Communication power secrets revealed

Becca Keating

In 2013, Becca Keating asked me to edit content for a book she was writing, “The Secrets of Powerful Communication, Confronting the Bully Within.” I agreed and also offered my photography and graphic design skills.  Writing contributors, Wayne Hunt and Brelyn Frelot provided additional insights from law enforcement and teaching perspectives.

Following our photo shoot at the Miller Ranch in Agua Dulce, California, Becca selected one of my photos for the color cover (above).  After working several designs, we tried various layouts arriving at the final cover graphic, a non-trivial event requiring several dozen iterations. This included finding the right text font that would be strong enough to stand out against the medium, sky-blue color of the cover photo. I completed my edit for the 155-page book content which Becca had proofread for the final.

Aubrey Siebert and Becca Keating, from the book, "The Secrets of Powerful Communication."
Aubrey Siebert and Becca Keating, from the book, “The Secrets of Powerful Communication.”

Afterwards, I shot  the B&W interior photos in my then primitive photography studio. I suggested Los Angeles Writer/Producer/Actress Aubrey Siebert to model the convincing facial expressions and body language poses in the B&W photos, and Aubrey famously provided powerful imagery and some fun. As it turned out, the photo studio session helped catalyze the idea for the Design Studio Marketplace website.

The whole project took about six months, not including Becca’s writing time. Now she gets speaking and book signing engagements. Pretty smart!

From Becca’s bio:

“Early on in high school and college, Becca Keating learned the importance of connecting and communicating with people. Having dealt with bullies in the business, the political and community arena, Becca brings a fresh perspective that offers hope to every reader of her book.”

Client Becca Keating lives and works in the southern California area  An established businesswoman,  she is also a consultant, public speaker, and frequent radio talk show guest. For inquiries, or just to learn more about Becca, catch her on Facebook or her website at beccakeating.net.

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2 thoughts on “Communication power secrets revealed”

  1. Thank you for sharing how you worked behind the scenes to help bring the book together, from editing to design. If you are interested, I’d like to hear more about the initial process of editing. Thanks!

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    1. Hi Aaron, Thanks for your interest. The initial process of editing includes getting a hold of a typewritten file or printout from the client. Typically, I read over each chapter or section and mark up whatever is obviously wrong — typos, misspellings, that sort of thing. Then I’d return to the beginning of the file for a second pass, looking for subject-verb agreement, tense, voice, run-on sentences, etc., returning to the beginning for a third pass for anything I missed and so on, often reading it out loud. My markups are understood to be suggestions; it’s up to the author to accept or reject them. If I mark up an MS Word file, I use the software’s review redline/strikeout/balloon features. If a printout, I use a red pen. After the initial edit, I’d return it to the client for review. The client would approve/reject the suggestions and we would “iterate” until the client was happy with the final. I’m still using basic 7th grade English, English handbook standards, parallel sentence structure (Google that), and technical writing — a bit more terse than standard prose — skills taught in college. For my first high-tech procedure manual, the foreign engineering writer wrote the first step as: “Put the plug in the power.” As editor, I rewrote that to “Plug it in.” I was younger then. In any case, it’s always good to know who your audience is so you can at least attempt to write or edit to their level. As an exercise, I might edit a friend’s work for free. The more I did it, the more comfortable it became. Hope that helps.

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