Editor: Sara Brady Company: Inside Higher Ed Number of years in editing: 17 years
Tell us a little about yourself, including how you got started as an editor?
I always had an eye for typos; my friends in high school asked me to proofread their English papers. In college, I worked for the newspaper, which didn't have dedicated copy editors at the time. After college, I got hired as an administrative assistant at a magazine in New York, and that job eventually turned into writing, copyediting, and fact-checking. When that job ended, I started editing books on a freelance basis, and I've been doing that as a side hustle to my day job copyediting a higher education news website ever since.
What is your area of focus and why did you select this niche?
In my day job, I focus on higher education news and opinion. In my freelance work, I mostly edit romance novels, women's fiction, and some business-related books.
Walk us through a typical workday. How do you manage your time?
The pandemic has made everything a little different, but I usually have a few stories waiting for me when I wake up, plus whatever posts our Inside Higher Ed bloggers have put up overnight. After I walk my dog at noon, I edit the opinion pieces that are usually ready at that point. We have our daily editorial meeting at 3:30, and after that news articles start to become ready for editing and copyediting. Everything wraps up between 8 and 9 p.m. when I schedule our editorial newsletter, which goes out at 3:15 a.m. On weekends I work on freelance books in whatever time I have.
What is your favorite thing about being an editor?
I like knowing a book is in better shape when I leave it than when I found it.
What is your biggest challenge and how do you work through this?
Balancing my day job and my freelance work is probably my biggest challenge since my day job extends into the evenings.
What are you currently working on?
My freelance schedule is currently empty, but I am expecting those opinion pieces to roll in over the next couple of hours.
What advice do you have for someone who is just starting their career as an editor?
Keep careful track of what people owe you. Some clients are uninterested in paying their bills, and you have to keep on top of them. This is also helpful for tax purposes.