I’m Andy and I’m an editor.
I started my career working for the International Gay and Lesbian Association in Brussels, and then worked for a gay men’s health organisation in London before working in the HIV sector in Australia for a decade, as an international policy officer and then a programmes manager for a small grants programme to increase access to HIV treatment to anyone who needed it (the programme was global but I worked with Asia and for a short period, Central and Eastern Europe).
Making a career change, I wasn’t sure what I would do. I’ve always loved words, and was a published writer. Could I work in the book publishing industry? But I found the industry closed and slowly discovered that I could make a living as a freelance editor, and I could also use my previous experience to advantage, as a policy writer and with subject matter expertise in health, human rights and community development.
It was an interesting start. I joined a small business network which taught me a lot about running my own business and how to promote myself. I learned about writing that is directed towards a client or reader, instead of rabbiting on about yourself. I ditched the name I was working using after leaving the HIV sector (Quan Consulting) and rebranded myself as ‘Boldface’ and set up a website. I took on any work I could find. I wrote websites. I wrote brochures and blog posts. I edited a few novels of aspiring writers. I wrote and edited tenders.
I learned that even though people are familiar with the idea of ‘copywriting’, that really, only a handful of advertising (now called branding) agencies did that, and that they might not even be particularly good at writing and words, but are excellent at ideas and concepts. And that even though no one really seems to know what editors do (imagining them solely working with journalists or publishers, or getting us mixed up with video editors), that there is a great need for great editing from all types of organisations, from big to small.
And over the decade and past, from 2010, my business has grown into a very healthy one indeed. My big breaks came from working with a team at PricewaterhouseCoopers and then Ernst and Young, when my contact moved there. I won a spot on the editorial team for the City of Sydney. I did editing work for UNDP, through contacts in my old life in the HIV sector, and that experience allowed me to then work for UNESCO and then UN Women. I secured similar work with Australian organisations that I admire, such as the Australian Human Rights Commission and Male Champions of Change.
I learned from this that the type of editing that I like to do is on major, substantial reports that hopefully contribute to some social good in the world. And that after doing these types of reports, that my work was valued and I could get more of the same work. So, nearly all my work these days is from previous clients or word of mouth. I’m not sure if I ever found a client from the work website, www.boldface.com.au.
In June 2021, I did a drastic edit of the website. I’ve removed the pages for services that I offered but did little of (editing fictional books, research, editing tenders). I deleted the page with the list of clients, which was outdated. I updated my page on editing. And I updated this page, which was the ‘About Me’ page at www.boldface.com.au.
If I was targeting small businesses, or unknown clients, I might have had to put in some work into getting the website to do some more work for me. But it’s really not so necessary for the type of work I’m doing and now that I’m an established business. I left this page up, partly for posterity, and partly because I thought it was a generally good idea for a business to have a website. It acts more as a business card these days, a sign of trust: I exist. I provide services. I am contactable. I am here if you need me.
But I’ve had a change of heart. I think I’ll just leave up the front page of the website for now, move other materials to his website, and be more streamlined and tidy.