Monday, October 20, 2008

Is There Such a Thing as a Freelance Acquisitions Editor?

Occasionally over the years I've gotten inquiries from people who want freelance acquisitions work from us. I've always rather discounted the idea because I've thought that the functions involved in acquisitions needed to stay in house, for several reasons:
  • I just couldn't envision how this would work.
  • A freelancer would really have to get up to speed on our publishing strategy and procedures, not to mention our contract and terms.
  • We have enough trouble producing the books we acquire now. We don't need to ramp up acquisitions until we know we can ramp up editorial and production, too.
  • The hard part is coming up with the ideas that we haven't already done, and most freelancers want you to give them the book idea and let them run with it.

But today I stumbled upon a posting for a freelance acquisitions editor at Thompson Publishing (not to be confused with Thomson, which is now Cengage, et al) that outlines exactly how this might work:

  1. The company hands the freelancer an idea.
  2. The freelancer does market research on the idea's viability.
  3. Then he or she shapes the idea into a customer-centric focus.
  4. The freelancer then recruits an author.
  5. The freelancer negotiates the contract with the author.
  6. The freelancer manages the writing process until the book is delivered to the publisher.

Okay, now I see how this might work. But I still don't need to outsource my acquisitions anytime soon.

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