Link roundup

Another set of links that I’ve been reading lately.

What does it say on your tin? I hemmed and hawed about the idea of specialty e-mail addresses, but what really got me was the illustration of three addresses for three different proofreaders with equivalent skills:

There is a four-figure budget for each title with guaranteed repeat work but the clock is ticking. Which of the three do you feel like trying first?

I’m quite fond of my Gmail address but I couldn’t argue with that. This post is the reason my contact e-mail here is now Does what it says on the tin.

The Freelancery: I found this site through a link on the EFA members’ discussion list and spent the better part of my night reading through the archives. I love the encouraging yet willing-to-admit-failure tone Walt Kania has and the nuts-and-bolts processes he discusses. There may be a couple more posts forthcoming where I generally enthuse about this or that post on The Freelancery.

And a couple of literary news items:

“The World Is Not Acquainted With Us” The Emily Dickinson International Society last month showed a daguerreotype that is probably Dickinson with her friend Kate Scott Turner. I’m not a Dickinson expert so I wasn’t aware that there had only been one other image of her. Very exciting to be confirming a second image!

Richard III dig: ‘Strong evidence’ bones are lost king Speaking of exciting news, this BBC article indicates that an archaeological team is close to DNA confirmation that a skeleton found on a dig in Leicester is the actual Richard III. The location of the burial (at Greyfriars, in what’s now a parking lot) is consistent with the historical record, as are some physical characteristics of the skeleton (severe scoliosis and wounds to the skull). This whole thing is just breathtaking.

Link roundup

Some of the things I’ve been reading lately:

The Business of Editing: Evaluating a Manuscript. Gives tips for evaluating how long it will take you to edit a manuscript. Includes lots of promising-looking links (that I still have open in tabs for later perusal).

Writer Beware: Editors. Explains what different types of editors do, what they don’t do (or can’t do — no guaranteed best sellers here), and what factors writers should consider when they’re thinking about having their manuscript professionally edited. This is tailored to fiction editors since it’s from SFWA, but if you’re not sure whether your manuscript needs a copy edit or a developmental edit, or if you’re tallying up the cost of editing and wondering if your investment will be money well spent, there’s good advice here.

The Subversive Copy Editor Blog. I’m a couple chapters into the book and it’s been worth every penny. Its companion blog made it into my blogroll right away. (The most recent post is advice to a new copy editor who wants to know how to come back from overediting.)

The EFA sells several booklets that look like good resources for freelancers. I’m eyeing a couple of them.

Freelancers: What to do after your training. Create an online presence, see yourself as an entrepreneur, and other advice. I’m on the right track, according to this list!

2012 Freelance Industry Report. Charts, graphs, and other data on freelancers’ attitudes, work habits, prices, and lots more. I admit, I haven’t read this yet, but it’s highly relevant to my interests.

Business owner, employing exactly one person

I’m doing a little professional development this weekend, reading blogs and articles to get in touch with the field again, and I came upon Louise Harnby’s post Why I Hate the Term “Freelance Proofreader” — A Letter to Newbies:

If I’d spent 15 years working as an electrician for an electrical installations company and then decided to go it alone, I’d never have described myself as a “freelance electrician”. I’d have told people that I was now running my own electrical business. Does “freelancer” really reflect the level of business acumen required to do my job? … I’m the owner of a business that employs exactly one person.

YES. This is exactly how I’m approaching Last Syllable Communications. I’d shied away from being a freelancer before because I didn’t know how to make an invoice, or I was concerned about being able to manage taxes, or whatever other detail. I thought I just hadn’t had an opportunity in my salaried jobs to learn those things, enough to make it on my own. Now that I’m looking at this as how do I expand a small business, employing exactly one person, I’m finding a ton of resources like tax guides for sole-proprietor businesses or sample invoices to adapt (and the ones I’d made before weren’t too shabby in comparison). There seems like less of an expectation that I’d know all this already.

Running a business also feels more like a job to me, rather than a haphazard to-do list with fingers crossed. Of course I’ll need to make financial forecasts and develop a marketing strategy. Of course I can evaluate potential new clients and tell some of them no. of course I’ll need to allocate some time in my day for administrative tasks to keep the business running smoothly.

I do think that I’ve matured in the past couple of years and that that’s had an effect on how I structure my work now. However, I’m much more confident that I’ll be successful because I have been thinking of this as starting a business rather than just “freelancing.”