An American Editor

August 6, 2010

A Gathering of Freelance Editorial Professionals

Today’s guest article is by Ruth Thaler-Carter. In her article she discusses the forthcoming “Finding Your Niche/Expanding Your Horizons” conference. If after reading her article you are interested in learning more, you can visit Communication Central’s website. Registration information for the conference, which includes a complete schedule,  is available here. Worth noting is that attendees will have an opportunity to discuss some of their concerns about the future, especially about competing and working more efficiently, with some of the most successful freelancers around and who are experts in using the tools of editorial freelancing.


Freelance editors (and writers, proofreaders, graphic artists,
desktop publishers, indexers, designers, etc.) unite! Or at least congregate … 

by Ruth E. Thaler-Carter, co-owner of Communication Central 

It’s an increasingly competitive world for editorial professionals these days, as publishing contracts, e-publishing expands, and outsourcing continues to drive down prices in some areas. One reality is that we all need to get ready to cope with the changing face of publishing. Regardless of the kind of editorial work we do, we need to become more familiar with e-books and how to compete globally, rather than locally — even if that globe might only encompass a state or a nation. Not everyone has to function internationally, but we all need to expand our perception of where to market our skills.


What’s a hardworking, skilled, experienced editor supposed to do? 

One thing to consider is getting together with colleagues (and maybe even competitors) to brainstorm ways of fine-tuning, and perhaps enhancing, an editorial career or business. One way of doing so is, if you’ll pardon the self-serving mention, attending a conference like “Finding Your Niche/Expanding Your Horizons,” the fifth annual Build Your Communications Business conference of Communication Central, a business I co-own. 

Freelance editorial professionals tend to be solitary types. There are professional associations we can join, but a lot of editors, writers, and other freelancers use their memberships only to get access to job opportunities or participate in online conversations. If someone joins a national association that doesn’t have a local chapter, the likelihood of meeting other members in person is slim. At an event like “Finding Your Niche/Expanding Your Horizons,” editors (and other colleagues) from all over the country can get together in person, put faces to all those electronic names, and share ideas about how to manage their business lives more effectively. 

In putting together this conference every year, we look at the tools being used by editorial professionals these days and the trends in how we work — and how we can work better and more profitably. Then we find people who can speak to those topics. Sometimes we go the other way around — we know of someone we respect and find a way to include that person in the conference. We aim to combine theory and practice, in a sense, by offering sessions both on ways of doing business and on making the best use of important tools in editorial freelancing. 

I am confident that this year’s program has something for everyone — those thinking about freelancing, just starting out, and/or with substantial experience in the field and their businesses. Here’s an overview of what we will explore at this year’s Communication Central conference: 

Rich Adin (of this blog) on getting the rates you deserve; Michael Brady on building a brand through effective design; Bevi Chagnon on using Word to go to InDesign; Katharine O’Moore-Klopf on profiting from being online; Karl Heinz Kremer on using Acrobat in editing; and Jack Lyon, Hilary Powers and Dan Wilson in an unprecedented “Word Summit.” I’ll present a session on what it takes to start and manage a communications business, and Communication Central co-owner Kat Nagel will offer tips for effective websites. 

And that’s just the formal sessions. Before, during, and after, the networking and friend-making elements of a gathering like this are immeasurably valuable — not to mention a lot of fun! 

If you’re serious about your editorial business, I think you’ll find this conference to be eminently worth attending. 

Full details are at:


  1. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Mary Ellen Schutz, CommunicationCentral. CommunicationCentral said: Thx to Rich Adin 4 guest post abt our conf: […]


    Pingback by Tweets that mention A Gathering of Freelance Editorial Professionals « An American Editor -- — August 6, 2010 @ 4:47 pm | Reply

  2. […] at the upcoming conference “Finding Your Niche/Expanding Your Horizons”, which was discussed in A Gathering of Freelance Editorial Professionals. If you are interested in joining the discussion and learning more about the effects […]


    Pingback by The Times are Changing! Will Editors Change with Them? « An American Editor — August 9, 2010 @ 5:31 am | Reply

RSS feed for comments on this post. TrackBack URI

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Create a free website or blog at

%d bloggers like this: