Want to Become a Freelance Book Editor?

Build your expertise, meet other new editors, and learn how to make a living as a freelance book editor in our self-paced intro class. In just 5-10 hours, determine what type of book editor you were meant to be and exactly how to start your career. 

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Editorial Arts Academy – where wordsmiths learn to prosper from their passion!

Have you ever wondered whether you’d make a good book editor? Maybe you spot typos in the books you read, or you readily think of ways a novel could be strengthened. Maybe you’ve always wanted to turn your love of words and books into a profitable, rewarding career. Or maybe you just want to explore freelance work for the flexible lifestyle it affords.

We’re longtime freelance book editors, and we love what we do. We started Editorial Arts Academy so we could teach others how to prosper from their passion.

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Take Our Editor Profile Quiz

Not all editors are good spellers or grammar geeks. We’ve found four editor profiles and seven editorial roles for freelance book editing. To see where you fit in, take our 10-minute Editor Profile Quiz.

Sign Up for The Editor’s Query

The Editor’s Query is our free monthly dispatch about book editing. If you’re curious about the world of trade books (popular books for a general audience), this bulletin was made for you.

Enroll in a Course

Our self-paced intro course, Freelance Book Editing 101, is a great place to start. Advanced courses are released throughout the year. Sign up for course updates and you’ll be the first to know about them.

Christina Wielgolawski

Following Freelance Book Editing 101’s tantalising taster of book editing, Susannah served a fabulous first course with Copyediting Fiction and Nonfiction Books: Principles & Mechanics. Susannah imparted her extensive knowledge of copyediting with enthusiasm and was supportive of our efforts. The course flowed smoothly with an effective mix of activities plus excellent resources and recommendations. I had fun learning a lot and the course whetted my appetite for more copyediting. 

Christina Wielgolawski
Wellington, New Zealand
Nancy Disenhaus

Susannah and Nancy have been deeply helpful to me in every imaginable way as I begin my journey toward becoming a freelance developmental editor of YA novels: planting the seed of the idea that I might parlay my skills and love of reading into the role of book editor; supporting me at every step with information, resources, and priceless samples of their own editing expertise; and availability to answer any and every question that might arise. Their deep knowledge and passion and enthusiasm for sharing what they know has been a great gift.

Nancy Disenhaus
East Montpelier, Vermont, US
Sarah Yahm

I’ve always wanted to be a book editor but felt paralyzed about how to get started. Susannah and Nancy broke down the process of getting started as a freelance editor into manageable parts, so it feels doable to me now.

Sarah Yahm
East Montpelier, Vermont, US
Jennifer Taylor

It would not be too much to say that Editorial Arts Academy changed my life. When I first embarked on this journey, I had virtually no editorial experience. I was looking for a new career and couldn’t imagine that I could achieve financial stability while working from home and doing something I truly enjoy—reading! Now I have proofread two novels and copyedited another. I cannot recommend this class enough to anyone ready to start on their editing adventure.

Jennifer Taylor
East Calais, Vermont, US
Rhonda Henry

I really appreciate the amount of preparation and overall effort that went into Freelance Book Editing 101. I’ve taken lots of classes over the years for my work and it’s rare to find instructors so clear, committed, and focused on providing good information in an accessible format.

Rhonda Henry
Seattle, Washington, US
Joy Worland

Susannah and Nancy are full of knowledge and positive energy and are super fun to work with! They provided concrete steps and tools that can help me turn my hobby of editing friends’ emails and Facebook posts into a freelance career.

Joy Worland
Montpelier, Vermont, US
Michanne Reese

I wanted to let you know how much I appreciate all the info you have put out there. I wish someone would have told me when I was pursuing my English degree that these avenues even existed! When I am able to resume my journey, it will most certainly be through Editorial Arts Academy! Thank you so much for doing what you do!

Michanne Reese
Wisconsin, US
Patricia Bumpass

Copyediting Principles & Mechanics was an excellent starter course for those of us wanting to dip our toes or go full steam ahead into the editing world. There was enough information and practice to whet our appetites. By the end of the course I felt prepared to update my social media profiles, put up a page on my current website, and go out and find editing work. Susannah was open to all questions and explained the material thoroughly. I would highly recommend this course to anyone looking to find out about the principles and mechanics of copyediting.

Patricia Bumpass
North Carolina, US

Articles about Freelance Book Editing

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5 Steps Freelance Book Editors Can Take to Combat Racism

Freelance book editors have a place in the fight against racism. First, we’re human, and all humans must participate. Second, we are uniquely suited to recognize the...
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Freelance Book Editing for the Big Five Publishers

Traditional trade publishing is, once again, changing. On May 10, 2021, HarperCollins absorbed Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, and the Boston-based publisher was drawn into the...

Tour of Copyediting Fiction and Nonfiction Books: Principles & Mechanics

In the early 1990s, my lifelong fascination with language rules was transformed into a rewarding side hustle copyediting academic journals. Over time, I took on projects...
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Why I Formed an LLC for My Freelance Copyediting Business (aka, Adventures in Small Business Adulting)

I just took the exciting step of becoming an LLC, or Limited Liability Company. I’m now in the Vermont Secretary of State’s registry under Sheryl Rapée-Adams Copyediting,...
Announcing our new editing class

Introducing Freelance Book Editing 101: What You Need to Know to Succeed

When I started my career as a freelance book editor back in 1995, I was thrown into the deep end and had to figure out how to sink or swim. If I knew then what I know now, I...

What Is a Book Coach, and How Can You Become One?

For over twenty-five years, I’ve been a developmental editor of nonfiction. But recently, I’ve added “book coaching” to my editorial services. The shift came about when Dr....

Our One-Day Training for Freelance Book Editors

On June 16, 2018, Susannah Noel and I held a day-long training at the Hampton Inn in Colchester, Vermont: Getting Started as a Freelance Book Editor. After enjoying a full...
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Our First Eighteen Months Offering Classes in Book Editing: EAA Looks Back While Surging Forward

Summer has arrived—at least, judging by the vibrant green foliage and fragrant lilacs in bloom outside my office window here in Montpelier, Vermont. Susannah and I are glad...

3 Reasons Why Freelance Book Editors Need PerfectIt

If you're a freelance book editor, or you're training to be one, you need PerfectIt! In this post, Hilary Cadman shares why PerfectIt is such a powerful tool for editors....
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How a Near-Plunge into the Sea Led to My Career as a Freelance Book Editor

It was early Sunday morning, and the rain-slicked Pacific Coast Highway was relatively empty. Luckily, there were few cars coming over the hill behind me when I hit that...

5 Surprising Facts about Freelance Book Editing

Do you love to read and wish you could spend your life with books? Do you find errors in books and wonder how they got there? Do you cringe at misplaced apostrophes and rail...
Poster for EFACON 2019

The Freelance Editing Life: 5 Key Takeaways from the 2019 Editorial Freelancers Association Conference

One of the fastest ways to learn about the field of freelance editing is to attend a regional or national conference. This summer, Susannah and I did just that. Gathering...
Editor Emily King

One Freelance Editor’s Path to the Editing Life

In March 2019, I went to the ACES conference in Providence, RI. I met many lovely fellow editors, including Emily King. Emily was kind enough to answer a few of my questions...
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Networking in Real Life for Freelance Book Editors

A few years ago, at a gathering for college instructors to kick off the new semester, I found myself pouring a bubbly drink alongside a colleague I hadn’t seen in a few...
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An Editor of a Certain Age: Freelance Copyediting Careers for Older Women

I was the eleven-year-old miscreant with a purple Sharpie correcting restaurant menus, school textbooks, and the science fiction novels on my parents’ bookshelves. In the...

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