James Hyder, founder, editor, and publisher of LF Examiner, the newsletter of the giant-screen film industry, is now offering his services as a freelance copy editor.

Why do I need a copy editor?

If you have any written material that will be seen by the public, or by anyone whose good opinion is important to you, the answer is yes, you need an editor.

The document in question could be as short as a one-page résumé, or as long as a 600-page novel, but if it is critical that it present you or your organization in the best possible light, you need someone who will work with you to make sure that it accomplishes all your goals.

What does a copy editor do?

Many people think that all a copy editor does is correct typos, put commas in the right places, and see that “it’s” isn’t used where “its” belongs. That process is more properly called “proofreading,” and is only a relatively small part of copy editing.

A copy editor’s task is much bigger. He or she reviews the entire document to ensure that it expresses the author’s views as clearly and effectively as possible. A copy editor considers the overall structure of a work, makes sure it is internally consistent, and may also check facts, if desired. Where a document is expected to follow an established style guide (Chicago, MLA, AP, etc.) the copy editor makes sure it does so.

In the case of works on which many writers have collaborated, the editor helps smooth out inconsistencies in style, tone, and expression.

Can’t I do that myself?

If you’ve done much writing, you may have had the unwelcome experience of finding mistakes in your work after it was too late to correct them. They might be simple typos or words out of place, clumsy phrasings or math errors, or some other flaws you just didn’t catch. It’s hard to edit your own work, because you know what you are trying to say, and it’s very easy to see what you think you wrote instead of what you actually wrote. A skilled second set of eyes can provide the objectivity that even the best writers need.

What sort of projects can you help me with?

Any document for which it is important that your thoughts be expressed as clearly and as flawlessly as possible. It might be professional, like a grant proposal, Web site, or film script, or personal, like a résumé, dissertation, or novel.

Here are a few samples.

Professional

  • Grant proposal
  • Staff handbook
  • Technical manual
  • Web site
  • Press release
  • Newspaper/magazine article
  • Exhibit script
  • Film/video script

Personal

  • Résumé
  • Term paper
  • Dissertation
  • Doctoral thesis
  • Academic paper
  • Short story
  • Novel

How much will it cost me?

Pricing is determined by a number of factors, including the length of the document, turnaround time, and the level of editing desired: from light proofreading for small mistakes to deep editing with an eye to bigger structural issues, possibly including fact checking.

Once you bring me a project, we’ll determine the level of service you want and I’ll provide a flat rate, based on the length of the document. That way you know what my service will cost, with no surprises.

Why James Hyder?

Click here for more information about me.

Okay, let’s get started!

Great! Send me an e-mail or call me and tell me all about your project.

It’s never too early to begin working with your editor. Obviously, I’m happy to work on your finished manuscript, but you don’t have to wait until it’s done, or even partly done, to get in touch with me. Even before you’ve put pen to paper, I may be able to help you shape the structure of your project and develop your ideas.

So don’t wait! Get in touch today!