The word “editor” is used by companies in two very different ways.
As a freelancer, you need to understand what it means to be asked to be an editor. If your client is not clear about your editing responsibilities, ask.
Fortunately, I’ve done both types of editing so I’ll help you out in this post by describing both types of editors.
Editor Type #1: Grammar and All That
This is what most people think of when they think of an editor–the person with the red pencil who looks for errors in your writing.
It’s certainly not easy to be this kind of editor. Often, this editor is dreaded or hated by other writers.
Usually this type of editing involves not only a detailed knowledge of writing conventions, but also a thoroughness that many lack. What many writers don’t realize is that editors go over the material more than once. When I edit material in this way, I try to review it at least three times.
Also, most writers who provide editing services also offer different levels of editing. Levels of editing can range from correcting obvious spelling and grammar errors to rewriting the material.
There’s another individual who holds the editor title, though.
Editor Type #2: The Manager
This type of editor functions more like a publication manager although they hold the editor title. This individual may, or may not, also check content for grammar errors.
This editor selects and schedules content for a publication or website. It’s also likely that this editor makes assignments and sets deadlines.
The editor/manager may work with a staff, or he or she may rely on freelancers and guest contributions. I’ve used both a staff and guest contributions in the past.
What do you think of when you think of editing responsibilities?
Have you been a freelance editor? Which type? Share your experiences.