Thursday, March 02, 2017


Dear Readers, Kathy and I have been good friends since she was the freelance editor for the publishing company and did my pirate book back in the day. She loved Pirate’s Prize, and we developed a friendship after she was finished with my book. She is an excellent editor and started a collective of editors. Her books on editing have helped many an author, me included.

Welcome back, Kathy. What is the Capitalization Dictionary?
It’s an alphabetized list of words that are often confusing when it comes to capitalization. Since different reference books sometimes have different rules, the Capitalization Dictionary identifies whether a word should be capitalized or lowercased according to the industry-standard style guides and dictionaries for both book publishers and journalistic publications. I’ve also included some trademarked brand names.

Who was it written for?
The Capitalization Dictionary is useful for writers, editors, proofreaders, teachers—all those who find themselves wondering whether a word should be capitalized or lowercased. Since it’s formatted in alphabetical order, you’ll find the industry-standard answer quickly and easily.

I knew right as soon as I heard about this book that it would be valuable for me, other authors, and anyone who writes anything. What inspired you write this?
When I’m proofreading a manuscript (mine or someone else’s), I have to stop repeatedly and think about whether a word should be capitalized. I get out my in-print dictionary or style guide, or go to my online subscription or CD-ROM. And after spending a while researching the various resources (not all of which agree), I usually find the answer I’m looking for—eventually.

I’ve often thought how much easier it would be if there was an alphabetized list that I could check at a glance to see whether certain words should be capitalized or not. So I created one. I kept adding words to the list every time a new questionable word came up. For this Capitalization Dictionary, I added several entries from The Chicago Manual of Style, The Associated Press Stylebook, and The Christian Writers’ Manual of Style.

What sources did you use to compile this dictionary?
Different reference books sometimes have different guidelines, so the Capitalization Dictionary identifies whether each word is capitalized or lowercased according to these industry-standard references:

·                 The Chicago Manual of Style (for book manuscripts)
·                 Merriam-Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary (for book manuscripts)
·                 The Associated Press Stylebook (for journalistic publications)
·                 Webster’s New World College Dictionary (for journalistic publications)
·                 The Christian Writer’s Manual of Style (for Christian writing)

What advantage is there to using this book over simply looking words up in a regular dictionary?
The Capitalization Dictionary contains entries from both of the dictionaries used by the publishing industry, as well as both of the style guides, and it specifies whether a word should be capitalized in a book manuscript vs. a journalistic publication. It also contains entries from The Christian Writers’ Manual of Style that are not in the standard dictionaries. And it explains when certain words should be capitalized in some cases but lowercased in others—often more clearly than in a standard dictionary. In addition, since the Capitalization Dictionary focuses on just words that have capitalization issues, I’ve found it faster and easier to consult this list when that’s the only question I have about a word.

Did you self-publish this book?
That was my plan, originally, because of the niche market for a book like this. But when I mentioned it to my agent, Diana Flegal, she connected me with her team at Hartline Literary Agency, who offered to publish it through Amazon’s “White Glove” program. Hartline did an amazing job of designing the cover (to fit well with my Proofreading Secrets of Best-Selling Authors) and the interior (with formatting similar to a standard dictionary). I’m really pleased with the result.

They’re a good team. We’ve done two books through White Glove for me. Does this book contain every word that might be capitalized or lowercased?
Not yet! For now, it has the words that I’ve come across and have heard from other authors and editors that they struggle with. But with the ease of updating e-books and print-on-demand, I’m definitely open to requests from my readers for any additional words they think should be added.

Where can we buy it?
The Capitalization Dictionary is available on Kindle for just 99 cents. The paperback book is selling on Amazon for $7.99. Or you can get a copy directly from me at one of my upcoming conferences.

Speaking of conferences, you’ve been busy as usual, my friend! When you were here in Texas last year and my husband and I picked you up at the airport (sort of), over lunch hat day you told me about plans for directing a brand-new Christian writers’ conference in Southern California. Tell us how that happened.
I attended my first writers’ conference in the late 1980s at Biola University in La Mirada, California. It opened my eyes to the world of writing for publication and got me started on my writing journey. Since then, I’ve attended and served on faculty at numerous writers’ conferences across the country, and I’m always incredibly blessed by the networking, friendships, and divine appointments there. Last spring, I strongly sensed the Lord leading me to start a brand-new conference in my area: the SoCal Christian Writers’ Conference. God brought me an amazing team of volunteers to put this together. The inaugural event happens this June—at Biola University!

After you were here, I heard you’re directing another conference too … what’s been called the premier or “grandaddy” of all Christian writers’ conferences. How did that come about?
Shortly after I got the ball rolling for the SoCal conference, I heard that the Mount Hermon Christian Writers Conference was looking for a new permanent director. My first thought was I don’t have time for that. But I probably know someone who does. So I started telling colleagues they should check into it. They asked me what the qualifications were. So I found the web page that described what Mount Hermon was looking for … and it was like reading my own résumé! I still thought, But I don’t have the time. And yet, God kept bringing it to my mind. So I prayed, Okay, Lord. On the off chance that this is what You want me to be doing, I’ll fill out the application. But if I get this job, You’ll have to figure out how to fit it into my schedule!

And He did. I was kind of in shock for a few months. But as I’ve been working with the incredible team at Mount Hermon, and realizing more and more that God has blessed me with the skills and contacts needed to do this job well, I’m becoming more comfortable with the idea. I know the folks at Mount Hermon pray a lot over decisions like this. So if they chose me, I’m confident that God chose me. And there’s nowhere better to be than where He wants you.

That is so true. What are the differences and similarities between these two conferences?
To begin with, Mount Hermon has been putting on a writers’ conference for almost fifty years, whereas SoCal is brand new. Each conference has a different faculty, a slightly different focus, and definitely a unique flavor. Mount Hermon runs for four and a half days (six days if you also come for the Pre-conference Next Level Clinic) in April, whereas SoCal is three days in June. Mount Hermon houses conferees in lovely cabins on the retreat center grounds; SoCal has Biola dorm rooms available for a low cost and group discounts at nearby hotels.

Mount Hermon can’t be beat for its inspirational setting, nestled in the gorgeous California redwoods near San Jose, and its awesome atmosphere of worship (especially the ecumenical Palm Sunday service). As a matter of fact, this year’s theme is “Writing as Worship.” It has a lot to offer because they’ve been doing this for such a long time and because there’s a full-time staff of Mount Hermon employees working behind the scenes. Mount Hermon attracts big names in the publishing industry, from best-selling authors to literary agents to acquisitions editors from major book and magazine publishers.

SoCal, on the other hand, takes advantage of its location by encouraging people to “Come for the conference, stay for the fun!” After enjoying three full days packed with inspiring keynote addresses, continuing morning sessions, and informative afternoon workshops, we invite you to stay another day or two and enjoy some Southern California attractions with fellow attendees and faculty members. Wouldn’t you just love to go to Disneyland with a New York Times best-selling novelist? Or sit on the beach with an agent, watching the sun set over the ocean? Or spend a day on a whale-watching cruise with an acquisitions editor from a publishing house? Or take a tour of Hollywood with a professional screenwriter?

Both conferences offer numerous opportunities to find kindred spirits and form lasting friendships with like-minded people. Meet and talk one-on-one with professionals in the Christian publishing industry. And have divine appointments that will shape and advance your writing journey.

Thank you, Kathy, for sharing both your book and the conferences with us. They sound awesome to me. Maybe someday soon, I’ll be able to attend one or both. And I’m eager to get a copy of your new book.

Dear Readers, you can find Kathy Ide at these places on the Internet:

Readers, here are links to the book. By using one when you order, you help support this blog.
Capitalization Dictionary - Paperback
Capitalization Dictionary - Kindle

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Melanie Backus said...

What a beneficial aid!

Melanie Backus, TX

Cindy W. said...

This is a book that would truly help me in my writing.

Cindy W. from Indiana

Kathy Ide said...

I hope you find my Capitalization Dictionary useful. It certainly has saved me time (and a bit of frustration)!

Kathy Ide said...

Have you ever attended a Christian writers' conference? If so, which one, and how was it for you? If not, why not?

Linda McFarland said...

Sounds like a wonderful aid. Thanks for the opportunity to win. Linda from PA

Connie said...

This sounds like a great resource! Thanks for the chance to win.
Connie from KY

Sharon Richmond Bryant said...

Enter me!!
Conway SC.

kam110476 said...

Hi Kathy & Lena! I'm always looking at and in books to help make sure my grammar is fresh, up to par, and that I speak correctly. I've started to write out my own life story to eventually publish one day and, while English Literature was always my favorite and best subject in school, grammar was not so much! Thanks for the chance to win this handy and helpful book.
Kristen in OK