Location Independent Copy-Editing: Biz is a Boomin’

So I will keep this breezy as I am sure there are other more important tasks of the day for you to get to than to fret over my drivel (see: flossing, de-linting post holiday Goodwill clothes). It seems like it was just yesterday that I was whisking myself across Europe in a whirlwind, trying to stir up more excitement about one of my location independent jobs – copy-editing – for various professors and the researchers at academic conferences through the old world. I will not spend much time recounting said events as I have already made it clear how my marketing plan blew up in my face (young academics cannot afford to pay for anything and old academics cared more about looting as much free alcohol at the school sponsored vacation as possible (Scandinavians). Additionally, academics, like college students, only seem to think about editing when it is mid night before their homework is due). However, I did neglect to mention another interesting twist in the bumpy road to the location independent job dream, that being that also in attendance at the conferences, were all of the major academic publishing houses. So when I was not busy hob knobbing with Europe’s academic bourgeoisie or shamelessly flirting with the coffee girls dressed up in traditional Dutch dresses and clogs (yes, this is as sexy as it sounds), I inquired as to how the academic publishing game worked.

Now before I get emails pouring trickling in from a pathetic guy who can’t spell, let me make it clear that I am sure there are many types of copy-editing arenas, with different clientele and amounts of money involved. I am merely talking here about getting copy-editing clients who are non-native speakers of English, who are getting a masters, PhD or are already a professor or researcher. Anyway, in a nutshell, the crux of being an academic is to get your work published in academic journals (Harvard Business Review being the top dog for business), this wins the academic high fives from their institution who writes their pay check, esteem and jealousy from colleagues, and helps to leverage a bigger pay check with maybe even a better university down the road. Prestige, power, and eager eyes from impressionable young Sally in the third row. So it is in the best interest of an academic to make their paper as fabulous as possible, which is where an copy-editor enters. Now I could go on and on about what is the real value a copy-editor brings, as there is only so much one can do before you storm into the danger zone of content editing, but I will leave that for another day (never).

So after many round about conversations with one of the publishers, I discovered that some of the publishers have a link on their website in which they recommend various editors. Seemed like a winner of an idea to me. Why fish for clients when you can get someone to put the hungry fish into your net during feeding hour (paper deadlines). What do you have to do to belong on this distinguished list? Graduate Harvard with a double in English Literature and Horseback Riding? Hold numerous certificates of proofreading certification? Accolades praising your eye sight and thoughtfulness? Naw – you need to take a grammar and MLA test, and just like that boom, you are invited into the inner circle of academic torture (yes MLA, the horrid little system of citing your work, it continues gnaw at your existence even after your fudged it on all your uni papers). You are in the honey. And by honey I mean they put a picture of you on their website and you provide a little background about your wondrous skills with words. I was pretty excited about learning of such a free recommendation service. I was so excited in fact that I waited six months to take the test and land myself on the publishers official recommended editor page. However, apparently I wasn’t the only person in the loop, because the list of ballooned from about 10 happily recommended editors to 35 not-so-happily recommended editors. No big deal – as I am in fact one of only two who appear to be under the age of 40, and as am I sure you all know, there is nothing people like to do more, than to hire a baby faced child to do serious work when other highly trained adults are available.

So before I sign off, I thought I would leave you with a couple of the inquires I have received thus far (in addition to the featured photo), since joining the copy editor list of honor.

Peace of Allah be with you,

With regards to my search for foreign investment, I wish to bring to your notice my interest to partner with you on a great business opportunity. I am Adel M. Al-Mojil from Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA).

I am interested in exploring ways to establish business relationship with you. Kindly furnish me with full investment strategy and business proposal for my study.

Looking forward to a good working relationship with you.

regards
Adel M. Al-Mojil

And I get a few of these too now:

Copy editing spam

Thanks for the biz publishing house

And we have this exchange too:

Can I ask you to edit my paper?

No problem. What kind of editing are you looking for?

Wanna more rhetoric & upgrade to a native American English.

[Deep breath] Ok. Well do you have a document for me to edit and a way to pay with PayPal?

I have doc., but no way to pay. PayPal is blocked from Iran Bycote.

Fabulous.

Turner barr
turnerbarr@gmail.com

Hi, my name is Turner. I travel the world, hustle to find interesting jobs, and write about what happens when you read too many self-help books.

4 Comments
  • Micki & Charles
    Posted at 08:07h, 04 January

    Oh, too funny. I worked as a copy editor/technical writer for years, and this is exactly the kind of fun I’ve had with online requests for my services. There’s always a good laugh for the day somewhere in these requests and the spam in my inbox.

    • Around the World in 80 Jobs
      Posted at 12:08h, 05 January

      Yeah. I get even funnier (or more disturbing ones) for in regard to travel blogging. Ha, spammers, soulless bastards.

  • Alexa Hart
    Posted at 08:48h, 05 January

    I had a good laugh reading this post.