Become a Freelance Editor
Every week for the last eight years, at least one person has asked me how to become a freelance editor. That’s a lot of you! I’ve been intending to create a course on that topic for you, but today, I can give you a list of books that will get you started.
First, consider whether you’re cut out to be a freelance editor.
Are you highly skilled regarding spelling and grammar and noticing details (authors accidentally change characters’ eye and hair color all the time)? Do you notice things that are missing or just don’t add up? If not, then editing might not be the thing for you. Perhaps you find yourself mentally correcting typos (or grabbing a pen and marking up your books) and/or thinking of ways different pieces of writing could be better. If these things are true of you, then editing might just be your bag.
Are you a self-starter? Do you get up and get going without anyone prodding you? Are you able to work for long stretches of time? Are you productive in isolation? Do you function well emotionally in isolation, or do you barely tolerate it? If you don’t do well in isolation, it doesn’t mean you can’t become a freelance editor. There are some options.
Ready to Become a Freelance Editor
You’ve probably determined that this is for you. My advice is to be ready to invest in yourself and your new career. It’s not as costly as most fields to get into or to remain in, but you will have to put some money into it if you want to do this. A quick and effective first step is to buy the books below and devour them. Just click any or all of the images or links below. They’ll take you straight to Amazon, where you can purchase the books (and if you buy any, Amazon might toss me a couple of pennies).
I highly recommend getting the physical books (paperback or hardback) instead of Kindle versions. Here’s why. You will want to highlight, underline, and otherwise mark up these books. You also want them to be on your shelf, because you will use them frequently—especially The Chicago Manual of Style.
Bookmark this page now, because it will be easy to come back and find more books that will help you in your editing career. I will be adding more books to this page as I find more that are helpful.
Books for Everyone Who Wants to Become a Freelance Editor
Books on Developmental Editing:
Books on Copy Editing:
The Subversive Copy Editor, Second Edition: Advice from Chicago (or, How to Negotiate Good Relationships with Your Writers, Your Colleagues, and Yourself) ... Guides to Writing, Editing, and Publishing) Price:
The Business of Editing is excellent for dealing with the non-editing aspects of running an editing business, and Talent is Not Enough is also a very helpful book to read for anyone who is more creative than business-minded.
Do yourself a huge favor and invest three to five percent of your income in yourself, starting now, whether it’s in the form of more books (who doesn’t love books?!), conferences, or coaching. All the smart kids do that, because it always pays off many times over.
Please buy at least one of the books above right now (just click and go), and go get started on your new career.
All the best to you!