thomas Edison said that." Should read, "... said something like that." (Better quote his exact words.)

Page 159: "They offered to double the pay than what I was earning in my current job." Should read, "... double the pay that I was earning..."

Page 165: "... here are things some of my virtual careers do for me..." Should read, "... some of my virtual career professionals do for me..." The term "virtual career" is not in parallel with "virtual assistant" – career is the path while assistant is the person.

Which reminds me: It was Jomar who reinvented "virtual assistance" into "virtual career" and transformed the non-attractive position of being Virtual Assistant to being the respectable and income-promising Virtual Career Professional. If you are a Virtual Assistant, it sounds like you're just on-call; if you have a Virtual Career, it's not a one-time thing. it sounds like you've got it made. Now you can be proud to say, "I have a Virtual Career," emphasis on career. Like I'm proud to say, "I have an Author's Editor career."

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