One of my earliest memories involves having my nose stuck in a book, and in that respect nothing much has changed, except that these days I have turned reading into a career. Because I'm an avid reader I will always consider the material I'm working on from both perspectives: helping the author communicate their intentions to the reader, and evaluating whether this objective has been achieved.
Before embarking on a career in publishing I was a nurse for nineteen years in various disciplines and I still retain more than a passing interest in anything relating to medicine or science, but I'm equally at home in the humanities, especially history. Additionally, I enjoy flexing my language muscles by working on titles teaching German to English speakers or English to German speakers. However, I have a particular love for children's publishing.
To date I have worked on nearly 200 book titles, for both publishers and individuals, ranging from adult fiction and general non-fiction to children's general non-fiction, children's/YA fiction, GCSE revision and German language teaching. For the full list of subjects I'm currently offering please see my portfolio page or visit my entry in the CIEP's online directory of editorial freelances, in addition to my LinkedIn profile page; you can find the links to both below.
I became an Advanced Professional Member of the Society for Editors and Proofreaders (SfEP) in 2017, and I'm very proud to be an Advanced Professional Member of the Chartered Institute of Editing and Proofreading (CIEP) now that the Society has been recognised as upholding editorial excellence and has become a chartered institute. I have professional indemnity insurance through Bluefin.
In 2013 I set up the Three Counties group, one of the SfEP's (and now CIEP's) local groups, encompassing the counties of Gloucestershire, Herefordshire and Worcestershire, and was its coordinator until 2017. The same month I was appointed tutor for some of the SfEP's online training courses (proofreading and copyediting), and I started tutoring students in early January 2018, on both assessed and non-assessed courses, a role I performed until 2020.
“I was delighted to have Petra proofread my manuscript – the fifth edition of How to Market Books. No author likes to think they need editing, and having the obvious errors (single noun, plural verb – did I really write that?) pointed out can be a stressful, if not humiliating experience. Petra was tactful and considerate throughout, and her list of queries showed how deeply she was concentrating. At one point, while going through her list, I had to resort to a cup of tea in order to fully admire the extent of her engagement. In short, my work was better for her involvement, and I am very grateful to Routledge for allocating her to me.”
Alison Baverstock, author of How to Market Books (5th edn)