Annual Meeting Report

Everything You Always Wanted to Know About Freelancing but Were Afraid to Ask


MODERATOR: Jessica LaPointe Managing Copy Editor American Meteorological Society Boston, Massachusetts SPEAKERS: Ellen Lazarus Freelance Copyeditor Washington, DC Peter Olson Senior Copyediting Coordinator Sheridan Journal Services Waterbury, Vermont Nikki Zielinksi Freelance Copyeditor Lakewood, Ohio REPORTER: Allyson King Managing Editor Allen Press Lawrence, Kansas Freelancing can be a rewarding career, but prospective freelancers are often met with the daunting task of entering a career with little support. Ellen Lazarus, Peter Olson, and Nikki Zielinski outlined the questions anyone interested in freelancing should ask their potential employers as well as many they should ask themselves. Ellen Lazarus began the presentation by listing many of the questions she has asked as well as some she wished she would have. While English language editing has a low-barrier for entry, it can be frustrating to navigate the landscape. Some vendors may be more transparent than others, so it is always a good idea to ask questions: How are manuscripts assigned? Can I reject assignments? Are pay-scales different for “second-look” editing versus a first edit? How do I specify my workload or schedule vacation time? She also expresses the importance of asking questions about the work itself: While most freelancers are expected to be their own help desk, does the vendor have resources available? How should I handle issues of confidentiality and security? Peter Olson then followed up with a vendor’s perspective on these relationships. Vendors often prefer to use freelancers for cost-efficiency, flexibility, scalability, and availability. When reaching out to a vendor, potential freelancers should […]

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