Every editor should have their own grapevine.
What do I mean by this?
A “grapevine,” as I call it, is a network of referrals. If I do great work for a client, I want that client to refer me to others who might be in need of editing. Of course, the client is under no obligation to refer me, but I do like to encourage clients to do so.
If a client refers me to another person who is in need of editing and I do a great job for that person as well, then that person will (I hope) refer me to other people. It is in this way that an editor’s grapevine grows.
In the summer of 2020, a colleague of mine whom I know through a professional organization referred me to an editor friend of hers who had been asked to edit a scientific manuscript. The friend specialized in editing fiction, but asked me if I would work on the manuscript. I accepted, and after I had finished editing, the manuscript was accepted for publication in a scientific journal.
Just last week, my colleague’s friend mentioned me on her blog and linked my name to my website. That was so wonderful of her!
Sometimes referrals can come from the most unlikely sources. When I was in grad school, there was a professor in my department whom I’d had no contact with in some twenty years. When I launched my editing business, I contacted her and told her that I would love to edit scientific manuscripts and grant proposals for the department. The professor referred me to a part of the university that was looking to build a pool of editors to do such work. A few interviews and signed paperwork later, I became one of the university’s contractor editors who edits for various scientific faculty. God bless that professor.
My grapevine is growing.