Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Freelance Editors

Ever consider what it takes to be a freelance editor at a publishing house? Well, wonder no more. A post on Journalism.co.uk tells you what it takes to get hired at a publishing house in the U.K.

In case you’re wondering what publishers look for when hiring freelance editors, here’s the article’s author Mary James’ list of the qualities an applicant should have:
1. You can adhere to tight deadlines

2. You know your target market inside out

3. You're easy to work with

4. Your communication skills, particularly over the phone, are second to none

5. You provide value for money

6. You guarantee high levels of confidentiality
If you want to see what she said about each of these points, click over to the article. Maybe you qualify.
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  1. With her list, I'd qualify because she left off having the proper degree or past editing experience!

  2. Those are pluses for me too, Jane! Of course, I am so frantically busy right now, one more thing would send me over the edge. Spunky is crazy enough...

  3. "But with more than 100,000 new book titles published in the UK last year"

    I see these sort of statistics a lot. Can anyone point me in the direction of a more detailed breakdown, re. fiction vs non-fiction, breakdown by genre etc.?

    It's a mind-blowing number.

  4. Woa! I always expect value on this blog, but this one is EXTRA up my alley. Thanks for the lead, Helen!

    Marvin D Wilson

  5. If you apply, Marvin, let us know what happens. Best of luck.

  6. Nice to get a detailed view of another aspect of publishing. Looking at that list, it seems that professionalism is paramount every which way. Great info, thanks for sharing.

  7. Helen, do you spend every waking minute reading international industry pubs? I just love the tidbits you share here. See you tomorrow on my blog!

  8. Hi Karen. I'm looking forward to visiting your blog - so much fun!

  9. I'm already out- the worst secret keeper ever!

  10. Another great link. Thanks, Helen. In reading the full story, I found it interesting, like Jane, that expertise and experience in editing was not even mentioned.

    I also agree that professionalism, from phone calls to confidentiality, is most important in the business. Not just editing, but across the board.

  11. I know some folks who would definitely qualify. I'll have to pass it along...thanks!

    Mystery Writing is Murder

  12. I'd guess this is pretty close to the list for freelancing in the U.S. I'd go so far as to extend #2. You need to know the target market of the publication; you also need to know the ins and out of the house you are working for. #4 Communication skills must extend to email, NO CAPS PLEASE! Perhaps experience and education is part of #7? In addition, publishers I work with expect facility in a number of software programs.

  13. Thank you Bonita. I appreciate you sharing your expertise with all of us.

  14. I wouldn't mind editing IN the UK for a while. I've done plenty of editing here.

    Anton, the last I heard, out of 50,000 books published, only 5,000are novels, so it's much easier to publish a nonfiction book.

  15. Heading over there. Feeling unqualified but very interested.


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