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Suresh, from India, asks, "I have 3 years experience in proofreading and editing of STM books and journals. I want to work as a freelancer. How can I get jobs? What are the other requirements to work as a freelancer?"

Hi Suresh,

The best way to get freelance editing jobs is to collect clips together into a portfolio, target the type of publications you want to edit, and then get all the marketing information you can about those publications. I'm not sure about India but both in the UK and USA, corporations employ copy editors for in-house publications. So, there is an immense range of possibility in that market.

The basic requirement for any type of freelancing is market, market, and market. It can get discouraging because so much time is spent in selling your services. Most freelance positions are not listed. What job boards and newspapers list are staff, permanent positions. And one reason for that is that freelancers are constantly marketing their wares to publications so there's no need for the publications to pay for costly advertising.

A good thing to do is simply call publications and companies and ask them what their policy is about freelance editing. That's where you start.

It would be wise to get a market book from Amazon.com. Something like Writers Market is very helpful.

Once you begin selling your services, a network develops and you get referrals and your work gets known.

The other thing you can do is take out ads in writing publications or publishing publications like Publishers Weekly or Editor and Publisher and try to get clients that way.

It's really a matter of getting prepared, marketing, and then learning some of the skill of networking that comes with experience.

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