Thursday, July 19, 2018

Getting a Hardcover on CreateSpace II

I posted a blog post on this topic a few years ago: http://onbeinganauthor.blogspot.com/2014/05/getting-hardcover-on-createspace.html

This by far has been my most commented on post. However, sadly, CreateSpace has discontinued this service. Those of us who already had hardcover books through them were allowed to purchase until this year.

Currently, I am looking into having a local print shop (that I have used in the past) perform this service for me. I had also used Staples print service to create hardcovers (prior to CreateSpace). I will do some research and plan to have a future post about this. Until then, I am placing a note on the other post and linking to this one. I will also update this post with a link(s) when I finish this portion of my journey.

Monday, April 16, 2018

To Skype or Not to Skype

As I stated in previous posts, I do not Skype, but "I do willingly call all my employers and have an international calling plan so I can do this. Being able to contact your employers verbally is important. Some employers have a difficult time writing - that is why they are hiring you after all - so offering another form of communication is important."

In fact, if an employer states Skype is required, I do not apply. Seeing who you are speaking with was totally cool on the Jetsons, but I don't think the inventors realized the implications. I have inadvertently flashed my daughter's friend stepping over her computer without realizing a Skype conversation was open (my daughter was away from the computer at the time- the only reason I know it happened was because the friend shouted, "Hi, Mrs. Reinoehl!" after I passed).

Yet again, a potential employer has asked me if I Skype and yet again I have refused.

Now, I did use Skype once-the employer was disabled and that was his preferred method of communication. (Read he was blind.) Now, that whole job experience was a disaster, so in my opinion bending the rules was definitely not worth it. Plus, once you get a Skype ID and someone is like, "Do you have a Skype ID?" I would not be able to say "No."

I am proud of the fact I will make myself available for employers at any time of day or night based on their own working hours, but I like to remain in my pajamas at 2 AM- call me quirky. And, yes, I have heard you can simply shut the video feature off, but why even use Skype when its whole purpose is to see who you are speaking with. If my employers didn't want to see me, they would not force me to use Skype. I can call them at no cost to them.

Monday, April 9, 2018

Why does writing from scratch cost more than rewriting?

To me, this seems like a no-brainer, and I don't know if the guy was just trying to get something for nothing or not, but this is how the story goes:

A job was posted to rewrite almost 2000 words of content and add another 2000 to it. There were very detailed SEO counts involved. I bid on about 2000 words of rewrite and about 2000 words of original content. Most people don't want to pay for good content, so they advertise for "native English speakers" and then choose people who don't even write in complete sentences on their profiles. The thing is that many of these employers fall into two categories: (1) They have no clue what good content is, and therefore, they are content with mediocre results or (2) They have no clue that good content is worth every penny, and although they know the content is cruddy they do not think good content will improve their bottom line.

In some cases, (2) is correct: If you have a poor product no amount of content and fake reviews are going to offset that. But in most cases, good content makes Google much happier than bad content (unless you are paying them for advertising, in which case they could care less). Let me tell you, if you pay your way to the top of a search engine with bad content, you would be better off paying a freelancer to write you good content. I have never accidentally clicked on a poorly written ad at the top of a search engine, but I must say that I have accidentally clicked on a well-written one and remained on the website a bit before I discovered the deception.

Anyway, this guy ended up telling me he was going to hire me. [I really wish I got paid $25 every time someone said he would hire me and didn't]. However, when he said this he said the original article was actually quite awful and he wanted me to write the entire almost 4000 word article from scratch. I promptly told him that would cost more. To this he balked. He wondered why it would cost more when he felt the job would be easier.

At this point I went into a detailed explanation, in part because I was incredulous that he would think writing an article from scratch is less expensive than rewriting it. As this article concurs, there is no research involved in rewriting an article. Something the article didn't mention (but I did) is that there is no risk either. If you are rewriting an article, you know exactly what the employer wants because it is right in front of you. Now, although I usually can figure out what employers want the first time when I am writing from scratch, there are a few times when I have had to rewrite something. In this case, I wasn't given an article title or direction, just a list of keywords (almost two pages long) and the number of times they were to be included. [This was another case of some SEO formula gone wrong. I sometimes think these people who have turned SEO into their own scientific formula really have no clue. Once I was told to use misspelled "keywords." That will actually lower your rank based on all my research.]

I find it ironic that employers who either can't write or don't have time to write (or both) think they can pay practically nothing to a writer (scribe) to do it for them. I don't know how to pump my septic system, and let me tell you, I am more than happy to pay someone nearly $200 per hour to do it! Why are words deemed to be of less value than that? (And I believe pumping septic tanks is a very valuable occupation- those guys deserve awards, too.)