Choosing Your Editing Niche
An important part of your editor identity is what you choose to edit whether you are freelancer or traditionally employed. An editing niche will help focus your client list, build expertise, and guide your career. Some editors fear being limited by an editing niche. I was one of them. I’m not anymore.
There is nothing wrong with editing a wide variety of works of fiction and nonfiction, academic or legal, scientific or speculative. Many editing practices and principles can be widely applied across industries and you learn new ways of editing depending on the industry. Editing and reading widely are important for every writing and editing professional.
However, there will be one area where you either see an opportunity you would love to take, are naturally better at, or love reading more than others. From a business and personal perspective, it is better to focus on a niche.
Why? It helps focus your skills, prevents burn out, and ensures you become an expert in your field. It will keep you competitive in the editing market and focus your client search.
Not only should you be focusing on your niche field, you should also be choosing your projects and clients carefully. Learn to say no.
Does picking your niche and saying no mean you refuse all jobs outside of your niche? Not at all. As a business professional, we come across dry spells or projects we love that don’t fit in our niche. Feel free to take non-niche projects on. A niche means you are more marketable as an editor and ensures you enjoy the work you do.
How do you choose one?
Answer these questions:
What are your interests?What type of editing work or reading exhausts me more? What type seems easier or takes me less time to read or edit?What topics do you know more about or understand?What do you enjoy reading?
Editorial Niches began as part of Editing Canadian English, 3rd edition — the style manual of Editors Canada. However, to keep the print edition a manageable size and price, the sections on editorial roles and requirements (chapter 12) and editorial niches (chapter 13) have now been published as this companion volume. Whether you are a would-be, new or established editor, Editorial Niches offers a treasure trove of information by a team of seasoned editors who are experts in their field.
This post was originally sent as an email to my Editing Services Newsletter email list in August 2020. If you’d like to receive emails like this, please sign up using the form in the sidebar.