Ya Wanna Date?

I’ve been a freelance editor for over twelve years, but when I first started out, my clients were all local. Plus, I wore a few hats, so I wasn’t just editing manuscripts, I was also proofreading term papers, assisting with resume writing, translating documents, and even tutoring. However, when I moved to the US (I’m originally from Canada), I no longer had access to a large city’s population, so I had to bring my business online. Best. Idea. Ever.

This process felt like I was starting over, because I was. Not only did I decide to jump onto the Internet, but I also wanted to focus on manuscripts. No more tutoring, translating, or resume writing. I wanted to work with authors. Still do.

As my online business grew, I was often able to take on clients as they came to me, but soon, that was no longer the case. Now, I typically book up at least six months in advance. I don’t like to schedule beyond that point, because things can change in an author’s life, making it impossible for him to meet my deadline (when he needs to send the completed manuscript to me and payment). However, I tentatively book projects beyond those six months so my returning clients can reserve approximate dates for their next book. The difference? When I book a project, I require a $100 nonrefundable deposit to secure the dates. When I’ve put a client on the waiting list for the months I’m not yet booking, they have no obligation to keep the dates they requested.

How does that affect me? Well, things often go smoothly, but every once in a while, when it comes time to book the projects for those on the waiting list, the client will tell me that she can’t commit to the dates. Maybe she doesn’t feel she’ll have the book completed in time, money’s tight, or she might’ve put her writing aside for the moment. Whatever the case, when this happens, it leaves openings in my schedule that I hadn’t expected.

What do I do? I look at my schedule and see if I can move other projects around. Now that there’s an opening, I may be able to bump another client’s project up so I can have it completed sooner. If not, I’ll announce an opening. Or in this case… TWO.

Yes, this recently happened, which is why I’m blogging about it now. I have two slots available for one of the following services: a manuscript evaluation report, substantive/big picture editing, or developmental copyediting. If you’re interested in taking one of my private classes or having a query letter or synopsis critiqued, I can often fit those smaller projects into my schedule, so there’s no need to book them too far in advance. But, since I’ve turned down a few potential clients with full manuscripts, because my next available slot wasn’t until spring 2014, and they wanted the work done sooner, I thought I should announce that two slots have opened up.

These start dates are: January 29 and February 17. The end dates will depend on the type of service and amount of work involved.

If you’re interested in one of these start dates, contact me at: labelle@labelleseditorialservices.com

Lynnette Labelle

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