David Hambling – Copy Editor, Proofreader and Typesetter

What is your specialism within book publishing? 

I am a freelance copy-editor, proofreader and typesetter, I work with ghost writers, self-publishing authors and have worked with publishers to produce books and magazines.


Can you describe what you do in 10 words or fewer?

I use Adobe InDesign to create books for publication.


What led you to go freelance? 

I have recently graduated from a Master’s Degree in Publishing, and was looking forward to finding a career in the publishing industry in the London area. Unfortunately, my beautiful partner took ill and had to undergo another round of brain surgery. This time to measure the inter-cranial pressure in her skull and try to find the cause of her palinopsia. This led to her having her left side be almost completely paralysed and she struggled to do the simplest of tasks. I decided that it would be the best thing to keep her near her parents and circle of support and living in the Midlands meant that there are not many publishers or jobs in book publishing. I decided then, that I would create my own company so that I could work in the industry that I fell in love with while taking care of the love of my life. 


Do you work primarily for publishing companies or independent authors or a mix? 

At this time, I primarily work with a ghost writer, who writes books for self-publishing authors and for charities. I have worked with self-publishing authors, which is great, but I am now looking to work more with publishers.


What’s the best part of doing what you do?

I love helping to enhance the work of an author, helping to bring their worlds, ideas and creations to life. Being able to both copy-edit and typeset means that I can oversee the creation of a book from inception to final production. The best part overall is sending the final proofs to print!


What do you know now that you wish you had known when you started your freelance journey? 

I wish I had known the complications of working with someone’s work on such a basis and trying to ensure that the final product meets their high expectations.


How many books are in your TBR (to be read) pile/list? And do you plan to read them all eventually? 

Too many to count! I have crates full of books that I want to read, and I intend to read all of them. I am currently reading three books and just as I think I can get to the rest of the TBR pile a new shiny book is published, and the pile just gets bigger …


Do you prefer physical books or ebooks?

I prefer physical books, always! There is nothing better than the tactile sensation of a real book, the feel of the paper, the smell of the ink… it is all an immersive experience and helps me to enter the world that has been created in type. 


Do you have any advice for anyone considering a career in publishing? 

I think the best advice I could give anyone who is looking to get into publishing is to get educated about the industry. I do not mean take a degree or master’s in publishing, but more visit publishing events, speak to publishers and book sellers. These are the people who deal in books every day and I have found a wealth of knowledge simply from speaking to them. Join publishing associations and sign up to the Bookseller Newsletter or Magazine and stay updated on the industry as best as you can. This will help you to sell yourself to publishers and authors.


What is your favourite children’s book and your favourite adult’s book? 

My all-time favourite children’s book is The Tailypo by Joanne Galdone, I read it when I was very young, and it stayed with me as a story, it was the first book I remember giving me an emotional reaction (fear) and thus fuelled my passion for books. So much so that when I studied in America I purchased a copy (it is out of print in the UK), which is a prized possession.
My favourite adults’ book is Death or Glory by Sandy Mitchell. I love the concept of a single man being able to derail a planet wide war and win it for “the good guys.” It’s also hilarious!




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