Product DetailsLouise Harnby’s book, “Business Planning for Editorial Freelancers” is a must-read for anyone considering going into this line of business. In fact, there is a great deal of useful general information in the book that would be useful for anyone looking to start their own business.

The book is packed with useful advice on working out what you want to do, formulating a business plan, building a customer base, networking, using social media, etc. It’s peppered throughout with real-life examples from a handful of other editors, who are working in fields as diverse as genre fiction editing, STM publishing and academic articles, as well as Louise’s own experiences and some longer case studies at the end. There’s a great resource guide with loads of links to useful blogs, pages and reference materials (I was chuffed to see a link to my blog in the resource guide, which I hadn’t expected!).

Although I’m obviously an experienced editor (etc.) who has been running a business for some time, I found it useful for two reasons. One, it’s always gratifying to know you did the right thing when you started out, and indeed I have done much of what is recommended here. Two, I learned a few things, which is always nice, specifically about some editing software that makes the job easier (which I will hopefully be getting hold of and reviewing on here at some stage), and about how to embed downloadable pdfs into your website. It’s never too late to learn something new!

There was lots more to recognise, too, such as the emphasis on other editors being colleagues, not competitors, and the advice to use what you’ve learned in your previous jobs and life experience to deepen and broaden your offering as a freelance editor. I also realised how lucky I was to come into the work having learnt my trade in various jobs in the past, and how lucky I was to build the business pretty much by word of mouth and advertising on one or two sites, plus using social media. Things can be a lot more daunting than that, and I appreciate how lucky I’ve been that everything came together at the right time.

As regular readers will know, I’ve written a book about starting your own business myself recently. I think this book and mine complement each other very well – this is about hard facts, research and the resources you need to get there, whereas mine is more a collection of experiences and lessons learned along the way, along with coverage of other areas such as what to do when you’re ill and what to wear in the home office. There’s also a great deal of information about training courses in editing and proofreading and the professional organisations, as befits a book published in association with the Publishing Training Centre. So I’m not shooting myself in the foot by shouting loud about how very good and useful this book of Louise’s is: it’s excellent and I wish it had been around 4 years ago when I was setting up Libro. I will certainly recommend it to new editorial colleagues and more experienced colleagues who might want to pick up additional information on training, networking or social media, for example.

More information about the book on Louise’s website, which includes links to the various places where you can buy the book.


Note: the author kindly sent me an e-copy of this book to review.