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.
How much do copy editors make?
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.
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
Is it hard to get a job as an editor?
Unless you’re an experienced editor with a strong resume and a track record of selecting best sellers, you’ll need to start as an intern or mailroom clerk and work your way up to first reader, then Assistant Editor (the editor’s secretary who screens submissions from the first reader) after a few years.
How much do freelance copy editors make?
Of course, the pay is different; there is no annual salary; freelance copy editors charge anywhere from $30 to $100 per hour, depending on the type of work, according to a chart from the Editor’s Freelance Association.
What is the difference between a proofreader and a copy editor?
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.
Do editors make good money?
As of 2021, the average editor in the United States earns around $65-70k per year, with editors with years of experience and high-level expertise, such as current or former Big 5 editors, earning up to $100k per year or more.
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.
What qualifications do I need to be a copy editor?
You’ll need the following items:
- Excellent written communication skills.
- The ability to work well with others.
- Knowledge of media production and communication.
- The ability to read English.
- Excellent verbal communication skills.
- To be thorough and pay attention to detail.
How do I get started as an editor?
In 10 Easy Steps, You Can Become a Freelance Editor
- Read a lot.
- Start your editing career at a company.
- Start looking for editing work.
- Decide what kind of editor you want to be.
- Decide the type of writing you want to edit.
- Build a network.
- Create a portfolio of projects you’ve worked on.
What skills do you need to be 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.
Is it hard to get a job at a publishing company?
It’s difficult to break into, but it’s well worth it. Publishing is a notoriously difficult industry to break into, so you’ll need to be at the top of your game to land a job, but it’s well worth it.
How much do copy editors charge per hour?
First, few academic copyeditors will charge less than $35 per hour; good editors with a lot of experience will charge at least $50 per hour, and most will charge $75 to $85 per hour. Second, copyeditors edit 2 to 5 pages per hour to do a thorough job of copyediting an academic manuscript.
How much should I charge as a freelance editor?
A beginning content editor can expect to charge around $20 per hour, but an experienced content editor can charge up to $50 per hour (or even more, depending on what you’re doing). Even as a proofreader, once you’ve established yourself, you can charge $25 to $35 per hour.
How much should I charge as a video editor?
Professional video editing rates range from $75 to $150 per hour, depending on the region and level of experience of the video editor. This example is based on 2 hours of source recording edited down to a 3 minute marketing video with an average of 10 cuts per finished minute.