Home Business Idea – Editorial Services

My father is a retired university professor with a library of more than 5,000 mostly scholarly books.  With no inventory of this collection, he hired a gentleman with a degree in library science, and experience in editorial services to complete a full inventory using Microsoft Access, a desktop database.  This was a contract job that lasted for a few months and is one of many job options in this field.

Though not always working at home, this business is often home-based and considered a contract position.  Other options for editorial services might include:

  • Copyeditor.  A copy editor checks facts, grammar, style, and looks for typographical errors.
  • Proofreader. The last step in the writing and publishing process, the proofreader double-checks the copyeditor work.
  • Book doctoring. This editorial service is for manuscripts written by experts. Topic experts create a working manuscript and book doctors put them into publishable shape.
  • Ghost Writing. Ghost writers do research and write a book, blog, magazine article or website content with someone else’s name attached as the author.
  • Copywriting. Also known as business writing, this is writing that promotes a product or a service.
  • Book writing. Do you have expertise or experience in an area that can be published?  Write a book or eBook and sell it!
  • Magazine article writing. Think of this as the light version of a book.  If you don’t want to tackle a large task like a book, why not try periodicals first?
  • Blogging.  Many organizations and professionals use blogs for publicity, but don’t always have time to maintain them.
  • Web page content provider. The explosion of social media sites and web pages for many organizations provides numerous jobs for editorial services.
  • Corporate Reports.  Annual reports – print or digital – are sent out at least once per year.  Ditto for a mutual fund’s prospectus.


Most of the work day will be in front of a computer, with exceptions for client meetings and team meetings.  If working at home, plan frequent breaks throughout the day to relieve eye stress, muscle stiffness, and other conditions associated with sitting for long periods.

Editors should be proficient in all major office suite software packages: word processing, spreadsheet, database, and presentation.  Formal training is easy either online or at local community colleges.

As a contractor, responsibilities are typical: no work, no pay.  A contractor wears multiple hats: accountant, sales, marketing, project manager, and creator.  Some of these functions may be outsourced, but at a charge to the bottom line.

Need to Have

An updated computer with large flat screen monitor, Internet access, relevant computer software, and a separate phone line.  If you plan to meet with clients in your home, have a dedicated space – built-out basement, extra bedroom, living room – that is clean and professional.

This home business is perhaps the ultimate low startup cost business that uses equipment most already own.  If not, a local library will have computers, software, and Internet access.  Local coffee shops can serve as meeting places, if needed.

Individuals interested in editorial services need an excellent command of the language required by the client.  College degrees are generally not necessary for this field.  Maintain a professional portfolio of previous editorial work and customer references in both digital and hard copy (printed) formats for display and presentation purposes.  A good portfolio is often the deciding factor in getting a job.

Home Impact

Nothing special other than computer equipment, telephone line, printer, fax, and scanner.  Quiet, dedicated work spaces in the home are useful.  This is an ideal, inexpensive position for the self-motivated.  Editorial work is also appropriate for retirees, stay at home parents, and people with physical challenges.  If you plan on offering any binding, copying or collating services, either own or have access to needed equipment.


Start building your writing portfolio as soon as possible.  If appropriate, consider internships or college programs in the communications industry.  Market yourself by passing out business cards to potential clients; attend industry conventions and chamber of commerce meetings.  Maintain a professional website or blog to show off your work.  Volunteer your time with non-profit organizations or other worthy causes.  Write for local church or neighborhood bulletins or start blogging to show off your talents.  Ask small and mid-size businesses if they need or want a blog or website.


This position is ideal for virtually anyone.  Even those unable to type can use speech to text software like Dragon’s Naturally Speaking.  Those interested can take on extra work to make more money.  Fluency in other languages provides opportunities for translation services too.



Skills of a Ghostwriter

Publishing and Marketing Services


Writers Guild of America, West

Writers Guild of America, East

By Dion D. Shaw

Dion D. Shaw is the founder and owner of Homepreneurs

Homepreneurs.  New Day.  New Opportunity.


Homepreneurs does not endorse nor have any relationships with any of the services listed.  Homepreneurs receives no compensation or consideration for its suggestions.  Homepreneurs strongly urges all interested parties to conduct research and accepts no responsibility for any losses incurred.

Image Credit: cohdra

Image Location: http://morguefile.com/archive/display/141414

© Homepreneurs 2010 – 2012, All Rights Reserved


3 Responses to Home Business Idea – Editorial Services

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