Starting Self-Employment

-written by Cel

Last week, I resigned from my job. In a few weeks, I’ll be doing freelance editing/proofreading full-time (or less than full-time – it’s entirely up to me). A lot of people publish books on Amazon Kindle and such, not through traditional publishers. As such, they may not have editors or proofreaders, which leads to a lot of mistakes in their books. Typos, grammatical mistakes, missing words in a sentence, extra words, continuity errors, etc. I fix all of those.

How did this happen? Let’s go back a few months ago.

I was reading an ARC of an author I follow, and noticed some errors. I emailed him to let him know, and he thanked me and mentioned that despite his hiring proofreaders, mistakes still slip through.

I asked him if he was willing to hire me, and he agreed. Now he’s been a repeat client and very happy with my work.

Then, I emailed some other authors whose work I follow and also asked them if they might be interested in hiring me. Obviously some refused, but some did accept the offer. I’m at around a 50% acceptance rate, which is incredible for what’s basically cold-calling. I got a few other clients from a bit of advertising and referrals, and next thing you know I had a thriving side business.

It was getting too much for me to do my full-time job as well as editing, so I requested to slightly cut back my hours at work (from 5 days a week to 4). They refused. After talking it over with Steph, I gave my notice the next day.

That’s the beauty of being FIRE and having FU money – you can do things like that. Even if I had no money saved up, and even if I had no investment income, the amount I was earning from editing just in my spare time, outside my full-time job, was more than my monthly expenses.

Of course, I plan to ramp it up a bit now that I’m focusing on it exclusively. I’m really liking the whole self-employed thing – drumming up business, working from home, choosing when you work and who you want work with, etc. So much freedom!




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    • It would depend on what exactly you want to do. For me, I just contacted authors whose books I was already reading. So, if you like to read historical fiction for example, you would contact authors writing those books. But they’d have to be independent, self-published authors; authors who work with traditional publishers (i.e. books you’d see in a bookstore or the library) would have their own editors.

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