Book review: Networking for Freelance Editors

Networking for Freelance Editors: Practical Strategies for Networking Success

by Brittany Dowdle, Linda Ruggeri

Find out more on their website here

Network like a heroine!

Networking can seem scary and intimidating. No more so than for introverts, of whom there are many in the editorial world. This book aims to change this perception!

On the first few pages, the authors define how they understand networking. It’s not about choosing work colleagues or friendships strategically to gain a competitive advantage; instead, it’s about finding and developing a support network. Their definition of networking as forming a web of mutually beneficial relationships is, I believe, close to feminist principles. (Having just read Gail Carriger’s The Heroine’s Journey, this approach to networking is more heroine-like than the self-made individual male hero who we might associate with corporate business ideals).

Crucially, a quality editorial network will include a small network of close editorial friends who you can rely on and talk about sensitive issues like rates and client issues, and a wider network that you can draw on when looking for insight or kinds of support and help that your ‘inner circle’ cannot offer. The first half of the book discusses their approach to networking, and the second half focuses on networking tactics.

Yes, you should leave your comfort zone, but you should also stick to what works for you. If you despise social media then don’t focus on it, or just take some baby steps.

Who is the book for?

The book contains tips and friendly guidance for networking as an editor. It especially suits freelancers, in what can be a lonely pursuit. I particularly appreciated the book’s inclusive writing style and approach. The worksheets – especially the quarterly networking worksheet – were insightful in promoting an intentional approach to networking. This will save me energy in future!

As an editor in my third year as a full-time business owner, I would say that newbie editors would benefit the most from the book. Editors with some or lots of experience will gain a sense of validation that they are doing most things right. For me, the value came from seeing what I have done well so far using my intuition, and what could be further improved. This is a book you will want to return to, repeatedly, completing the worksheets from time to time as your business changes and evolves.

While aimed at editors, much of the content (except for specific details such as professional associations etc.) would also suit those working in adjacent professions, such as copywriters and translators.

Finally, the book links to a website that includes the worksheets and a coaching and workshop offering.* For editors struggling with networking and wanting to do some deeper inner work to reconfigure their approach, this book and coaching combination could prove invaluable.

*Chocolate croissants are also mentioned!

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