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Professional Background

Drawing on her experience in the publishing industry since 1999, including work with best-selling authors, Nelda offers content development, writing, cowriting, ghostwriting, developmental editing, content editing, and copyediting in both online and print media. Over the years, Nelda has participated in a wide array of projects, ranging from highly technical subjects targeting computer developers to human potential and environmental content, resulting in professional experience that includes websites, tutorial software, technical books, proposals, and marketing materials. Nelda has extensive editorial experience with technical, academic, psychology, complementary and alternative medicine (CAM), legal, business, marketing, and creative content in print and digital media.

Recent experience includes contracting at Genentech (through PRO Unlimited) as an assistant submission manager (CMC editor) in pharma technical regulatory, working with common technical document (CTD) submissions to the FDA, including biologic license applications (BLAs), investigational new drug applications (INDs), prior-approval supplements (PASs), pre-meeting packages (PMPs), postmarketing commitments (PMCs), and Changes Being Effected, 30 Days (CBE-30s). Work included editorial collaboration, content management, and project management using a customized version of SharePoint, Windows 7, Office 2010, Visio 2013, Adobe Acrobat Pro, and several Roche intranets, as well as editing “live” via shared desktop during adjudication meetings attended by authoring teams in person and via teleconference (WebEx). Customized templates and macros were used, as well as “track changes” and comments. Work also included presenting to large groups at submission “kickoffs.”

A trade book proposal on which Nelda collaborated (writing, research, developmental editing, substantive editing, and copyediting) with a first-time author was placed with a Simon and Schuster imprint.

Nelda has worked with best-selling authors, including Matthew McKay, PhD; Patrick Fanning; Bruce M. Hyman, PhD; Lee Lipsenthal, MD; Susan Albers, PsyD; Randi Kreger; Joe Dispenza, DC; and Sonia Choquette.

Nelda is experienced with electronic (Microsoft Word, Apache OpenOffice, PDF editors, Google Docs) and hard-copy markup. Her technical skills include Aptana Studio, WordPress, Adobe Acrobat Pro, Visio 2013, Windows 7, Office 2010, SharePoint, and GitHub; basic exposure to JavaScript and PHP; both PC and Mac experience. She is proficient in Chicago, AP, and APA styles, as well as Merriam-Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary, Webster’s New World College Dictionary, and Black’s Law Dictionary. She is also accustomed to using house styles and writing house style guides and project style sheets.

In recent years, Nelda began taking on developmental editing and content editing projects for the preeminent evidence-based self-help publisher New Harbinger Publications, based in Oakland, California, and the popular alternative spirituality publisher Hay House, based in Carlsbad, California, as well as independent authors in various locations. From her office in Northern California, Nelda works remotely via the Internet so that her clients can be based anywhere in the world.

Background In 2007, Nelda started contracting primarily with New Harbinger Publications, editing nonfiction book manuscripts on evidence-based self-help psychology, personal growth, and holistic health care. Prior and simultaneous to working with New Harbinger, Nelda worked with other Northern California publishers, including New World Library, Red Wheel/Weiser, Palace Press International (Mandala Publishing), and North Atlantic Books, as well as Vermont publisher Inner Traditions, as a copyeditor of nonfiction book manuscripts on alternative spirituality and holistic health care.

Earlier in her freelance career, Nelda copyedited technical books for Interactive Composition Corporation of Portland, Oregon, including texts on such highly technical subjects as wireless networks, software instruction, and health care systems. Also as a freelancer, she proofread books for Beyond Words Publishing, based in Hillsboro, Oregon, and HarperSanFrancisco, having previously freelanced as a proofreader for GTS Graphics and other companies.

Prior to freelancing, Nelda gained legal-industry experience, which besides proofreading court documents for attorneys, included serving as a staff copyeditor for LRN, in Los Angeles, where she helped make the practical scenarios accompanying legal-compliance tutorial software more accurate and interesting, and was responsible for software testing, ensuring the correct functioning of instructional designs. Created for the staffs of Fortune 500 companies, these workplace ethics and compliance tutorials covered such important matters as Internet marketing, antitrust, rights of disabled workers, intellectual property, confidentiality, preventing workplace harassment, and disposal of hazardous wastes.

Nelda first professionally honed her natural aptitude for language arts in 1999, as a proofreader/specifications analyst for GTS Graphics, a large publisher-services firm in Los Angeles, where she helped produce technical books covering psychology, software instruction, language, and microbiology. Publishers served by GTS included such well-known names as Addison Wesley, McGraw-Hill, Prentice Hall, and John Wiley and Sons.

Nelda not only absorbed Chicago style, but also learned to quickly adapt to the various exceptions contained in each publisher's house style guide. Analyzing design samples, she determined and wrote design specifications, and ensured that final design-spec samples (the training materials used by all production-team members working on a book) were accurate. She proofread and analyzed specs of hard-copy galleys, page proofs, art, and figure captions. Deadlines frequently demanded that she switch to a different book (with new specs), and often a different publisher, on a moment’s notice. The knowledge Nelda gained on staff at GTS turned out to be some of the most valuable experience of her career, because working on a team alongside typesetters gave her a greater understanding of the book-production process than she would have been able to get otherwise. This experience is quite rare these days, now that large publishers and publisher-services firms outsource their typesetting abroad.

Education Nelda earned a BFA in communication arts and design with media emphasis from Virginia Commonwealth University, where she also pursued graduate studies in video art. Besides on-the-job experience, her publishing-specific education includes completion of continuing-education courses in HTML5, CSS3, and responsive web design at Lynda.com (online), and editing and web-content design at Bellevue Community College (Seattle), as well as earlier HTML4 courses at The Learning Annex (Los Angeles). Additional education Nelda has completed that might be relevant to your print or web project are certification programs in audio production at the University of Washington Extension, in permaculture design at Kootenay Permaculture Institute (Winlaw, BC), as a natural vision teacher (the Bates method) at the Natural Vision Center of San Francisco, and as a shiatsu practitioner (in a program that included the study of traditional Chinese medicine) at Shiatsu Institute and Therapy Center (San Francisco). Nelda also studied visual art at Auburn University. She is a past member of the Bay Area Editors Forum and the Northwest Independent Editors Guild.

Other Interests Nelda's avocations are writing; singing and playing medieval and world folk music on lap dulcimer, studying guitar, writing original music, and singing backup on select depresleys tunes; and studying ecologically sustainable and independent lifestyles, natural healing methods, Chinese herbs, personal spirituality, and psychological growth.

More Info Please click the Projects and Clients links for more details on Nelda's professional experience. For additional information, please click the Contact link.