What is your specialism within book publishing?
I am an editor specialising in developmental, structural and copy editing of manuscripts. I also assist writers with self-publishing or submissions to traditional publishers.
Can you describe what you do in 10 words or fewer?
Helping writers to produce satisfying, engaging books for their readers.
What led you to go freelance?
I left my corporate job in 1998 to be a full-time mum. In 2007, I chose to start my own freelance business from home to strike a better work–life/family balance.
Do you work primarily for publishing companies or independent authors or a mix?
I work with independent authors. I have been offered work by publishers but so far have turned them down, mainly due to time limitations. However, I am considering working with a publisher next year.
What’s the best part of doing what you do?
I am passionate about helping writers produce a quality book that will give pleasure to their readers and maximise the writer’s chances of success either in self-publishing or traditional publishing. I also enjoy helping writers to become better at writing by teaching them to recognise weaknesses or habits in their grammar, spelling punctuation, vocabulary, etc.
What do you know now that you wish you had known when you started your freelance journey?
That I will be working harder and for longer hours than I have ever worked in my life!
How many books are in your TBR (to be read) pile/list? And do you plan to read them all eventually?
Currently not too many as I recently did some late-night binge reading, but the pile is building again – about three or four, I think – and yes, I always read them eventually!
Do you prefer physical books or ebooks?
And why? I prefer the feel and smell of a physical book in my hands than a Kindle. However, in recent times I have purchased a number of ebooks that aren’t in print and I really, really need to read them!
Do you have any advice for anyone considering a career in publishing?
You cannot be in publishing unless you are passionate about it, and are prepared to keep an open mind and learn something new every day.
What is your favourite children’s book and your favourite adult’s book?
Without ruminating on this for hours, probably younger childhood would have been Enid Blyton’s Folk of the Faraway Tree (anything by Enid Blyton actually) and then later, The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien. Teens was Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte (did this for my GCE O’levels and I still love it today). Adult book – first one that comes to mind is Alias Grace by Margaret Atwood but there are many more!