What Does a Copy Editor Do? And How to Become One in 4 Steps
Working as a copy editor gives you the best of both worlds: you get to read amazing new literature while also assisting writers in creating beautiful texts that resonate with other readers. Want to learn more? Visit copyeditordirect.co.uk, where we have 100 copy editors available for hire.
What does a copy editor do?
A copy editor corrects poor spelling, grammar, and punctuation, refines language, and fixes factual errors and inconsistencies in a text, whether it’s a full manuscript or something shorter.
What is the difference between editing and copy editing?
There are many different types of editing, including developmental editing, proofreading, and even managerial editing. Many copy editing gigs are freelance, and editors can work on them as a part-time or full-time job.
How much do copy editors make?
Our copy editors charge an average of $21/hour and earn anywhere between $1,000 and $3,000 per project on Reedsy. The average copy editor salary is around $44,600 per year, with veteran copy editors earning $60,000 or more.
1. Brush up on your skills
Here are some tips to help you strengthen the special skills you’ll need as a copy editor. Copy editing is more than just knowing grammar and vocabulary; it’s about being focused enough to notice any sentence that might hinder its ability to deliver its message.
Take a course and earn a certificate
Even if you’re already fluent in English, taking a copy editing course is a great way to stay up to date on the latest language conventions, and a copy editing certificate from a verified course also serves as proof to employers and clients that you’re a qualified professional.
File your mind on the whetstone of tough sentences
Try editing sample sentences with subtle mechanical problems to see what a good copy editor can do. Amy Einsohn’s The Copyeditor’s Workbook is a classic practice workbook for copy editors.
✅ ABC: Always be consistent
When it comes to narrative details, copy editing is just as important as grammar and spelling; no two writers will have the same voice, but the more projects you work on, the better you’ll get at noticing the particular style and consistency in each piece.
2. Find copy editing jobs
Most copy editors work as freelancers, which means they must find and contract their own work. You should be wary of freelancer scams, but you should be able to find legitimate copy-editing jobs without too much difficulty.
Start with one-off gigs, but aim for regular clients
It’s easy to find copy editing jobs on Upwork, and keep an eye out for people who are posting multiple jobs at once. Pro tip: Using a professional freelance proposal template is a surefire way to impress clients.
♀️ Be flexible with the projects you take on
Accept any work anyone will give you, on any type of book, so you have a chance to prove your worth. “Most production editors will want to test your skills on proofreads or even on slugging,” says one copy editor.
3. Master your niche
As you build your portfolio, think about what you enjoy doing best, and you’ll start to get a sense of your preferred niche within that medium. To become an expert in your niche, don’t just look for relevant gigs; do extra research!
Read extensively in your niche
A strong sense of what successful works in your niche sound like is critical for a good copy editor. Your job as a copy editor isn’t just to fix obvious errors; it’s also to shape the author’s style and voice.
Join editorial societies
Members of societies have access to their own job boards, which are typically more interesting and lucrative than those found on Indeed or Upwork.
Ask around for jobs
Ask fellow copy editors where they find jobs, and tell them you’d appreciate it if they could recommend you. You might even land a job at a publication by asking outright if they need a copy editor.
4. Keep learning as you go
Aspiring copy editors are always looking for new ways to learn and network, so keep these tips in mind as you build your freelance editing business: Stay connected with your fellow editors on social media and message boards, and consider joining Reddit and Twitter.
✍️ Approaching each piece
If you’re a copy editor, you’ll want to develop your own standard procedure; Aja Pollock, for example, reads each manuscript at least twice. Always keep in mind that your primary goal is to improve the reader’s connection and comprehension.
Working with clients
Always keep in mind that the book is the writer’s baby; they’ll be very attached to it. It might be helpful to have a video call with your client to go over your edits.
How do I start a copyediting career?
Look for job openings at small newspapers, apply for online copyediting gigs and jobs, and take any internship or entry-level job (such as editorial assistant) you can find in a print or Web-based publishing company; after a while there, ask to take a crack at copyediting assignments or apply when a copyediting position becomes available.
How do I qualify as a proofreader?
You’ll need the following items:
- To be thorough and pay attention to detail.
- Knowledge of the English language.
- Excellent verbal communication skills.
- Ability to use initiative.
- Ability to work well with others.
- Excellent written communication skills.
- Perssistence and determination.
- To be flexible and open to change.
Is a copy editor a good career?
u201cI had so many people tell me (surprisingly) that I could never make a living as an editor; it’s a great and in-demand career!u201d
How much does an editor make?
Rates of Editorial
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Is being a proofreader worth it?
A career in proofreading can be financially rewarding as well as satisfying in terms of job satisfaction; whether you’ve considered it or not, you may want to consider it as a career option, especially if you have the necessary skills.
Are proofreaders in demand?
You might be concerned that because proofreading jobs pay well, the market is oversaturated; however, this is not the case; demand for proofreaders is always increasing.
Can you be a proofreader without a degree?
To be honest, you don’t need a proofreading certificate or diploma to apply for jobs or begin working as a proofreader; in fact, you don’t even need a degree to work in publishing anymore!
Do I need a qualifications to be a proofreader?
To become a proofreader, you do not need specific post-GCSE qualifications or a degree, but studying English or other humanities subjects to A level or degree level is highly desirable.
How much do copy editors get paid?
Copy editors in America earn an average of $47,975 per year, or $23 per hour, with the top 10% earning more than $72,000 per year and the bottom 10% earning less than $31,000 per year.
What is the difference between a copy editor and a proofreader?
Copyediting, on the other hand, is a more comprehensive process that includes not only all of the proofreading checks, but also a revision of the text to improve its flow and structure. A proofreader primarily reads the document’s copy for consistency and layout of the information.
How can I be a good copy editor?
Whether you’re a beginner or a seasoned pro, these 12 tips will help you improve your copyediting skills.
- Hone your language skills.
- Pay attention to detail.
- Value consistency.
- Read it again.
- Stay true to the author’s voice.
- Be a partner in publishing.
- Create space.
Are editors in demand?
Editors’ Job Outlook Demand for editors is expected to increase, with 30,039 new jobs expected to be filled by 2018, representing an annual increase of 3.79 percent over the next few years.
What should I study to become an editor?
After graduating, you can apply for a postgraduate degree or diploma in journalism/mass communication, which will assist you in learning various aspects of digital content. For those interested in working for a publishing house, a postgraduate certificate or diploma course may be an option.
What skills do you need to become an editor?
Editors should also have the following characteristics:
- Editors must be innovative, curious, and knowledgeable about a wide range of topics.
- Attention to detail.
- Good judgment.
- Interpersonal skills.
- Language skills.
- Writing skills.