In order to reduce the time I spend managing admin (I would really rather be reading, writing or editing), I am migrating my invoicing system over to my online store to keep it all in one place. The added bonus is that WooCommerce handles the reporting side for me, but…no…No more horrible admin talk! This also means that my clients will automatically be kept updated with offers and other information about the service.
It’s been a while since my last advice post and for that, I can only apologise. Things have been rather fraught since the sudden death of my father two weeks ago and a few things have had to be set aside while I process. I should hopefully be back on top of it over the next few weeks. All I ask is that people please bear with me. Please feel free to click around my nice new website and contact me with any queries etc. I aim to reply to all emails on the day that I get them.
I am really out of practice with the software, so bare with me. They will get better. I have not yet bucked up the courage to actually appear in a video, but give me time and I am sure it will happen.
This is just a quick note to let you know that I am now on Fiverr. You can find my profile here. I have one active Gig for proofreading, and another for Beta-reading which is pending approval and should be up in a couple of days. They are both basic packages but I am open to suggestions for others. Please add these to the comments thread. I prefer to quote on an individual basis rather than have a block pricing scheme like Fiverr, however, I have been advised that it’s a great place to get noticed.
There are two main features to my service that I feel makes me the place to go for your editing needs. Forget about price. You don’t want cheap and cheerful. You want an editor who cares as much about the standard of your work as you do. You want someone who doesn’t vanish as soon as they have a copy of your work and a healthy deposit. Before you ask, yes; I do charge a deposit but once you have read the rest of this post you will understand why. The other reason behind this post is to explain why I think my service is great. Aside from my administrative experience, and my own writing and love of literature, you might be asking yourself what makes me different. For the most part its this: I have noted on the writers’ boards that a recurring bug-bear with some editors appears to be the difficulty in contacting their editors for updates once the work is underway. I might not be a member of Sfep yet (I’m saving up) but I intend to start as I mean to go on; with honesty and integrity. I am immensely grateful to my friends and fellow OU Alumni who have assisted me with some great marketing advice etc. along the way, and I ask them to please bear with me while I continue to get myself properly set-up. I might have to pick your brains a bit more (but I promise to put everything back the way I found it…).
Lets get on with it then. Why my service? First and foremost it’s trust and close behind that comes accessibility. Documents I am working on are processed as a copy of the original document, saved under a distinctive filename, from a shared folder in Dropbox, OneDrive, or Google Drive (the preference is theirs) and the author retains viewing access to the file I am editing while I am working on it. I have decided on this method for a very specific reason: to avoid any changes being made by someone other than me while it is undergoing the editing process, but enabling the client to check on the progress as it goes. I understand this is an emotional time and your work means a great deal. You don’t want to wait around wondering what is happening to your work. I also understand the need for trust on both sides of the service agreement. To build trust between client and service provider, especially, with a new service, you must display a certain degree of trust. I am aware of what I leave myself open to by operating this way but I need to show my clients that I trust them to behave honestly, or why should you trust me? The Service Agreement is a promise. Honouring those terms and providing what I have promised is what will earn me my reputation in a competitive industry. I also need to cover myself in the hopefully very rare event that my trust is misplaced (hence the deposit). Showing you that work is underway by allowing you the ability to check-up my progress without having to chase me for it, and show you that work is on schedule is very important to me. Once editing is complete the sharing permission, will change to ‘can edit’, and you will be able to respond to suggestions and queries I have left for them, ready for the subsequent stage (if any), without having to volley attachments back and forth.
If you have not been on the main site in a couple of days, you might not have noticed that I have now added a calendar to the ‘Contact Me’ page so current potential customers can see my availability and book a time to speak to me that suits them. As it says, in black and white, I am more than happy to conduct online meetings so I have made sure that both Skype and Hangouts are fully functional and that I am contactable. This means you can book an appointment in a free slot, that is convenient to you, and discuss your needs face to face. While my service is based on the written word, and my near obsession over clear and accountable paper trails (once an admin, always an admin) when dealing with people, there is no substitute for eye contact. Written communication lacks tone and inflection, you risk giving or taking offence through carelessly worded letters and emails and that can mean the difference between a client using you again and going somewhere else. I want to be the service people go to because I am contactable and reliable and to be the service people recommend to friends and colleagues. To do this I must deliver what I promise and I hope to start that with you…