contract editing

Subject: contract editing
From: John Gough <john -at- ATRIUM -dot- COM>
Date: Thu, 9 Jun 1994 18:03:16 CDT

Have you successfully sold contract editing internally?
And how much should we pay?

I'm at a small startup company, and I'm trying to convince
the powers that be that we should get an editing pass into
our documentation process. Sure I'm conscientious, but I
*always* prefer to work with editors. No one edits their
own work well.

We're too small to hire one full time, and even though we're
hiring another writer, neither of us will have time to edit
each other's work.

My current plot: I've gotten a contract editor to look over the books
produced so far--as a freebie--and give me a basic hourly quote. I'm
going to write her comments into a proposal that we give the process a
shot, if only for a one-time trial basis. My current project is ideal.
Obviously she gets first shot!

My boss (an engineer and self-confessed nerd) has shown interest
in getting an editing pass done for our books--but only if
*I* did it (no additional cash outlay) and I took effectively
no time to do it. You know, the usual resource allocation. :-)
What tactics have *you* used to get editing service?

I've been quoted $25 to $40 an hour for piecework editing.
Does this seem reasonable to anyone who has done this before?
I do want a professional job. The edit level we want is
copyediting (sentence-level language usage and terminolgical
consistency), not structural or substantive (the contract
editor gave us very high marks on that).

Please reply personally; I'll post the results by 6/17.

John Gough john -at- atrium -dot- com
Principal Technical Writer voice (512) 328-6977
Atrium Technologies fax (512) 328-2789
Austin, TX

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