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Book review: Marketing Your Editing & Proofreading Business, by Louise Harnby

louise-harnby-marketingBy Amy Haagsma

Louise Harnby touts this as “a book for editorial business owners, by an editorial business owner.” She promises that it is not a marketing textbook and that she’s done her best to avoid using jargon; rather, she’s tried to give editorial professionals real advice in the same manner she would in a face-to-face conversation.

Even the introduction is packed full of useful information, and the first item Harnby tackles is dispelling the notion that editors and proofreaders are not marketers. Everyone, she says, is a marketer, and having a marketing strategy is essential. After you’ve invested time and money in setting up your business, marketing is the next step to help you find clients and sell your services. Being good at what you do is not enough; you need to be found in order to be successful. Once you have built up your client base, regular marketing helps you stay in the minds of your clients.

Harnby also looks at a number of definitions of marketing, followed by her own: “being interesting and discoverable.” She recommends striving for this with everything you do, from ordering business cards to responding to an inquiry from a client. She also acknowledges the tendency for editors and proofreaders to be introverted, emphasizing that your marketing plan should suit your personality.

The remainder of the book is broken down into four sections:

  • Marketing concepts—things to think about
  • Marketing activities—things to do
  • Sample outline of a marketing plan
  • Resources

Harnby recommends working through part 1 first, especially if you are new to or nervous about marketing, and then going through part 2 in any order that appeals to you.


Book review: Business Planning for Editorial Freelancers, by Louise Harnby

Business PlanningBy Amy Haagsma

As a new editor, I have set out to learn as much as I can about editing, both the business and the craft. Among the many fantastic resources I’ve discovered are Louise Harnby’s blog, The Proofreader’s Parlour, and her books, Business Planning for Editorial Freelancers and Marketing Your Editing & Proofreading Business.

Harnby is a U.K.-based proofreader and an advanced member of the Society for Editors and Proofreaders. She has more than 20 years’ experience in publishing and started her own business in 2005.

Business Planning for Editorial Freelancers is written with the complete beginner in mind and assumes no prior editorial experience. It aims to cover everything a new editorial freelancer would need to know, from education and training to finding clients and growing your business.

The introduction and first chapter set the groundwork for what is to come, explaining what a business plan is and why it is important to have one. Harnby emphasizes that editorial freelancers are business owners first and freelancers second, and that you need to have a business mindset and think of yourself as a professional business owner.