Freelance Book Editing 101

How to Make a Living Editing Fiction and Nonfiction Books

   Watch Promo

Love to Read? Learn to Edit!

Turn your love of books into a rewarding part-time or full-time career as a freelance book editor. Learn all you need to know to succeed in this flexible and satisfying career.

Nearly 2 million books were self-published in 2018 - and that doesn't include books that were published traditionally.

With more books than ever being published, editorial services are in demand. A variety of titles are appearing on real and virtual bookshelves every day: thrillers, fantasy, romance, science fiction, memoirs, nonfiction about health and wellness... you name it.

Whether you want to edit books all day every day, or you prefer to work only on the weekend while you keep your main job or just work part-time, freelance book editing is a smart career move.

All About Freelance Book Editing 101

Teachers Nancy Marriott and Susannah Noel discuss why they started Editorial Arts Academy and the question everyone asks that inspired them to create this course.

Your Instructor

Susannah Noel and Nancy Marriott
Susannah Noel and Nancy Marriott

Since the mid-1990s, Susannah Noel and Nancy Marriott have enjoyed successful careers editing fiction, nonfiction, genre titles, self-help, and everything in between. Susannah specializes in line editing, copyediting, and proofreading for fiction, and Nancy's expertise is in book coaching, developmental editing, and line editing for nonfiction. Both have worked with major New York publishers, small presses, and self-published authors. Nancy also teaches editing courses through the Editorial Freelancers Association.

Here's what you get in Freelance Book Editing 101

  • 14 videos (9 slide presentations with voiceovers, 5 direct-to-camera with Susannah and Nancy)
  • 9 lessons
  • Moderated forum on Slack
  • 6 examples of different kinds of editing
  • An over-the-shoulder video demonstration of line vs. copyediting
  • Book Editor Profile Quiz
  • Ebook: Begin Your Editing Journey: A Guide to the Best Resources for Aspiring Freelance Book Editors
  • Roadmap to Your Editing Future
  • Course quiz
  • Course Completion Certificate

Course Curriculum

  Welcome to Freelance Book Editing 101
Available in days
days after you enroll

Course Promise

By the end of this class, whether you are new to the field, or you have worked in other kinds of editing, you will have the foundational knowledge you need to choose which of the 7 editorial roles are best for you. You will know exactly how to start working toward your freelancing goals, and you'll have insider tips on how to succeed in today's marketplace as a freelance book editor.

Frequently Asked Questions

When does the course start and finish?
The course is a completely self-paced online course. You decide when you start and when you finish..
How long do I have access to the course?
How does lifetime access sound? After enrolling, you have unlimited access to this course for as long as you like - across any and all devices you own.
Is there a money-back guarantee?
Yes! If you find the content and delivery of the course less than satisfactory, within 30 days of registering with no more than 15% of the class completed, we will refund your class fee.
How is the course delivered?
The course leads you through four modules filled with videos, slide presentations, and supporting materials. You watch the videos on the platform and can either read the editing samples, ebook, and roadmap on the platform or download them to your computer (as well as the transcripts). You go at your own pace.
What kind of equipment will I need to participate?
You’ll need a computer, tablet, or smartphone and an Internet connection. You might want to print out some of the materials, so access to a printer is also helpful.
Are transcripts available?
Yes, you have the option to download transcripts, with slides, of the recorded lectures.
Who are the instructors?
Susannah Noel, MA, and Nancy Marriott, MA, are the class instructors. Both are working freelance book editors who’ve been in the field for close to 25 years, and can each claim contributions to bestselling books, fiction and nonfiction.
Is there a class forum?
Yes, as part of their enrollment, students are given membership to a forum on Slack. This forum provides a space to bring your questions for instructors and have interactions with other students. Each student has access to the forum for six months from the date of enrollment.
Will there be homework/exercises?
No. This is not a skills-training class, and we don’t teach you how to edit. However, you’ll take a final quiz to help you see what you’ve learned.
Will the class teach me how to edit?
No. The class does not teach editing skills. It’s an informational course that explains the field of freelance editing of trade books (popular fiction and nonfiction books for a general audience). After taking the class, you will understand where you fit in and whether you want to pursue a career or expand your current editing work. The class also provides resources to help you take the next steps toward establishing a freelance business.
Can I expect to get editing jobs as a result of taking this class?
No, getting editing jobs requires more skills training than we offer in this class. However, if you have that technical training already, this class will put you in a better position to succeed in your career.
Will there be follow-up training after this introductory class?
Yes, Editorial Arts Academy offers skills-training classes for beginners; see our Classes and Events page for current information:
If I have experience as an editor, is this class right for me?
If you have experience as an editor but you want to expand into editing trade books (popular fiction and nonfiction books for a general audience), this class will give you the information you need to do so.
How long does it take to complete the course?
Depending on how much time you want to review (and re-review!) the material, you can expect to complete the course in 5-10 hours.
Is my personal information and credit card information safe?
Absolutely. Please review the privacy policy on the Teachable platform.

Get started now!