Because many book editors are living the high-flying freelance lifestyle, they strive to drum up business on their own. Whether it’s through connections from time in the publishing industry or digging up projects online, taking the time to really think about your social media presence can pay off big time.
As an editor, what sorts of things should you keep in mind as you cultivate your social media accounts?
First, be deliberate in the crafting of your meta-information for each of your accounts. Your bio is short on Twitter, for example, but – rather than filling it up with a quote from the most recent episode of your favorite sitcom – include some real life details. Instead, you could say say, “Freelance book editor, mom, coffee lover, and sitcom enthusiast.” This shines light on your career as a freelance editor, as well as your personality.
If you’re writing you bio for a professional site like LinkedIn, though, the personal touches are best left behind.
Second, remember that savvy clients will Google you. If the advice above seems silly or unnecessary, please keep in mind that your online footprint isn’t invisible and a few quick searches can reveal a lot about you as a possible hire for book projects. Even the bios of private accounts, for example, are still visible. Don’t remove all of the humor or personality from your info, but remember to ask yourself, “Would I want a prospective client to read this?” every time you update your meta-information for your social media accounts.
Third, use social media to make you a better book editor. There are two key ways to do this:
- Follow useful accounts – Take the time to search out the accounts for the style guides that you work with. Every day, for example, The @APStyleGuide offers great advice for AP users. They also run an official Twitter chat, #APStyleChat where they discuss specific topics is editing and writing and answer questions. It’s a great way to stay up to date on your guide of choice.
- Follow other editors – Find other editors who are working in your sector and beyond to build a community of editors. You can offer encouragement, ask questions, and generally share in the up-and-down lifestyle of a freelance book editor. The style guide hashtags are a huge help for this, but you can also use the #amediting hashtag or a bio search to locate other editors.
Finally, remember to proofread your updates. It’s easy to get casual on social media. Even on LinkedIn, you can quickly type and update and hit send without thinking about it. However, if you’re striving to bring in more business through your connections online, it’s important to focus on keeping your updates – even if it’s just a tweet about your morning coffee – as free of typos as possible. It all adds to your overall credibility as a book editor.