Busy day, so just enough time for a quick rant. I met with a colleague for coffee yesterday. She’s a lawyer by trade, with plenty of courtroom experience and a solid background in the technical aspects of writing, but happens to be new to the freelance writing and editing business. At one point she mentioned that she’s enrolled in an editing certificate program through a well-known university. And something her professor suggested about freelance pricing, well, let’s just say it qualified as academic malpractice. [Read more…]
The wrong way to get freelance jobs
There are countless strategies and places to find freelance jobs, but this week, I received a note that represents a classic example of the wrong way to go about it: soliciting work from other freelancers with whom you have 1) no relationship or 2) no understanding of their businesses. Exhibit A is a pitch I received from out of the blue on LinkedIn: [Read more…]
Are your freelance writing rates too low?
Among all the questions I receive, the most common revolve around freelance writing rates. Indeed, that was the driving force behind my desire to write The Science, Art and Voodoo of Freelance Pricing and Getting Paid.
But today, I want to share a quick anecdote about one of the unseen dangers of freelance writing rates that are too low, in the form of someone whose estimate was so cheap that I almost didn’t hire her. [Read more…]
Job rejection fail
You don’t have to be a freelancer for very long before swallowing the bitter pill of fail: freelance job rejection. Frankly, I’m good with it: Don’t want me in your club, I don’t want to be a member.
In that vein, I got a good laugh a few weeks ago. A representative of a custom publishing company—which had declined me as a freelancer sometime around the holidays—inadvertently copied me on an email…which said some unflattering things about me! [Read more…]
The real minimum wage
I was talking with a longtime freelance associate yesterday about two pricing issues she’s having. First, she’s trying to find a way to charge a premium for her services when the client wants to buy extensive rights vs. one-time, one-purpose rights. Second, she’s got a potential ghostwriting job and is attempting to calculate an appropriate rate that won’t price her out of the market. [Read more…]
Federal copy editors run amok
There isn’t much breaking news about copy editors, but a recent article from The New York Post, “$27 million to change NYC signs from all-caps,” is straight from the are-you-freaking-kidding-me file, sure to warm the heart of the most strident grammar pedant.
At the risk of offending any of my friends or readers who happen to have one of these federal copy editor jobs (Really? Such a position exists? What’s the annual salary, I wonder…), I have to say this is asinine. It’s worth reading the whole thing to get a sweet taste of the pure, harebrained wastefulness, but here’s a quick excerpt: [Read more…]