Many writers/content creators/businesses with any web presence may be asking why an editor or copyeditor is needed. It is an extra expense after all, and everyone wants to minimize expenses. Forewarning, I am biased because I’m an editor and I think we are super needed (duh!), especially in the digital world.
1. YOU NEED AN EDITOR TO BUILD TRUST
People are more educated than ever. Whether you are working on your first ebook, developing product descriptions for your online store, creating regular content for your blog with a large following, building a website for your business, or publishing a magazine, readers will notice mistakes in content (whether those are simple grammatical mistakes, or larger mistakes such as not obtaining permission for quoted material or checking a fact before publishing).
Unfortunately, mistakes can lessen credibility or professionalism. Readers (whether in print or on the web) appreciate and trust clean, correct, and well-developed content.
2. YOU NEED AN EDITOR BECAUSE YOUR MOM ISN’T AN EDITOR
(Unless she is, then our apologies assuming she isn’t. If she is, we like her already and think she's the best.)
Oftentimes I hear prospective clients say things along the lines of: “I have a friend who is an elementary school librarian who has already done the first round of editing,” or “I am an economics professor with a doctorate and won’t need a copyeditor,” or “our content coordinator looks over all copy prior to posting.”
Unless your generous elementary school librarian friend, your economics professor self, or your content coordinator is extremely well versed in English grammar and usage and reputable style guides, you probably need an editor.
You don't have a accounting grad to represent your legal case in court because they took one business class. You don't have your brother to do surgery on your leg because he took biology as an elective freshman year. You don't have a killer fashion designer build your house from the foundation up because you love their style.
You have an editor be your editor because they know what they are doing.
3. YOU NEED AN EDITOR BECAUSE EVERYONE NEEDS AN EDITOR
I already declared I am biased, but it’s true: smart editors and copyeditors who also create content know they also need their work reviewed with a fine-toothed comb by another editor. (Side note: are you a budding copyeditor looking to build your portfolio? I need one, too!)
When we write content—even if we have an excellent understanding of the appropriate use of the English language and a preferred style guide—we tend to overlook our own mistakes because our brain fills in the blanks of what we know should already be there.
Even if you are the BEST WRITER EVER you need a trusty copyeditor. EVEN IF YOU ARE AN EDITOR YOURSELF. Trust me, you’ll find mistakes all over this blog, most likely. If you do, report one here.
It takes a village to polish content and make it great, in order to increase the trust and appreciation of your audience. Have a need or more questions? Contact me today!