Coffee with Colleagues, Meet the Editor, What Does an Editor Do?

Coffee with Colleagues: Interview with Isobelle Lans from Inspired Lines Editing

One of the best parts of working in book publishing is that some of the most gifted, talented, fun and just generally great people form the majority of the workforce. We are all united by the love of the written word, but each person has such a wide variety of skills and knowledge that even if you’ve worked with someone for years, they’ll still surprise you with a little nugget of wisdom when you least expect it.

However, now that I’m freelance, my nearest physical college is Sammy the Editorial Assistant cat (who is currently snoring away by my desk). And now that the whole word has effectively moved to working from home – look at you all, jumping on the bandwagon! – I thought it would be lovely to reach out to the publishing community and get to know some of my colleagues in the industry a little more – albeit over a Zoom chat, rather than the lunches and coffees that publishing professionals are known for.

Interview with Isobelle Lans from Inspired Lines Editing

Isobelle Lans is a UK-based author and freelance fiction editor at Inspired Lines Editing. In 2019, she left her in-house editing job to start her freelance business, and since then has been helping fiction writers to refine their manuscripts and hone their writing skills. Isobelle works on a range of fiction, including fantasy, crime, romance, and historical fiction. If you’ve got a manuscript or story idea you think would benefit from a professional eye, get in touch to ask her how she can help you or what advice she can offer! You can connect with her on Instagram, where she shares insights, tips and encouragement for other writers.

Hi, Isobelle. So tell me a little about yourself and your journey to becoming a book editor?

Hi! Thanks so much for having me on your blog! I’m Isobelle Lans, a fiction editor from Australia who now lives in England. My favourite genres to edit are fantasy, romance, crime, and historical fiction.

I suppose like many editors, my assent into going freelance was quite slow. Editing was a skill I realised I had (and something I realised I enjoyed doing), so I decided to look into it as a career. I did an online training course in Australia and, from there, reached out to a few freelance editors to see if they had any mentorship programmes available. I got lucky and worked on a few projects under the guidance of an experienced fiction editor. That really sold it to me. I knew this was what I wanted to do. I then managed to get a few more freelance projects by simply cold calling other editors, or small businesses that I thought would benefit from a proofread.

After I moved to England I completed training with the Chartered Institute of Editing and Proofreading and became a member. I got a few freelance jobs through them in the beginning. I then also took a course on developmental editing and the skills required for this in-depth edit. That was an amazing course, and I fell in love with developmental editing. During all my training I kept working on freelance projects. I then got a job at an indie publisher in London. My boss there was so incredibly knowledgeable and working alongside her definitely taught me a lot about what it takes to work with writers. I originally planned to stay working in-house in London, but I realised it just wasn’t for me. I went to interview at one of the big publishing houses down there and thought ‘I don’t actually want to work a 9-5 job and commute in London!’ So, I decided to go freelance instead, and Inspired Lines Editing was born!

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Meet the Editor

ANNOUNCEMENT: SYPLaunch – Society of Young Publishers’ Mentoring Scheme Mentee!


When I first made the decision to go freelance, I was quite scared about the future. I was worried about the unstable nature of working for myself, let alone starting my business whilst thousands of miles from home and having no real business experience whatsoever. I looked at myself and thought, ‘Are you winging this?’ However, what I did have was lots of enthusiasm, editorial experience and a voracious love of crime, thriller and suspense fiction.

This is why I love my job, because I get to do what I love every day.

But that only happens because of my lovely authors.

Continue reading “ANNOUNCEMENT: SYPLaunch – Society of Young Publishers’ Mentoring Scheme Mentee!”
Meet the Editor, What Does an Editor Do?

NEW Weekly Writing Prompts Email – Sign up below!

How are you all coping with the UK in lockdown? It’s not that different to my normal working life as I am lucky enough to work from home, however I do miss the freedom of being able to go outside and explore and take inspiration from not only the world but the people around me. I love people watching – humans are such fascinating creatures. (Saying that, I totally appreciate our reasoning behind it and will support our amazing NHS all the way!)

But with the lockdown, this inspiration is hard to find. So, I’ve come up with the idea of creating writing prompts to help get you started on your latest writing project, whether that be simply exercising your creative mind or picking up a pen and making a start on that novel you’ve always wanted to write.

For the past couple of weeks, I have been posting prompts daily on my Instagram stories – do come check us out – but I thought, wouldn’t it be nice to have these prompts delivered right to your inbox? So, I’ve decided to bundle up the writing prompts into a weekly parcel of inspiration to help you on your way.

Sign up to receive weekly writing prompt exercises!

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Meet the Editor

‘Kia Ora!’

It is terrifying really how quickly time passes, isn’t it? This time last year I’d just arrived in Australia and now our Ozzie adventure is over and I’m already partway through the next chapter: New Zealand.

I arrived in Auckland a couple of days ago now and, although it’s only been a couple of days, I have fallen a little bit in love with this city. I have loved exploring and finding all the cool indie shops, trying all the food and investigating the green spaces. And there is still so much more to see!

I can’t wait to make the most of these weeks and catch up on some me-time – which means lots of reading! The place I’m staying in has the biggest windows so I’m revelling in all the natural light and curling up with a good book!

I am officially out of the office but I will continue to answer emails for the next week or so before we head to the South Island. If you have a question, need some advice or want a quotation for an editorial service, don’t hesitate to get in touch via the contact page or the quotation request form. I can’t wait to hear from you!

Meet the Editor

2020, We’re Coming at Ya!

It’s that time of year again when we bring out the new diary, the new diets, the new lifestyles and say to ourselves, ‘This is going to be my year!’ And although there is a lot of fluff surrounding new year’s resolutions, this year, mine is simple. To have a go.

2019 was a year of much adjustment for me. I left the job that I had dreamed of since I was young. I packed up my bags and travelled thousands of miles across the world to live in a country I’d never set foot in before. Oh, and I started a business.

2020, on the other hand, doesn’t look like it’s going to be any more stable. I have only two weeks left before our Australian adventure comes to an end and we begin our journey back home via New Zealand, where we’ll be holidays for over a month, exploring the gorgeous vistas and just taking some time out. However, when we get back to the UK after the excitement of seeing all our friends and family again, what remains is a bit of a question mark. (We don’t even really know where we’re going to live!)

I started my business a little out of necessity. The other half was offered an amazing opportunity in Australia, and I wasn’t going to let this opportunity to live abroad go. However, he happened to choose one of the few cities in the country that doesn’t have a publishing hub. So rather than hunting for a job myself, I decided to take up the scary mantle of ‘Self-employed’.

So, the question is, do I keep going? My plan so far is yes. I love what I do, and why shouldn’t I have a go at seeing whether I can make it work long term? It’ll be different being back in the UK, working with my previous colleagues but in a different capacity. And oh, boy am I looking forward to being on the same time zone as everyone for once! However, there is a nagging feeling at the back of my head. Can I actually do this?

It’s a question that many people ask themselves when they are starting out or about to embark on something risky. This includes a number of my authors, not just indie first-timers but also those who have a few books under their belts, wondering if this is all just a dream. (I personally think it’ll be a question I’ll ask myself every year).

My answer to this? You’ll never know unless you try. Sometimes you’ve got to take that gamble and just go with it. Be brave. Whatever you set out to do may not be perfect to begin with, but you’ve just got to work at it. Work hard, and it’ll pay off. Whether that’s starting your own business, aiming for a personal best at the gym (this year, I’m aiming to tackle the handstand!), or finally putting pen to paper and writing that novel. All you have to do is begin, the rest will take care of itself.

So, say it loud. ‘This year, 2020, is going to be my year.’ Go on, you can do it!

Book Review, Meet the Editor, Uncategorized

Merry Christmas!

It is already 25 December 2019 here in Australia. This year, Christmas feels a little different as we’ll be celebrating in the sunshine of Adelaide’s summer. I seem to have a mental block over this, with the warm weather and festive spirit not really computing. To be honest, I don’t feel Christmassy – even though I really want to! I’m sure eating my weight in mince pies this evening will sort that out in no time. However, what is also different is that because my boyfriend is working throughout the day, I’ll also be working at my desk too – maybe with a Celebrations tin to ease the pain. However, it will feel weird knowing that my family and friends are on the other side of the planet celebrating without me.

Now as I pack away the world’s smallest violin, I am aware that I have it comparitively easy. There will be many people who will be spending their Christmas not munching on far too much food and other indulgences, but will be busy looking after us. I’m talking about our emergency service workers. I say this every year because it is a cause close to my heart but it feels especially potent this year with our adoptive country battling some of the worst wildfires on record. There will be those actively fighting the blazes, those treating the injured as well as those helping those affected get to safety.

But also back home, the emergency services will still be up and running, helping those affected by the flooding that is hitting the country at the moment but also dealing with the accidents, mishaps and emergencies that the festive period can bring. With the NHS in particular being a much talked about topic at the moment (no politics – it’s Christmas), it’s just as important to acknowledge the fundamental role that our healthcare and emergency services do during the holiday season and not take it for granted.

So what I’m trying to say is whilst you’re eating your Christmas turkey or your Christmas barbeque, extend a thought to the lifeblood of our emergency services, ensuring we’re safe this Christmas.

One way I’ve been doing this is reading Adam Kay’s – author of the downright amazing This is Going to Hurt – new book, Twas the Nightshift Before Christmas. It’s another hilarious and heartbreaking account of life on the wards of the NHS, but all based around the Christmas shifts that Kay seemed to have the bad luck to draw almost every year in his medical career! A short but entertaining read, it reminds us of those at the frontline of the emergency services, but Kay’s unbridled wit can’t fail to bring some festive cheer!

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

Rebecca x

(Thanks to my other half for posing for this photograph before his Christmas shift!)