June 12, 2012
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One of the most important – but often most difficult – things to do when you’re a freelancer is to network. Not only because this maximises your chance of getting more work, but because if you work for yourself, especially if you work from home, it’s all too easy to become isolated.
I recognise that, like many freelancers, this is something I’m not great at and I need to improve – it can feel calculating, or even dishonest: am I just being nice to this person to get something from them? But I’ve found that the best way to get around that is to think about networking simply as broadening my circle, not necessarily with any endgame in sight, rather than spending my time worrying about whether I’m making the ‘right’ connections, or whether they will result in any more work/sales for me.
With this in mind, I’ve been seeking out more writing communities to get involved with. I mentioned in my last post that I have joined the writers collective Strictly Writing – my first post goes live next week – and this week I started contributing to Byte The Book. Byte The Book is a relatively new site, set up as a community of writers, illustrators and digital publishing professionals: it recognises that the publishing industry is changing, and is helping people at the forefront (or sometimes just the sharp end) of those changes connect. Importantly, founder Justine Solomons sees the importance of human connection in an online world, and so organises regular ‘literary soirees’ so that the site’s contributors and other interested parties can meet face-to-face. My first post went live today: a short story in the Writing Showcase and a Book Review, and I’m looking forward to my first meeting next week. If you’re interested in any aspect of digital publishing, it really is worth checking out the site.
One of the things I enjoy most about being a freelancer is having what is now commonly referred to as a ‘portfolio’ career: my legal directories work, blogging (personally, and for business), web content work, as well as writing fiction. Having had two books published by a small press, when I wrote a more mainstream, urban fantasy novel this year, I decided to experiment with the self-publishing route. So much of my work is in the digital sphere that I thought it would be a useful – and hopefully fun and rewarding – experience, and the immediacy and control of e-publishing appeals to me. While I am enjoying it, it has been a learning curve, so if you’re thinking about e-publishing, whether fiction or non-fiction, the following might be helpful in knowing what to do, and what pitfalls to avoid.
Tips on self-publishing: I spoke to Suzy Greaves at The Big Leap about publishing my book, and wrote some tips on how to get the best out of self-publishing. You can access them here.
Getting the perfect cover: my cover designer – and publishing expert – Caroline Goldsmith wrote an interesting post on designing for digital here.
Below is the final version, available on Amazon here.
Of course, if you are writing a book and require editorial support, do feel free to contact me at email@example.com
Dark Dates - my new novel