How I Became a Book Editor & Proofreader (and how you can too!)

Updated: Jan 14

For a while now, I have given you an abundance of detailed advice on character creation and development, writing and editing, and how to best market your book after publication, but I rarely talk about...well, me.

When I edit your manuscripts, it's all about you and your amazing story.

When I create an online course (you can check them out here!), I have writers like you in mind.

And when I write a new blog post, I always think about how best to help you.

So today, I'm going to wriggle out of my hermit shell and talk about something I rarely discuss - how I became a book editor and proofreader, and what made me launch Stand Corrected Editing.

Well, my story isn't really that interesting, so I apologise in advance if I bore you so much that you never return (but please don't go). That wouldn't be good for my business, would it? :p

Anyway, about a year ago now, I took yet another stroll around my local library, made yet another cup of tea to make myself look busy, and slumped into my chair at my messy desk as I desperately wondered what I could actually do with my degree.

Don't get me wrong, I loved working as a library assistant, especially before I transferred to a new one that offered more hours. Organising fun events for the children and chatting to my favourite customers always kept me cheerful, but...I wanted something more. I wanted something I could be truly passionate about, something I could be excited to do every day, and something I could call my own.

So, one weekend, I bounded home with a dazzling idea I had to pursue - to start my own business as an editor!

Now, I know what you're thinking - you just randomly decided to become an editor just like that? Without any training?

Well, yes and no.

Editing and proofreading is something I have always enjoyed doing, even more so than writing. Constructing my own written work can feel so daunting at times, but I love, love, LOVE editing the work of others, which I used to do for my university's student publishing house.

After my lovely boyfriend encouraged me to pursue a career as an editor, I spent months learning EVERYTHING I could about how to become a great one who can provide value to writers. So, on top of my English degree, I took multiple online courses that specialised in different types of editing, both free and paid; I signed up for several email courses, classes, workshops and newsletters created by professional editors; I read piles of books about how to self-edit, line edit, copy edit, proofread and developmental edit a manuscript; books that taught correct grammar and punctuation, books that help you master the act of showing, not telling; I read so many articles and listened to countless podcasts and YouTube videos...I even hired a professional editor for my book at a top literary consultancy to see how a real editor works.

You may think that doing all this is a little extreme because technically, anyone can be an editor these days, but as you have probably noticed, I haven't worked as a paid editor at a magazine, newspaper or publishing house or anything like you'd expect - I have only volunteered at my university's student house while I studied a few years ago.

Unlike a lot of other people, I don't live in a massive city, or anywhere near London, so it would have been impossible for me to physically shadow a real editor at a magazine press or a publishing house, because where I live, there aren't any. I had to rely on the fantastic resources the experts create for people like us, but that's okay! :)

In a way, I'm glad that I became an editor and launched Stand Corrected Editing in the way that I did - if I had taken a different route, I may not have worked with the amazing writers I've had the pleasure to work with, and I may not have received these heart-warming reviews! Take a look at my favourites below!

If you want to be like me and become an editor and proofreader yourself, why not start here?

And if you're a writer and would like me to edit your manuscript, I'd be more than happy to help you! Please feel free to take a look at my editorial packages here!



Hey! I'm Chelsea and I'm the book editor and proofreader at Stand Corrected Editing, my independent literary consultancy in the UK. I help passionate writers and authors to get their novels ready for literary agents or self-publishing.

In weekly blog posts, online courses and daily Instagram posts, 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!

Let me ask you something...

  • Do you seriously want to pursue your passion of writing and publishing books people actually want to read?

  • Are you currently planning, writing, or editing your manuscript?

  • Are you ready to become a successful author?

Well then, you've come to the right place!

First time visiting Stand Corrected Editing? Start here!

Turn your writing into a career today!

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