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Are Editing Services Right For You?

Whether it’s a best-selling novel, a peer reviewed research report, or an important business document, every project benefits from undergoing an editorial process – indeed a talented editor is worth their weight in gold.

What is the Editorial Process?

Any editorial process involves a written piece of work being evaluated by someone other than the author. This occurs prior to submitting it to its final destination – before you hand in that report, novel, or proposal to be judged or shared publicly. Having an editor appraise your work is extremely helpful as they will look at it through a fresh pair of eyes, and will pick up on issues that you may have overlooked. They will then either recommend changes which should be made or incorporate those changes directly into the material themselves.

The level of editing which takes place will rely entirely upon what has been agreed between you and the editor; however, some or all of the following will be included:

  • Proofreading for spelling mistakes and grammatical errors.
  • Searching for unneeded information, tightening up the piece to convey information as efficiently as possible.
  • Looking for ambiguous or confusing sentence structure, often shortening more elaborate sentences for easier reading.
  • Changing the structure and flow of the overall piece, sometimes altering the order of paragraphs to more logically build an argument.
  • General critiquing of the material to help improve its quality.

Are Web Based Editors worth Hiring?

In the past writers had limited options when it came to hiring an editor. Often they would be charged a huge fee due to there being so few practising professional editors, particularly in specialised areas. In recent times this has changed drastically, as countless individuals have set up their own editing services via the web. With no need to be saddled by the costs of business premises, this new breed of editor can work from home, dealing entirely with clients and their written works by email.

This trend has been accompanied by both a positive and negative outcome for those seeking an editor. Due to the sheer number of web-based editors, the cost of having someone edit your manuscript, research paper, or business document has tumbled. It is now possible to hire an editor fairly cheaply, which has opened the door to those who previously would not have been able to afford the clear advantage of working with an editor.

The negative aspect to this is that anyone can claim to be an editor. They can set up a website and start advertising as someone who has the experience and talent to seriously contribute to your written project. It is therefore a possibility that you could hire the wrong person to edit your work and end up in a worse position than when you started.

Despite this, there are many web-based editors who are affordable and talented, not to mention that due to working online they are often easy to contact and communicative. As the customer, you have to make sure as best you can that they are able to provide the service you require.

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What to Look For in a Good Web Based Editor

There are a number of ways that you can check to see if an editor is worth hiring:

  • Word of mouth is always a great way to evaluate the quality of an editor’s work. If you know someone who has already had a good experience with a specific online editor, then they are probably safe to hire.
  • Look at their website. While it is not always a measure of quality, a well presented website shows that they are serious about their business.
  • Testimonials are another good indication of quality. If their website contains written testimonials from previous customers or a previous client list, then it might be worth firing off an email to a few of them, asking what their experience of that editor was.
  • Examples of previous work are helpful. Some editors will provide an example of a document before and after being edited by them. This is a great way to evaluate their talent. Look to see if you think the material has been improved, flows better, is more efficient, and contains no typos.
  • Remember to make sure that they have previous experience in editing the type of material you will be submitting. Some editors may be great at dealing with research reports, but have no idea how to improve a business document or novel, for example.

Conclusion

The editing process is an essential one if you want your written material to be as good as it can be. A good editor will help you improve almost every aspect of it and will leave you with a polished, professional product. Web-based editors can be just as talented as any – and a good deal cheaper – but just make sure that you have researched them and their work before parting with your hard earned cash, otherwise you may be disappointed by the outcome.