Professional book editor in the UK reflects on the best achievements that have been made so far this year at Stand Corrected Editing!
As I wrote this sentence, I breathed deep and exhaled slowly, reflecting on the last 2.5 years as a self-employed book editor and online business owner.
In December 2019, I decided to actually use my university degree and set up my small editorial business, inspired by the company that edited my manuscript, and in March 2020, I left my 9-5 job as a library assistant to concentrate on self-employment.
I know. I left a secure position at the start of a global pandemic to become a self-employed book editor in a saturated market. What the bloody hell was I thinking?
I felt pretty stupid to those around me, but I wanted more from life than just shelving books and sitting at a desk, completely bored out of my mind. And most days, I went home feeling brain dead due to having nothing to do.
Don't get me wrong though, I did love working as a library volunteer during my teenage years and as a Saturday Assistant while at university, but working full time in one of the quietest libraries is a slog, and my brain needed more stimulation.
Yes, it sounds very dashing, doesn't it? And yes, I love my self-employment, but recently, I've been hitting a bit of a brick wall with everything, or that's how it feels in my mind.
I honestly don't know whether it's the time of year slowing things down, the cost-of-living crisis here in the UK, my accidental lack of posts this year on Instagram, the fact that I'm still relatively new, or not being good enough at marketing myself, but it just feels like I haven't made much growth since the start of the year.
So, this post is more for me, I guess, to reflect on everything I've achieved between January and August 2022.
1. Descent of a Broken Man & Flying Ant Day Have Been Published!
Descent of a Broken Man, a horror novel by Ashon Ruffins, and Flying Ant Day, a dystopian thriller by Sam Smedley have both been published this year! I thoroughly enjoyed editing both novels, so I'm super proud to see them published with professional book covers and gaining positive reviews each week!
It's also surreal to know that I've helped the authors behind the books, and it's a nice confidence boost knowing that I did a good job!
2. Two Positive Reviews
Whoop whoop! It may not sound like a lot, but two extra reviews on my Google page makes a massive difference. Not only does it show more writers that I'm trustworthy and genuine, but it also reminds me of why I love my job, and why I made the "stupid" decision to leave my secure 9-5 to become a self-employed book editor. Although businesses run to make money, and yes, writers need to pay to have their manuscripts professionally edited, I truly love reading your novels and helping to make a difference to your journey and potential career as an author.
So, receiving kind words from you on my Google review page means a lot and always makes my day, and it's times like this when I reread your lovely words and remember what a difference I've made.
3. An Amazing Ghostwriting Company Recruited Me as a Freelance Editor
Sometimes, I wonder whether I'm going wrong with Instagram. One minute, engagement is great, loads of people are liking & commenting on my posts, my reels are doing well and various clients find me on there, but the next minute, radio silence. So, it blew me away when the creative director of a popular ghostwriting company got in touch with me - after enjoying my Instagram posts about creating characters with autism - and offered me an editing trial. Since then, I've been receiving some super cool projects to work on, which has definitely kept me busy and helped to top up my income.
I would name the ghostwriting company, but due to the nature of the work, everything has to be kept confidential, so no secrets shall be spilled!
4. An International Audiobook Company Got in Touch As well!
Haha, you couldn't make it up! But yes, as well as the ghostwriting company, an international audiobook company contacted me as well to see if I'd like to edit the various stories they have before they're recorded by the speakers.
But however amazing this opportunity sounded, being in two different countries (me in the UK and them in the US) made everything super complicated in terms of tax, so regretfully, we couldn't work together in the end. Although the paperwork made everything tricky, I'm still thankful that another company saw potential in me and my lil editing business, so much so that they wanted me to edit their novels.
I just wish they were UK-based, haha!
5. My Google Ranking has Increased
For the past year, I would say, I've started to take SEO (search engine optimisation) more seriously than before, so I researched the best ways to increase my website's SEO, which basically means getting higher on Google for certain keywords. I discovered that blogging on a consistent basis is an effective way to increase my SEO, so that's what I decided to focus on most - blogging. Granted, my audience isn't huge, so I only get a few views on my blog posts, especially as I repurpose them for Instagram, but the most important thing for me is how each blog post helps to boost my website on Google.
For example, I always try to incorporate the following keywords into my posts: "book editing services UK", "manuscript editing services UK", "copy editing services UK" and "proofreading services UK" - sometimes more, but those are the fundamental keywords I want to rank for on Google. And this year, I've managed to reach page 1 on Google for some of these keywords!! I never thought I'd get there because of the more established book editing companies and literary consultancies out there, but blogging truly seems to be working for me. More people are finding me on Google just by typing certain keywords into the search bar, such as "book editors UK" and it's really helped to feel like I'm doing something right for a chance. Recently, I started to hire a few freelancers to help me achieve my goal of 2 blog posts a week on Mondays and Fridays, and it's definitely helped, but of course, I don't always have the spare cash to hire people, so during those times, there will only be a blog post on Mondays. But anyway, I'm super chuffed with how much progress I've made on Google since this time last year!
6. Show Like a Pro (Shh! Never Tell!) eBook
Last year, I launched a mini course titled Show Like a Pro (Shh! Never Tell), which taught writers how to show, not tell, in their writing. The course proved to be popular, but the course platform I had been using got super expensive to run each month, and I really didn't want to charge more for the course.
So, I decided to scrap my courses and turn them into affordable eBooks - which works out cheaper for me and also you - one of which I published just days ago!
The Show Like a Pro (Shh! Never Tell!) eBook will teach you everything you need to know about how to show and not tell in your writing - including how to reduce the number of adverbs in your novel, showing your character's feelings & emotions, showing how your characters react to certain things to showing the atmosphere of a location in your story and describing the weather without telling.
7. Instagram Reels
I'd been putting it off for so long due to social anxiety, but I've finally started making reels on Instagram. Some of them involve me miming to a trending audio, and others are of me actually talking, providing you with writing tips & advice.
I'm still not used to the whole thing as it's never felt natural for me to be on camera, but over the last few months, all I've heard is that reels are the way to go if you want to increase your reach, so I'm essentially forcing myself to do it while enjoying it at the same time.
Starting Instagram reels may not sound like a massive achievement, but for someone with social anxiety, it's a daunting step. You can check them out by following me on Instagram - @standcorrected_editing.
8. £2K Month Achieved
I never discuss the money I earn through Stand Corrected Editing. I guess because I've been brought up to keep hush about finance, which isn't a bad thing, but I just had to share this with you! Never did I ever think it would be possible for me, a working class, mixed-race girl, to earn any more than a standard wage, so when I managed to make a whopping £2k during one month this year, just as a self-employed book editor, I couldn't f*cking believe it! I was over the moon and so excited to work out how much I could throw into my savings account!! I always read the income reports on Pinterest, written by other business owners, and they're always making something ridiculous like £100k a month, but I've never made £2k in one month before, so that payday left me feeling comfortable and secure, especially with all the prices going up here in the UK.
So there we are, the 8 goals achieved so far this year at Stand Corrected Editing. I just hope I can continue achieving so much and grow my editing business more and more!
If you've read to the end of this post - thank you, I really appreciate it and I'd love to help you with your manuscript when you're ready for a professional book editor, so check out my website to get all the details on my book editing services!
Hey! I'm Chelsea and I'm a professional book editor at Stand Corrected Editing, my independent editorial business in the UK. If you would like to have your manuscript thoroughly edited by myself, please get in touch!
With my book editing and proofreading services, I hope to spread my knowledge and expertise on how to make your novel a success, and be a mentor to others who desperately want to pursue a fruitful career as an author!