Wednesday, November 9, 2016

Writer Wednesday: Working With Freelancers


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.

10 comments:

  1. I've done freelancing. I always get paid when the job's done.

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    1. Same here. I email my clients to let them know I'm finished and sending the invoice. Then once it's paid, I forward the edited documents. It works well.

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  2. You know, many years ago when I was trying to get my first book out there, I hired an editor to help me whip it into shape...and then heard nothing. For months. Dead silence. Come to find out her husband had passed away. She eventually (9 months later) informed me that she would be unable to fulfill her editorial obligations. That was not a happy time for either of us, but life does happen and we have to be mature enough to roll with it.

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    1. Oh wow! Did you wait those nine months, or had you moved on? That's crazy to wait. I would have moved on. Sad for the editor though.

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  3. I agree. At least making an attempt to find out if everything is okay shows a little compassion for others, however, if they are just unprofessional, then folks need to know not to contact them in the future.

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  4. Good advice. Things over which we have little or no control happen. We have to move on.

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  5. I've heard of freelancers and clients who go MIA (yep, clients, too, when you've completed their projects, lol). You're right, sometimes something tragic has happened and checking their emails isn't their priority. But after 2 weeks, best move on as gracefully and "oh-welly" as you can.

    I'd also suggest both parties enter some basic agreements on a kill fee should things not work out before they enter a contract. :)

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