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Big Project Finally Done!

As part of my non-resolution this year, I promised myself that I would celebrate all of my achievements, both small and large, instead of setting my sights on specific goals that might be unrealistic. Well, last night, I chalked up a major achievement: I finally finished a massive editing/formatting project for an Elance client, consisting of editing and designing print and ebook versions of six separate short children's books. The project took me way longer than I'd originally projected, and I'm not even sure I'll still get paid, but being able to cross that albatross off my "to do" list frees me up to both search for more freelance work and to concentrate on my own projects.

Next order of business is to finish a transcription job for a friend's doctoral thesis. After that, I'll probably resume work on my long-shelved work in progress, a collection of essays and poetry about parenting, with the working title "Now with Kung Fu Action Grip."

Poll #1997715 Work in Progress Title

What do you think of the title "Now with Kung Fu Action Grip" for a collection of essays and poetry about parenting, and about my son, nicknamed Kung Fu Panda, in particular?

Love it!
It's OK.
Can't you come up with something else?

Any other possible title suggestions?


( 24 comments — Leave a comment )
Feb. 2nd, 2015 12:54 pm (UTC)
I love the title. Of course, I have 'known' KFP since he was born and understand what it means. Could it use a word in front of it? example Kids, Now With Kung Fu Action Grip!
Feb. 2nd, 2015 01:16 pm (UTC)
Possibly, although that version makes me wonder if you're addressing kids, as in, "Hey, kids, now with Kung Fu action grip!" I could always have a subtitle, such as "Essays and Poetry about Parenting My Kung Fu Panda." Or some such. Hmm?
Feb. 2nd, 2015 01:26 pm (UTC)
I don't have an alternative title for you, but I don't think it's a good title for the general public. I know what it means because I know you and KFP. If I were just looking for a book, I would think that it was a memoir about a martial arts instructor.

I'd make that your tagline and come up with something a little more obvious, but still clever and eye catching, for the main title.
Feb. 2nd, 2015 01:30 pm (UTC)
Very valid point. Once I get all the material gathered into a document, I'll look through it for other possible titles that might be just as eye-catching, at which point I may do another poll.

Feb. 2nd, 2015 02:08 pm (UTC)
What about "Alyce's Adventures in Parenting: Now with Kung Fun Action Grip!"
Feb. 2nd, 2015 02:20 pm (UTC)
I think that's much stronger. It tells you exactly what the book is about at a glance, while being a clever play on words that people will get once they read the book.

Incidentally, being late shouldn't mean you don't get paid on Elance. You might get stiffed on the feedback though - they might mark you down on schedule. In my experience, if you've done a good job, the client doesn't mind waiting a bit.
Feb. 3rd, 2015 11:52 am (UTC)
As far as this particular client is concerned, his full-time job is being an Army translator, and I've had no communication from him since the last time the U.S. boosted troop presence in Iraq. I have to wonder if it's related. I honestly hope he's OK, but I don't have any other information in order to contact family, et cetera. I think I'll just give him a couple weeks and see what happens.
Feb. 3rd, 2015 03:46 pm (UTC)
Did you make sure he put funds in escrow before you started the job? If so, all you need to do is mark the job as complete, go into billing and request release (Elance doesn't always generate an invoice automatically if you just complete a job) and then you'll get the funds automatically after 30 days, even if he does nothing.

If you *didn't* get it funded, well, fingers crossed for you and it's something to remember for the future.
Feb. 3rd, 2015 04:32 pm (UTC)
Unfortunately, that wasn't something I realized I should do at the time. My previous jobs, the clients had put money in escrow, and I thought the site required them to do so automatically. I will know better next time.
Feb. 3rd, 2015 06:41 pm (UTC)
Ah. It's an easy mistake to make. My first client didn't put funds in escrow because he was new to Elance and didn't realise he was supposed to. I got lucky because he just did it all at the same time, but I've never let that happen again. There are a couple of regulars I don't worry about escrow with, but new clients get nudged now. It's safer for both of us (and also why I don't like going off Elance for work).
Feb. 3rd, 2015 06:47 pm (UTC)
Thanks for the tip! I'm sure it was there in the FAQ, but there was so much information in there, it probably didn't leave an impression on me. Now I'll definitely know better, though!

I'm hoping it is a case of him being unable to check e-mail and that, when he does, he will at least communicate with me.

At the very least, this will be a learning experience.
Feb. 3rd, 2015 09:10 pm (UTC)
Also, you can break jobs up into milestones. So for this one, I would have split it into 6 payments and if I didn't get paid anything by the time I'd finished the second, I would have stopped working until I did.
Feb. 2nd, 2015 07:38 pm (UTC)
Ooh, yes this!
Feb. 3rd, 2015 11:51 am (UTC)
Feb. 2nd, 2015 08:58 pm (UTC)
What a great accomplishment, and I love the idea of your next project. :)
Feb. 3rd, 2015 11:48 am (UTC)
Thanks! It came from a desire to make sure my next collection was more focused so that it would be easier to market. The parenting thing, well, it's a lot of what I've been writing of late. And as a bonus, it seems to get a good response.
Feb. 2nd, 2015 09:24 pm (UTC)
Wow, you are getting so much done! Good for you! Can I email you about a possible formatting/editing job? I would love a chance to throw doubloons your way!

I'm not crazy about the title because it feels somewhat limiting to me. As though, perhaps, it would better serve as the title for one essay or chapter.
Feb. 3rd, 2015 11:48 am (UTC)
About the possible formatting/editing job, yes, yes, yes! I love working for friends, because they have a better track record when it comes to payment. :) I'm familiar with the formatting for both print (at sites like Lulu and Createspace) and e-mail (Smashwords or Kindle Direct Publishing, and I can learn others easily).

Theafaye said the same thing about the title. What about: "Alyce's Adventures in Parenting: Now with Kung Fu Action Grip!"
Feb. 2nd, 2015 11:20 pm (UTC)
I love it!

And I hope you get paid. Is everything okay there? I've had a lot of work through Elance and I'm sure you know this by now, but WOW, some of those clients can be crazy. I could write a book about them. Or maybe just a blog post.
Feb. 3rd, 2015 11:51 am (UTC)
Sometimes I click on Elance listings that look nutting just because it amuses me. :) Some of them have really ridiculous expectations, and then people actually bid in their unimaginably low price ranges. I have to wonder what sort of a result they get frompeople.

As far as this particular client is concerned, his full-time job is being an Army translator, and I've had no communication from him since the last time the U.S. boosted troop presence in Iraq. I have to wonder if it's related. I honestly hope he's OK, but I don't have any other information in order to contact family, et cetera. I think I'll just give him a couple weeks and see what happens.
Feb. 3rd, 2015 05:32 pm (UTC)
Oh goodness, that colors things a little differently :( I hope he's okay as well.

My first job on there was polishing a novel written by a non-native English speaker. The "novel" ended up being a collection of short essays clearly written around prompts in a composition course. It was SO rough and almost impossible to understand. He wanted it turned into a bestseller for about $100 :|

Folks who will pay someone $0.20 an hour will get that quality in return. It's unbelievable what people think they can pay and equally shocking what some people will work for. I just wish everyone understood their own value!
Feb. 3rd, 2015 05:48 pm (UTC)
I think some people believe the best way to get a job is to undercut everyone else on the rate. I always bid what I think is fair and provide information about my credentials to help them see why I'm worth that amount.

How did you handle that client who wrote all the composition class essays? There's only so much you can do to help a client who is completely clueless about writing!
Feb. 3rd, 2015 05:58 pm (UTC)
I did the job I'd been tasked with and that was editing for spelling and grammar. It needed a deep line edit and a complete overhaul. The manuscript was the roughest version of an idea for a novel you can imagine. I was honest with him and told him it would need far more than what I had done to be ready for publishing.

That was my first client and it was a learning experience. I am much more careful about the jobs I take now :)
Feb. 3rd, 2015 06:37 pm (UTC)
Sounds like you approached it the right way. I wonder if he ever took the project any further or just self-published it the way it was?

This was my first project of this size, and it taught me a lot, too. For now, I'm only going to take smaller one-off projects that I know I can complete within a reasonable time frame with little trouble, and I'll provide an estimate that is higher than I think I'll actually need to get it done.

You can learn a lot from Scottie in "Star Trek." :)
( 24 comments — Leave a comment )

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