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Frequently Asked Questions

What’s the difference between writing, copywriting and editing anyway?

Great question! Glad you asked. When I say ‘writing’, I’m referring to stuff that’s written specifically from my point of view. That means book reviews, editorial features, short fiction and news articles. When I say ‘copywriting’, I’m referring to content I create explicitly for clients to meet their marketing needs: think direct mail-outs, sales brochures, advertising straplines, website copy, press releases, social media content and other brand messages. My name doesn’t usually appear on anything I write as a copywriter, and it’s primarily used for the purpose of advertising or marketing. As for editing, obviously it’s part of any writing and copywriting I do because I’m a massive perfectionist. But when I say ‘editing’, I’m referring to developmental fiction and nonfiction editing, and other editorial services. Whether you need someone to help you clarify structure, tone and voice in your writing or help you identify areas where you can dig deeper into the content or plot, I can help you. Getting someone to fact-check or proofread your manuscript, report, script, article or Tinder profile will help you make the publishing industry, your office, a film set and the internet a better-looking place.

What happens after I send you an email using this fancy contact form?

I’ll get back to you, usually within 24 hours, and respond to your query. If you haven’t provided much information, I’ll ask you for that. I’ll also give you details of my hourly rate, my current commitments, and my terms and conditions.

Is my project too big or too small?

No! It’s unlikely to be too weird, either. I work on projects of all sizes for clients around the world so get in touch and we’ll chat. Even if you just need someone to come up with witty, informative and shareable social media content, you can hire me to do that.

I have a really limited budget as I’m a small start-up/worthy charity/furry animal with four paws instead of a regular financial income and hey I will chase a tennis ball when you throw it. Will you write for free?

Sorry, no. Please don’t make things awkward by asking me.

Do you charge an hourly rate or a flat fee?

It depends on the job. If it’s a bigger project, I often charge a flat fee to manage everyone’s expectations. I base this fee on how long I estimate the work will take and use my hourly rate to determine the figure. I generally know how long a certain type of job will take and can give you a pretty accurate estimate of how many hours I will spend on it. This is useful because it provides you with more certainty about how much you will have to spend and makes everyone feel good at invoicing time. Sometimes I write for websites or publications that have a set rate that they offer all contributors, and that’s fine too. I very rarely charge per word (I find this style of quoting is more common with American clients), and to be honest, I think reducing someone’s creative value to a matter of cents means you run the risk of ending up with copy containing lots of superfluous words like taradiddle, cattywampus and bumfuzzle.

Do you track your hours?

Sure do. It helps me understand how long it takes me to research, write, revise and do project admin. As I’ve written in a wide range of styles – everything from daily horoscopes to education brochures – I’ve learnt that some types of writing require more creative thinking, whereas others involve more fact-checking and consultation. Tracking my hours means I get to streamline my project admin with checklists and spreadsheets (glamorous, huh?) and makes my time more profitable for all concerned.

After you gave me a quote, I shopped around and found someone who will do the same job cheaper than you – would you consider bartering?

Sorry, no. The internet may have made it possible to find a meme for any occasion and a writer/copywriter/editor who will willingly write for basically nothing, but hiring someone because they’re cheap is not a great way to ensure you get what you’re after. Consider quality, consider ethics, and if you’re still unconvinced, consider experience. Writing isn’t just churning out words, it’s carefully choosing them to accurately and effectively control how people react to information. If you want professional work done, hire a professional and pay professional rates. It’ll not only save you time in the long run, it’ll help you avoid the uncomfortable realisation that the person you hired was cheap because they’re crap.

How do I know you’re not crap?

Take a look at my portfolio or testimonials. Also, ask yourself if you enjoyed reading this. If you did, chances are we’ll get along and you’ll like my style.

I’m only reading this because I want my business to be featured on The Urban List.

Hmm. That’s not a question, but I’ll forgive you just this once. As I do not work fulltime in The Urban List’s office, you’d be far better off contacting someone in their marketing team or the current editor about your café/bar/restaurant/venue/event/pogo stick. Their details can be found on their website.

Can you help me self-publish my novel?

No.

Did you mention that you run a Freelance Writers Support Group?

Yes, I did! I created the group in January 2016 after becoming frustrated that there was no real online space to discuss freelance rates, work practices, tax returns and legal rights. It currently has 500+ members and I’m very proud to have founded it.

Do you like what you do?

Yes, I love it. We all know that good writing can be as elusive as unicorn kisses, and I love the thrill of knowing when I have gotten a sentence just right.

Ready to get started? Fill out the contact form below or shoot me an email at simmonshilary@gmail.com.