Freelance copy editor or content editor

You write out of a need to communicate, whether that need springs internally or is impressed upon you externally, such as when your boss says “Get that press release done and out of here.”

You have a desire to communicate but you may not be a grammar and punctuation expert. It may have only recently occurred to you that professional-level writing is often a matter of re-writing and editing. You, as a writer, may not want to wear the editor hat. You just want to write and, frankly, that is generally how it’s done: Writers write and editors edit.

You may think that you can’t afford to hire an editor to review your book or your story to ensure that it’s world class before you publish. However, if you are writing for the public and have the slightest insecurity that your work is not 100 percent professional and presentable, then you can’t afford to not hire an editor. The reasons are summed up in Will Rogers’ famous quote: “You never get a second chance to make a first impression.”

Editors can be expensive, particularly if they have a long list of credits and a university degree.

There are plenty of editors, like myself, who didn’t go to prestigious universities and who have not yet edited bestsellers and the like.

A degree from a school with an immediately recognizable name is a good thing to have. However, it’s no guarantee that the degree holder has a “feel” for words, for trains of thought or for the effects writers are seeking to create in their readers.

I have that capacity. I have satisfied customers and my fees are reasonable.

You can find an affordable editor for your book, your web content, your business campaign pieces and whatever else.

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Steve Wagner is a Los Angeles-based freelance copywriter and editor whose clients include American Songwriter magazine, The Hard Truth magazine, the public relations firm MWPR, in Burbank, CA and the diversity consulting organization Global Collaborations, Inc., in Houston, TX. If you are seeking a professional editor, contact him at swagner (at) writer-editor-etc (dot) com and he will be happy to talk with you about your project.

 

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Professional writers use professional editors

There is an old saying of indefinite origin which goes something like this: “An attorney who represents himself in court has a fool for a client.”

In other words, in matters which you find yourself too closely involved, hire someone who will be objective.

This same concept applies to hiring an experience copy editor or content editor for your writing.

Good intentions are good but professional intentions are better.

About a year ago, I purchased a copy of a book that a friend of mine had written and self-published. As I turned the first few pages, I found myself in a state of disbelief at the number of grammar and punctuation errors left in the text. I read a bit further on and encountered choppy transitions and instances where the story jammed up when it should have flowed.

In short, it was evident that no editor had been anywhere near the manuscript. So, despite the fact that this writer had filled his book with bracing and entertaining stories, the overall effect was, to my eyes, careless and amateurish.

That author has a lot of talent and had good intentions with and for his book. However, a good, professional editor would have been objective about the text and would have perfected the author’s work and made it readable by a larger audience (and perhaps would even have made it more attractive to a reputable publisher).

So, what am I saying here?typewriter-blue-dark.jpg

Good intentions are good but professional intentions are better.

Professional writers use professional editors.

When results really matter (as they do when you are publishing something), good intentions in the absence of actual know-how won’t get you very far.  Editors exist because most writers write. They don’t edit.

A professional editor is a fresh pair of eyes. He/she will easily find and effectively correct not only the basics of spelling, grammar and punctuation but will note and correct, among other things, verb tense and subject-verb agreement, person, use of incorrect words, redundancies and sequencing errors that interrupt the flow and transitions in your material. A good editor will amplify and enhance what is good about your work without imposing his/her own personality.

A professional editor is a necessary link in the chain that begins with the inception of your idea (your story, your poems, your business proposal, etc.) and ends with the creation of a positive impression on your readership or customers.

A professional editor is both a business expense and a good investment.

The big boys–newspapers, magazines, publishing houses, court reporting firms and others–all employ professional editors.

So, when it comes to your writing, don’t be like that attorney representing himself in court. If you’re serious about your work, hire a professional editor.

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Steve Wagner is a Los Angeles-based freelance copywriter and editor whose clients include American Songwriter magazine, The Hard Truth magazine, the public relations firm MWPR, in Burbank, CA and the diversity consulting organization Global Collaborations, Inc., in Houston, TX. If you are seeking a professional editor, contact him at swagner (at) writer-editor-etc (dot) com and he will be happy to talk with you about your project.