No matter the service you offer in the publishing industry, you are a business owner and, therefore, a professional. As a professional, your profession requires education and skill.
When offering editorial services, I find that I regularly educate authors in the difference of a friend reading their work and of myself (a professional with education and experience in the industry who has reviewed numerous manuscripts and seen their success or failure and the reasons behind that outcome).
Though you may have taken classes when you first began to increase your skill level, it is always a good idea to regularly attend classes or conferences to keep your skills up-to-date. You can never know it all, and even if you feel you know everything about your specific skill, your clients will benefit from your learning about other areas within the publishing industry.
Having obtained a master’s degree in publishing, I took courses in book design, copyright, and many other topics that I do not offer services in. Plus, having worked in-house, I was able to see the bigger picture of the publishing process, and where my services fit in the process. And these insights have benefitted my clients because I am more knowledgeable and able to offer additional assistance or advice outside of my provided service.
Having seen the importance of education, I have put a great emphasis on it within NAIWE. We record all webinars and make them available to you on demand. And though the topic of every recording may not be directly related to the services you offer, the knowledge you gained may prove beneficial for your clients when you apply it to their needs.
April Michelle Davis has been the executive director of the National Association of Independent Writers and Editors (NAIWE) since 2018. Prior to that, she was NAIWE’s Social Media Marketing Expert. NAIWE is an association that focuses on career building for writers, editors, and other professionals in the publishing industry by developing multiple streams of income; it helps its members market their products and services through social media, newsletters, and more.
She is also the coordinator for the Virginia chapter of the Editorial Freelancers Association, a lifetime member of the American Copy Editors Society, and a freelance editor, indexer, proofreader and author. April Michelle has taught courses through her own company, Editorial Inspirations, as well as for associations and colleges on topics such as editing, indexing, grammar, writing, and creating macros.
Her credentials include a master’s degree in publishing from George Washington University and a bachelor’s degree in English from Messiah College, as well as certificates in editing (University of Virginia), book publishing (University of Virginia), and professional editing (EEI Communications).
April Michelle has shared her insights about her career development by contributing quotes and vignettes to several books. She has presented sessions on various editorial topics to many groups, including the Virginia Writers Club, the Communication Central conference, Randolph-Macon College, the Christian PEN: Proofreaders and Editors Network, the EFA, Copyediting newsletter, RavenCon, and the Hanover Book Festival. In addition, April Michelle has published three books.