Editor’s Insight: Erica Ellis

Hello! I am Erica Ellis, owner of Ink Deep Editing. I started freelancing nine years ago and never looked back! Most of my work is directly with authors looking to self-publish or to submit to agents and publishers, but I also do some editing for a self-publishing company and a publisher of children’s books. I edit both fiction and non-fiction, and especially love working on memoir. I offer both developmental editing and line editing and find the mix keeps things interesting. I love working with new authors and helping them connect the dots about how to write a compelling book. It is so gratifying to see them grow as writers as they continue their journey to publication. You can find me at inkdeepediting.com.

My best marketing tip: Ask authors you have worked with to write testimonials and spread the word about you. Much of my work now comes from word of mouth from a few clients who sing my praises. Not everyone will think to do this on their own, so specifically ask them to let others know about you.

My best “learning the skill” tip: I highly recommend taking coursework to add new skills to your repertoire (e.g., taking a developmental editing course if you mainly do line editing) and to strengthen the skills you already have. But keep in mind that, no matter how many classes you take, you won’t ever feel perfectly ready to begin offering a new service. Eventually, you just have to dive in and start working. You’ll quickly build confidence once you start putting those new skills to use.

My best business practice tip: Decide what success means to you and choose your work appropriately. For me, success is having control of my schedule, having free time when I want it, and rarely feeling stressed by deadlines. For this reason, I work mostly with authors (rather than publishers), which gives me more freedom to choose when and how much I work. And I schedule myself with lots of wiggle room so I am not often staring down a hard-to-meet return date. If income is more important to you than time, you might schedule more tightly or work with publishers rather than fledgling authors. Either way is fine. What is important is knowing what you value and building your business to fit that.

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