Tag Archive | editor

20 questions

Dear PR folks… before you send me or other reporters, editors, bloggers your press release(s), answer these questions honestly…

1. Have you ever read anything that the reporter, editor or blogger has written?  If so, have they ever written anything about the topic/subject of your press release?

2. Is this breaking news, a really interesting story or something your client wants to tell others and you don’t have the nerve or knowledge or expertise to tell them that this is not newsworthy?

3.  Do you know if your client’s competitors have written on this topic ? If so, what angle did they take on it?  If not, why not?

4. Is the copy longer than 300-400 words? Can you make it shorter?

5. Are there any typos, grammatical or spelling errors?

6. Have you fact-checked all statistics and confirmed quotes?

7. Do you know how the reporter, editor or blogger prefers to be pitched?  Are you following their preferences?

8. Have you personalized the story/pitch to each reporter, editor or blogger?

9. Do you follow the reporter, editor or blogger on Twitter and know what they like to discuss so you can pitch them intelligently?

10. Is your pitch a sales pitch, advertising or news?  Do you know the difference?

11. Is the reporter, editor or blogger male or female?  Does that matter in how you approach them?

12. Have you included a phone number with your pitch in case the reporter, editor or blogger wants to talk to you?

13. Are you sending attachments with the press release?

14. Do you follow-up with the press release with numerous emails and phone calls?

15. Are the links accessible without having to register or subscribe to a website?

16. How is your timing?  Do you know the reporter, editor or blogger’s deadline?

17. Does your press release/pitch have an intriguing title/subject matter ?

18. Can you sum up the pitch/story message in ONE sentence/ or 30 seconds?

19. Is your message controversial, timely and/or a different take on a subject and adds to the topic/subject?

20. What is your client’s expertise about this topic?

editor or proofreader?

The lines can seem blurry… what is the difference between proofreading and editing, you wonder, scratching your head.

Should you hire an editor or a proofreader for your manuscript (book)?  Often writers with limited funds make decisions upon the fee quoted rather than on what they require for the project. These days agents and publishers expect a professionally edited and proofread manuscript. They also expect writers to promote their own books.  It can seem confusing and daunting where to go and what to do next. You’ve written a draft or you’ve written and revised and edited and need a second pair of eyes to look at your material. Now what?

In this competitive world, it is important to know the difference between editing and proofreading and act accordingly.

The difference between the tasks of an Editor and a Proofreader can be compared to the services of a professional dog trainer such as Victoria Stilwell and a dog walker. The former has many years of practical experience, a multitude of resources, tools and techniques at her fingertips and invaluable connections in the book publishing industry, media and other related fields. Editing involves more time, energy and work and a broader range of skills, and can take longer to edit a piece of written material than it does to proofread. The latter is a task that involves checking for typos, grammatical mistakes, spelling errors, and punctuation. It takes a certain amount of practice, experience and training to proofread effectively. Proofreaders point out the errors according to a style guide usually.

An editor also proofreads plus rewrites material, makes suggestions for revisions, moving Chapter 23 to Chapter 1 or vice versa (move material around) and goes beyond checking for mechanical errors. An editor checks for readability, fact checks, and suggests additions and deletions to the material. An editor seeks to make sure that the artistic integrity of your written material is maintained. In other words, an editor has a grasp for the entire bigger picture while a proofreader focuses more narrowly upon words and sentences and paragraphs rather than the entire manuscript and its intended purpose.

An editor also is a creative partner, working closely with the writer. The editor seeks to fulfill the writers expectations of creating the best book possible while a proofreader has more of a piecemeal focus and approach.

Depending upon the goals, intention and expectations of the writer, ie, to produce a more polished piece of work in order to get it published,  or to hone the material to take it to the next level, will determine whether an editor or a proofreader is the right person for the job at hand. So it is important for the writer to know the difference between the jobs to know what they require.

The ultimate responsibility to accept or reject each correction or edit is in the hands of the writer.  Don’t skimp on your project by hiring a proofreader when you require the skill and expertise of an editor. And if you seek only proofreading services not editing, make that clear to the person that you hire.

If you have any questions or comments or experiences to share, please do tell. Thanks.