The job of the editor is easy. A business license is not necessary, PC and desk has each and a website is created today in no time. The opportunity to work from home, in addition to studying or in addition to the parenting, makes the job for many attractive in addition. Making money from the comfort of your own home – that sounds appealing!
The reality is then usually harder than expected: The market is competitive, many work in the industry at dumping prices and customers do not come by themselves. Moreover, it is not enough to be passionate about reading or writing. And good German language skills at school level alone do not qualify as a lecturer or a lecturer. Excellent knowledge of German (spelling, grammar and punctuation), stylistic certainty, a very good sense of language, a broad general knowledge, patience and precision are a must.
At the applications, which I get unsolicited sent (I look for now no reinforcement!), I see that it lacks often already at the excellent German knowledge and the precision. None of the documents that I have received in recent years were without errors.
Three years ago, I was actually looking for additional support for my editorial team in the writing workshop. Of the four editors who have sent a brief sample editorial or made it at my request, none was flawless: one or the other comma was missing, the bis-dash for years was short instead of long, and the uppercase and lowercase letters after one Colon was not correct, quotes were set incorrectly etc.
No good prerequisites to practice the profession of editor.
Mistakes can really fall in the hands of a lecturer, especially when it comes to texts that appear in printed form. That lecturers are only human and mistakes can happen is clear. Ultimately, it depends on the error rate.
Those who proofread a novel will surely miss a mistake here and there, but they are not allowed to overlook anything on every page or even every second or third page. That would be too much. And certainly not allowed to draw errors throughout the book. Of course, this also applies to university work, which many lecturers seem to classify as a particularly attractive text type for their work right at the beginning, even though science lecturers are among the most demanding copy editors.
But let’s get to the heart of the blog article: How to become a top editor or a top editor?
Four tips for aspiring editors:
Tip 1: Have counter-lectures done.
First of all, you should find out where you stand with regard to your competencies at all. I have the impression that many editors do not know that they are not well-versed in spelling and grammar. In this situation, only one thing helps: a counter-lecture.
Look for someone who has been in the proofreading business for a long time, who has big clients and who you think has the job.
Have your copy proofreaded by you with visible corrections and comments by the colleague on a fee basis. Then you will see where you stand and where you still have to learn. Depending on the result, you do that several times – until you are really fit. Think of it as a training, an investment that pays off for you.
Tip 2: Hit it.
Whenever you have the slightest doubt, you should look it up. Do not settle for the first volume of the Duden (which also exists online, by the way), but at least read volumes 2, 5, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11. These are the volumes with which my two editors regularly work.
The Duden is in terms of spelling, grammar, punctuation and sometimes also style informationable. But, of course, as a good copy editor or good editor, you also have to look up, read and research questions of content and doubts.
Tip 3: Read, Read and Read Again!
If you want to be a really good copy editor or a really good editor, you can not help but read a lot off the job. In my opinion, reading should be an integral part of your life and make you happy. I would even go so far as to say that you would rather not consider this job otherwise. You yourself know best which text to wear, trust in your reading on your gut feeling.
Tip 4: Ask for fees that you can live on.
You may be wondering now what prices have to do with the quality of the editing. In my experience, some newcomers simply lack patience. This may be due to the lack of experience and / or the lack of sense of precision, but it may also have something to do with the low standard prices or hourly rates.
If the fee is set too low, this leads to work quickly. However, time pressure or an excessive work pace are the biggest enemy of good editing. Quality that should come first takes time. It speaks around, who does really good work. And recommendations are a great way to attract customers and assert themselves as market proof editors.