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Be a Better Freelancer Conference

October 2, 2020 @ 11:00 pm - October 5, 2020 @ 2:00 am

Be a Better Freelancer Conference

Gain unexpected solutions for your everyday workday; meet colleagues who can answer your questions; attend professional development sessions

About this Event

The 15th annual Communication Central-NAIWE Be a Better Freelancer conference will be held as an online event via Zoom on October 2–4, 2020. This year’s conference offers a strong emphasis on opportunities in the self-publishing realm, as well as resources for overall business success, productivity and expansion.

This year’s event will be free, with recordings of sessions available afterward at $30 per session. Sessions will be consecutive rather than concurrent. We hope to return to the full in-person format in 2021 in St. Louis, MO.

You will receive a Zoom invitation for the conference. All participants will be muted while presenters speak, and will be able to post questions during each session. There will be time to chat and network together at the end of each day.

Friday, October 2

Startup Essentials and Business Basics, Ruth E. Thaler-CarterIf you’re thinking about launching a freelance communications business, there’s a lot to do before making your plans known to the world and in your first few months. Get the basics of structuring and announcing your freelance writing, editing, proofreading, indexing, website, book production, graphics or other publishing-related business from a freelancer who’s been leading the way for many years.

Getting Your Self-Publishing Client to a Finished Product, Dick MargulisOpportunities for an editor to break into traditional book publishing are vanishing, but they continue to expand rapidly in self-publishing. Independent publishing is now an established and accepted part of the publishing industry. In this session, you will learn how to help your independent author–publisher clients produce the high-quality books they want. Learn how you can work with and guide independent authors in a way that is fair to them and worthwhile for you. The session will be an overview of the independent publishing process, including ethical, financial and practical considerations, to help you figure out where you can fit into the process in a way that works best for you.

This session will provide a comprehensive and detailed summary of the steps and skills entailed in producing a book that meets commercial standards. Armed with this knowledge, you can guide your client toward intelligent decisions about who should do what. The self-publishing author is a publisher. Publishing a book is a business activity. Making a book is a craft activity. Self-publishing should not be do-it-yourself publishing, and you can partner with others to produce the book so the (self-)publisher can focus on marketing, sales and distribution—their proper role.

Perfecting Your Process with PerfectIt, Part 1 (Beginner): Checking Consistency — How to Use PerfectIt for Faster and Better Results, Daniel HeumanNo one became an editor because they like checking for consistency of hyphenation and capitalization. Thankfully, there is a faster way to do it! PerfectIt is an add-in for Word that speeds up checking while still leaving editors in control of every decision. Thousands of editors around the world use PerfectIt to fix these small details so they can focus on the work that matters.

This session is primarily for complete beginners who have never used PerfectIt before. It will cover what the software can and cannot find, with an overview of all the styles and checks that it can run. It will show you how suggestions vary by location, and every location and suggestion needs to be checked for context. It’s open for users on Macs or PCs.

Perfecting Your Process with PerfectIt, Part 2 (Advanced): Enforcing House Styles — Customizing PerfectIt for Advanced Users, Daniel HeumanSpending hours checking that every detail conforms to a style manual is time-consuming and can distract you from the most important work of substantive editing. There is an easier way! This session will show how you can use PerfectIt to select a style sheet, build your own custom style sheet and check your preferences. The session will explain how to use PerfectIt’s advanced functionality with a focus on custom styles and custom checking. It will show how you can share style sheets with colleagues and set up a different style sheet for each client and every style that you work with. This will be an advanced workshop that is primarily for editors who already use PerfectIt on a PC with Windows.

Questions and answers; general networking

Saturday, October 3

Success in Working with Self-Publishing Authors, Katherine PickettWith the continuing surge in self-publishing, more and more editors find themselves working with self-publishing authors, and many of them have no idea how the publishing process works. Although many editors have worked with writers for a long time, the needs of self-publishers are different, and anticipating those needs is key to good results. This session will help you avoid the pitfalls and find success when working with self-publishers. Topics include:• Where to find self-publishing clients• How to estimate time and cost of projects• Why and how to set boundaries• How to protect yourself from scam artists• Areas of job growth• Where to find additional resources for self-publishers

The Magic of Macros, April Michelle DavisThe more we can do to increase efficiency in the writing, editing or proofreading process, the more valuable we are to employers and clients, and the more we can earn. Get the scoop on creating and using macros in Word to make your workflow faster, more efficient, more accurate and more productive from author and editor April Michelle Davis, executive director of NAIWE and a proven expert in this important approach tool.

Editing Fiction in the Independent Arena, Carolyn HaleyMore and more authors are publishing their own novels these days, whether solo or through a service. Most of them want—and need—editors just as much as their traditionally published peers, but there’s no formal infrastructure to support them, making indie publishing a free-for-all for both authors and editors. This session will address your questions about being an independent editor serving independent authors. Send your questions in advance for discussion during the session.

Bigger and Better — Expanding an Existing Freelance Business, Ruth E. Thaler-CarterAfter your freelance business has been up and running for a while, it’s time to think about how to make it more successful. Should you offer additional services? Look for new sources of clients? Get more training? Become more visible? Learn about ways to “grow” your business from Communication Central owner and conference creator Ruth E. Thaler-Carter, who has expanded her freelance business from writing only to providing editing, proofreading, websites, public speaking and event planning.

Questions and answers; general networking

Sunday, October 4

The Business of Being a Business, April Michelle Davis It takes more than good writing skills, a sharp eye for typos, a love of reading, the ability to alphabetize, a cellphone camera, etc., to be a successful writer, editor, proofreader, indexer, graphic artist or any other freelancer. Succeeding means taking seriously the concept of being in business. You can be brilliant at what you do and still fail if you don’t set up your freelance effort as a business and treat it as a serious venture. Find out how to incorporate ke

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    October 2, 2020 @ 11:00 pm
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