we all need a good editor – and I’ve found her

And now a word from a sponsor…

Early in my career, I didn’t much like being edited — my words, my beautiful words! How dare someone suggest they could be different or – gasp – shorter. But as my career has progressed and I’ve worked with better and better editors, I’ve learned to appreciate the editing process so much more. A really good editor can strengthen your writing in ways you can’t spot by yourself. They can find the places where a point could be stronger, or language more evocative, or an entire chunk of a piece restructured to be more compelling.

We all need a good editor.

That brings us to Open Boat Editing, a woman-and-LGBT-owned small business run by Evelyn Duffy. Evelyn provides copy editing, transcribing, writing and research services, editing for both business and academia, developmental editing for fiction and nonfiction books, and book coaching … and she does it really, really well. She’ll edit everything from your resume to your book proposal to your wedding invitations and make it a thousand times better in the process.

This isn’t just proofreading. She provides substantive help on content and how you are presenting information. She’ll act as a sounding board for writing and research projects, provide a detailed assessment of what is and isn’t working (and a roadmap to improve it), and just plain make your writing better. The feedback she provides is thorough, thoughtful, substantive, and insightful.

But don’t take it from me – listen to renowned journalist Bob Woodward, because Evelyn has served as his in-house editor, researcher, and transcriber for his last six books over 13 years. Bob Woodward has called her an “organizational genius” and a “wizard of old and new media” who “added value to every page of every draft.” Of her work, he once wrote, “What seems a decent draft will come back to me covered in countless marks as she identifies inconsistencies, factual errors and grammatical problems. She can find any person and almost any information. …  Her work and presence are marked by grace, kindness and integrity. She is smart, practical and knows how to enjoy a good laugh. No one I have ever worked with of any age has more common sense.”

Wouldn’t you love to bring that kind of highly honed expertise to bear on your own projects – whether it’s something you’re creating for your own business or the materials you’re using to pitch yourself to prospective employers?

If you’re interested in working with Evelyn, fill out this contact form with details about your project and she’ll follow up with you to discuss your needs in-depth. At that stage, she might ask you to send a summary, a word count, and some sample pages so she can determine if you’re the right fit for each other. She’s available now for small copy editing jobs and is booking slots for large projects into 2021. (She can also schedule jobs far in advance with a deposit.)

What’s more, Evelyn – a long-time Ask a Manager reader – is offering readers of this site a $15 discount on proofreading services for jobseekers and for weddings and other events and a $100 discount on book proposal development. Visit OpenBoatEditing.com and use coupon code “AskAManager.”

Disclosure: This post is sponsored by Open Boat Editing. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

{ 17 comments… read them below }

  1. SD*

    I only wish George R.R. Martin had had a stern editor with a big red pen while writing his “Game of Thrones” books. By Book 4, his story was so verbose and convoluted that all I could think was, “Where was his editor?!”

    1. PollyQ*

      I believe some big-name authors have “no editing” clauses in their contracts. IDK if GRRM is one of them, but I wouldn’t be surprised if he’s at least being handled with kid gloves by his publisher.

      1. Eirene*

        Anne Rice has been one of them since around her fifth book, and boy, does it ever show. She can barely even remember the names of some of her characters.

    2. Elizabeth West*

      This is how I felt about the highly repetitive and absurdly overdramatic Jean Auel book The Land of Painted Caves, the last in the Earth’s Children series. When you’re mentally editing a book in your head as you read it, you know it needs help!

  2. Talia*

    I completely understand how valuable a good editor
    can be, but I’m a bit confused about this in relation to job seekers.

    I thought this site wasn’t necessarily a fan of resume / cover letters written or heavily edited by people other than the job seeker? I am going to be looking for a job soon, and if this makes sense I’d consider it. Would you recommend for like a couple versions of a cover letter? Just the master one?

    1. Ask a Manager* Post author

      I’ve never discouraged editing help on a resume (I’ve even encouraged people to use resume writers if they don’t trust their ability to produce a good resume on their own, while cautioning them to make sure they’re finding a good one because all resume writers are not created equal).

      Cover letters are a little different in that they should be an example of your own communication skills, but you should definitely have your cover letter proofread and it’s smart to have it reviewed for clarity, to make sure it’s conveying what you want it to convey, etc.!

  3. SaffyTaffy*

    I often get Woodward & Bernstein confused, which is unfortunate because I have wildly different opinions about them. I was about to say “if she can put up with HIM…” but I forgot Bob is the good one.

  4. Beth*

    Is she actually working with you as your editor? That seems to be implied, but you don’t actually say so (or I missed it).

    1. Ask a Manager* Post author

      No, she’s not! Evelyn sent me samples of editing memos she’s written for others so I could look at her work, which is how I could see firsthand that it’s so thorough and insightful. Not that I am doubting Bob Woodward, but it’s nice to see it directly! (My editors now are ones at the publications I write for.)

  5. Bob*

    How does billing work, does she charge by the hour by the number of words she is looking over, something else?

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