Intro to Editors is a series that explores what editors do in the context of solo and small business owners. Read the rest of the series here.
People often assume that editing just means fixing typos.
Or they imagine a copywriter or a writing coach.
Or they imagine a magazine editor deciding which articles will be published and which will be trashed.
Or they’re really not entirely sure what an editor does at all, much less how one might help them. They know the term, but the details are too hazy to be useful.
Honestly? That’s totally understandable. There are editors of all different stripes who specialize in certain kinds of texts or focus on a particular part of the process. On top of that, the last experience most people had with editing was in school, when a teacher would hand back an essay covered in red pen. How does that carry over to the world of online small businesses?
No wonder it’s confusing!
What many solo and small business owners don’t realize is how helpful an editor’s input can be.
Have you ever…
- Created (or wanted to create) a digital product like a course, ebook, or mailing list freebie but not felt good enough about it to put it out into the world?
- Stared at your website and known something about the text was off but felt lost as to how to fix it?
- Wanted to bounce ideas off of someone objective as you plan or relaunch your website or digital product?
- Wished you were more confident writing in your own voice or worried the copy on your website is phony or flat?
There’s an editor out there who can help you with those things and more. Depending on her specialty, a good editor can help you shape your site copy or digital product from the spark of an idea or ensure the end result is the most polished of finished products.
To get maximum benefit from an editor’s expertise, though, you have to understand some basics.
An editor’s job might seem mysterious, but it really isn’t.
Over the next few weeks, as part of my Intro to Editors series, we’ll lift the veil, peek behind the curtain, and pry open the black box. We’ll take a look at what kinds of editors are out there, what part of the process each one focuses on, and how to know which one(s) might be right for your next project. I’ll also introduce you to a client or two of mine who will tell you, in their own words, what the experience of working with this particular developmental editor was really like.
Today, we’ll start at the beginning: the underlying purpose of an editor’s work, no matter what her specialty might be.
It’s quite simple. (At least, my version is!) Ready?
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No matter what her specialty — and the details can vary greatly — the core of an editor’s work is about helping you get your message to your readers loud and clear. So editors help you communicate clearly and effectively with your right people.
Each of the editing types we’ll discuss throughout this series contributes to that overarching goal. From developmental editors, who can work with you before you even have a full first draft finished, to proofreaders, who look for errors in projects that are all laid out and ready to go, the end goal is clarity between you and the people who read your work.