Why Every Writer Needs a Good Copy Edit – Great Advice from Freelancers Union! | Margaret Langstaff


I’d like to introduce Margaret Langstaff’s blog here today, The Langstaff Retort. I’m wondering how many here are familiar with Margaret? In her words:


Reporting from the Busy Intersection of Literature and Life (by Margaret Jean Langstaff),


I am an author.”

“A voracious but discriminating reader.”

“A book critic and reviewer.”

“A member of the National Book Critics Circle.”

“A Writing and Publishing Consultant.”

“I’ve written lots of books, both under my own name and as a ghostwriter for others.”

Margaret is also a: Professional Book Editor, Copy Editor, Proofreader, Writing & Publishing Consultant. You can peruse her services at her editing website, MargaretLangstaffEditorial.com


I came across Margaret’s blog sometime last year, and I try to never miss an episode of her juicy tidbits of information she shares with her readers about the importance of editing our work, not just for book writing, but for blogs and content writing too. Margaret’s blog is always very informative for writers to take something from. And sometimes, as a treat, Margaret shares some of her own writing.


Recently I read one of Margaret’s posts I want to share here with you. It’s titled, Why Every Writer Needs a Good Copy Edit — Great Advice from Freelancer’s Union


This article was extremely succinct as it explained the importance of hiring editors. Below is an excerpt of the post, then please do click on the link that follows to read the article in its entirety.


My lovable, esteemed writing colleagues, most of you know by now that in addition to being an “author” (more than 20 books so far, about half of them ghostwritten on a contract basis for public figures), I am also a busy professional editor. More than 50 pct of my work time is spent with raw, rough, flawed, usually hastily revised once (if at all), manuscripts from other writers.  My job is to make them convincing, functional and unforgettable.  That is, to do what I have to do to perfect and refine the text for publication.

Source: Why Every Writer Needs a Good Copy Edit – Great Advice from Freelancers Union! | Margaret Langstaff 

D.G. Kaye ©2015

16 thoughts on “Why Every Writer Needs a Good Copy Edit – Great Advice from Freelancers Union! | Margaret Langstaff

  1. . . . I’ll probably need a good copy editor, a developmental editor . . . and some where in there a strong book proposal no matter which publication route I choose. Meanwhile, back at the computer I write, write, write my first draft! Thanks, Debby, for marking the path with nutritious bread crumbs!


  2. Debbie–just to add a few words to clarify what a good editor can do for a book and why serious authors need them for their important books.

    A good veteran editor, with creativity and insight, can bring out the true flavor and quality of a writer’s voice, intentions and the dramatic arc of the story line; he or she can tweak the characterization to really make those characters very life-like and breathe and jump with energy, subtle transformations that result in their being memorable and stirring. But a great editor doesn’t come cheap. Years of advanced formal education, preparation and experience are what make their work so dramatically effective, and with tiny changes in the text, the editor will cause the author to smile and say, “Yes! That’s what I meant, that what I was getting after!” Depending on the length, depth and complexity of your work, you must expect to spend at least a few hundred dollars. I myself have charged fees of $5K to $10K for complete in depth re-writes and for fully ghostwritten books for others (mainly for public figures, professionals and business people). Some have been bestsellers and made into films.

    Check out the EFA website for going rates for various editorial services. Editing is grinding, meticulous work compounded with the heady juice of creativity to make the book all it can be (from many years of training and experience). Beware of low-ball fee quotes. They are fishy and have bad connotations for an editor’s knowledge, ability and skills.

    Books (and their errors, flubs, mistakes) are forever. No one wants to be ridiculed in reviews for silly mistakes, nor does he or she want to go to the poorhouse for editorial help. Find a competent editor whose rates you can live with and make your book the best it can be!

    Thanks for the chance to more fully explain, Deb!


    1. Thank you Margaret for elaborating. You’ve explained in detail, how important an editor is to our work. I hope readers will find this informative and go visit your wonderful blog. ❤


      1. It sure is Sherri. We share with one another and there’s always something for someone. You’ll enjoy Margaret’s posts and wisdom. 🙂 xo


  3. Good one. Thanks. Important to remember all these points. I agree it’s important to keep blogs short and focused.


    1. Hi Margaret! So lovely to hear you are back! My goodness, you have had your challenges. You are a warrior woman my friend. Please take care and keep healing. I look forward to visiting your blog again. ❤


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