For as long as I can remember, I’ve loved to read. As a kid, I loved escaping into other worlds created by my favorite authors. I grew up with three older brothers, so I didn’t always have someone my own age or with the same interests to hang out with. Books were always my go-to activity.
When I was a pre-teen, I devoured the Choose Your Own Adventure series of books. As I moved into my young teenage years, I escaped into stories created by Judy Blume. Her characters always made me feel like I wasn’t alone in my teenage angst. 😉
Well into my teenage years, my best girlfriend and I discovered V.C. Andrews’s Flowers in the Attic, a Gothic romantic family saga. It was deliciously scandalous and was the book that turned me on to romance novels.
Some of my favorite authors now are Sandra Brown, Vi Keeland, Lauren Smith, and Monica Murphy. They’re all writers I would read without any hesitation.
Growing up, I never considered a career in the publishing industry. I grew up long before the internet was created, so there was no online work. Self-publishing wasn’t nearly as common as it is now. And if you wanted to work for a publishing house, you had to move where the publishers were located. And I’ve always been a small-town girl.
When considering what I wanted to do professionally, I always liked science, so I chose biology as my major in college. I eventually decided on a career in medical laboratory science, a job I love. However, when my kids were approaching adulthood and I knew empty-nest syndrome was looming, I considered starting a side hustle.
I was listening to a podcast about five years ago and heard an interview with Chris Guillebeau, who also has a podcast called Side Hustle School. I started listening to SHS and heard a story there about a young man from Britain, living in Germany, who became a freelance writer. I signed up for free lessons on how to become a freelance writer — people had always told me I was a good writer, and I liked the idea of working from anywhere.
I became very active in this writer’s Facebook group, and after a few months, he referred me to Chris (Guillebeau) and Chris’s content manager. I completed a paid writing trial and was hired! It was exciting to hear my stories read on SHS (the podcast scripts are written for Chris by ghostwriters, who interview entrepreneurs via email and write their stories).
The podcast is international and has many listeners. I also continued to listen to the SHS podcast; I was still a fan of the show. I heard Phon Baillie’s story there about working as a freelance proofreader and copy editor — what really stood out to me was that she worked in the romance genre. This was particularly appealing to me.
I’ve been a lifelong avid romance novel reader, and it seemed like heaven to me to get paid to read romance novels and help romance writers! But I didn’t act on pursuing this side hustle right away. I wrote for the SHS team for a year.
Then I heard another story about another young woman who was a freelance romance novel editor. I had been trying to make a go of freelance writing for a year with minimal success, and it had become a chore for me. I began to consider pivoting to freelance proofreading, specifically in the romance genre because I love that genre so much. Then I remembered Phon’s story and looked into her online training program. At the time, it was called “High-Level Proofreading Pro.”
I really wasn’t enjoying freelance writing anymore. I wanted to build a business doing something I was good at, preferably something I really enjoyed doing, that I could do from anywhere.
I decided to take the leap and invest in Phon’s proofreading course — and in myself. Things that appealed to me about her course were the affordable price, student support system, and lifetime access to the lessons and any future course upgrades. Starting my own business as a freelance proofreader appealed to me because it had a low start-up cost, a low cost to maintain my business, and I can work from anywhere.
Since taking Phon’s proofreading course four years ago, I’ve expanded my services to include copy editing, line editing, and developmental editing in the romance genre. I’ve built a successful editing business. I love working in the romance genre because it is so beloved to me, and I absolutely love knowing that I’ve helped writers in their process. I truly enjoy the genre and being able to help talented romance writers produce their best work is really gratifying.
Are you interested in proofreading and copyediting books like me? Check out Phon’s FREE training masterclass that’ll give you advice and tips on how to start. Or maybe you’d like to sign up for a FREE Proofreading 101 course? If you want to learn more about the High-Level Proofreading and Copyediting Pro course now, just click here.
I’d love to hear your thoughts — leave a comment!