Working outside newspapers

I hope it’s clear that even though I am clinging to my job as a daily newspaper copy editor, this blog is aimed at anyone who edits or writes or reads.

I am most interested in hearing from editors who are working outside daily newspapers. I would dearly love to read stories about freelance editors — how you market yourself, where you have found work, what kind of work you’re doing. It’s encouraging to hear that people are finding work as editors. I believe in editing and in the value we editors add to writing in any form.

5 Responses to “Working outside newspapers”

  1. Tara Mathey

    Hi Pam,
    I started my own editing business after realizing my arts degree would only get me so far and that all the in-house jobs I was interested in were more about who one knew, not what. And I have never been good at fawning to people for the sake of networking/furthering my own interests. Having said that, most of my work now comes from word of mouth – happy clients refer me to their friends/colleagues and so on. I do little marketing other than long-standing ads in the Australian Society of Authors newsletter and magazine as well as listings as the recommended editor at several universities in Sydney. I mainly work on fiction, non fiction and academic publications. My website is my main point of interaction, so it needs to looks good and be up to date, but otherwise my overheads are quite low. I absolutely love my work – I love being my own boss, I love working directly with clients, and I love tinkering with words. It is very satisfying to be told I have made a valued contribution to a client’s work.

    • Pam Nelson


      Thank you for your comment. Getting rave recommendations from clients is certainly a great way to get the word out. That would be the way I would hire someone. I am so glad that you love your work!

      Pam Nelson

  2. Ruth E. Thaler-Carter

    I’ve written about this kind of thing for the ACES newsletter and in my booklet for the Editorial Freelancers Association (EFA), “Freelancing 101: Launching Your Editorial Business.” I do editing and proofreading for a law firm with offices around the country, a national PR/online marketing firm, a couple of magazines and newsletters, a website, and more.

    I find work through the job services of my professional organizations (ACES, EFA, etc. – I belong to several), referrals and recommendations from current clients and colleagues, and the occasional cold queries.

    My marketing efforts involve mainly … doing what I do, and doing lots of networking through those various organizations, LinkedIn, etc.

    • Pam Nelson

      Thanks, Ruth. Your articles for the ACES newsletter are informative.

  3. Frank Steele

    I worked on staff as an editor for around 30 years, and I began freelancing about a year after a reorganization at my last work site meant I had to become an independent contractor. I’ve been able to retain my former employer as a client and I’m slowly gaining other clients as well. Some have come from networking with former work colleagues, some (very few) have come from sites such as, some have come from my EFA membership and directory listing (such as a university press job and projects editing religious/spiritual books and material, my specialty), and some have come from working with a French-to-English translator (he translates and I go over his translations to double-check them and make them sound more natural). I’ve found a variety of work in a variety of ways, and my fervent wish for 2012 is a greater abundance of it.