We offer up some tips from the freelance community outside of Demand Media to help make your work life a bit more, enlightened. But we’ve been told that what you really want are some tips from the writers, editors, photographers and bloggers who are successful in the Studio.
Writer Eric Bank
Writer Eric Bank has been working in the Studio since 2010, and is a fixture in the Business & Personal Finance section. He is also a regular on the Ace Writer’s list. Eric offers some advice about working with editors to new or returning writers in his own words:
Look Past Editor’s Words
Editors will give you varying degrees of correction — sometimes vague, sometimes specific. I’ve found it helpful to figure out the underlying concepts motivating editorial comments. Some editor’s spell it out, which is useful. When the comments seem puzzling, check the DMS guidelines and correlate the information with the editor’s feedback.
Pay Attention to Publisher
The vast majority of my rewrite requests relate to getting the right voice for the publisher’s audience. For example, articles for The Nest must be colloquial and easily accessible. Conversely, articles for Zacks can be a little more sophisticated. Heed the editor’s requests for publisher-specific voicing and style.
Watch Your Punctuation
You can write a superbly researched and cogent article, only to have the editor return comments that point out improper uses of commas, quotation marks and other punctuation without acknowledging your otherwise brilliant work. Don’t take offense, simply fix the problems and try to avoid them in the future. You need to own The Elements of Style to help get it right.
Bend But Don’t Break
I seldom have rejected articles anymore, but I’ve had my share. My advice is to try to accommodate your editor — he or she is trying to ensure your article satisfies the publisher’s requirements. If, however, you simply can’t come to terms with the editor, think about appealing a rejection. I’ve found that appeals are effective about 75 percent of time. Only take a stand when you can back up your appeal with cold facts and logic — sputtering at the editor will probably count against you.
Have any tips of your own that you’d like to share? Please comment below.