January 27th, 2011 by Teresa Guest post by Wendy VanHatten, owner of VanHatten Writing Services

Editing Techniques from an Insider

Editors all have their own style, process or technique when they edit a client’s manuscript or written works. Yet their goals are similar…the best result possible for the client. Sounds simple, right? In theory…yes. But take a moment and think of all the different types of writings. There are business brochures, novels of every genre, website copy, author bios, travel articles, how to eBooks…the list goes on forever it seems. Editors play an important part in all types of writing. Have you ever picked up one travel brochure and immediately wanted to go there? Then you look at the next brochure for the same destination and it just didn’t entice you to book your trip? Let’s say you look at shelf full of self-help books in the local bookstore. After picking up several of them and reading their back covers, you only open one. Why? Or maybe you are looking on line for a new florist. One site reads like a dull left-over rose bud and the next one makes you picture a smile-producing response to your delivered bouquet. What does this mean for you as a business owner, a writer or an author? You need to find an editor who will work for you, with you and understand your writing style. And how do you do that? First of all, ask some questions. Has this editor ever worked with your particular type of writing? If you own a business and need your brochures, business cards, promotional pieces and web copy to reflect you and your business…make sure the editor has worked with these types of materials. If that editor has only edited American History novels or engineering text books, perhaps you need to keep looking. For my clients, I begin with a questionnaire. As a start, it gives me an idea of my client’s needs, how they come across when talking about their project or work, what they want to gain from their writing and who their ideal client is. Asking these and additional questions allows me to tailor my questionnaire to my client and their type of writing. Why do I do this? This process allows me to understand the client’s voice which in turn produces a product that reflects the client. Do all editors do this? I don’t know. What I do know is that this has worked for me for years. My clients come away with a brochure that fits them and their business, a best-selling novel, an author bio that fits their book cover or web copy that draws in more readers. What do I charge for this? Nothing extra, it’s included. It’s that valuable to me. Next time you have a written piece that needs some editing, take time to pick the right editor for you. More about Wendy VanHatten: Wendy VanHatten left the corporate world to become a professional freelance writer and editor, assisting authors with their manuscripts. Wendy understands what it takes to get from the blank page to the finished product, as she is a published author of several books. Being an international travel writer, she knows the joy of discovering her articles in a world-wide market. Wendy offers a strong writing and editing background, including speaking engagements and workshops to her clients. Her writing website, VanHatten Writing Services, details her writing services. At www.virtual-author-assistant.com she works with a professional team to provide complete services for authors. Several times a week you can find travel tips and destination pieces on her blog, Travels and Escapes. She also blogs for The Reporter in Vacaville, CA. Wendy has taught courses at the college level regarding health care administration, career writing, effective communication, success for women, and goal setting.