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Job Pursuit: The Good, the Bad & the Ugly

February 25th, 2011 at 04:31 pm

OK, things have been percolating, a bit.

The most fun thing I have to talk about is that I have a job editing....a book!

It's a first-time author who has written a historical romance type book and who has already gotten books 2, 3 and 4 halfway written in her head. And she lives right in my hometown.

A friend of mine told the author, who was looking for a copy editor, about me, and while we talked on the phone a month or so ago, she wasn't quite ready to show me the book. Her publisher had told her she needed to cut the length substantially in order that they could sell it at a certain price point.

When we first talked, I wasn't sure how serious she was. After all, doesn't everyone know at least one person who wants to write a book?

So after we spoke, I sort of lost track of it and wasn't very aggressive in pursuing it. Then earlier this week, I had a free moment and I zipped her an email asking how things were going with the book. She replied back with a pleasant, long-running reply and mentioned that a friend had referred her to another editor who had already told her she'd do it for $1,000 to $1,200!

I was so upset at the prospect of having yet another potential job fall through my fingers. It seems like it's been happening a lot lately. (More on that later.) So I wrote back and said I was disappointed, and would she allow me to compete for her business, and that I would match the other editor's price. The other editor had said she'd edit a few pages for free to show her what she could do. I think I had offered to do the same. So I suggested that she send us both the same pages and then she could do a side-by-side comparison and may the best editor win.

She didn't respond to that directly, which surprised me. Of course, i didn't really know whether she had already committed herself to the other editor. But she did say, let's meet for coffee.

We did. We ended up at the coffee shop (sans coffee until the end) talking for 2 hours. Or should I say, she did most of the talking. She is very bubbly, upbeat, cheerful, funny and entertaining and of course, full of stories.

You might say she's my opposite, as I tend to be rather quiet and serious, more cerebral. But I think this meeting was exactly what she needed to do becus she wanted to KNOW her editor and have a good working relationship with them and she had already been turned off in her search for a publisher when a bunch of them were located in India and seemingly hired high school kids to do much of the work.

So after coffee, she agreed to send me a few pages for me to edit. She sent them, I spent about 3 hours editing 9 pages. That's a lot of time, isn't it? While she has a vivid imagination, she's not too good about things like punctuation and spelling and her sentence structure is, umm, interesting.

I spent some time trying to calculate how much $ I'd make on an hourly basis if i spent that much time on the rest of the book, and I don't think it'd be that much if i looked at it that way. I'm not going to worry about it too much; if there's one thing i have plenty of, it's time. I need to convert that into money and not worry about hourly rates becus the fact is, i'm not working full-time, so any $ helps.

Anyway, I did my thing, trying not to take too heavy a hand with it. She loved it. She was so effusive in expressing her appreciation and said it was exactly what she needed, that she had meditated on finding the right person to do this and here i was, meant to be, etc. She really seemed to appreciate my comments and markup.

So, we start for real in about 2 weeks, after she clears away some other projects from her interior design business.

I'm psyched becus she's such an interesting person, I find the work extremely easy, fun and I'll make some money, too. And there's the prospect of a longer term relationship if her first book does well.

I have an interview next week with a startup news website. I have somewhat mixed feelings about it but we'll see. It's a p/t contract job; I need a "real" job with health insurance but for the time being, who knows.

I also started a relationship with another new website that is for and about women in the NY and DC areas, mostly arts and entertainment (www.womanaroundtown.com). And they want to expand into my area of CT. They really liked my first story and already published it.

One problem: they don't pay! I'm not making this the sole focus of my attention, but it's a very good way to add published pieces I can embed as writing samples in my resume. Like for instance, i've always wanted to write professionally about health-related stuff, but the places i've applied to always want someone with prior experience....in that field. I am heavy in experience writing about personal finance stuff and real estate. So writing for free for this particular site is one way to accumulate some health/wellness-related articles I can point to with prospective employers. I had created my own health/wellness blog ages ago, but apparently, that's not that impressive.

They've already OK'd my next assignment...it's a story about my mother and her art! With lots of photos. My mom's thrilled. Great exposure for her and the topic is a perfect fit for the website, especially since some of my mother's art is very spring-oriented, and those are the pieces I want to focus on in the story.

Here's one of her pieces, from my own collection:



Maybe things are picking up. I applied for 4 jobs today which i feel well qualified for, which is very unusual. There's one at a well-known travel website that I'm extremely interested in, so crossing my fingers on that one.

There have been several instances of recruiters contacting me about a specific job, I respond almost immediately and then I never hear from them again.

Yesterday I got another assignment, a press release about a new condo development, from one of my regular clients. It's the kind of thing where, whenever I'm deep down in the dumps and not getting any work, I get an email from him out of the blue asking me "if I'm available to do such and such." Am I available? Ha!

Unless I get my federal tax refund, it looks like I will be in the red for February as I was in January,thanks to a $500 bill for filling up the oil tank one last time. I had only allowed for 2 fillups this winter. Maybe next month will be better.

I'm meeting my old friend Ron at a coffee shop tomorrow. I have 2 focus groups lined up for March. I'm going to help my elderly neighbor Sunday by crawling in her attic and checking for wet insulation. And mom is waiting for me to interview her.

I was feeling very down and dispirited the last few weeks, but activity is picking up, thank God.

8 Responses to “Job Pursuit: The Good, the Bad & the Ugly”

  1. LuckyRobin Says:

    I'm glad things are going better. May it continue!

  2. frugaltexan75 Says:

    I hope things continue on the upswing!

  3. Analise Says:

    It's great that you have some good prospects. The book editing sounds like a very interesting project, and it may open doors for more work. Good luck!

  4. CB in the City Says:

    I'm just blown away that your author has apparently gotten good feedback from a publisher and yet her punctuation and style is not good? I thought it was so difficult to publish! Or is she just hopeful that if someone cleans it up for her that they MIGHT publish?

  5. PatientSaver Says:

    As you may know, book publishing today is an extremely competitive business. The newer generations of young people text and go online, but reading a full-length book?

    From what she tells me, most mainstream book publishers are not accepting new authors at this time unless they're extraordinarily gifted. She's chosen to go the self-publish route.

    This doesn't mean she's setting up shop in her basement, it means the publisher she's chosen will design the front and back covers and publish it, but they won't publish an unlimited number of copies. They publish, for a fee, on demand. If someone wants to buy one book, they will publish it and ship it to the buyer; if someone wants to buy a hundred, they'll do the same. They have global distribution thru places like amazon and B&N, and they can digitally convert it so it can be available on Kindle and other electronic readers.

  6. PatientSaver Says:

    I don't think there's anything wrong with going the self publish route and I don't think it reflects on the author's abilities.

    by way of analogy, it reminds me of how many Americans who want to be doctors but who aren't among the elite who are accepted into US med schools often go abroad to get their med school education. The neurologist I dated a few years back and gotten his degree in Nicaragua, I think it was. His practice doesn't seem to have suffered as a result.


  7. Ima saver Says:

    All I can say is, I wish you luck!

  8. CB in the City Says:

    My oral surgeon got his degree in the Dominican Republic, but he was very good.

    Self-publishing sounds interesting. I wonder if anyone who does it ever hits it big?

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