The European Association of Science Editors (EASE) is an international community of individuals and associations from diverse backgrounds, linguistic traditions and professional experience in science communication and editing.

PS.2. Freelance editing: developments and challenges

Saturday 9 June: 10:30 – 12:30
Parallel Session 2
Satellite, First floor

Freelance editing: developments and challenges
Moderators: Sylwia Ufnalska, freelancer, Poland / EASE Council, and Moira Hudson, CHC Group, UK / EASE Council
Content:

  • Freelancer: a need or a threat in the editing world? (María del Carmen Ruíz-Alcocer and Magda Luz Atrián Salazar, AMERBAC and Intersistemas, Mexico)
  • Strategies for success when working as a translator or author’s editor of a multi-authored book (Brian Harrison, Chuo University, Japan)
  • Making a living as an author’s editor: 20 years of lessons learned (Tom Lang, Communications and Training International, USA)
  • Succeed in the freelance market by thinking business (Thomas O’Boyle, Language Consultancy Services, Spain)


Session overview
This session will present perspectives from freelance editors – lessons learnt and challenges to being efficient, running a sustainable business, dealing with clients’ expectations and always ensuring the highest quality. The four speakers work in different parts of the world (Latin America, Asia, the USA and Europe), and so will present a wide range of perspectives from different environments. The session will also include a discussion of what EASE is, can, and should be doing to support freelance editor members – audience participation to this section is encouraged.

Freelancer: a need or a threat in the editing world?
María del Carmen Ruíz-Alcocer and Magda Luz Atrián Salazar, AMERBAC and Intersistemas, México

Freelancers work independently or are dedicated to doing work autonomously, which allows them to develop in their profession or in the areas that can be more lucrative, and are oriented towards third parties that require specific services. To improve their income, freelance editors invest their time according to their needs (and those of their clients), as they have the autonomy to modify their schedule according to the work they have. In the publishing world, outsourcing of editors is more and more frequent, but is the freelancer a necessity or a threat in the publishing world? In my publishing company in Mexico (where I am a Senior Medical Editor), for several years we have used freelancers in addition to permanent workers. Hence I would like to review the advantages of hiring freelance editors by publishers (savings, resources, diversity of specialists) and the possible threats that this type of collaborator can represent (job insecurity of the permanent workers, confidentiality of unpublished information). I will also comment on the pros and cons of being a freelancer.

Strategies for success when working as a translator or author’s editor of a multi-authored book”
Brian Harrison, Chuo University, Japan

Translators and author’s editors can face various dilemmas when translating/editing long manuscripts such as multi-authored books. Examples include the withholding of payment unless the editor accepts new and unreasonable demands at the end of the project; credit for work denied, or not being given in the manner expected; text changes being made after the editing work is complete; ways of dealing with numerous authors, etc. In such situations, the author’s editor faces a considerable dilemma about how to proceed, and in a country such as Japan, taking legal action could cause more problems than it solves. This talk will present various such dilemmas (with examples that have been experienced by this presenter and his colleagues) and will offer possible solutions. Many of the problems can, in fact, be alleviated if not eliminated by advance awareness of the potential difficulties. It is hoped that this presentation may help avert these situations arising for members of the audience who may find themselves in similar situations, as well as stimulate discussion about how to prevent such incidents in future.

Making a living as an author’s editor: 20 years of lessons learned
Tom Lang, Communications and Training International, USA

This presentation summarizes the experiences and lessons learned by a consultant in medical communications in more than 20 years of self-employment. Several factors are important in success, including knowing the market, understanding the market, being visible and credible in that market, and having a business model compatible with that market. Other factors, such as record-keeping, marketing, and collecting from clients have had little effect. For those willing to be self-starting, work hard, and forego the security and routine of being an employee, being self-employed can be a satisfying life style.

Succeed in the freelance market by thinking business
Thomas O’Boyle, Language Consultancy Services, Spain

As language service providers, we often become so involved in our work that we forget we are running a business, with all its inherent demands and challenges. Yet in order to succeed professionally, it is absolutely critical to remember that we work with clients in a market. Acquiring a business mindset strengthens our position in the eyes of clients and increases our value. The objective of this session is to encourage freelancers to look closely not only at what they do, but also how they do it… and how they can do it better! I will cover a number of aspects that will help professionals develop a business mindset, involving skills such as negotiation, marketing, and networking. Emphasis will be placed on the importance of managing our relationship with existing clients and developing relationships with new clients. I will set out what in my opinion are the qualities that make a good professional or make a good professional better. We will then examine how we can develop the skills necessary to ensure that our services are sought and remunerated appropriately.