Hi there Puff. I'm not currently working, but I was an active freelance editor and proofreader for about 5 years. I stopped completely when I was pg with ds2 about 2.5 years ago. I may have to go back to it sometime soon though.
im just hoping for a bit of advice that id be very grateful for!
what could i do to break into the field freelance proofreading?
ive no qualifications but hv been looking into appylying to a proofreading course like chapterhouse to get into the field..how good are these courses?
and once u get thru the required qualifications,how well do beginners fare if they market themselves?
I have to be honest and say that I wouldn't waste your money on something like Chapterhouse. When I worked as an editor I used to get letters on a daily basis from people who wanted to break into freelance proofreading and those CVs that offered 'I passed my Chapterhouse course with merit' usually went straight in the bin . It's an extremely competitive market and those who do well are generally the ones with previous publishing/editorial experience and/or a specific area of expertise. It really is quite hard to get into 'cold', as it were.
However, the SfEP (link below) does run courses that will be more highly-regarded than the courses you find in the back of Sunday supplements and will also be able to offer you more information on breaking into the industry. Sorry to sound harsh (and please remember that I haven't worked in the industry for a good few years now!) but, imo, Chapterhouse and their ilk are a total waste of time and money.
Thanks Snafu. You have really just confirmed what I suspected anyway - not that I could afford the extortionate course fees those type of places are charging! I feel there must be a route to get into it if I haven't worked in publishing before but I have yet to hear from anyone who has achieved it! Hmmm back to the drawing board it would seem.
Polgara - do you have a specialist area of interest? Sometimes small specialist publishers are looking for freelancers. I had some publishing experience (used to work for OUP), and through some personal contacts a small firm paid for me to do an editing course (with Book House - who are more highly regarded than Chapterhouse!). They invited me on their residential editing conference too, which was interesting, and offered me work (obviously, as they had a vested interest in me!) But I decided it wasn't really for me, as working from home didn't really fulfil my needs. Also the pay is really quite poor when you take into account no pension, no sick pay, no holiday pay, etc., etc., etc.
Having said that I am doing a little job at the moment for a friend; and I do enjoy it.