Writing for Industry and Science

Frequently Asked Questions

Why do you write?

I enjoy learning about new things and explaining them to other people in terms that they can understand. My engineering background makes me curious about all kinds of science and technology. I like to investigate and analyze each story to find the unique angle that makes it interesting.

What makes you a good writer?

My experience as a trade journal editor taught me to get right to the point and say what needed to be said, using as few words as possible. I also realized quickly that many of the press releases that came into our office sounded the same, and most of them were pretty boring. Those stories typically received a one-sentence summary in the back of the magazine, if that much. The press releases that stood out were the ones that described the reasons that a product was being offered, how it fit in the market, the key benefits it brought to users, and why it was relevant to the people reading our magazine. I learned to take the same approach in everything I wrote.

How much do you charge?

Every project is different. I like to give you an up-front price quote that depends on the estimated scope of the work, the amount of research required, and many other factors. In most cases the price I quote is what you pay. It includes phone calls, interviews, ordinary expenses, time spent on research and writing, and one or two revisions. Projects that involve changing requirements, time delays, in-person meetings, or extensive revisions that are not due to my errors might lead to additional charges.

You can probably find other writers who will work for less, but they may not bring the same level of experience, the ability to combine good writing with technical knowledge, or the skill to create concise, persuasive writing that attracts customers and increases sales. I am willing to negotiate somewhat on price, but if you are looking for a bargain rate, this is probably not a good match. Beware, with writing services, that the old adage applies that you get what you pay for.

How soon can you get my project done?

The time it takes depends on the scope of the project and on how many other projects I am working on at the same time. A small job can often be completed in a day or two, but it is best if you contact me as soon as you think you might have a need. It takes time for an idea to gel in my mind, and I generally do my best work when I have several weeks of lead time.

Can you come to my facility for a meeting?

I do enjoy meeting clients in person, but most of the time I can get the information I need over the phone, through e-mail, or from written sources. I live in Cleveland, Ohio. It might be feasible for me to travel to an office nearby, but I do charge extra for my time and any travel expenses.

Where do you get the information you need to write?

In preparation for a project, I read through any existing literature you have, as well as background information about your field. I also like to learn about competing companies, so that I can gain an appreciation of your position in the market and understand the benefits you offer. Much of the information I will use comes from interviews with key people in your organization. With your permission, I might also contact some of your customers to find out how they use your products or services, learn their perspectives about the benefits of working with your company, and obtain testimonials.

The more information I can get from you, the better my work will be. It helps if you have a clear idea of your company's mission and the image you want to convey to your customers, but I can help you pinpoint that message if needed.

It is not necessary for you to spend a lot of time organizing your background information for me. I can sift through a lot of information and pick out what is important.

Can I see an example of what you would do for me?

As a matter of policy I do not write free samples, especially when—as is often the case—that request comes before we have discussed pricing and other terms. You can find plenty of writing samples here on this site. If that isn't enough to convince you, then I would suggest that we start with a small, inexpensive project of only a few hundred words to show you what I can do.

How do I know you will do a good job for me?

I do guarantee my work. If for some reason you are not satisfied, I will do a reasonable number of rewrites. I will never make you pay for work that is unsatisfactory (although I do expect that you will not use that work).

Can I save money if I write it myself and just have you spruce it up?

If you only need proofreading, I can do that for a low price, although you can probably find someone else who will do it better for less money. In most cases, however, the writing I receive requires a makeover that takes as much time as starting from scratch. Make it easier for yourself, and let me collect the information I need to create a polished document for you.

Can you create a web site for me, design a brochure, or help me get media exposure?

I know web designers, SEO experts, graphic artists, public relations professionals, and others who can give you much more value on those services than I can. If you need those services, I can refer you to those specialists, or I can subcontract with them to provide a complete package for you.

Are you working on a novel?

Although I have a natural talent for writing, to be honest, I have never had much desire to write a novel. I am more of a reporter, investigating a story and looking for the interesting angle. Fiction is not for me.

Contact me for more information