Editor: Elisabeth (Liz) Cooke Company: Second Sight Editing Services Number of years in editing: 9 years (freelance editing)
Tell us a little about yourself, including how you got started as an editor?
I was a writer before I was an editor. I spent 10+ years in various writing clubs/critique groups/college while working on my craft.
As time passed, I wanted to be able to leave my 9 to 5 job and immerse myself in writing. Members of my critique groups encouraged me to read their completed works and thought I was good enough at tightening their manuscripts to pay. That started me down the road to editing.
What is your area of focus and why did you select this niche?
I prefer developmentally editing novels. Some of the books have been cross overs between genres, having elements of mystery, thriller, romance, and paranormal.
I have also done a fair amount of copy editing for novels and non-fiction.
Walk us through a typical workday. How do you manage your time?
When I first began freelancing, I had a daytime job. Most of my editing was done at night and on weekends; occasionally, at lunch, if I needed to make a deadline.
Now I get up slightly later than when I had another job, but I try to keep a "workday" that has fairly set hours. This keeps me in a "job" mentality, which keeps my productivity up: three hours before lunch, three or four hours after lunch—more to meet deadlines.
What is your favorite thing about being an editor?
Helping to tell great stories! Whether they are my stories or someone else's, this is my passion. I want the story to be the kind the reader will immerse themselves in and won't come up for air until the very last word.
What is your biggest challenge and how do you work through this?
I think the biggest challenge is to convince self-publishing authors that they need an editor. I read many self-published books that have great stories, but that I am consistently thrown out of due to misspellings, typos, cut & paste mistakes. It's frustrating. Great story—unprofessional execution.
What are you currently working on?
I just finished a non-fiction travel log from a gentleman who is traveling the country trying to get minority youth to see more options in their economic future. Not my usual book, but quite exciting.
What advice do you have for someone who is just starting their career as an editor?
With yourself: Be focused. Work really hard! Don't waste time.