Why Do Online Copy Editors Remain Anonymous?

Jerry WalchStarred Page By Jerry Walch, 7th Nov 2010 | Follow this author | RSS Feed | Short URL http://nut.bz/12e9hme-/
Posted in Wikinut>Guides>Writing

Why do online copy editors (CEs) remain anonymous? They remain anonymous for the same reason that print editors send out “Form Rejection Letters” by snail mail or email. It's a matter of self preservation.


The life of a copy editor isn't an easy one. Believe me when I tell you that because I've been there and done that. I was a CE on another well known site for well over a year before the site owner redesigned his site to eliminate all the CEs and channel moderators. The Page Moderators here on Wikinut can afford to identify themselves when they publish one of our pages because they aren't CEs, they change nothing, they do nothing to irritate a writer. Copy editors, on the other hand, edit. They change things around, delete things, and add things to the author's pride and joy. Those changes aren't always accepted gracefully.

Editors are decent people.

Most editors, no matter whether they work for a print publication or for an online site are overworked and underpaid. Most of us would like to help writers that show promise, but we just don't have the time to do that unless it's a writer we are going to be working with on a steady bases. Contrary to what writers think, editors are human beings with feelings. Just like the writers who submit their work to them, they can be hurt and angered.

Attaching a personal note to a form rejection letter.

Some sites leave it up to the CE whether they identify themselves to the writer when they edit one of the writer's submissions. Other sites instruct their CEs not to reveal their name. The list of the editors names isn't any secret, but the editor who edited your submission is never revealed on those sites. Statistically, here is what happens when an editor attaches a personal note to the form rejection or rewrite request and signs it with his or her name. This is what happened when I did.

About 75 percent of the time I got a response from the writer, thanking me for my advice and help no matter if I had rejected the article or was sending it back for a rewrite. Every editor likes working with this kind of writers.

About 5 percent of the time I would receive a quick, “Thank you for your consideration and your advice.” Those responses are OK too. We understand the need for brevity. Like us, writers are busy people.

The remaining 20 percent would argue with us over our decision. Those writers would berate us even if we published their piece with some changes. No editor appreciates those responses nor do they have the time for the series of email or letters that ensue.

There you have the reason the editor who edited your submission doesn't make his or her name known to you. Would you, if you were a CE? No, you wouldn't. At least not unless you were a masochist.

Be professional at all times with editors.

Some sites, sites like Demand Studios, provide a window in their publishing tool where you can send notes to the CE handling your article. Make use of that opportunity, communicate with your faceless editor, but keep those communications professional. Permit your ego to come into play and you may not like the response that you get. Work for hire (WFH) sites like Demand Studios and Experts123 has editors that have had an extensive background as editors of the print media. They are professionals, and they expect to be treated in a professional manner. They are professionals and deserve to be treated with the respect due them. In a nut shell, treat your editors the way you would like them to treat you.

Write for Wikinut and get paid.


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Meet the author

author avatar Jerry Walch
Jerry Walch is a 71 year old freelance writer for hire living in Colorado Springs, Colorado. He has been writing since the late 1970s, and writes for both the print and online media. He specializes in

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author avatar Maria Papadopoulou
7th Nov 2010 (#)

You make some good points Jerry. However, not all editors are decent people. There are editors who love to find fault at everything.And there are times when they even quick to dismiss different writing styles from their one...just because they are diffferent.

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author avatar Jerry Walch
8th Nov 2010 (#)

@Maria You are right, not all editors are decent people, but, then neither are all writers decent people. People are just people no matter what their chosen professions. I will admit that some editors, just like some writers, are on ego trips and they know everything, but they don't last long in the professional world. I stress "Professional World" because when dealing with online site editors, unless you are writing for professional sites like Demand Studios or Experts123, the editors that you are dealing with may or may not have had any training as editors. Professional sites like Demand Studios and Experts123 only hire people as editors who have had an extensive background as editors. They are the professionals that I was speaking of. When dealing with a professional online site you can appeal a rewrite or a rejection if you feel the rewrite request or the rejection was unjustified. Contrary to what some writer might say in the site forums, the appeal process does work if the appeal is based on facts and not on emotions.

Thank you for the read and for the comments.

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author avatar Angelique Newman
8th Nov 2010 (#)

I agree with you Jerry; when in the business it's important to keep emotions in check and always be professional. Editors have long memories, it's best not to burn bridges.

Great article and congratulations on the star.

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author avatar Jerry Walch
8th Nov 2010 (#)

@Angelique Thank you

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author avatar Denise O
23rd Nov 2010 (#)

Heck, Angelique already wrote my comment for me.
Ditto Rebecca.
Good job Jerry.
Thank you for sharing.:)

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author avatar Denise O
23rd Nov 2010 (#)

oops I mean *ditto Angelique

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author avatar Denise O
23rd Nov 2010 (#)


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author avatar Melissa Dawn
18th Dec 2010 (#)

Another great one :-) Thanks for explaining a mystery.

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author avatar Tranquilpen
2nd Jul 2011 (#)

What a splendidly professional write. Thank you Jerry. why so quiet lately?

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