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Have the desire to create and share your ideas but not the know-how of writing a book?  Take a peek over my shoulder as I step through the process in this four part series.

Starting out

Mulling Over Ideas….

There are already millions of books published and available on Amazon, so here is a question: what is the one thing that none of them already have?

Answer:  Your experience and your writer’s voice.

Types of Books: Choosing the Best Model

Breaking down complex and dry topics, a good writer draws out the ideas for their reader to digest. This is best done with a particular model.

Tips books can be good if prefaced with a note on why you need these tips and how to use the content. Power Marketing was in this style.

Insider advice style, with a direct voice (‘you’/’your’) can be ideal for a senior coach or business owner. Usually the focus is on solving the individual’s most common problems and preventing some of the pitfalls in starting out that you witnessed or experienced. Examples are:

Ready to Soar by Naomi Simson

Bounce Forward by Sam Cawthorn

Reading these books, you’ll soon see the way the author (with help from an editor) has given the best of their story and also laid out a framework for the readers to follow. Highlighted pull-outs and quotes make it more enjoyable to read and easier to take in.

The model book.  Another style of book is the model book. No, not fashionistas but your very own diagram, acronym or concept. For instance, Scott Pape is fond of the concept ‘mojo money’.

Whatever it is, make it yours and never borrow someone else’s special code. You can conjure an Acronym up with a generator (or better yet, use your grey matter).  The model is normally explained at the beginning of Chapter 1… The ‘why’ you need it being as important as the ‘what’ it is.

The model book really lends itself to case studies that prove the model works. Do you have clients that have solved their problems with your help? There might be a model hiding there, in plain sight. Points of note:

  • Very reader-solution focussed
  • Very targeted to their stage (a beginner or slightly experienced)

Examples:  Business Model Generation (a book about models and outside the box), Share Your Passion, Eat That Frog.

Now that we’ve discussed some types of nonfiction books you could write, it’s important to note one thing:

Stick to one type!

The post Writing a Book: Choosing your Book Model appeared first on Jennifer Lancaster | Author and Editor.

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by Laurie Lewis
Outskirts Press, 2011, 2nd edition.

In What to Charge: Pricing Strategies for Freelancers & Consultants, there is ample advice which will stop your flight into lassez-faire freelancing (or consulting) in its tracks.  By the end of chapter 1, you’ll already be challenging your assumptions about pricing on a simple client brief. I find the way Laurie uses an actual example of the advice in practice 10 times better than a simple model or explanation. Sometimes it’s hers, and sometimes it’s another consultant’s unfortunate experience.

It’s really hard to obey the first rule of pricing and that is why this information is so valuable to me. So many clients just want to know the end price up-front based on some sketchy details about a project, but if you stick your neck out and price right away, you know what happens… your neck gets metaphorically chopped off… in reality, some of your time will be worked for free.

There are all different ways to charge freelance services, all of which you’ll find explained in ‘Methods of Pricing’. If you ever have the temptation to take on a low-paying project, then you will want to read ‘Chapter 4: Going after the Going Rate’ and the part ‘Below the Bottom’, which outlines the specific circumstances in which you could lower your rates to the client’s budget.

Questions really are the answers: you need to know what the client is willing to pay. You might even role-play the four different types of questions given in ‘What to Charge’, to help determine if their budget is near the figure you’re considering.

If you do read this book, ensure you read the advice about client communications on page 55 — it will save your quotation bacon.

The Fails of Flat-Fee Pricing for Freelancers

Thankfully Laurie goes well into flat-fee pricing — as I feel that is where I’ve made the most mistakes.
Many consultants take to project pricing because of the ability to hide a high hourly rate in a final project, and because of course the client might make more demands on a flat fee project.

Remembering that time is the most valuable resource we outsourced experts have, doing the steps outlined at the beginning of the briefing stage will help you attain a higher Hourly Rate Equivalent (worked out based on an overall project). But stepping through the 7 steps will also give you a calculation method to use in future. It actually uses all your superpowers in client understanding, desired hourly rates, and past project hours.

I believe an added value in this book is helping you feel better whether you win a project, or not… knowing you have done all the necessary steps to price and propose well. It will also help with those year-end evaluations (an example is provided) so you can see which type of project and method is really working for you.

A note to readers: What to Charge uses American rates, so Australians should add on 15-20%. Buy Laurie’s eBook below (print also available at Amazon):

The post What to Charge: Pricing Strategies for Freelancers and Consultants – Book Review appeared first on Jennifer Lancaster | Author and Editor.

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If you read my blog at all, you’ll see that I like to be ‘cautiously optimistic’. But several niggles with distribution to Australian book retailers for those using Print on Demand (IngramSpark) have recently come to light. It’s time we authors said: this is ridiculous!

I feel that IngramSpark promising Australian indie publishers that they can get their book listing out to 39,000 retailers/libraries  is false advertising. As a proud Australian author-publisher, I do not expect that online book retail partners like Booktopia and The Nile to not be listing POD books, or listing them at over-inflated prices!  A note from The Nile (5/3/2018) said:

We have experienced some delivery delays from IngramSpark recently and have been forced to remove their titles. Once the issues are resolved, they will be added back again.

As an experienced user of the Print on Demand system, I’m fairly sure I have not done anything wrong. In fact, I list my books at a low RRP and also have a Net Sale Price for library supplier orders. It seems there is little I can do, though, about the IngramSpark distribution system and retailers listings, as much as I think it is good in other ways.

The word from a Booktopia staff member is that my book “How to Start a Freelance Business” is listed at $33 ($12 over RRP)  due to the fact that it is showing as “not available” from Lightning Source Australia and the book has to be ordered from Tennessee, USA. I have joined Booktopia’s affiliate program anyway, despite this constant disappointment.

Why is it that when an Australian author puts out Australian-specialised content, provided by IngramSpark (in Melbourne), and it sinks like a stone in the retailers’ online stores?  Is it that all self-published POD books are treated as low priority listings?  In the past, you could do nothing about this, but now you can at least apply to a distributor like Dennis Jones, if you have a cash reserve to fund 500+ copies. (Production quality must be really high for this as well).

Another Book Visibility Problem

Another problem other authors have faced is:  book distribution that had little to no time on store bookshelves.  Distribution on consignment does not usually mean your book sitting in boxes out the back, as Joan Isaacs of “To Prey and To Silence” found hers was.  I’m guessing that hers was a strong, controversial message but not a marketable product in the bookstore staff’s eyes.

As the March Writer’s Grapevine tells it, Joan’s award-winning book had 98 bookstore returns. Reason: damaged.  Returns might also be code for “we didn’t want to display that book, actually”. Returns are best to be arranged to sent back to the publisher if possible, however, with IngramSpark the only option is “Non-returnable” or “Return-Destroy”. Nice. Another risk for the independent publisher, to be considered carefully.

Don’t be disappointed! Order your chosen book direct through Paypal, which goes to the author. Author reaches into box, pulls book out, labels envelope and sends it the same day.

How to Start a Freelance Business — click Paypal to buy and get fast delivery by Express Post.

The post Getting a New Book out to Australian Book Retailers: Problems! appeared first on Jennifer Lancaster | Author and Editor.

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In 1450, in the town of Pearlessence, Sir Rupert was talking to his lightly-paid servant, Eric. It seemed the world of technology had moved on without Sir Rupert, which young Eric was only too happy to point out. (Bear with it, this parable does have a point).

“Sir, it is a futile effort that you make, copying your manuscripts by hand. Even by woodblock, it takes a week to set up for one book!  Have you not heard that in Mulberry city they have a new Gutenberg press, a POD 400*. Its metal, moveable type and mechanized process makes it very fast!”

“I don’t care, Eric, I am good with my hands and have all day long to make my books.”

“Aye my Lord, but the POD 400 means you could not just copy out a book a fortnight and charge 10 guineas, you could instead order two books printed per day. And thus make it cheaper for people to buy!”

“But what would become of the suppliers of my ink and wood”? enquired Sir Rupert.

“I ‘spect they’d learn a new trade, Sir.  There’s many a new service in the freelance marketplace, and there you’d find an editor to help with your grammar and spelling.”

“Well, my grammar and spelling are not always Oxford’s best, but people read my travel tales for entertainment”, Sir Rupert said.

“How can they get involved in the story if it’s a-riddled with errors, my Lord”, Eric shot back.

“And did yee know, that with the POD400, CreateGaps can also wait until you’ve got a book order in before printing out a copy” continued Eric, “or once set up, deliver you 10 copies ready to sell within a week. There’s a tidy profit to be made there, Sir”.

Sir Rupert wistfully imagines his beloved tales in more eager hands and the guineas piling up.

“Yes, I start to see your point Eric”, Rupert concurs.

*POD400 = print on demand, get it?

The Benefits of Print on Demand in a Risky World

This parable makes you think… are you still thinking of printing large orders and selling direct? Some people even bind their own books–not many, true!

What does Print on Demand allow us to do when compared to offset-press print runs?

Although POD has also enabled squillions of books to launch into an abyss, the system allows indies to take less RISK. You can order very small author quantities, thus not filling up your garage. These can be kept for book sales at back of room, expo tables, mass library orders (see ALS), and perhaps for a LinkedIn connections campaign. The setup costs are smallish, about $65 (or free) plus $20-30 for a proof copy, delivered.

Others can order your new book from Amazon, but you need to help sales along. You can do this by hosting the books on your own website/blog, perhaps partnering with Booktopia in their Author Royalty Club, so your books appear on Australia’s busiest online bookstore, and by digitally linking with other authors like you. However you still need to drive traffic to these places, and that relies on your personal marketing and social ability!

On the downside, Print on Demand does not allow for spot colours and embossing. You cannot have metallics (which many want) on the cover. You can use your own cover photograph, but it must be converted to CMYK and at least 300dpi, preferably 600 dpi at a reasonable 10 – 13 cm width. This can be done in Photoshop with a minimum of fuss.

More about the Booktopia Affiliate / Author Marketing Club

Through the APD affiliate program at Booktopia, you earn 7.5% — as well as any royalty due from your POD partner. There really is no other way to be listed at Booktopia for a Self-publishing imprint (that I know of!)

You can view the APD affiliate partners after you join and get approved, and you’ll find a lot of great Australian brands there. Find the application form – https://www.apdperformance.com.au/agency-mp-signup/dgm.brand

There is quite a bit to know about this process, so I will leave that up to Booktopia staff (Sarah McDuling) to inform you. Please enquire for her details.

The post A Tale of the Printing Press and POD appeared first on Jennifer Lancaster | Author and Editor.

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Lately, there have been a couple of client tales about the neverending saga of BP. Let’s just say BP, for legal reasons… they of the permanent Google advertising. So I want to talk about how to spot the signs before you fall into an author support solutions trap. In case you’re unaware, many of those holding top spots of Google for “book publishing support Australia” or “author support services Australia” are actually American companies with Australian sales machines. (Except for me, ha ha!) These provide a publishing package but then if you want editing, that’s more. If you want help with marketing, that’s more. Then some of them take in 50% of the author royalties…

This split is not a given as there are perfectly reliable author support businesses on our Australian coastline who provide a service without taking royalties.

Read more about Author Solutions Inc and Warning Signs in Penny C Sansivieri’s Huffpost article.

Small Publisher Lists

In addition, there are some approachable small publishers or alternatively partial vanity publishers (e.g. Vivid Publishing) who subsidise the basic publishing costs — and these do share royalties. These will probably not provide the broad-ranging promotion and book posters of a big name, but at least check out all registered publishers of any size here: https://www.publishers.asn.au/. In the Directory, you can look under “Associate Members – Small Publisher” in the 2nd drop-down, or just search by your genre for all related listings.

The Small Press Network, offer associate membership for $90 to self-publishers if you want to make new connections and develop. Or perhaps scour the SPN directory for small publishers.

10 Signs You’re Falling into Author Support Solutions Trap
  1. Their website refers to some authors being offered a publishing contract with a legitimate publishing ‘partner’ of theirs. If you’re paying, you’re not likely to just pick up a contract this way.
  2. Their packages (on application) don’t mention who your print on demand partner might be or alternatively, how your distribution takes place.
  3. Author print copies are still unreasonable, even though they have partners in print to make it cheaper. Check with the Print on Demand calculators yourself and also check with offset printers for the larger runs, e.g. over 300 copies.
  4. The creative services, like line editing, are hard to find out about and you have no idea who will be advising you on your book.
  5. Editing price comes as quite a shock.
  6. Editing service is rubbish quality (i.e. fixing things that were a colloquialism or changing Australian/British spelling to U.S. spelling).
  7. They offer to help with your blurb then practically reprint what you wrote.
  8. When you Google “XXX company scams” it has warnings and lots of complaints from authors.
  9. The RRP of the book is much too high for its kind – not only genre, but quality, colour or not, and length.
  10. Can’t find mention of their recently published books anywhere in the usual book distributors.

Tip:  If you want to know if a Self-Publishing Support/Publisher’s books have good distribution, pick 3 recent titles out. Copy their ISBN and paste it into Booko.com.au. Then you will see where the book is listed and for what prices. (Sometimes this is beyond the author’s control; some book online retailers are cheeky monkies and boost the price).

Well, I did some research on a Vivid 2015 title: “How to get a job in the 21st Century”. It does not show up on Booko, but it still has its own website. It is priced at $29.95 and you can buy it at Vivid’s website. I find this price too high for an A5 book of 112 pages (Trove says 102). It should be around $19 – $25 max. Now, I am not saying that Vivid is poor, they seem to offer acceptable quality, but keep on doing your due diligence on each self-publishing supporter you investigate.

Let me know what you think in the box below. If you mark the comment Private, I will not post it.

The post Signs You’re Falling into an Author Support Solutions Trap appeared first on Jennifer Lancaster | Author and Editor.

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Lately, a few talented writers have contacted me with their pre-press production problems. Now, most new authors want to typeset their non-fiction book in Word, but Word is designed for word processing and not so much for book design. However, some authors want to be able to access the file again — and if they are not worried about the colours (inside) not being controlled, then there are workarounds. But Adobe InDesign is the industry standard for book design, so let’s discuss MS Word vs Adobe Indesign.

Remember, the interior of any book is completely separate to the cover. To dispel another myth, you can print bleed images right to the edge of your file (when setting up for IngramSpark or CreateSpace) and no, you don’t need to have a border. Bleed means going beyond the page (e.g. 3mm beyond). What you need to remember is:

Interiors: minimum 13 mm text margins for IngramSpark.

Covers: keep text a minimum 6 mm from each edge (apart from spine) — designers sometimes put elements too close to the edge.

Covers:  all set out in one file — with back cover, spine and front cover (and barcode provided).

Adobe InDesign Pros & Cons
The advantages of InDesign are:
  • You can see which images are in CMYK or not, whether 300 PPI (correct) or only 96 PPI. Please don’t use web resolution for print application.
  • Colours are controlled better — plus you can set the CMYK colours right in the document
  • You can get a font license through Typekit for some book typefaces, like Minion Pro, otherwise this font family costs US$200!
  • Large images are not saved in the working file but are in the final PDF
  • It has a better ability to do text/graphic frames beside other text. But don’t wrap too much!

The disadvantages of InDesign are:

  • Well, if you DIY, you have to learn the program and this takes quite some time.
  • There is no off-the-shelf option right now, so you’re up for AU $28 incl of GST per month for the foreseeable future to retain access.

PPI / DPI = Pixels per inch, meaning the number of tiny-weeny dots that print on the page and thus allow graphics to appear beautifully.

Word Pros & Cons
The advantages of Word are:
  • As authors, you can access it easily and also Track Changes is useful for editing
  • It takes less time to format, as tables or graphs are already in the file (if using)
  • It is possible to use Acrobat Pro to make a PDF-X1/X3 — however, not too sure about colours and DPI result

The cons of Word:

  • It is a devil for laying out large text boxes and graphics with text wraps.
  • No masters, so you need to put sections in for page numbering or the headers/footers. Making a running header different every section can drive one quite mad. It keeps editing the prior one, unless you unlink each first (icon: previous header/footer)
  • You will need Acrobat Pro & Distiller for doing the PDF, if for IngramSpark. This costs about AU $22 a month.
Further Considerations of Book Design

Another thing to consider when trying to do your own book design is the sense of space and leading.  It takes a couple of projects to get this right. You need some space at chapter starts and leading (the space between lines) needs a bit more than usual. Say your typeface is Minion Pro 12 pt, you might select 16 pt leading. Good book designers are particular!

While InDesign is the leading page layout program, if you don’t want that, a novice photo book author could use the BookWrite online technology at Blurb. I believe this helps with templated designing. (Careful with the colour quoting of trade books though, as Blurb printing can be expensive — e.g. $16 to $32 each for a 140-page colour 6″ x 9″ trade book).

Another thing you can do easily with InDesign is put in cute boxes, called a pull quote. In Switch the Bitch, I made these box borders have a dotted line, while the font was Bell, Italic, Bold, 11 pt (or 10 pt, anyway, it was smaller).

The post Book Design Knockdown: MS Word vs Adobe InDesign appeared first on Jennifer Lancaster | Author and Editor.

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It may feel daunting to launch your freelance business from scratch. For the uninitiated, there can be numerous hurdles to overcome on the way to having a successful freelancing career.  As a freelancer myself and in contact with other soloists, I have observed some of these hurdles firsthand. My working knowledge is summed up in “How to Start a Freelance Business in Australia”.

____

What is it?  Freelancing typically refers to writers, designers, programmers and so on. Freelancers are people who offer their services to employers without a long-term commitment to them. They often charge by the hour, day or job and are usually one person businesses (who may opt to outsource tasks they don’t specialise in).

___

Reaching out to a community of freelance professionals certainly helps get you started in the right direction. The way I did this was to hang out on FlyingSolo forums, keeping an eye on the “referral/recommendations” section, in case people are looking for my type of service.  Sometimes giving your support to other freelancers can lead to other opportunities as well. Australian creatives, see The Freelance Collective for this.

Step 1:  Decide on a Name

Well, the first thing to do is decide on a brand for yourself. Whether it’s your name + your service, or a completely new name, you will need a business identity to work under.

Along with your new name you will naturally need a logo, business cards and a website. Remember, you are now a business and so all your marketing materials need to be polished. Will the new name be a good fit for a domain name?  Too long and you run the risk of a terribly long URL. Too complex and people will forget it.

Power of Words suited me because it sums up my area, everything to do with writing. As well as that, I got married, moved states and didn’t need to change my business name.

I registered my business name with ASIC early on in the process and only then got a domain name. The earlier you get your domain and website up, the better really. But not before you register your name officially. It’s also an idea to grab ‘your-own-name.com.au’ domain for a blog, if you like teaching others.

Also take a look at IP Australia and do a search to make sure there are no word patents on your desired namesake.

Step 2:  Get your Professional Brand Designed

A polished logo will be a long-term asset, so try to find a good designer by recommendation. If you start with one you can also use for print, you won’t be caught with a low res file that is not suitable when you decide to advertise in print form.

The other identity items in your kit might include:

  • a Facebook banner – for your Facebook page
  • a Youtube channel banner, if you plan on video-making
  • A fully-designed, partly pre-written proposal template
  • A letterhead and invoice template. (The SAAS apps Harvest or Brainleaf allow you to upload your logo and just get on with it!)
  • A slogan that goes on your website.
Step 3:  Set up a branded website which shows no advertising

A dedicated website shows prospects that you are serious about your business – that you believe in yourself as a viable resource. A website adds legitimacy to your freelance work; without it prospects may turn away, scared you may be another scam artist. If people can remember your brand name, a full website makes it easier for would-be clients to find you on the web.

It’s also a top idea to set up your email on the host, so that it is an easy and professional-sounding address, e.g. jennifer@powerofwords.com.au (this is not real so don’t start emailing me there).

Key pieces of information that must be on your website include:

  1. An introduction to you and your point of difference – without going into detail here
  2. Your services, spelled out in full
  3. Portfolio – where you list examples of your previous work
  4. Testimonials – these can be copied over from your recent projects even if that project was pro bono
  5. Contact details, including phone number, general location, and email me form.
SEO for Pro Freelancers

You may wish to make more of your site over time and work on search engine optimisation. This can be as simple as knowing the search strings people put in, usually services and in what locations, and putting up pages or posts with a sensible number of keywords to match these search words.

I optimised my name site for ‘book publishing coach’ and ‘book editor’, also appearing for ‘self-publishing help’.

<— Resource for freelancers:  Click to access the Hourly Rate Calculation Tool.

Where will you find work?

Avoid many of the bidding sites and try your local country’s freelancing project sites. Before signing up, note what pricing the projects are going for, and if that is in your intended price range.

The Best Australian Freelance Project Sites

Australia’s freelancing sites include:

AustralianInFront – some creative jobs, not many of them freelance

The Loop:  https://www.theloop.com.au/gigs

Mumbrella — look for the orange ‘freelance’ titles.

Ozlance.com.au – project bids

Pedestrian TV (film, radio, TV) — look under casual jobs

www.artshub.com.au/Arts-Jobs  (paid portal)

Put “freelance” into the search box on Seek and look under Advertising, Arts, Media Australia wide.

Leave no stone unturned in your first freelance project search! Also check with your LinkedIn connections who might be in the servicing industry. Update them on your freelance skills and ask for a recommendation from those who have utilised your talents before.

Well, I hope that this Getting Started as a Freelancer article has helped you to get cranking with work on your new plans for a freelance life.

Next time we will talk about Payment terms, Service agreements, Direct Expenses, Deposits, and some other legal issues that will save you some pain later on.

How to Start a Freelance Business in Australia is a short book, available here by order or in book retailers (Amazon, Booktopia, etc).

The post How to Start a Freelance Business – Part 1 appeared first on Jennifer Lancaster | Author and Editor.

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Lately, a few talented writers have contacted me with their pre-press production problems. Now, most people want to lay out their non-fiction book in Word, but Word is designed for word processing and not so much for book design. However, I do allow Word formatting when the author wants to be able to access the file again — and if they are not worried about the colours (inside) not being controlled.

Remember, the interior of any book is completely separate to the cover. To dispel another myth, you can print bleed images right to the edge of your file (when setting up for IngramSpark or CreateSpace) and no, you don’t need to have a border. Bleed means going beyond the page (e.g. 3mm beyond). What you need to remember is:

Interiors: minimum 13 mm text margins for IngramSpark.

Covers: keep text a minimum 6 mm from each edge (apart from spine) — designers sometimes put elements too close to the edge.

Covers:  all set out in one file — with back cover, spine and front cover (and barcode provided).

InDesign Pros & Cons
The advantages of InDesign are:
  • You can see which images are in CMYK or not, whether 300 PPI (correct) or only 96 PPI. Please don’t use web resolution for print.
  • Colours are controlled better — plus you can set the CMYK colours right in the document
  • You can get a font license through Typekit for some book typefaces, like Minion Pro, otherwise this font family costs US$200!
  • Large images are not saved in the working file but are in the final PDF
  • It has a better ability to do text/graphic frames beside other text. But don’t wrap too much!

The disadvantages of InDesign are:

  • Well, if you DIY, you have to learn the program and this takes quite some time.
  • There is no off-the-shelf option, so you’re up for AU $28 per month for the foreseeable future to retain access.

PPI / DPI = Pixels per inch, meaning the number of tiny-weeny dots that print on the page and thus allow graphics to appear beautifully.

Word Pros & Cons
The advantages of Word are:
  • As authors, you can access it easily and also Track Changes is useful for editing
  • It takes less time to format, as tables or graphs are already in the file (if using)
  • It is possible to use Acrobat Pro to make a PDF-X1/X3 — however, not too sure about colours and DPI result

The cons of Word:

  • It is a devil for laying out complex or large text boxes and graphics
  • No masters, so you need to put sections in for page numbering or the headers/footers. Making a running header different every section can drive one quite mad.
  • You will need Acrobat Pro & Distiller for doing the PDF. This costs about AU $22 a month.
Further Considerations of Book Design

Another thing to consider when trying to do your own book design is the sense of space and leading.  It takes a couple of projects to get this right. You need some space at chapter starts and leading (the space between lines) needs a bit more than usual. Say your typeface is Minion Pro 12 pt, you might select 16 pt leading. Good book designers are particular!

While InDesign is the leading page layout program, if you don’t want that, a novice photo book author could use the BookWrite online technology at Blurb. I believe this helps with templated designing. (Careful with the colour quoting of trade books though, as Blurb printing can be expensive — e.g. $16 to $32 each for a 140-page colour 6″ x 9″ trade book).

Another thing you can do easily with InDesign is put in cute boxes, called a pull quote. In Switch the Bitch, I made these box borders have a dotted line, while the font was Bell, Italic, Bold, 11 pt (or 10 pt, anyway, it was smaller).

The post Book Design Knockdown: MS Word vs Adobe InDesign appeared first on Jennifer Lancaster | Author and Editor.

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As the latest edition of OffPress (from Queensland Society of Editors) says:  “The work of a good editor is often invisible.”  That is, without it, you would surely notice topic jumps, inconsistencies or a change in point of view, but with it, you are drawn into the story or work.

I go on to explain why Brisbane editors are on par with the best.

What do Editors Do?

In our editor bag of tricks are these tools:

  • removing redundant words (called tautology)
  • checking for consistency — in people’s names, acronyms, and verbs in bulleted lists.
  • reviewing tone and clarity of language — at development stage
  • ensuring the grammar and spelling is in the correct style for the author’s or publisher’s needs
  • advising to ensure that the book takes the reader on a logical, progressive route (substantive editing).

At copy editing stage, we also check for accurate external references and internal references. We check the front matter has copyright, publisher info, and library cataloguing data. We make a check of captions, footnotes, consistent referencing, and that tables show all text and are uniform. In the end matter, we might check the glossary, whereas in development stage we suggest that a glossary is needed.

I belong to the national body, IPEd (The Institute of Professional Editors), to help me keep pace with the profession of editing. Two of my esteemed Brisbane editor peers are also members, as is my business coach, Dr John Cokley (PhD, MBA).

Brisbane editors are not inferior to Sydney editors, far from it, however, more of us have affordable homes! Both copywriting and editing rates might be a little cheaper in Brisbane or greater Queensland than in Sydney, NSW.

Average Hourly Editing Rates

The average hourly editing rate in Queensland Society of Editors is (2016): $63 an hour

The average hourly editing rate in NSW Society of Editors is (2016): $67 an hour.

Yes, rates vary according to the task. The mean for proofreading was $55 per hour, for copyediting $65 per hour and for substantive or structural editing $74 per hour (2016, IPed Survey of Editors). Most respondents used these rates as a basis for project quotes.

If you go back in time, average national hourly rates for editing have not changed much in the past eight years. (It was reported as $66 an hour in 2009).

Many authors question the total price of Australian book editing; we understand that it seems a lot when compared to Indian, American, or other ‘editors’. The effort put into editing and working with clients never drops off as the years pass…  in fact, the rate of change has accelerated.  Now, most editors need to pay for word processing and desktop publishing software, invoicing program, Acrobat Pro, website hosting, domains, securing our website, as well as professional memberships and extended training.

Brisbane book editors should really be charging well over $100 an hour, considering all the years of experience leading to being adept at editing. For example, in the ’90s, while some were still rockin’ to nursery rhymes, I was sub-editing an investing newsletter and learning proofreaders’ marks as I laid out Successful Personal Investing (a 21-part program).

But most editors don’t charge that much, perhaps because we enjoy the task and want to keep book editing affordable for serious authors. And that’s something worth celebrating.

Also refer: Why is book editing necessary and often expensive?

The post Why Trained Editors Make Your Book Sing appeared first on Jennifer Lancaster | Author and Editor.

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False pretense aside, yes I have a short book coming out next week, entitled ‘How to Start a Freelance Business in Australia’, so of course I’m somewhat selling the benefits of a freelancer lifestyle. But as an experienced freelance copywriter and editor, I can shed some light on the truth of it.  If you’re new to looking for freelance writing jobs, you might have these questions:

What kind of money can I expect… What hours can I work… Do clients expect a miracle?

What kind of money will I earn…

To which I answer:  Your income will reflect the confidence level and expertise of your promotional skills – which you must deliver on. So anything from $20 an hour to $180 an hour is possible. The more specialised your writing (read, pandering to the needs of the corporate world), the more you can potentially charge.

The Media Entertainment Arts Alliance, MEAA, has listed freelance rates at $219 per hour or $1,001 for a 1000-word story. Well, that’s nice, but where is the evidence that this can be achieved? The IPEd national survey of editors (2016) pegged the national average editing rate at $67 an hour. Although, as in the survey, some book editors do charge by the word as well as estimate their time, and some have varying rates for structural editing versus copy editing.

Most of the respondents (72%) earned an annual income from editing (2015-16) of under $50,000.

What hours can I work…

The most flexible of all work types, freelance copywriting or freelance writing is easily fitted into your family lifestyle. So you can work any hours you want to as long as deadlines of the client are met. However, there will be periods where you believe that everybody hates your writing because it is THAT quiet. Coming up to Christmas is a period where, unless you’re an online store copywriter, you’ll probably be able to have long naps and stroke your cat quite a lot.

This is where you can finally finish your own book off, or spend time engaging with small business people in your local area.

On the plus side, once a few agencies and clients know you’re the right writer at the right price, they will periodically come back to you for a new project.

Do clients expect a miracle in a freelance copywriter?

Speaking from experience, yes many of them do. A pre-engagement phone call to flesh out details and also ascertain their general expectations is a good idea. I once upon a time gave a copywriting guarantee and of course, one wally decided I hadn’t captured his brief. He did not like anything about my copy… and requested a refund. Granted, two versions later. As he had been dissing copywriters in his past, I should have got the warning signs.

Another thing to remember is to quote correctly and allow for revisions (unless the work does not require it). Also applicable to freelance website developers, as this Speckyboy article attests – never lower your price because a client cries poor. They are not poor — they are just being cheap!

Types of Freelance Writing Jobs!

The types of jobs you could position your skillset for include:

Blog writer — in Australia, from $20 to $80 per post (or up to $200 for higher-level articles with interviews and research). You will need ‘sector’ experience, so gather a few articles on the same topic area.   See Problogger Jobs

Travel article writer — global. I once got AU$50 per shopping article (online), but established travel magazines will pay more than travel blogs. Try writersbloc.net – for a variety of international freelance writing jobs.

Content Writer….  See Flex Jobs – narrow to your category and select Telecommuting or Flexible jobs from drop-down. (You’ll need a subscription here to apply for jobs; definitely better for Americans).

Website copywriter, 1-to-1 — usually charge per project, as lots of research needed. From $400 to $1,500 or so. Try sending a link to your portfolio to various medium-sized digital media/website agencies.

There are probably hundreds more types of freelance writing jobs, but these are some of the main ones. Why not add your own tips in our comments section!

If you’ve enjoyed this post, then please have a look at my book for those new to freelancing: How to Start a Freelance Business – in Australia.  Paperback $19.95 RRP, but join the email list to get discounts!
The eBook version will also be available in October 2017.

The post Why the Freelancer Lifestyle and What Writing Jobs Can You Get? appeared first on Jennifer Lancaster | Author and Editor.

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