When you ask me to edit or proofread, what exactly do you mean?

14th January 2019 | Posted in Blogging, book, Editing, Marketing communications

  You know what you want. But do I? “Editing” and its sibling “proofreading” are words that mean everything and nothing. So it pays to make sure we agree. Let’s take the examples of Jack and Susu (who are not really called Jack and Susu but they are real customers). Jack is way out of […]

How do you say ‘I’m sorry but your book is dire’?

15th November 2018 | Posted in book, Editing

As editor of the When They Get Older website, I’ve been reviewing gift ideas for grandparents. It’s a regular list we compile for holidays and special days, and I often get sent books to review. Generally, they’re worth a mention. But this one, this year. Oh dear. The joys of self-publication. I don’t want to […]

Board member bios. Why so dry?

19th September 2018 | Posted in Branding, Editing, Web content, Website

When I wrote my book on B2B copywriting, I devoted a section to writing for websites. Content for websites, said I, should be in line with the tone of voice determined by the company. In many cases that means professional, approachable and easy to consume. The one exception is the page of bios for the […]

Reviewing a newsletter

5th November 2014 | Posted in Editing

I’ve just done a quick and dirty review of a business newsletter for a networking buddy. As I’ve tried to provide constructive criticism in a general sort of way, I thought it might be helpful to share a few thoughts with the world. Many of these comments apply to just about any marketing collateral. 1. […]

Clients, copywriters and correct writing

29th November 2012 | Posted in Editing

Now here’s something I never thought I would write. It’s certainly something that my children would be disturbed to see me say, given their strict use of English upbringing. The truth is I now believe it is possible to be too correct about grammar. This is a bit of a revelation, as I also believe […]

Preserving brand voices in a multi-authored book

30th August 2012 | Posted in Editing

A few months ago, I edited an e-book bringing together the knowledge and skills of networking colleagues to give advice to anyone setting up a small business. Our contributors could talk from experience and training about finance, marketing, creating content, time management and how to still take time for yourself as an entrepreneur. In a […]

The return of the red pen

2nd November 2011 | Posted in Editing

Never sure whether to reveal my longevity in this business, but when I started editing copy, there was no Microsoft Word or markup highlights to turn on. What we used was the red pen. Big, fat, inky, satisfying red pens. And we would whizz through hard copy content, using the standard copy-editing and proofreading marks […]

Yes, grammar does matter!

18th November 2009 | Posted in Editing

I have just read a blog on 28 tips for successful sales copy. (That’s a lot – people usually just stick with ten or even five Top Tips.) I totally agreed on 27 of the points, about understanding the product, targeting the message to the audience, and selling the benefits rather than the features. There […]

Is grammar a matter of class?

18th July 2009 | Posted in Editing

A contributor to the letters page of a UK national paper at the weekend wrote that he had offered his services as a proofreader to his local Member of Parliament after browsing the MP’s web site. The MP replied by suggesting that concern about grammar over content smacked of a continuation of class war. Now […]

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