Freelance Editors

This is a group for editors who are not affiliated with a particular publishing house. This is where you can discuss the craft of writing and editing and brainstorm about the future of the industry. 

Members: 72
Latest Activity: Nov 20, 2019

Discussion Forum

What background do you need to have to be a freelance editor and what do you do?

Started by Deborah Herman. Last reply by Val Dumond Jan 23, 2014. 3 Replies

I am always interested in how people approach their careers. Please share how you became a freelance editor and what services you provide. Are there trade associations? Do you compare notes with…Continue


Started by jeff herman. Last reply by JEN Garrett Jun 3, 2013. 6 Replies

Do you want it to be?Continue

What can you offer writers when they want to self-publish?

Started by Deborah Herman. Last reply by Dick Margulis Nov 30, 2012. 5 Replies

Many writers are choosing to go the route of self-publishing. Do they receive editing support for their work? Are self-published sometimes of lower quality and can you as freelance editors help…Continue


Started by jeff herman. Last reply by Marilyn R. Freedman Oct 9, 2012. 4 Replies

If not, why not?Continue

Comment Wall


You need to be a member of Freelance Editors to add comments!

Comment by Glenda J. Findley on March 12, 2012 at 11:56am

You have an interesting offer there Jeff, but for me the word freelance, as defined by the majority of dictionarys' fits this group just fine.  Self-employed and not accountable to anyone except our client ... if that makes me a mercenary in your intrepretation ... I guess than all authors not on a payroll must be the same.  Just a thought.

Comment by jeff herman on March 9, 2012 at 12:54pm

Guys/Girls: Thanks for the impressive explanations. What I'm seeing is that at conception, a freelancer was essentially a mercenary for militaristic or enforcement purposes, though there are probably divergent linguistic origins for each term. Modern English is a recent amalgamation of many earlier languages, and old words tend to be given entirely new applications that just happen to stick. Other than ghostwriter, collaborator, coauthor, etc. I would love to see an entirely original word cocktail that imports equal meaning for an editorial freelancer. Who knows, maybe you will permanently "change" the language, like the extra butterfly in the Amazon.

The creator of the term I like best, will receive a comp copy of JEFF HERMAN'S GUIDE TO BOOK PUBLISHERS, EDITORS AND LITERARY AGENTS, 2012. Feel free to propose as many terms as you like. If it's something you really love, you ought to trademark it. Jeff Herman 

Comment by Sharon Lindenburger on March 9, 2012 at 11:54am

To me, the original meaning of "freelance" is apropos, particularly the part about bearing the lance, for indeed doing anything freelance often feels like a battle in the sense that you do have to "ride forth" into the marketplace wielding the "sword" of your editing capabilities. Even editors who have long years of experience still have to go out onto that battlefield. Assignments won't come to you just on the basis of the work you have done in the past (although that is important). You can never relax your vigilance; you can't just put your horse out to pasture and sit in the mead-hall. Every morning you have to, in some way, ride forth again. But I do have to say that freelance editing is, for me, one of the most satisfying professions to be in. I help writers hone and polish their manuscripts. I help them bring their creative visions to the world. And doing a damn good edit often gives them a step up over their competitors. I wouldn't want to do anything else!

Comment by Dick Margulis on March 9, 2012 at 11:45am

Jeff, "they" can call it what they will. To me, freelance is a noun, and its specific referent is a mercenary knight, free to bear his lance in service to the highest bidder (or whichever side he liked better, I guess). I think that meaning survives in what we freelances do. Every time I see "freelancer" or "freelancing," I grit my teeth.

Comment by Jan Lazo-Davis on March 9, 2012 at 11:44am

Sounds painful when looked at this way. Maybe because it used to be. A Free Lance was someone who used a Lance - a fighter - to fight for someone else. They were free to hire on with whom ever they pleased. And probably free to starve as well if they could not find someone to employ them.

WIKI is great!!! 

Comment by jeff herman on March 9, 2012 at 11:32am

Why do they call it "free"lancing? Lancing sounds violent and free sounds like it won't cost anything. Jeff Herman

Comment by Glenda J. Findley on January 30, 2012 at 12:00pm

I am just finishing up editing my first novel...I have enjoyed the read and am excited for the publishing potential this novel has.  I am a line-by-line and paragraph-by-paragraph editor.  Concentrating most on grammar and punctuation.  Once over the stress from responsibility, I enjoyed the work.  This is a wonderful networking site with great potential towards expanding my knowledge.  I am looking forward to expanding my horizons.

Comment by Sharon K Owen on December 6, 2011 at 6:23pm

My first love is writing fiction, but because I teach university English classes (literature and composition), communication classes and creative writing classes, I am often asked to "edit" a project. Some of my fellow professors have directed thesis or dissertation students to me for line-edit assistance. I belong to a writers' critique group and I have assisted fellow-members in their projects both conceptually and with line-edits. I have also helped people edit, format and publish their books through Create Space, Smash Words and Amazon KDP. I feel that my greatest talent as an editor is looking at the "big picture"--trying to discover what the book is really about--and helping the writer focus on what they are really trying to communicate.

Comment by Deborah Herman on December 5, 2011 at 6:03pm

This is why the world needs editors!!!!! Thank you so much for pointing out the oversight. I hope you will help us police the site in the future. Enjoy the site. We hope you will be an active member. 

Comment by Averill Buchanan on December 5, 2011 at 4:47pm

Please, please, please remove the hyphen in the name of this group. Freelance is all one word.



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