Freelance Book Editing 101:

What You Need to Know to Succeed

(a self-paced class)

Freelance Book Editing 101:

What You Need to Know to Succeed

a self-paced class

Register for Class

Love to Read? Learn to Edit!


Turn your love of books into a rewarding part-time or full-time career as a freelance book editor.

Nearly 2 million books were self-published in 2018 – and that doesn’t include books that were published traditionally.

With more books than ever being published, editorial services are in demand. Thousands of titles appear on real and virtual bookshelves every day: thrillers, fantasy, romance, science fiction, memoirs, nonfiction about health and wellness… you name it.

Whether you want to edit books all day every day, or you prefer to work only on the weekend while you keep your main job or just work part-time, freelance book editing is a smart career move.


In this video, Nancy Marriott and Susannah Noel discuss how they formed Editorial Arts Academy, the question everyone asks that led to the creation of Freelance Book Editing 101, and what you can expect when you sign up.

Here’s what you get in Freelance Book Editing 101…

  • Go at your own pace from anywhere with an Internet connection
  • 15 videos (9 slide presentations with voiceovers, 5 direct-to-camera with Susannah and Nancy, 1 over-the-shoulder editing demonstration)
  • 9 lessons
  • Moderated forum on Slack
  • 6 examples of different kinds of editing
  • An over-the-shoulder editing demonstration of line vs. copyediting
  • Book Editor Profile Quiz – learn what kind of editor(s) you are
  • Ebook: Begin Your Editing Journey: A Guide to the Best Resources for Aspiring Freelance Book Editors
  • Roadmap to Editing Success
  • Course quiz
  • Course Completion Certificate

Module 1: Discover the World of Freelance Book Editing

Instructions for moderated forum

Lesson 1.1: What Do Book Editors Do?

Lesson 1.2: The World of Publishing

Lesson 1.3: Introduction to the 7 Editorial Roles

Module 2: Explore Your Place in Freelance Book Editing

Lesson 2.1: Your Editor Profile (includes Book Editor Profile Quiz)

Lesson 2.2: Editorial Roles for the Content Edit

Lesson 2.3: Editorial Roles for the Language Edit

Module 3: Envision Your Life as a Freelance Book Editor

Lesson 3.1: The Freelance Lifestyle

Lesson 3.2: All About the Money

Lesson 3.3: The Business of Freelance Book Editing

Module 4: Editing in Action

Over-the-Shoulder Video Demonstration of Line Editing vs. Copyediting

Sample: Book Coaching Letter

Sample: Developmental Edit, Editorial Letter, Self-Help

Sample: Developmental Edit, Editorial Letter, Fiction

Sample: Line Edit, Memoir

Sample: Copyedit, Fiction

Sample: Proofread, Fiction

Ebook: Begin Your Editing Journey: A Guide to the Best Resources for Aspiring Freelance Book Editors

Roadmap to Editing Success

Test Your Knowledge of Freelance Book Editing (graded course quiz)

Sign Up for Your Next Class

Certificate of Completion

For more in-depth information, take a tour here.

Course Promise

By the end of this class, whether you are new to the field, or you have worked in other kinds of editing, you will have the foundational knowledge you need to choose which of the 7 editorial roles are best for you. You will know exactly how to start working toward your freelancing goals, and you’ll have insider tips on how to succeed in today’s marketplace as a freelance book editor. 


When does the course start and finish?

The course is a completely self-paced online course. You decide when you start and when you finish.

How long do I have access to the course?

How does lifetime access sound? After enrolling, you have unlimited access to this course for as long as you like – across any and all devices you own.

Is there a money-back guarantee?

Yes. If you find the content and delivery of the course less than satisfactory, within 30 days of registering with no more than 15% of the class completed, we will refund your class fee.

How is the course delivered?

The course is delivered through the Teachable platform. It leads you through four modules filled with videos, slide presentations, and supporting materials. You watch the videos on the platform and can either read the editing samples, ebook, and roadmap on the platform or download them to your computer (as well as the transcripts). You go at your own pace.

What kind of equipment will I need to participate?

You’ll need a computer, tablet, or smartphone and an Internet connection. You might want to print out some of the materials, so access to a printer is also helpful.

Are transcripts available?

Yes, you have the option to download transcripts, with slides, of the recorded lectures.

Who are the instructors?

Susannah Noel, MA, and Nancy Marriott, MA, are the class instructors. Both are working freelance book editors who’ve been in the field for close to 25 years, and can each claim contributions to bestselling books, fiction and nonfiction. You can read more about them here.

Is there a class forum?

Yes, as part of their enrollment, students are given membership to a forum on Slack. This forum provides a space to bring your questions for instructors and have interactions with other students. Each student has access to the forum for six months from the date of enrollment.

Will there be homework/exercises?

No. This is not a skills-training class, and we don’t teach you how to edit. However, you’ll take a final quiz to help you see what you’ve learned.

Will the class teach me how to edit?

No. The class does not teach editing skills. It’s an informational course that explains the field of freelance editing of trade books (popular fiction and nonfiction books for a general audience). After taking the class, you will understand where you fit in and whether you want to pursue a career or expand your current editing work. The class also provides resources to help you take the next steps toward establishing a freelance business.

Can I expect to get editing jobs as a result of taking this class?

No, getting editing jobs requires more skills training than we offer in this class. However, if you have that technical training already, this class will put you in a better position to succeed in your career.

Will there be follow-up training after this introductory class?

Yes, Editorial Arts Academy is offering three classes in the fall of 2020, both available remotely by Zoom: Copyediting and Proofreading Fiction and Nonfiction Books, Developmental and Line Editing for Popular Nonfiction Books, and Developmental Editing of Fiction. We are also offering a six-month apprenticeship in copyediting and proofreading beginning November 2020 (details to come).

For the future, we are creating additional courses, both self-paced and instructor-led, as well as mentoring groups and apprenticeships in the skills of developmental and line editing, copyediting, and proofreading.

If I have experience as an editor, is this class right for me?

If you have experience as an editor but you want to expand into editing trade books (popular fiction and nonfiction books for a general audience), this class will give you the information you need to do so.

What does the class cost?

Registration is $249 and includes the lecture content, supporting materials and resources, an editing demonstration and editing samples, an ebook of resources, the roadmap to beginning your business, and membership in the class’s Slack forum.

How long does it take to complete the course?

Depending on how much time you want to review (and re-review!) the material, you can expect to complete the course in 5-10 hours.

Is my personal information and credit card information safe?

Absolutely. Please review the privacy policy on the Teachable platform.

Has the class been peer reviewed?

Yes, Editorial Arts Academy’s Advisory Board has reviewed and approved of the contents of this course. Read about our Advisory Board members here.

How can I sign up?

Scroll to the bottom of the page for the registration button!

What Students Are Saying…

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

I really appreciate the amount of preparation and overall effort that went into this “101” class. I’ve taken lots of classes over the years for my work (first as a computer geek, and for the last 20+ years, as a massage therapist) and it’s been rare that the instructors are so clear, committed, and focused on providing good information in an accessible format.
Rhonda Henry

Seattle, Washington

I enjoyed Freelance Book Editing 101 very much and benefited from it greatly. It gave me a real insight into the business side of freelancing. Susannah and Nancy are both knowledgeable and enthusiastic, offering a tremendous amount of supporting materials and resources. Taking this class was a wise investment in my future career as a freelance copyeditor. It’s worth every penny!
Ben Portway

Burlington, Vermont

If freelance book editing intrigues you, do yourself a favor and take Freelance Book Editing 101. I started training with Editorial Arts Academy in 2018. I discovered the kind of editing I excel at and enjoy. I learned exactly what I needed to get to work. Now, in my midfifties, I’m a freelance copyeditor with four novels under my, um, hood. Nancy Marriott and Susannah Noel embody integrity, skill, word nerdiness, professionalism, humor, and kindness. The entire EAA experience and its results have made my brain a happier place to live. Now it’s your turn.
Sheryl Rapee-Adams

Montpelier, Vermont

Your Instructors

Since the mid-1990s, Susannah Noel and Nancy Marriott have enjoyed successful careers editing fiction, nonfiction, genre titles, self-help, and everything in between. Susannah specializes in line editing, copyediting, and proofreading for fiction, and Nancy’s expertise is in book coaching, developmental editing, and line editing for nonfiction. Both have worked with major New York publishers, small presses, and self-published authors, and Nancy also teaches editing courses through the Editorial Freelancers Association.

How to Register

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Click here to register:


If you’ve already registered and want to access the course, click here:

If you have any questions at all, email us at info@editorialartsacademy.com.