A year after my original post, my Copy Editors Matter ‘handout’ has been shared around the editing community on social media.
It’s a lovely thing to see. You put your heart and soul into something and people just ‘get it’.
The image has been shared, commented on and even added to other websites. That’s good, I made it to share.
But it’s being shared among editors.
What we really need is for it to be shared among companies and publishers.
Why do editors matter?
Here’s the original image:
If you’re an editor you know why we matter.
We’re the often invisible quality check. We make writers and businesses look good. We polish the text, check it for errors, and make sure it’s fit for purpose.
But some people still don’t get it.
You’re sitting in your office (or on the train, or in the pub), you come across this nugget of an image on Twitter or Facebook and barely give it a glance. Why should copy editors matter to you? The original post was written about the New York Times laying off their in-house teams and the backlash that it created.
You’re an entrepreneur – a businessman or businesswoman. You’ve set up your own business (perhaps you sell artisan spirits, or cakes, or soap or beard trimming kits). You spend all your free time tweaking your website, or thinking of new ways to get your business out there. Your time is limited.
Why on earth should copy editors matter to you?
Copy editors don’t just work with publishers. They don’t just work with authors either.
Copy editors work with businesses to get their message, and their content, out there.
Did you realise that if your website is vague and full of typos it won’t rank well on Google?
Did you also realise that if you’ve written something with the wrong target audience in mind it won’t have the reach you expect?
Copy editors matter for your business because:
Yes, it’s the same information as the original image.
But it’s as valid for business as it is for publishing.
It’s difficult when you’re a copy editor and you come across a business that really needs help. Do you approach them quietly and let them know? Would they take offence? Probably.
Recently I’ve come across a few artisan businesses who could do with some help. It’s often nothing major, but enough to make me wonder if the product was as good as they reckon, because the website wasn’t functioning as a ‘designer’ or bespoke business should.
I took a punt on one and bought the product. It was very well made and of the highest quality – but how many people have been put off by the spelling errors across the website and the blog? And the lack of a business ‘voice’? Ok, I’m getting into copywriting territory here (need a copywriter for your artisan business? I’m your gal. Contact me).
So let’s get the message out there.
If you’re a business, an entrepreneur or a sole trader trying to make a living, consider hiring a copy editor to give your business a boost.
If you hire a copy editor and they’ve helped you – tell people.
If you’re a copy editor take every opportunity to tell the business community how you can help them (even if you only work with publishers or authors).
Copy editors still matter, and you’ll miss them when they’re gone.