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Help for new edi­tors & writers

I recently fin­ished updat­ing an unfin­ished eBook, helpforneweditorswriters1-4.

People often write me ask­ing for advice about start­ing their own edit­ing or writ­ing busi­ness. The many excel­lent ques­tions allowed me put together a brief eBook with some sam­ple forms/templates to help peo­ple fill in some gaps. It took time and research and some amaz­ing peo­ple helped by cri­tiquing it.

It will never be fin­ished. New sit­u­a­tions will pop up and I want to feel free to make changes and update it.

There’s no charge for the book how­ever, if you find it of value, feel free to send a mod­est sum to my PayPal account, and I will pass it on to one of my favorite char­i­ties. But most impor­tantly, please let me know if and how the book helps you, and what I have missed.

Comments from new and soon-to-be editors

1. I rec­om­mend a long, high-quality copy­edit­ing course. This is essen­tial in pro­vid­ing infor­ma­tion about what ref­er­ences to use, styles, mar­ket­ing, and tech­niques of good edit­ing. I took the cer­tifi­cate course from the University of California, which was one year and approx­i­mately $1,500 for the six required courses, but there are sev­eral good ones out there. Heather

2. Mentoring: Your advice has been so help­ful, and hav­ing a copy of your con­tract has been great, since that’s a com­pli­cated doc­u­ment. Thanks again! Heather

3. Editorial Freelancers Association (EFA): It has been very help­ful being part of this group, espe­cially the dis­cus­sion forum. It’s so nice to have access to a whole group of edi­tors with years of expe­ri­ence who are happy to answer ques­tions of all kinds. I’ve asked a cou­ple ques­tions and got­ten some really good answers. Heather

4. Sessions with a senior busi­ness advisor/financial spe­cial­ist: These ses­sions are offered for free by the cham­ber of com­merce in my town. Heather

5. Sessions with a career coun­selor and com­mu­ni­ca­tions spe­cial­ist: I’ve had a cou­ple of ses­sions with a coun­selor who has been help­ing me get ready for phone calls: prepar­ing a list of things to say and prac­tic­ing it. Heather

6. Rates: Setting rates was dif­fi­cult and still is. The rates on the EFA web­site weren’t very help­ful because they are for expe­ri­enced copy­ed­i­tors. I needed to know what begin­ning edi­tors should charge. Also, they had a dis­cus­sion on the EFA dis­cus­sion list about rates, and it seemed that peo­ple weren’t charg­ing as much as the chart showed. So I found an arti­cle on the Internet that sug­gested begin­ning copy­ed­i­tors should charge $20 per hour (http://mirandamarquit.com/how-should-you-charge-for-freelance-editing/). That seemed right to me so I went by it. Heather

7. Judy’s guide is help­ing me to pre­pare for a career in edit­ing – and a jump-start to cre­at­ing my own busi­ness – that I never thought was pre­vi­ously pos­si­ble. Thanks for all of your guid­ance, Judy! Michelle

8. This guide is an amaz­ing tool for any­one look­ing to start an edit­ing busi­ness. The guid­ance on basic top­ics such as invoic­ing, deposits, pric­ing and adver­tis­ing is super help­ful. These areas are easy to over­look, and are prob­a­bly the most cru­cial parts of cre­at­ing a sus­tain­able oper­a­tion. My biggest take­away relates to the use of adver­tis­ing in dri­ving vol­ume. Plenty of dol­lars can be wasted on silly mar­ket­ing cam­paigns that do noth­ing to increase sales. Make sure to read that sec­tion to get some great tips on how to sell and mar­ket your ser­vices. M. K.

9.  What a help­ful web­site for prospec­tive edi­tors! Thank you. I am con­tem­plat­ing start­ing my own edit­ing busi­ness and found a wealth of great infor­ma­tion on your site. I made a list of things I found espe­cially help­ful (to me). M.U.

  • The Advertising Advice
  • Email Advice
  • W-9 Info
  • Invoicing
  • Templates
  • Blogs
  • Style Guides
  • Samples

10.The things you talk about in the ebook can save a writer or edi­tor a ton of time and money they would oth­er­wise have spent on failed actions. For myself, it was pleas­ing to finally have a good def­i­n­i­tion of var­i­ous lev­els of copy­edit­ing ser­vices. I was aware there were dif­fer­ent lev­els, from proof­read­ing for gram­mar to well-nigh ghost writ­ing, but hadn’t had clear dis­tinc­tions.W.B.