Monday, July 6, 2009

Responses to the Freelancing Question

A few weeks ago I wrote this short post, asking what people were seeing in terms of the recent availability of freelance editing work. I had heard from too many people that they didn't have much--if any--freelance work to do. The more I think about it, though, the more I realize that the majority of people saying that are people who work for Pearson.

But others wrote in with various opinions on the situation and advice for those seeking work:
  • Greg Albers of Hol Art Books agreed that things might be slacking up now because of the recession, but that in the long term freelancing will become a way of life for many more people. He also turned me on to his cool publishing concept, in which editors and others volunteer to work on book projects in exchange for royalties down the road. It's a gamble, of course, but one that could pay off if you choose your projects well.
  • Katharine O'Moore-Klopf said that in her specialized field of medical editing, things are hopping. She's still having to turn away the occasional project.
  • Susan Hobbs said that she learned not to put all of her editorial eggs in one basket, so she keeps a diversified client list. She's stayed consistently busy over the last several months but has noted that some publishers that used to pay in 30 days are now taking 60 and even 90 days to get a check out.
  • Tim Huddleston is always busy and attributes that to his flexibility and being able to do many different kinds of editing work.
  • Susan Cox, a lady I played in bands with back in the early '80s, recommends the Writer's Market as a good source of leads on publishers. (Tim and I concur.)
  • John, a freelancer in Columbus, Ohio, has seen work dry up from a major client. If anyone has leads for him, let us know in the comments.
  • Marc, a local writer, says the work is fairly cyclical: It gets heavy after layoffs and then gets "dodgy" again later.

Any other observations or tips?


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Wren Caulfield said...

Hey, I used to work for Pearson as a production artist. I left last month to move across the country and start freelancing full time. And they don't even have any work to send to me! It's tough going out there, editing, production, or design.

In case anyone's turning down projects, please refer them my way: