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by Liz Atkinson

Presentation by Dr Malini Devadas AE at the IPEd conference. 

Dr Malini Devadas AE sure knows how to pack a punch. 

As a marketer with many years’ experience, I knew what I needed to do to revitalise my editing business in this new-normal COVID-19 world. So, what was stopping me from just getting on and doing what I needed to do? Finding my point of difference and getting myself out there should be easy, shouldn’t it?

Malini’s three-hour workshop before the IPEd conference, titled “Creating a thriving business by understanding your mindset”, was presented in such a way that each person could focus on their own business. This engaging, fast-paced workshop was practical in approach and content.

As a group, we explored whether it was preferable to narrow our focus on the genre or the subject area in which we edit, or to generalise across a range of subject areas or genres. Following much discussion, we agreed it was better to develop expertise in a specific subject area or genre as an editor can promote and become known for their area of expertise (their point of difference). Over the years I have edited theses and journal articles; I was willing to edit anything that came my way. Now I have a clear idea of the subject areas I want to focus on in the future. I know who I want to target and how I can approach them. Easy.

What to charge a client is a vexed issue for many editors, particularly when they are starting out. With Malini’s help, I can put an hourly rate on what I will charge (and yes, I have been undercharging). The Standing Committee on Academic Editing’s (SCAE) rates guide for academic editors was a very timely and useful document also — see the July edition of Gatherings.

All in all, this was a most enlightening workshop. Whether you edit fiction or fantasy, if you get the chance to do this workshop, do it. You’ll be surprised at how much you can learn about your mindset and how that helps or hinders the success of your business. Thank you, Malini, for such an enlightening workshop — a great way to kick off the conference.


Liz Atkinson is an educator and part-time freelance editor and has been a professional member of Editors Victoria since 2008.