Editor’s Perspective: Why Hire an Editor?
The work that editors do is sometimes undervalued. Of course, as a professional editor, I may be a little biased, but if people could see the work that goes on behind-the-scenes—before a brochure, a book, or even a website is published—they would see the amazing contributions editors make. (Heck, before I post these posts, they go through several iterations to get them just right.)
If you’re on the fence about whether to hire an editor for your next brochure, book, website, blog post, or other writing project, consider these five reasons why hiring an editor is worth it.
1. To get a better product and save time. Whatever you’re writing, after you have an editor review it, the copy should be in an even better state than it was before. An editor may even save you time in the long run, since you don’t have to spend time reviewing your writing for the umpteenth time.
2. To catch errors you might miss. This may seem obvious, but good editors have a keen attention to detail. They see things the writer may not see. With a fresh pair of eyes, an editor will catch any typos you may have overlooked, word usage and spelling errors your word processor’s spelling and grammar check didn’t catch, and gaps in the information presented.
3. To ensure your readers will understand what you write. A good editor will approach your work from the vantage point of your target audience. For example, if you’re writing for teens, but reference the “Saved By The Bell” TV show or “CD-ROMs,” an editor can kindly suggest using more appropriate examples the audience can relate to. If you’re writing for genealogy beginners and you use the acronym FHL, the editor may suggest spelling out the full name of the Family History Library on the first reference so the reader knows what the acronym means.
Plus, if a sentence (or paragraph) just doesn’t make sense, an editor can suggest a way to rewrite it so readers can understand what you’re trying to say.
4. To focus your writing. Sometimes when I write, I do so much research and get so much great information that I just want to put it all in one article. It’s difficult to leave great stuff on the cutting room floor. But overloading a communication piece or article with too many words or too much information could dilute your message and its impact.
An editor can take an objective look at what you’ve written and then suggest places where you can make it more concise, where the focus needs to be shifted to have a greater impact, or where you can re-organize paragraphs to help the copy flow better.
5. To ensure consistency. You’ve seen me blog about consistency and editorial style before, but this is key in creating professional-quality communications materials or publications. For example, do you want to use email or e-mail? Should quotations be attributed with said or says? Do you capitalize job titles?
An editor can make sure the voice and style is consistent throughout your digital or print publication.
Interested in hiring an editor? Contact Dana’s Creative Services to discuss your project and your editing needs.
About Dana’s Creative Services
Dana’s Creative Services is a writing and editing services company that helps businesses communicate better with their target audiences. Dana McCullough, owner of Dana’s Creative Services, writes and edits copy for brochures, newsletters, websites, blogs, magazines, and books. Her clients include universities, nonprofit organizations, magazine publishers, and book publishers nationwide. Dana has a bachelor’s degree in journalism and frequently writes and edits copy on higher education, genealogy/family history, health, and business topics.
Mount Mary Website Redesign
My colleagues at Mount Mary University (formerly Mount Mary College) launched the redesign of their website early in September. The university completely revamped its website, including all of the content.
I assisted the university with its website project by writing several pages of content and editing copy for a majority of pages on the new website. Check out the redesigned university website. Particularly see the Fast Facts, About Milwaukee, A Women’s University and Academic Excellence pages, which I wrote for the site.
If you’d like to see samples of pages I edited (original content vs. edited content), please contact me.
Family History and Technology
Before I entered the world of higher education communications and marketing, I was an assistant editor at Family Tree Magazine. Working at this magazine started a new passion to research my own family history. I continue to research my family history today, and I continue to write (and sometimes edit) article for the magazine.
So far in 2013, Family Tree Magazine has published three articles I’ve written about technology tools for genealogists—a software review on Saving Memories Forever, a quick guide to tablet computers, and a quick guide on password managers.
The Saving Memories Forever software review is available online (subscription required) and the quick guides are available as digital downloads in the magazine’s online store.