Working for non-publishers

Many editors and proofreaders offer their services to a wide range of clients who do not themselves have publishing experience. This is very worthwhile work and these clients are often justifiably grateful for the added value that a professional editor and/or proofreader can bring. We do, however, have to consider that this type of client may not be in a position to judge whether or not a good job has been done. Many of these projects will be one-off, so the lack of repeat work is not an indicator of a bad job. There may be very little by way of useful feedback from this sort of client.

In this category might be:

  • academics (including those for whom English is not a mother tongue) preparing articles or monographs for submission to publishers
  • students wanting editorial input on their essays, dissertations, theses, and so on (with their supervisor’s consent)
  • commercial firms engaging editorial services for their marketing materials, websites or similar
  • self-publishing organisations (or individuals self-publishing their books) and ‘vanity’ publishers
  • translation agencies.

If you want your experience of working with this category of client to be counted, you will need to provide the same sort of information about work carried out for these clients as that requested for publishing clients (above), including an estimate of time taken for projects.

If you are including work for non-publishers to meet the minimum experience requirement for Professional Membership, we will also need you to have successfully completed the basic editorial test, because of the difficulty that this category of client causes in terms of assessment, as mentioned above. If you are not sure which of your clients qualify as ‘publishers’, it might be a good idea to take the test anyway.