The Proofreader's Parlour
A blog for editors, proofreaders and writers
Note from Louise: A version of this article was originally published in the Editorial Freelancers Association (EFA) newsletter, The Freelancer (November–December 2014). It is reproduced here with permission.
The strong desire to break free from organizational shackles had become so overpowering in the later years of my career that it was becoming almost impossible to resist the temptation every passing day.
The need to stop the atrocious wastage of time spent commuting (six hours daily – a routine that I had endured for more than fifteen years!) and turn part of it into something productive and spend the rest with my family and kids could no longer be ignored.
The confidence that my skills were good enough to get work directly from publishers abroad had always been there but I was curious to find out how many of the contacts I had acquired over the years would actually be offering work.
The requirement to earn more than my current job was paying was perhaps the final push that burst the dam that had been holding back the freelance river flowing inside me.
I was waiting for the perfect moment to leave my job and start my freelance editorial services business, but had to take a quick decision in December 2010. I spent the first week enjoying my first real break from work – sitting in the sun and basking in the warmth of the winter sun, sleeping to my heart’s content, munching on dry fruits, calling up friends and doing absolutely nothing (work-wise).
The first two assignments came from those who had known me as a colleague for years but were now working in different companies. They approached me and asked whether I would be interested in freelancing for their companies. The next major one came from someone who had just connected with me on LinkedIn, and another major domestic assignment came from an organization I had worked with in the past. To make the joyride more fun, my best friend also joined me in January 2011. A whirlwind round of tests and samples followed over the next few months, resulting in a hat trick of successful results on the same day, all from international clients.
I am more than happy to share my ten tips for freelance success. These have sustained me all these years:
These are the tips that have helped me make a name for myself as a freelance editorial services provider. I hope these will be as helpful to you as they have been in making Vivek Kumar a known face worldwide. In the last five years, I have been interviewed twice for my views on freelance copyediting as a career. I was first interviewed by NotJustPublishing, an Indian online portal for people in publishing and allied industries, and Kris Emery used parts of the second interview as quotes in her ebook Feel The Fear And Freelance Anyway!
Do you agree with Vivek? Do you have other top tips for successful editorial freelancing? Feel free to add your comments below.
Vivek Kumar is a professional freelance editorial services provider based in India. Visit the Indian Copyeditors Forum on Facebook, find him on LinkedIn or email him at email@example.com.
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I'm an Advanced Professional Member of the UK's national editorial society.
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Author Member of The Alliance of Independent Authors (ALLi). I abide by its Code of Standards in regard to my status as an independent writer.
Advanced Professional Member of the Society for Editors and Proofreaders (SfEP). I'm a signatory to its code of practice as a professional editor.
Featured in The Book Designer's Carnival of the Indies: Joel Friedlander's collection of 'outstanding articles recently posted to blogs'.
Winner of the Judith Butcher Award 2017 in respect of 'highly visible contributions to the SfEP and its membership'.