How your colleagues can help you get work

For editors interested in getting freelance work from book publishers and packagers, a crucial resource is your colleagues. I don’t mean you should pester random acquaintances to ask their publisher clients to hire you.

I do mean you should:

  • Ask what they did to land their first publisher/packager client. While a freelance editor is probably not going to tell you how to pitch their current clients, they are far more likely to be willing to tell you what they specifically did to land their first client. Some of these answers may not be things you can duplicate (“My father owns the company”) but some of them may be (“I emailed letters of introduction to fifteen different places”). This is valuable information!
  • Find out what they can tell you about working with a particular publisher. The best way to do this is to ask a question in an editing group, stating that you’re open to DMs instead of public posts. (Sometimes people don’t want to go on public record about their experiences with a particular client, but will tell you confidentially that the EIC is disorganized and rude, and that they take months to pay.) In general, well-established publishers pay reasonable rates for editorial, but there are always exceptions, and it’s helpful to know ahead of time what to expect before you spend time trying to get work from a particular publisher.
  • Offer to trade critiques on business materials. If you’d like a colleague who has worked for publishers to critique a letter of introduction or resume, offer to provide a similar service for something they’re doing – review a blog post, give feedback on a website upgrade, etc.

>>>Join Club Ed Conversations for an online chat about horror, middle grade, and YA with Siobhán O’Brien Holmes (November 9, 10 am to noon Pacific).

>>>Getting Editorial Work from Book Publishers and Packagers starts November 6, 2021!

>>>Starting and Building Your Developmental Editing Business starts January 3, 2022!

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