Archive for April 2013

Freelancing advice from across the pond

What do freelancers in the U.K. need to know about running their businesses? Pretty much the same things we Canadians do. Here are two helpful new e-books by British freelancers.

Oku_book

Become a Freelance Writer: Your complete guide to the business of writing
By Rachael Oku; Harriman House, 2013; 52 pages
About $7 for Kindle and iBooks editions

London-based writer/editor Rachael Oku provides tips on setting up, promoting and running a freelance business. In a conversational tone, Oku covers networking, finding work, creating a social media presence, positioning yourself as an expert, pricing your services and much more. (Her list of common freelancing pitfalls is, on its own, worth the price of admission.) She also includes ideas that are likely more common in the U.K. than in Canada (such as selling ads on your site or creating a “media kit” with a list of your services and rates, a photo, clips, etc.).

Oku is well acquainted with the ups and downs of freelance life—she’s the driving force behind Creative-Bloc, a social enterprise/hub for writers, launched in 2012. (Disclosure: I’ve written a couple of blog posts for the site.) The wide-ranging topics and encouraging words of Become a Freelance Writer will be especially beneficial for new and aspiring freelancers.

harnby_book

Business Planning for Editorial Freelancers: A Guide for New Starters
By Louise Harnby in association with The Publishing Training Centre, 2013; 126 pages
About $8 for Kindle and Smashwords editions

Editors, there’s an e-book for you too. Author Louise Harnby has been a freelance proofreader since 2005, and she’s also the owner of the Proofreader’s Parlour, a blog for editors and proofreaders. Her e-book covers freelancing essentials such as business plans (yes, you need one), different types of editing, training, promotion, networking, working with clients, resources and more.

Written with absolute beginners in mind, the e-book also contains ideas for gaining work experience, as well as case studies featuring stories from other freelancers (including a Canadian editor). This detailed, practical guide is a great read for anyone hoping to bust out of a cubicle and into a rewarding and sustainable editing career.

Elsewhere in the blogosphere: The Story Board recently reviewed The Freelancers’ Bible, by Sara Horowitz, founder of American organization Freelancers Union. I can’t wait to get my hands on it.

 

 

Reading list: Career advice, Mr. Magazine’s new vids and more

In a videotaped interview for CBS, More Magazine’s editor-in-chief, Lesley Jane Seymour, offers career advice for aspiring editors: “If you’re young and you’re getting out of school, you must go digital, you must know how to code, you must start in the digital area. You can always go backwards into print.”

Mr. Magazine, a.k.a. Samir Husni, has a new series of short videos called “Mr. Magazine Minute.” Watch clips featuring American magazine luminaries such as Chris Johns, editor-in-chief of National Geographic; David Carey, president of Hearst Magazines; and Richard Stengel, managing editor of TIME Magazine.

The horror! In a bid to reduce confusion, officials in southwestern England’s Mid Devon District proposed that “All punctuation, including apostrophes, shall be avoided” on street signs. Find out who won here. Thanks to Corinna vanGerwen for alerting me.

Freelancers are often nervous about saying “no” when they’re offered work (what if the editor never calls again?). WordCount and Freelance Folder have good suggestions on how to decide, and how to offer value even when you can’t accept the gig.

Is it tax season already?! Self-employed people have until June 17, 2013, to file their income tax returns, says the CRA—but any money they owe is still due by April 30. Check out Story Board’s tax tips for freelancers, and consult a tax pro if you’re not sure what expenses you can deduct.