How I Landed A $50,000 Editing Gig…With No Professional Editing Experience! By Laura Pennington

How I Landed A $50,000 Editing Gig…With No Professional Editing Experience! By Laura Pennington

One of the greatest accomplishments of my freelancing career was landing a $50,000 book editing deal less than 18 months in. Bear in mind that up to this point most of my experience with editing had been quite small in comparison. I had looked over a couple of people’s academic papers and edited my own master’s thesis. But I had never handled a project of this size.

When the opportunity came through, I heard from a man who stumbled across my credentials who wanted to turn his blog into a book. This individual knew what he wanted and was looking for the right person to handle it. Here’s how I landed this gig with no experience.

Relied On My Writing Background

Most excellent writers are also excellent editors. Since we frequently edit our own work or can spot problems on our client’s web pages or eBooks, we are well trained to look for these minute details that can be important. As writers, we also understand how stories flow together and can point out problems that other people might not catch. You can use this to get your foot in the door as a freelance editor.

Offered A Trial Basis

In order to convince this individual that I was the right person to work with, I offered to take three of the 300 blog posts, edit them, and talk about where they might fit in the overall scheme of the book. This worked out beautifully because even though I was only paid for a couple of hours of my work, I got to show the client that I knew what I was doing and he got to see a sample of what the project would look like when taken full-scale. He basically got a taste test of what it would be like to work with me and this was certainly enough to convince him to bring me on board.

Had One Editing Example in My Arsenal

If you are looking to make the jump from freelance writer to editor, or incorporate editing services into your general menu, one thing I strongly recommend is having a longer piece that shows some of your example edits.

Using track changes in Word is a great way to indicate your expertise. You do not need to include another client’s editing example unless you’ve gotten permission to do so, but one thing I can recommend is perhaps taking something that you’ve written yourself and then go back later and edit it using track changes. Someone who is hiring an editor simply wants to see that you have the chops and the detail oriented ability to succeed with an editing project.


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Laura Pennington is a PhD candidate and former teacher turned freelance writer. Since 2012, she’s been writing blogs and ebooks for clients all over the world. She’s been featured in Business Insider and is a regulator contributor for the Huffington Post. She shares her freelance writing knowledge for new and advanced wordsmiths at

The Art and Craft of Writing and Editing

Writing is a constant dialogue between author and reader.

The craft of writing involves an interchange of emotions between an author and a reader. An author creates a story line, conflict, and characters, gives his characters words to speak, and then hands off these materials to a reader. This process results in a constant dialogue between the mental imagery produced by a reader and that proposed by the author.

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