Tag Archives: freelance

Celebrating four years as a publishing freelancer

May 9 2013 was the day I made my last commute into London to the company I’d worked for for thirteen years. I’d gone part-time a year earlier, but this was it – I was on my own.

So four years later… did I make the right choice?

I love being involved in book creation: editing them, proofreading them, typesetting them, making ebooks out of them. I thrive when I’m working on a diverse range of books, using a diverse skill set, which is something you’d never get to do in-house. This past [freelance] year alone I’ve edited, copy-edited, proofread, typeset or ebooked: science fiction, romantic fiction, police procedurals, Second World War submarine fiction, thrillers, quirky Edwardian detective fiction, romantic comedy, fantasy fiction, historical fiction, a lovely book about gardening and bees, a fantastic allegorical animal story for adults, a collection of academic essays, a guide to Arab culture, a mind, body, spirit title, a children’s science book (back to my roots there), a human resources guide, YA fiction about a young rock band…

During my time as a freelancer I’ve worked with large publishers, tiny publishers, new publishers, agents, established authors… I’ve helped self-publishers get their books into print and I’ve been involved in some books that you’ll never see in the shops or on Amazon Kindle, but mean so much to the people they are made for…

Talking of which, last summer I was contacted by a woman whose mother was in the late stages of Alzheimer’s. Her mum had written a book and was desperate to see it ‘published’ [in print] – it was her life’s dream. The daughter knew no publisher would take it, but her mum so wanted to hold the book in her hands and her daughter so wanted to make that dream come true for her. So after much discussion about things like how far we should go with the editing and how much everything would cost, that was what we did. I tidied up the text as much as possible, given that the author wasn’t able to make any editorial decisions by this point and rarely remembered what she had written. I typeset it and had it proofread. The daughter painted a cover image, wrote blurb and a biography, and then we made it into a hardback book using Blurb.com and had a handful of copies printed for the family. Sadly, the mother died early this year, but her daughter told me she had read the book to her mum in her last days in hospital. I think about that a lot and it makes me so happy and proud that I was able to make that small wish come true for that family.

Then this year I was nominated as an Unsung Hero of Publishing, which is a recent initiative by whitefox to celebrate those of us who don’t normally get much recognition but do a lot behind the scenes of publishing. Rather aptly for me, whitefox are celebrating their 5th birthday tonight with a BookMachine event and I’m looking forward to going along.

So, did I do the right thing in going freelance? I think so, yes, and I’m looking forward to many freelance years to come. I wonder what I’ll get to work on next…?

 

 

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I’ve been a bit quiet lately… (or the week I built my website)

…This is because I’ve just gone freelance. Yes – it’s now up to me to find people to do edit-y things for, for money, on a weekly, monthly, yearly basis.

When I went freelance people the first thing most people said was: ‟Have you got a website?” and ‟Well I’ve got my blogs…” didn’t seem to cut it.

So…

I noticed that my Adobe Creative Cloud subscription included Muse – a program that allows you to create websites without coding, so I thought I might as well give that a go.

So I rolled my sleeves up and got stuck in with the help of the amazing Lynda.com training website. I’m really pleased with what I ended up with, by myself and with no coding. It’s great for my needs (so that people can see what I do and contact me). I’ve even made tablet and mobile sites and my own little icon in the browser address bar.

www.jillsawyerphypers.co.uk

screenshot of jillsawyerphypers.co.uk

Website screen shot

And what’s with the hares?

Well hares are usually pretty shy, elusive and solitary, but I have found a place where they gather – albeit a long way off. On the day I went officially freelance I was walking in the woods with my husband and two hares came out on to the track and came up close to me. I’m not superstitious, but as hares are meant to represent independence, swiftness, growth and new beginnings, it seemed like a good omen to me – so I’ve adopted the hare as my symbol so to speak. And they are simply beautiful animals too.

Hare sitting

Ready for my close-up

Two hares

Hares approach

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