Whether your publishing project is a print project or digital, editors are valuable assets that can help your project succeed. In fact, many projects succeed based on the strengths the editor can bring to the project.
Like any professional, editors have their strengths and weaknesses. Some are better at proofreading while others are great at time management. Whatever the strengths of the editor, however, if the editor is any good at his or her job, your editor will be able to benefit any publishing project you have in at least five powerful ways.
Here are some ways that even an average editor should be able to assist you with any publishing project:
- Keep it on deadline – Editors must be good at time management. Not only should an editor be good at managing his own time well, but he should also be able to manage the time of your other team members. That could include writers, photographers, graphic artists, sound technicians, coders and developers, and more. One of the editor’s primary roles is to keep a publishing project on deadline.
- Grammar, spelling, and language consistency – Depending on the editor’s skill, he or she can do all the proofreading or delegate this task to another team member. In many organizations, the job of proofreading is shared among members of the staff, including the editor. However your project is organized, it is the editor’s job to ensure grammar, spelling, and other language flaws are minimal and that your publishing project ends with a clean, smooth finish.
- Make it visually appealing – It’s also the editor’s job to ensure a publishing project is visually appealing. To accomplish this task, an editor must be skilled at working with page layout and design tools, images, and other tools to make a page look attractive to a reader. If it’s a blog post, the editor should be familiar with the leading blog software available on the market today. If it’s a print product, the editor may be familiar with one or more of the several layout and design tools available for print publishing projects. An editor should also be familiar with basic photo editing tools, and, at the very least, he should be able to communicate with graphic artists in such a way that the artist can take the editor’s vision and produce artwork that fits in with the editor’s goal for an article or page–either print or digital. Making content visually appealing is one of the most important task’s for any editor.
- Ensure the right people are on the right tasks – An editor must be able to manage people. He may work alone if a project calls for that, but there are several types of editing roles that require interaction with other staff members. In that case, an editor must be able to identify the skills of his staff or freelancers and pair up each project with the person with the right skills and interests.
- Focus all efforts on the project’s purpose – Every publishing project should have a stated purpose. The editor’s job is to keep that purpose on the forefront of her mind until the project is finished. Not only should she ensure the project meets its deadline, but she must also ensure all the moving parts work together such that the publishing project meets its stated purpose. That could be education, entertaining, a combination of the two, or something else entirely.
What Kind of Publishing Projects Require Editors?
Now that you understand what an editor does, let’s talk about the kinds of projects you might hire an editor to manage.
- Blog – A blog post editor performs all the functions of an editor for a single blog post as well as for the entire blog. Some companies have multiple blogs, and each may have its own editor. It’s also common for a marketing director or content marketing staff person to serve as the editor for the company blog.
- Books and E-books – Book and e-book editors perform all the required tasks for a book or e-book project. Sometimes that includes the creation of the book or e-book cover. The editor should be concerned with the internal content of the book as well as the external (book cover, back page, spine, etc.).
- Content marketing – Some companies use a content strategist or content marketing director instead of an editor. In such cases, the content marketing strategist, or the person responsible for executing a company’s content strategy, performs the same tasks as an editor plus the additional task of planning the content calendar. In some cases, divisional labor may have large companies divide editorial tasks among several members of the staff. They may even hire a freelancer to edit specific projects such as e-books and white papers.
- Email newsletters – Email newsletters typically fall under the content marketing umbrella, but if they are news-oriented, they could also fall under the category of digital publication. An email newsletter editor accomplishes all the tasks of an editor for the email publication.
- Print products – Think of any digital or online publishing project and there is a print equivalent: Books, magazines, news publications, newsletters, etc. They all need editors.
- Publication – A publication can be an online or a print publication. Either way, a publication editor is typically a full-time role, but it often depends on the size of the publication and how often it publishes.
- Website content – Even website content needs editing. This could be the web designer or it could be a website development project manager. It could also be a content strategist who is responsible for hiring the developer and other website design team members. Every organization structures its website development team differently. Somewhere in the mix, however, is someone (and it could be multiple people serving in different roles) who handles the editing tasks.
- White papers – White papers are special reports that are often used by B2B companies to explain the finer details of a particular challenge or problem common to a group of businesses. The white paper deals with the problem and the solution using a soft marketing approach. While a white paper writer may serve as its editor, quite often the editor is different than the writer and is responsible for ensuring the project meets the deadline, is well-written and well-edited, is well-researched and well-sourced, and is formatted correctly with a visually appealing design.
Editors also serve in other roles not mentioned. For instance, mobile apps often need someone to ensure the content is well-written, well-edited, and well-designed. Game developers also use editors, as do video project creators. Where ever there is content that needs to be written and presented well, you’ll find an editor.
Are you looking for an editor for your next project?
I hope you’ll consider Taylored Content LLC.