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What Is a Freelance Book Editor and How to Become One

What Does a Freelance Book Editor Do?

As a freelance book editor, your job is to help your client draft, edit, and proofread a manuscript for a book. Freelance book editors usually contract directly with authors and publishing houses, and many editors work on several projects at the same time. You can work with any genre of content, but many editors specialize in fields like healthcare, finance, fiction, or children's books. In this role, you may interview authors, proactively offer editorial suggestions, manage the length of the text, rewrite and restructure content, ensure a consistent structure, identify gaps in content, and ensure that the author completes all manuscripts on time.

How to Become a Freelance Book Editor

The primary qualifications for a freelance book editor career are a bachelor's degree and several years of industry experience. Many freelance book editors start by working for a larger publisher before moving into this position. Fulfilling the duties and responsibilities of this role requires excellent communication skills, attention to detail, functional knowledge of various writing style guides, and the ability to work with minimal direct supervision. Freelance book editors often work remotely, but on rare occasions, you may need to travel to speak directly with authors or attend industry events. Experience is precious in this industry, so the more book editing experience you have, the more likely you are to stand out from other applicants.