Ways to Become a Better Editor
Listen, whoever said editing was easy was lying. The problem with editing our own work is that sometimes our minds tell us to write something and we process the information so quickly that we swear we got it right. Even after reading over our work three and four times we couldn't detect the errors. I theorize that this happens because we know what we intended to write so even as we are reading at a normal speed we are going back to that same idea we had as we wrote the line.
"She was hopping and praying that she got the job." What an unnatural combination, right?
Take a look at these things that you can start doing today to become a better self-editor today:
1. Use spelling/grammar checkers. Especially if you're dyslexic like I am.
2. Read slowly and out loud. Be sure to pause at every single punctuation mark.
3. Don't depend on spelling/grammar checkers. I know I said use spell/grammar checkers but they aren't always right. If you're really unsure look it up.
4. Use the highlighter functions on your writing software to highlight areas that don't sound right to you so you can go back and edit for clarity later.
5. Review the text more than once and if you really want to be badass more than twice.
Protecting Yourself AND Your Client
The fact of the matter is that some writers don't edit (or proofread for that matter) and if they do they want to charge extra. I'm not saying that you have to edit your work but if these details aren't spoken about prior to accepting work and payment, chances are the client is going to expect you to hand in an error free project. This is especially true if you get paid a pretty penny for your work. If they're paying fairly they are going to expect for you to return the favor.
Here are ways editing protects you and the client:
1. There are no surprise comments about typos or mistakes in public reviews.
2. You save yourself from having the awkward "were you waiting for me to pay extra" conversation with your client.
3. The project is finished upon receipt.
4. It shows your client that you take pride in your work and respect them and their business.
Unless Otherwise Stated
Some clients like to look over the written work themselves. I can't say for certain why this is. I am personally the kind of writer who likes to proofread and edit before handing a project in (unless it's a rough copy). I don't charge extra for this if the project is small but if the project is large I will tack on and editing fee. Why?
The end project more than likely will not reflect what you think looks or sound good rather what the client paid you for. If they don't like 60 percent of what you wrote or ask you to delete half of the content you wrote you're going to be mad. You sat and spent tens of hours doing your best to provide the client with the perfect end result and here it is they don't like the tone or want to change direction.
Oh and by the Way
Not charging for editing can be a huge mistake or a blessing. The good thing about not charging extra is that it may entice more clients to order your work. The bad thing is that it may cause you to be under compensated for your efforts. Obviously whether or not your charge for edits is completely and totally up to you but here's how to know when you should at least consider to edit:
1. The project is large.
2. You are ghostwriting an eBook.
3. You are working on a project that will be distributed (manuscript/manual/case study).
4. You don't want to not be compensated for the labor needed to complete a project.
Do you charge to edit? If so, how much? If not, tell us why in the comments below.