Monday, February 12, 2007

Freelance Copyediting

When do freelance copy editors come in on a project? Does the author hire a freelance editor to make her manuscript more appealing to publishers? How does a person get started as a freelance copy editor? Do journals ever hire freelancers to help them make tight deadlines?

I'm interested in the general rule here, not anything exhaustive. Although interesting or entertaining exceptions are welcome.


Pat said...

The UH Press contracts freelance copyeditors to work on its books; on Friday, I'll bring in a chart that lists some titles and the amounts spent on their copyediting.

More later...

Pat said...

A good copyeditor can make about $20 an hour, which translates into about $3,000 a month. Trying to get enough work to make that much is difficult. As with other fields, copyediting is highly competitive. In addition to finely honed skills, you need experience—in many cases—to get hired. And you can't get experience unless someone hires you.

Yes, there are authors who wish to engage copyeditors to improve their manuscripts. Of course, you must make it clear that your services will improve the manuscript, not guarantee its publication. There is a universe between these two states of being, and that has to be made clear to clients.

Other possible clients are M.A. and Ph.D. students; they sometimes are told by their committees or advisors to get their work copyedited.

I often wish that we could hire freelance copyeditors to help us with our journal. Our problem would be finding someone with the right mindset, experience, and skills. Aesthetics figure significantly in what we do, and it is difficult to find people who have the same aesthetic principles as ours.

LilyLuvsU said...

I was looking under the wanted ads on Craig's List and there are law firms hiring copyeditors at the salary of $50,000 a year...But these were not listings in Hawaii.