The ongoing debate of new copy vs rewrites and what to charge for rewrites seems to come up more often when the economy is at its worst or around tax seaon.
My definition of rewrites has always been to take the already existing copy and reword it with the same tone and style as most clients who want a rewrite, I have found in my experience, just want the same overall feel to say the same thing but just wants the words jumbled around a bit.
My definition of new copy is just that; new copy! Copy which engages the reader, copy which stimulates the reader to click or keep reading more; copy which is strong and interesting.
Due to this ongoing debate which I seem to encounter every few months, we do charge a lower rate for rewrites as when clients explain to us, “Well I just want the copy rewritten and it shouldn’t take you very long.” Is another word for “I am cheap and won’t pay your pricing so let’s call it a rewrite BUT I expect newly written copy.”
Um, yea that doesn’t fly with me. Maybe some writers would just grin and take it but after 10 years of being in this business, I don’t stand for the people who think they are “pulling” one over on the “desperate writer.”
New copy is just that; new, freshly written copy.
Rewrites are taking already existing copy (no matter boring, crappy or whatever) and just reworking it to say the same thing. That is why it is called a rewrite.
When you want new, sparkingly fresh, vibrant copy, then you already know what my answer is…You got to pay for it!
So next time someone asks for a rewrite due to the price, don’t expect amazingly new copy. It’s the policy I have followed for years and no, it won’t change.