I’m not sure if it’s a blur or a very fine line…either way it’s often very hard to demarcate the difference between copywriting and editing.
Of course, that’s not what clients want to hear. Quite understandably they often want a price list of clearly defined services. They can then pick what they want and do the mental arithmetic at the same time; very much as if they were in a restaurant deciding on what to eat.
Unfortunately things in the writing business are not always that simple. Obviously when a client gives us a blank sheet of paper (or should I say a clean Word document), with nothing on it, and we have to write their copy from scratch, then that’s a copywriting job.
But if we are given a draft ‘just to look through and improve’ this can mean a whole range of services. There are clients who surprise us (and themselves) because their writing is in fact very good. Alas, for others the opposite is sometimes the case.
To get a piece of copy up to scratch, so that it’s ‘fit for purpose’ so to speak, can require anything from a quick read through to a total rewrite. The structure, style, tone, voice and language of the piece can be altered to ensure that it’s right for its intended readership. This probably means that some parts are completely rewritten, while others are chopped and tweaked.
The reality is that often one piece of copy can have a number of different treatments, even if it’s only a few hundred words long.
For this reason we don’t dwell on the difference between the various editorial services available. We concentrate on the quality, experience and versatility of the person working on the copy. A good writer will edit, restructure, reposition, cut, crop and proofread a piece to get it into shape.
This may mean that at the Restaurant ProseWorks the menu seems short, and the prices very similar, but what you do get is a quality product, whatever you order.