Everything you need to know to start a home-based editing business

By DonShook

Are you a strong believer in the serial comma or not? Are typos and errors causing a book or article to be unreadable? A home-based editing company could suit you if you are good at identifying problems in writing.

Glassdoor reports that freelance editors earn between $15 and $50 an hour, on average, $51,104 per calendar year. As many online publications seek to outsource editing tasks, freelance editors are in high demand. Self-published authors also need their manuscripts edited professionally.

Editors don’t necessarily need to be educated, but they should have a good understanding of grammar, punctuation and spelling.

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Types of editors

Editing work can be divided into managing editors in magazines and acquisition editors for publishers. Freelance editors play an important role in making sure that a piece is as good as possible. They not only correct errors, but also ensure clarity and flow.

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These are the basic levels of editing

  • Developmental editing

Although developmental editors can spot typos and grammar errors, they are more concerned with the content. A developmental editor will identify story problems such as inconsistencies. To ensure that the reader understands the message, a developmental editor also checks for clarity. They also edit for flow. Although flow can be difficult to define, it is easy to tell when something doesn’t flow if it feels disjointed. Sometimes, developmental editing can also be called substantive or structural editing.

  • Copyediting

Copyediting is the process of correcting grammar and spelling errors in writing. Copy editors may also check facts and verify spellings of obscure words or brand names.

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  • Proofreading

Although many people mistakenly refer to proofreading and copyediting, in reality, these are two distinct types of editing. Proofreading comes after copyediting. It’s usually the final edit after copyediting. This allows you to spot any mistakes and ensure consistency in formatting. Proofreaders search for widows or orphans (broken lines and paragraphs), consistent paragraph punctuation, page numbers, graphics placement, and other errors.