How Do Our Prospects Find a Copyeditor?

By Andrea Susan Glass

As professional copyeditors, it’s important to know how our prospects are seeking those who provide our services. If we know this, then we can put ourselves in situations where we will be found. It’s kind of like a reverse marketing tactic.

First, prospects must decide what kind of editor they need. They may need to do a bit of research to determine if they need a developmental, line, or copyeditor. Maybe even a ghostwriter, book coach, or proofreader. Once they know what kind of editor they’re looking for they can begin their search with more accuracy.


The most common way prospects seek to find one of us is by referrals. They may ask friends, family, acquaintances, or business associates, to name a few. They may even ask other service providers they do business with such as such as financial planners, health care providers, or retail merchants.

I have found that with personal recommendations I have to do very little selling. I generally set up a Zoom call so we can check each other out to see if we feel like the best fit. If you respond to each other’s initial emails promptly with clear messaging, that would be a good indicator that you share similar values. In addition, a prospect may request a sample edit, so be sure to offer that.


Search engines

Google is the main search engine for anyone seeking a service provider. A prospect may search for a specific kind of editor such as academic or fiction, or a certain location like San Diego. If you know anything about SEO, you’ll want to use your preferred keywords, those you want to be found for, in your website content. Other sites considered search engines are Amazon, YouTube, LinkedIn, and Facebook. You can be found in any of these if you have a presence there.


A prospect after doing a search may wind up on your website. You might also be found on sites such as on Amazon as an editor of your clients’ books. Another example of a site where you can be listed is anywhere you’ve done business. I teach for UCSD, so I’m found there and someone may think it’s advantageous to hire an editor who is also an instructor. Just make sure you keep your website up to date with content that allows visitors to get to know you, what you do, and if you might be the right editor for them. A pleasant photo, testimonials, an easy way to contact you, and absolutely no errors will help attract prospects to get in touch. Make sure you have substantial credentials because prospects want to know you have education, expertise, and experience in their category.


These would be the ones that list editors either for free, for a fee, or because you’re a member. Examples are SD/PEN, EFA, ACES, and SDWEG.


I’ve heard of potential clients who have looked inside books they enjoyed, in their genre, to see if the editor’s name is listed. I’ve actually gotten clients that way because I make sure my clients’ books have me listed as editor.

Live events

Today events are either in person or online. A prospect might go to a writers’ conference or a university class on writing and publishing and seek editors there. Or on one of the many virtual events that occur every day online like webinars, classes, YouTube channels, and social media.

If you can step inside the mind of your ideal clients, just imagine where they might look to find you and follow their thoughts. You may just get found!

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