Q&A: Where can you find and engage a professional copy or content editor?

You can find quite a choice by searching online. The trick is to know who is good, and are their charges reasonable.

To find out who is good, prepare a sample text of a page or two and send it out to a shortlist of likely candidates to edit.

Most good and busy copyeditors may refuse to do this on spec, so be prepared to offer to pay—it may cost you a bit, but if you need a copyeditor on a regular basis, or for an important book, it’s worth the investment.

However, I routinely do such on-spec editing when preparing cost estimates for new clients, because unlike many editors, I charge on a sliding scale, based on the amount of changes done to the text (since it stands to reason and is only fair that someone whose text is well-written should pay less than someone whose text needs a lot of work). It also makes my charging calculation transparent, so the client knows that I’m not plucking the word rate out of the air:

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Advice to budding (or prospective) translators

Someone asked on a translators’ forum today for advice on whether they should make the leap to become a full-time translator.

My advice to him—and to anyone else considering this—was “Don’t. Let the workload dictate how much time you devote to it—not the other way around.”

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