Last week I renewed my membership for the Society for Editors and Proofreaders (SfEP), which is based in the UK, and last month I renewed my membership for the Institute of Professional Editors Ltd (IPEd), which is based in Australia.
I am a Professional Member of both organisations.
To be able to renew my SfEP membership, I had to answer a question on the SfEP Code of Practice. Doing this was a good reminder of one reason why I am a member of these professional editing associations.
As these memberships all need to be budgeted for, I thought it would be a good exercise to write down all the reasons I continue to roll over my membership.
Code of Practice
Having a Code of Practice and being tested on it gives a client reassurance that I know what I should be doing, and reminds me of what I should be doing. The Code sets out what the scope of practice is for a copy-editor or a proofreader, and the standards expected.
The associations both have a directory for all editors who are Professional Members. Potential clients can search the directory using specific key words and filters, knowing that the editors listed have the skills and qualifications to edit to a high standard.
Through both these associations (as well as through others) I can do courses, webinars and workshops which help me continue to develop my skills as an editor.
Both associations have membership levels ranging from beginner and student editors to advanced editors. I’m at the Professional level for both organisations (which each have slightly different definitions of this level). To reach this level for the SfEP, for example, I had to prove my qualifications, show continued professional development, prove a certain number of hours of experience, get a blind reference from a client and sit an editing test. All this was then evaluated by a panel – membership upgrades are not handed out lightly.
The associations have Facebook groups, catch-up meetings and online forums, which all help to keep me up to date with the industry, learn from other editors’ experiences, meet other editors online (it can be lonely working by yourself, as is often the case) and have a network of editors to refer work to.
I’m really excited to be attending the IPEd conference in Melbourne in May. This will be a chance to meet many other editors, listen to amazing speakers about all aspects of the editing and the publishing industry, attend workshops and network (and of course indulge in the food and shopping of Melbourne).
Discounts on resources
An editor uses many different hard copy and online resources, from dictionaries to style guides and books on grammar. These don’t come cheap, so any discount is appreciated.
Advocacy from a larger organisation
And, finally, an organisation gives the support of a large organisation to a lone freelancer, and can advocate for issues and raise the profile of editing as a profession.
All in all, not a bad list. Worth every cent.
Being a member of these organisations means that I know I am giving my clients a high standard of service, comparable with other professional editors.
And clients can have the confidence in knowing that their manuscript will edited to a high standard by someone who knows the industry and understands what is required.
If you are looking for an editor and you want peace of mind that you will get a high standard of editing, I can help.
I am a copy-editor and proofreader based in New Zealand. My business, Clearlingo Editing and Proofreading, caters to all writers of fiction and non-fiction books. I can discuss with you where your book is at and what you need to do next.
For more information on how I can help you make your book shine, please contact me on: www.clearlingo.co.nz/contact.
I would love to hear from you.
Marja Stack is a copy-editor and proofreader based in New Zealand. Her business, Clearlingo Editing and Proofreading, caters to all writers of fiction or non-fiction books. For more information or enquiries for how she can help you make your book shine, please see her website: www.clearlingo.co.nz.
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