Editing for clarity and flow

Nature of edit  To simplify a business-critical message for a potentially international audience (including readers whose first language is not English) and give clear instruction to customers

Type of copy  Support information for re-marketers


We regret to inform you that due to unexpected production capacity shortages and the required exclusive level of artistic craftsmanship to meet consumer expectations, we will continue to experience limited ex-works availability of [certain items] for the next 6 - 9 months. Consequently we highly recommend to proactively inform consumers about this fact. In cases where your consumers have already placed deposits on these items, we kindly ask you to directly contact Jane Doe and inform her about the respective order number(s). Jane Doe will then prioritise shipments for these orders and will inform you on the expected delivery timing. Please note that it will nevertheless take several weeks in order to deliver even the prioritised orders due to the ongoing very high backlog situation and the relatively low number of pieces available per month.


We regret to inform you that production capacity is lower than expected and skilled artistic craftsmanship is in short supply. This means that [certain items] will continue to be limited for the next six to nine months. We recommend that you inform your customers about this shortage.

If any of your customers have already put down deposits on these items, please tell Jane Doe and include the relevant order number(s). Jane will then prioritise these orders and inform you about expected delivery dates.

Please note that it will take several weeks to deliver even priority orders.

Problem and solution

The original copy was stilted and verbose, using noun phrases where verb phrases would read more smoothly and vice versa. Some of the adverbs added little and made the text dense (consequently, highly, kindly, very). The congested feeling was compounded by the whole text being structured as a single paragraph.

The editor’s aim was text that would speak directly to readers in a relaxed but direct way, with clear signposts.