Absolutely everything in my FY21/22 freelance annual report

A woman holding a mug reading 'Like a boss'

Last year I posted about my first experience of writing an annual report for my freelance business. I found the exercise invaluable for the clarity it gave me, so clearly I was going to repeat it this year. In doing so, I reflected on last year’s findings and added some more topics, and the result was even more helpful and inspiring than last year’s.…

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Making trouble: using expert editorial judgement to hunt down issues

A tangle of string symbolising the idea of making trouble for a client

‘Don’t make trouble’ is an edict that we often hear as children. Making trouble means being difficult. It raises unnecessary issues. It causes aggravation. It wastes time and thereby costs money.

The idea of making trouble also goes against a core principle that proofreaders and copyeditors learn early on: if something’s good enough, don’t change it (sometimes phrased as ‘leave well enough alone’).…

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Ruthless balance: are you protecting your freelance business?

The idea of protection might sound like something that only applies to ‘proper’ businesses. If your only employee is your dog and your physical assets principally consist of a temperamental PC and a slightly wonky desk and chair that you bought at IKEA in 2008, what do you have to protect?

Well, first of all, if you’re a freelancer with one or more clients, you are a proper business, whether you like it or not.…

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Here be monsters: what I’ve learned from editing 20 million words of reference works

On the rim of the editorial world, out beyond the well-travelled shipping lanes of non-fiction, the jostling flotillas of novels and the bustling reefs of academia, is a fabled area of publishing rarely glimpsed by the everyday reader or writer. Here dwell academic encyclopedias, catalogues and other major reference works (often called MRWs) – leviathans that dwarf much of the rest of the publishing world in their scope, cost, timescale, demandingness and sheer ambition.…

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Why freelancers should write annual reports

This year, for the first time, I wrote an annual report for my freelance business.

But wait, isn’t that a bit of a paradox – a freelancer writing an annual report? Surely annual reports are designed to be shared with government, shareholders and the media (entities unlikely to have much interest in the average freelance business)?…

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How to be a trustworthy freelancer

What’s your most precious asset as a freelancer or small business owner?

I’ll give you some hints.

It’s not your qualifications or professional memberships. Up to a point, anybody with enough tenacity and funding can acquire those.

It’s also not your website or portfolio. Again, however informative they are and however long they took you to build, there will be many other freelancers out there with credentials that are just as impressive.…

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Trust and conquer: why you should trust your freelancers

In today’s volatile business world, businesses are increasingly looking for ways to be agile rather than fragile. One way of achieving this is to use freelance talent to quickly source resources when – and only when – they are needed. This model sees groups of people come together to carry out a specific project and then part ways when the project is complete.…

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Working in an editorial team Part II: copyeditor, typesetter or designer, proofreader and indexer

For an editorial project to meet its goals, multiple people (sometimes many) need to work together, but potentially without ever actually communicating with each other. This requires each person to have a clear understanding of their role in the process and the ripples (good or bad) they can create for others in the editorial team.

Part I of this article gave some suggestions on how the author, developmental editor and project manager can contribute to each other’s work and the work of people later on in the process.…

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Working in an editorial team Part I: author, developmental or structural editor, and project manager

I almost called this article ‘How to Avoid Screwing Things Up in an Editorial Team’, but the SEO gods said it was too long. However, that’s essentially what this article and its follow-up are about.

All editorial projects require collaboration. The simplest might only involve an author and a proofreader, whereas the most complex can involve many more people working together in an editorial team.…

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PMP or PRINCE2: which is most valuable as an accreditation for an editorial project manager?

Arrows depicting a choice between two alternatives

PMP (Project Management Professional) and PRINCE2 (PRojects IN Controlled Environments) are two of the most popular and highly ranked project management certifications worldwide. But how are they perceived in the editorial and publishing world, and which would be most valuable to an editorial project manager seeking work?

I’m planning to complete one of these qualifications over the next year, but I wanted to be sure I was choosing the right one for my industry, where I am in my career and my general development goals.…

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