Samantha Lacey – Editor and Proofreader

What is your specialism within book publishing? 

I’d describe my specialism as student and teacher materials within ELT and educational publishing. But I also edit non-fiction books and business materials, such as company reports.


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

Ooh, tricky! How about: I bring clarity so a reader can navigate content effectively.


What led you to go freelance? 

I love what I do but I also love being a mum. It was becoming hard to juggle a full-time publishing role with two children, so I really wanted more flexibility. Freelancing gives me the best of both worlds, although it’s taken me a while to find the right balance.


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

I work pretty much for publishing companies.


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

I love it when a job is finished and handed back to the client, and they’re happy. It’s quite satisfying to know that I’ve helped with making the material more polished, even though my role is probably quite a small one in the whole process.


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

That I was going to have to learn to say no. In the early days of freelancing, I tended to say yes to everything. There are only so many hours in the day and I’ve had to learn my limits! 


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

Currently about 25 (including those on my Kindle). I will read them eventually, yes, though I couldn't say how long it’ll take me! 


Do you prefer physical books or ebooks?

I read both, but there’s nothing quite like a physical book. For pleasure, I read mainly fiction and I love the act of turning the page to see what happens next.


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

Working in publishing sounds very glam; in reality, it’s a lot of really hard work. You need to be passionate about it.


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

My favourites as a child were Enid Blyton’s ‘Famous Five’ books – I read them over and over! My youngest has just discovered Harry Potter so at the moment we’re enjoying those together. I’ve loved reading so many books as an adult, but the one that stuck the most was ‘Birdsong’ by Sebastian Faulks. It’s just so beautifully written.

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