Copy Editing

Copy Editing: From editing to ghostwritten revisions

Quality control for all your content

Many of my clients are excellent writers. And I’m not just tossing air kisses at them. They’re brilliant, respected experts who are sought after for their thought leadership, white papers, ideas and seminars.

A few are best-selling authors.

But they’re also smart enough to know that a second pair of eyes and writer’s ears can make their content stronger. So, they hire me to edit their work before it hits the presses or appears on a computer screen. Others hire me to revise it so that it’s as clear, conversational and readable as it can be. Here are the five most common editing services companies and senior executives request from me.


5 Reasons why you may need a good copy editor:

  1. You’re too smart for your own good

No, I’m not trying to flatter you. Certain people leading certain fields would benefit from commissioning an impartial editor. And not just for grammar and typos. In my experience, the geniuses in technology, medicine, science and finance can be so caught up in their concepts, and so brainy, only they understand what they’ve written. 

Or, they assume that everyone knows a particular theory or concept.

So, to prevent them from writing above their audience’s heads, or getting lost in jargon, they bring me in. I play the role of the slightly above-average reader, and I then edit accordingly. After all, even other equally geeky, brilliant readers like you want their white papers to be interesting and concise.

  1. English as a Second Language (ESL) revisions

Many of my clients speak English nearly as well as a native. However, when they need to write a white paper, a report, or a book, they lose their conversational tone. They get tripped up by American idioms and common phrases. (Real example: You can bet on it vs. You can gamble on it.)

In addition to classic copy editing, I do a few ESL passes to make sure everything sounds as if it was written for a native audience.

  1. Many writers. One editor to ensure a common tone

One of my regular assignments is to be the offsite senior editor for an international software development training company. Last year they published hundreds of white papers, written by dozens of different writers.

As you’d expect, each of them has a different writing style. So, along with offering conventional editing (repairing run-on sentences, following grammar rules, or removing redundancies), I act as a style and voice filter. I make sure each writer’s work matches your company’s style guidelines while maintaining their distinctive voice. 

  1. Another pair of eyes

When you’re doing your own editing, it’s common to miss minor errors. You think you see words that are actually missing because your mind’s eye inserts them. Or, because you know what you meant, you can’t be objective about whether your meaning is coming through to a new reader. For all kinds of writers, I am that critical extra pair of eyes, pushing back politely.

  1. You need someone to finish what you started

I know, you’re busy — perhaps too busy to complete the writing assignments you gave yourself. So, sometimes the editor becomes the ghostwriter. After all, who better to finish your piece than the person who’s been editing it? You can give me an assignment at any stage: written entirely, half baked, or half bullet points. (Or all bullet points. I won’t tell).

I’ll take it the rest of the way. And you’ll get the credit.

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