If you’ve been to the ASBPE site recently, you know that the organization is gearing up for its annual meeting, which includes a conference and awards banquet. In fact, yesterday I got an email from ASBPE announcing all the national awards finalists. The conference features a full slate of speakers on the business of editing a business publication, including (drumroll, please) me.

Wait! You don’t edit business publications!

You’re right; I don’t, unless you count my copyediting for Copyediting. No, I’m going to be speaking about how to work with freelancers, if you’re a business publication editor.

What are you speaking about?

My session, on Thursday, July 21, is called, “Your new bestie: How to work with freelancers.” I pitched this to the fine folks at ASBPE:

Freelancers are critical to the success of a B2B publication. But working with them? In this session, learn the biggest pitfalls editors face when working with freelancers – and what can be done to build win-win relationships, no hand-holding required. Also, learn the warning signs that this freelancer may not be your new bestie after all.

They liked it, so I’m packing my carry-on, scouting a running route, and hopping on a Southwest flight to St. Petersburg, Florida.

And that means…?

I’m going to cover a lot in 25 minutes. I’m going to start with how to find freelancer writers – no Google searches necessary. I’ll also delve into:

  • Vetting freelancers before you begin work
  • The importance of contracts and assignment letters
  • Why you should take the time to create a manual for freelancers
  • Keeping freelancers happy while keeping your sanity
  • How to say goodbye

Expect examples culled from my own experience illustrating good editors and editors I don’t work with anymore. I’ve got some great stories.

Why are you qualified, again?

I asked myself that a bunch of times. I’m not a business publication editor. But I freelance for them and write feature articles. I’ve written for ASUG, TechTarget properties, and HPE, to name a few. I’ve worked with many types of editors, from the ones that offer no feedback to the ones that send back documents bleeding with Track Changes. I’ve worked with some that are so level-headed that I actively pitch them, and some who are so disconnected with reality that I wasn’t sad to never hear from them again after my check arrived.

I’m deeply entrenched in the freelance community, and we’re not all about the checks, by the way. We want to have good relationships with our editors so that we can learn from them. We want to turn in great work and contribute to something larger than ourselves (even if it’s a publication geared toward very specific technology professionals).

So when the call came out for speakers, I answered. Knowing how to work with freelancers is a win-win situation. If you’re coming to the ASBPE National Conference, I hope I’ll see you sitting in my session. I’ll try to make it fun and informative, maybe even a little amusing. Will I see you there?