How do you find an editor? How do you know if the one you found is ‘any good’? How do you know what editing should do for you, anyway?
Well, you can Google. As always, you’ll get some good results and some … not-so-good results, which will take you time to sift through.
Or, you can go straight to the best resource there is: your local professional association for editors. Each one will likely have, among other resources:
- an editor directory, where you can find a professional editor recognised by the association
- a downloadable guide to editorial standards, to help you understand what to expect of editing
- blog posts or information about language or writing, useful when preparing your work or manuscript
- an indication of pay rates for editors in your country, which will give you an idea of the cost of your editing.
So who is your national editing association? Here are some of the world’s biggest, with links to their websites:
- Australia and New Zealand: Institute of Professional Editors (IPEd)
- UK: Chartered Institute of Editing and Proofreading (CIEP)
- USA: Editorial Freelancers Association (EFA)
- Canada: Editors Canada / Révisieurs Canada
- South Africa: Professional Editors Guild (PEG)
Mind you, these professional bodies are valuable resources for us editors, too. They’re definitely ‘the right crowds’ for us to associate with, for a number of reasons.
When you first switch to freelancing, one of the biggest changes you notice is the loss of an in-house team. There are some pluses to that: you no longer waste time caught up in Monday morning conversations about who’s winning The Bachelor. (I guess for some, that’s actually a minus …!)
However, you don’t have someone *right there* that you can bounce ideas off or chat to about a challenge, either.
While I really enjoy working on my own, I also love collaborating on a project. And having a network of peers and colleagues to kick problems around with or share resources with is super-valuable.
That’s a large part of the reason why I’ve been a member of IPEd, Australia and New Zealand’s editorial professional body, for years. I’ve joined the UK’s CIEP as well. (Both have granted me ‘Professional’-level status, which recognises my editing experience and accreditation.)
Between these two associations, I have a huge network of peers and colleagues around the world. But I also have access to diverse and ongoing training, reference resources, information on editorial standards, and industry news.
As I’ve increased my editing work over the past few years, these peer networks have offered kind and enthusiastic support, provided job leads and shared their collective knowledge. They’ve welcomed me at conferences, waved to me over Zoom, cheered me through the IPEd accreditation exam and joined me for both online and in-person coffees.
Thanks to IPEd, CIEP and other associations, there’s no way freelancing is a lonely gig for me.
And finding a freelance editor shouldn’t be a hit-and-miss gig for you, either!