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WAHM > Stay at Home Mom Work Ideas > Selling a Service > Book Editor

Start a Book Editing Service

What you will be doing.  The first draft of a manuscript doesn’t reach the finished form of the book we pick up off of the bookstore shelf without some help. 

Someone has to be available to find and fix the mistakes in sentence structure and spelling.  As a book editor it is your job to fix these things. 

You proofread several hundred pages of a manuscript for any inconsistencies.   

How to start.  Editors need to know something about writing.  Freelance book editors will be working for publishing houses, e-book writers, and writers that are submitting there book manuscripts for consideration and want a professional look to their work.  Read grammar reference books and writing magazines.   

Starting costs.  As a freelance book editor, the majority of the cost to you will be to outfit your office and advertising.  You will be spending quite a bit of time in your home office so it should be comfortable.  Invest in a state-of-the-art computer, printer, fax machine, telephone for business, copier, and a comfortable chair. 

Spreadsheet software will help you to keep up with client projects and deadlines.  Reference materials are helpful for proofreader’s marks and punctuation rules.  Calculate starting costs in the range of $1,500 to $3,000.  

Skills needed.  Editors are detail oriented people.  They can read a page for errors as well as content.  The words have to flow and make sense in their context.  Editors work alone most of the time.  If you are self-motivated and don’t mind a one person environment, editing is for you.   

Knowledge of the different elements of each genre helps when looking for continuity within the manuscript.  Editors also look to see that character names, street names, and the like do not change throughout the manuscript.  Reading is a hobby of editors.  As a book editor, the love of reading is crucial to the enjoyment of your job. 

Marketing.  Join professional writing and editing organizations.  These groups can help you to network with publishers and writers who are in need of your qualifications as a book editor. 

Create articles about writing and editing that are keyword-friendly and helpful to budding writers.  Teach writing seminars about the editing process. 

Check with contacts and publisher websites for opportunities to freelance.   

In the meantime, take jobs as a freelance editor doing other types of editing jobs other than books to gain experience in the business. Once you become familiar with the editing process, it will become second nature to you. 

Editing is necessary for anyone who uses the written word in their business from books to menus.  The projects are lengthier when dealing with book manuscripts, but just as rewarding.

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