In today’s interview, I’m very excited to be “chatting” with Megan McLaughlin. Megan and I have a lot in common, and I’m sure you’ll be able to relate to her stories of being a bookworm as a child. Like me, Megan developed a love of words at a young age, and went on to create a career for herself working with books.
Megan works in a quaint red-brick library in a small town in Upstate New York, and I don’t know about you, but to me that’s just dreamy! She’s also a proofreader and editor for indie writers. She has a background in English Literature, but she never knew proofreading was an option for her until she discovered my online course, High-Level Proofreading Pro.
I get a lot of questions about what HLPP is like, so I reached out to Megan. In this interview, Megan shares her experience and opinion on the course, which I think is very unique considering her background. Keep reading below for the interview.
Can you tell us about your relationship with books growing up?
I was a total bookworm as a kid. My mom read to us a lot when we were little. My parents didn’t have tons of extra money. The library was in walking distance and it was free. We went every week. I devoured any written word I could get my hands on, once I was reading on my own. The back of the cereal box, the comics in the paper, Highlights in the dentist’s office — you name it. When I had money, the first place I wanted to go was a bookstore.
Can you tell us about what you do at your library?
I currently work as a library director in a small town. My duties run the gamut. Every day is a little bit different. I handle the payroll, staff scheduling, and the monthly bills. I catalog materials. I cover the desk when we are short-staffed. I’m HR/payroll/program coordinator, etc. It’s a lot of titles rolled into one. Ordering materials is, by far, my favorite part. It’s a booklover’s dream!
You already work with books in your career. What made you want to pursue work as a proofreader and copy editor?
I’m usually the first person in my circle that people will ask to read over something they’ve written. I would proofread my papers for school. Any time I would find a mistake in a book, I’d feel like I hit the jackpot. But I thought you had to go to school to become a proofreader. Honestly, I thought I’d missed the boat and it would only be a fun hobby.
How did you discover Art of Proofreading?
I think it was on Pinterest. I was looking for side hustle ideas. I was definitely intrigued. It was the first time I thought that I could actually proofread.
What did you think of your student experience in High-Level Proofreading Pro?
I really enjoyed this course. Like I said, I did not believe proofreading could be a path for me until I found Art of Proofreading and the course. Getting each lesson was so much fun. The coursework is clear and easy to understand.
Phon’s Note: I have a free online masterclass on proofreading, copyediting, and marketing if you want to learn how YOU can side hustle or work full time as a freelance proofreader and copy editor, too. In it, I share some valuable tips that I’ve picked up over my career as an editor.
What was your favourite part?
I loved the final assignment! It was satisfying and challenging to put everything we’d learned into practice.
How did you find time in your schedule to take the course?
I’m fortunate because most days the library does not open until the afternoon. I was able to complete the coursework during my free mornings. I love the fact that the course is online because you can make it work for you, no matter your schedule.
Would you recommend this course to people who want to learn how to proofread and copyedit? Do you feel that it prepared you to work with books and other types of content?
Yes, I absolutely recommend it! Proofreading [and copyediting] is a completely possible avenue for you. If you love language and enjoy the process of proofreading, Phon has made the course easy to understand, clear, and practical. I feel fully prepared to work with books, blog posts, newsletters, and anything else that comes my way.
She is also a great resource when you feel stuck or have questions. If you’re on the fence about taking the course, keep an eye out for the free mini-courses she offers. They’re a great introduction to what proofreading entails and the course itself.
Megan McLaughlin is a small-town library director and freelance proofreader and editor. She is passionate about helping indie authors and creators share their vision with the world. To find out more, head to www.mmclaughlinediting.com. You can also follow Megan’s Instagram account for a peek into her librarian life and see her book recommendations @bookwormslovecoffee.