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Freelancing Fundamentals

Case study: Publishing a book


From:

Freelancing Fundamentals

with Tom Geller

Video: Case study: Publishing a book

While writing this course it occurred to me that some of these lessons might seem kind of theoretical. So I thought back to my own freelance career looking for ways that I actually used these techniques and remembering how I developed them. In the end I realized that they're evident in every project so I just picked one. A book I wrote about the web development software Drupal. What you'll notice is that every step along the way required preparation I might have done years before, but it all paid off in the end.
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  1. 10m 50s
    1. Welcome
      1m 53s
    2. What is freelancing?
      2m 53s
    3. How freelancing and employment differ
      2m 33s
    4. Preparing your mindset
      3m 31s
  2. 9m 24s
    1. Defining career goals
      2m 48s
    2. Sharpening your market focus
      3m 18s
    3. Transitioning to freelancing
      3m 18s
  3. 16m 11s
    1. Preparing your portfolio
      3m 11s
    2. Estimating costs
      3m 10s
    3. Funding your startup
      2m 42s
    4. Establishing your workspace
      3m 35s
    5. Building your professional network
      3m 33s
  4. 8m 51s
    1. Getting licenses, permits, and insurance
      2m 15s
    2. Creating contracts
      4m 23s
    3. Finding professional service vendors
      2m 13s
  5. 12m 54s
    1. Setting prices
      3m 13s
    2. Establishing payment systems
      1m 36s
    3. Invoicing and getting paid
      3m 50s
    4. Keeping the books
      2m 32s
    5. Managing taxes
      1m 43s
  6. 14m 41s
    1. Announcing your availability
      3m 16s
    2. Finding work through agencies
      2m 2s
    3. Onboarding clients
      2m 59s
    4. Avoiding scams
      3m 25s
    5. Choosing assignments
      2m 59s
  7. 11m 27s
    1. Interacting with clients
      2m 11s
    2. Delivering quality work
      2m 28s
    3. Getting referrals and recommendations
      2m 34s
    4. Losing and firing clients
      4m 14s
  8. 10m 48s
    1. Deconstructing big jobs
      3m 34s
    2. Adopting time-management tools
      2m 35s
    3. Creating schedules
      2m 30s
    4. Turning off the clock for "me time"
      2m 9s
  9. 20m 6s
    1. Staying motivated
      3m 3s
    2. Increasing your rates
      2m 52s
    3. Marketing beyond your professional network
      2m 56s
    4. Growing through hires and partnerships
      3m 30s
    5. Building passive income
      3m 48s
    6. Changing focus
      3m 57s
  10. 4m 52s
    1. Case study: Publishing a book
      2m 47s
    2. Next steps
      2m 5s
  11. 12m 42s
    1. Freelancing Q&A
      12m 42s

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Freelancing Fundamentals
2h 12m Appropriate for all Jan 30, 2013 Updated Mar 20, 2013

Viewers: in countries Watching now:

In this course, author and seasoned freelancer Tom Geller shows you how to prepare for a transition to freelancing. Begin by taking a look at your career goals, the systems that will support you, and proper ways to plan for success. Find out how to marshal your resources, refine your portfolio for presentation to clients, and estimate your costs to avoid any surprises on the financial front. Plus, discover how to create invoices, manage your books and taxes, expand your client base with marketing, and grow your business.

A bonus chapter covers common questions freelancers have when entering the field.

Topics include:
  • What is freelancing?
  • Defining your career goals
  • Funding your startup
  • Getting licenses, permits, and insurance
  • Setting prices
  • Finding work through agencies
  • Getting referrals
  • Working with time and project management tools
  • Increasing your rates
Subjects:
Business Productivity Project Management Business Skills Freelancing
Author:
Tom Geller

Case study: Publishing a book

While writing this course it occurred to me that some of these lessons might seem kind of theoretical. So I thought back to my own freelance career looking for ways that I actually used these techniques and remembering how I developed them. In the end I realized that they're evident in every project so I just picked one. A book I wrote about the web development software Drupal. What you'll notice is that every step along the way required preparation I might have done years before, but it all paid off in the end.

I got that job, because I knew I wanted to write a book about the upcoming release of Drupal's latest version. But I didn't know what publisher would be right. So I talked to a literary agent who specialized in technical books. Now I had met him years before through an email discussion group for computer book authors and publishers and in fact we had already worked on another project. He sent me up with a publisher Peachpit Press, and helped me negotiate the contact. As it happened I already knew my editor at Peachpit, because we had worked together at the same magazine publisher ten years earlier.

We set up a schedule to deliver, review, and revise the dozen chapters and other elements that comprised the book. We had regular meetings over the next few months until finally the first draft was nearly done. Then tragedy struck. We realized that the software had changed substantially while I was writing the book and that a lot of it would simply have to be reworked. We reset the schedule and got it done. Then there were rounds of technical editing, lay out, galley checking, and the like.

But to make a long story short, we released the book on time just before the new software version came out. I made a website to support it and worked with the publisher to promote in other ways. So, what can we get from the story? First, I wouldn't have found a publisher so easily if I hadn't already developed a relationship with my agent and I wouldn't have met him if I hadn't started actively taking part in this online community of computer book authors. When we started working on the book, my editor and I broke down the daunting task of producing a 264-page book into manageable chunks.

Then I just plowed ahead and wrote the thing. When we needed to change our course, it was okay, because we'd planned for that contingency and we'd stayed in close contact the whole time. But the job wasn't over when the book was done. By creating a supporting site with affiliate links I both gave myself passive income and showed the publisher that they got more than just a writer when they signed me on the project. This job is just one demonstration of how diverse skills can add up to a successful freelance project.

Find answers to the most frequently asked questions about Freelancing Fundamentals.


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Q: This course was updated on 3/20/2013. What changed?
A: We added a bonus chapter that covers common questions freelancers have when entering the field, such as "How do I use Craigslist or other job boards to grow my freelance business?" and "How do I find clients?"
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