Tips on advertising copyediting to students
November 21, 2011 9:48 AM   Subscribe

Have you advertised copyediting services at colleges or universities? How did you do it? Do you have any tips?

I'm a grad student looking for some part-time income and copyediting (probably for international students) would suit my schedule and skills pretty well. Right now, any income would be a huge help, so I am planning to put up posters this week and learn from the first few jobs, but I'd be very grateful for tips that could help me avoid disaster.

If you've done this, how did you advertise? (The schools in my city do not have writing centres.) Did posters work? Did you try contacting international office staff or similar?

What was the response rate like? Should I avoid contacting multiple universities?

How did you take payment, and at which stage of the process? Was this any different for assignments with a very short turnaround?

Any other advice?

Please enjoy the horrific grammar and spelling mistakes that seem to be inevitable in any question about editing.
posted by anonymous to Work & Money (2 answers total) 8 users marked this as a favorite
Drop off business cards with people who answer phone inquiries from the public, like at the library reference desk, the switchboard or the admin assistant for the English department as well as any programs with a high international student or faculty population. These people may also have good suggestions for specific places to reach your target audience.
posted by zepheria at 2:51 PM on November 21, 2011

Copy editing is needed by more than international students who could use some polish in their use English. My mother-in-law has a background in copy editing and technical writing, and she happened to talk to a dairy professor who wanted to have his (presumably native English speaking and writing) grad students' dissertations copyedited before they were published.

In other words: a LOT of students could use help from a good copy editor, especially students who are looking to have something published, and these services aren't always (if ever) provided in-house by the universities.

With that, you could go and visit the grad departments, provide samples of your work, or however you show off your skills in this field (sorry, I'm not versed in this aspect). They might then offer you as a service for the students, or even hire you to polish up papers that would be published, as the school would be well-served by refined written products. Otherwise, they might point you to a college-specific posterboard, where students could look at job listings, internships, and other college-specific services.

Or, you could actively advertise in the college papers, but that would cost something out-of-pocket, and the return on investment would not be assured. That said, it wouldn't cost you anything to find out the going rate for ad space, as it might be lower than you imagined.
posted by filthy light thief at 10:27 AM on November 22, 2011

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