Ever find yourself restless, ready for new challenges? Me, too. That’s why I have ventured out into a new area in the publishing space.
Copyediting and proofreading
I am now a copy-editor and proofreader. This is not my day job. I am not ready to give up my role as media specialist to nearly 600 elementary students, nor my role as an occasional presenter at the now-infrequent library conference. I could tell you that I proofread because I catch mistakes in books I read and want to help writers before mistakes get published, or that I actually like grading and catching mistakes. That is all true. And I’m good at it. But what I see is a natural progression in the publishing process. Follow along.
How I got here
I grew up an avid reader and lover of books. That led to my first career as a middle school reading teacher. After staying home for a few years to raise my own little bookworms, I returned to the schools as a media specialist, more eager to connect the right book to the right reader than to teach units about the books, which is what we did back then.
After a few years of buying all the books, reading all the books, and then promoting all the books to my students, I started reviewing them on Goodreads, Instagram, and Facebook so I could share the good ones with a larger audience. This was followed by a contract to review for School Library Journal. All along the way, I was connecting with authors, some with big name publishers and some self-published. By the way, I could hang out with authors 24/7. They are truly some of my favorite people.
And then I looked for something new. A friend suggested that I try editing. This is a friend I have known since I was 14, so when he suggested something, I listened. I tried it, and he was right. I love copyediting and proofreading. I am one of the first to read a new piece of writing. I find it easy to preserve the author’s voice while tweaking things to make sure it makes sense and is grammatically correct. I’s dotted and t’s crossed, and all that. I am helping someone launch their ideas into the world.
So here we are. I read a lot of books. I connect students to those books. Then I review books that aren’t yet published and share them with people who would like to read them. And now I help authors polish their works before they are published. Maybe one day I’ll back all the way up to the beginning of the process and write a book of my own.
Want to learn more?
My name is Julie Overpeck. An elementary school media specialist, mentor, presenter, middle grade book reviewer, and queen of the #libraryhack, I am a Texas girl in North Carolina with 18 years in education and 14 years of public school library experience.