Today's topic comes curtesy of Sheena-Kay. Thanks, Sheena-Kay! She wants to know:
What do you do when a freelancer (cover artist, editor, etc) suddenly up and cancels on you or what advice would you give to someone else in that position?
Okay, this is something you hope never happens to you, but I've seen it a lot. Most freelancers are good because this is how they make their money. They need repeat clients, and so they do their best to meet deadlines and make their clients happy. But...
There are times when freelancers go MIA or cancel on you. The first thing I recommend is trying to figure out why. Life happens. A death in the family can cause a freelancer to go offline. Let's face it. When a loved one passes, the last thing we think about is checking our email, and that's understandable. So if this is a freelancer you really like, try to find out if something like this happened. If you don't know the freelancer and you can't wait for them to respond, do what you have to do. Deadlines are deadlines.
Now if a freelancer cancels on you with no explanation, I wouldn't advise working with them again in the future. And to be honest, I'm in several groups where people share info on freelancers—ones who don't meet deadlines, ones who take payment and then don't follow through on the work, etc. They do get blacklisted, so they don't want to be talked about this way.
I think the best way to get involved with a freelancer is by word of mouth. See who others recommend after having used that freelancer. Like anything else, do some research and protect yourself.
*If you have a question you'd like me to answer from the other side of the editor's desk, feel free to leave it in the comments and I'll schedule it for a future post.