For most / many of you, the answer to the question of “what is the difference between the two words in the title” will be easy. However, last week, I removed the words “Commercial Copywriting” from the sign on my car. Apparently, it’s not as obvious as I thought. I know – you are going to say you removed them because “Commercial Copywriting” might be redundant. After all, “Commercial” refers to business and Copywriting is the act of writing copy (text) for the purpose of advertising or marketing a product, business, person, opinion or idea. However, the question most asked of me is “I’ve written a book and I need to protect it. Can you help me copyright it?” The second most asked question was, “Do you write fiction? I want to write a book on my life. Can you help me write it?” That was the reason for Commercial Copywriting.Yes – I write fiction. I have two novels (print and e-book) on the market, (Show Low and Carrasco’s Gold) but that is not copywriting. If I help you write your book, then I would be either your ghostwriter or a co-author. If you want me to review and correct your book, then I would be your editor. Then we get into the various degrees of editing.
If you want me to take your writing and correct, punch it up or fix it, then we are talking about copyediting. Once again, we get into the level of copyediting you want done. Do you need help making your book interesting? Then copyediting turns into ghostwriter. I have ghosted books, but don’t do it often. No, I will not tell you who the clients were. That disclosure would defeat the purpose wouldn’t it?
I write copy for companies, large and small, i.e. commercial copy. I write brochures, web content, advertisements or other forms of writing that a business will use to sell their products or services. I help my client sell or tell depending on their audience. I also help them define their audience and hone their message so that it has the most impact. I am for hire, as needed, therefore “freelance.” I am part of your team, but not on your or anyone else’s payroll.
I help people communicate. For a person, not a business owner, a résumé or biography is their personal sales tool. That means that this person should use a commercial writer. I use my commercial writing skills to write honest and accurate resumes and biographies. Because of my background in business and sales, I help them properly define their job skills but I won’t create a skill where there was none.
How many of you have agonized over a presentation. The task before you is to make your ideas logical and understandable for your audience. I can help you do that. However, I do not help people protect what they have written. If you are afraid someone is going to steal your original ideas or work as an author, then you need an attorney who specializes in copyright law.
This week, I removed Commercial Copywriting from my vehicle, replacing it with Freelance Writer. Yesterday – one day after the new sign was in place – I was asked, “What company do you work for?”
I can’t win.