Working Words 1.1: Getting in Touch • New Directions • What We Can Do for You

A Quarterly Newsletter from

The Copyeditor’s Desk, Inc.

Volume 1, Number 1
June 2012

It’s Been Too Long…

Okay, we admit it: we’ve been remiss in keeping up with clients and old friends. Tina and I realized we want to keep in touch with everyone and, since we are — after all — editors, what better way than with a newsletter? So…here’s our first effort. Ideally, we’d like to share a newsletter about once a quarter. Time will tell if we actually stick to the schedule!

What’s New with The Copyeditor’s Desk?

Earlier this year, we decided to target a particular segment of our market more specifically: businesses and professional practices. We began as an editorial service catering primarily to scholars, scientists, and publishing houses. However, in 2011, by pure serendipity, we connected with a large family-owned plumbing company based in Chicago, PDM Since 1885. When one of the owners asked us to help with some marketing copy, we discovered we really enjoy working with this kind of content, and we appreciate working with business owners and executives. In the past, too, we have had wonderful experiences working with medical professionals; most recently we’ve been privileged to do a few projects for Dr. Ken Muhich, who owns Scottsdale’s respected Stetson Chiropractic Clinic.

To reach out to this clientele, we realized we need to do a lot more networking. We already belong to the Scottsdale Business Association. Now we’re looking at joining a new chapter of WOAMTEC, a nationwide professional women’s group, and we are considering BNI, the world’s largest business networking group, which has several chapters in the Phoenix Metropolitan area. After just a few months, this effort already is working. Recently a nice job for a community college came our way, as well as a paper authored by a German business executive and a project for a large nonprofit organization.

Tina is leaving Arizona State University to work full-time as an independent editor. She will continue, on a contract basis, as managing editor of Management and Organization Review, the official journal of the International Association for Chinese Management Research, and she also joins The Copyeditor’s Desk as an official corporate director.

By way of building our business, we are applying for a very interesting program cosponsored by the Small Business Association and Arizona Public Service, a large regional utility. Called AAAME, it is a two-year immersion in workshops, projects, and mentoring designed to foster and develop small, minority-owned, and women-owned businesses. It’s highly competitive, and of course we don’t yet know that our company will be accepted. Even if not, though, we’ve already learned a great deal about ourselves and our business just in the exercise of writing a business plan and organizing our thoughts for the application.

Meanwhile, we continue to work with existing clients, among them our beloved Poisoned Pen Press and the talented and ambitious author, Jane Hampton Cook, whose lively popular history about Abigail and John Adams was recently accepted by HarperCollins.

Change in Pricing Structure

We were surprised to learn that business owners and government administrators much prefer to be presented with an hourly rate, rather than with our standard table of per-page fees. So we’ve created a new fee schedule, based on a $60/hour rate for moderate to heavy copyediting (a little higher for difficult projects, less for relatively easier tasks such as proofreading). From what we’ve seen so far, the hourly rate will make little difference in the amount we would charge most existing clients who are accustomed to the page rate.

What We Can Do for You

One of the things we learned in writing a new, more formal business plan is that we might want to articulate more clearly what we can do for you, our clients. Here’s what we do:

For Businesses and Professional Practices

  • Enhance communication with customers, suppliers, and employees
  • Write website content, or improve content that already exists
  • Oversee website design and management
  • Ghostwrite articles and books intended for business promotion
  • Arrange and oversee design and production of print and electronic books
  • Write or edit newsletters, either for in-house use or for external marketing
  • Arrange for print or online publication of newsletters
  • Package books and long documents, such as annual reports and employee manuals, for companies
  • Edit advertising copy
  • Write or edit press releases

For Scholars, Scientists, and Publishing Houses

  • Edit scholarly and scientific articles and books
  • Edit trade books
  • Edit and proofread genre fiction
  • Index books
  • Edit technical documents
  • Edit dissertations and theses
  • Advise dissertation writers on how to convert their projects into publishable books

Our subject matter has ranged from business management and legal theory to health care, clinical psychology, and sociology — with a little fiction, popular history, and math thrown in for fun. One day we may produce content for the average man and woman on the street; the next, we’re editing copy for academics, scientists, doctors, or business executives. Because we’re extremely versatile, we can work successfully with a wide variety of clients.

We Value Your Business

We hope you’ll keep in touch, and that you’ll remember us the next time you need help with a publication.

And We Depend on Your Referrals

Many of our favorite clients have come to us through word of mouth. We appreciate it when you let friends and colleagues know about us.

Yours for a prosperous and happy summer,

Victoria Hay, Ph.D.
Tina Minchella, M.A.
The Copyeditor’s Desk, Inc.
Phoenix, Arizona
We Put Words to Work

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