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Setting up my editorial business: reflections on my initial decisions

In this post I wish to consider some of the early decisions I have made in relation to setting up an editorial business, and the thought behind them. At the outset it is important to emphasize that I am not offering advice, nor am I suggesting my approach is a model of best practice. My … Continue reading Setting up my editorial business: reflections on my initial decisions

Self-publishing does not mean DIY purism

Crayon Rouge Editorial Solutions

Self-publishing does not mean pure do-it-yourself publishing. It means simply that an author has decided to go to market without involving a traditional publisher. There are many good reasons why an author makes such a decision. One reason may be an adamant wish to dispense with all the services a publisher provides: cover and book design; editing and proofreading; formatting and typesetting; and marketing. Independent authors certainly have greater control over the publishing process, and this is undoubtedly an attraction of self-publishing. But only a complete control freak (or someone aspiring to imitate William Blake) would attempt to do everything without any outside help. There may be artistic merit and personal fulfilment in such a purist endeavour—and both are noble and admirable—but there is unlikely to be any commercial merit.

In a 2013-14 survey of self-published authors, there was a clear correlation between author earnings and their use of…

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Thinking like a business, rather than a medieval knight (or an idiot)

When I first went freelance, I mused at length on the freelancing ethic. I pondered the idea of freedom, the notion of independence, and the sweet air far removed from the stifling miasma of the corporation, the office, the boss and the 9-to-5 routine (not that I had ever experienced offices or routines). I conjured … Continue reading Thinking like a business, rather than a medieval knight (or an idiot)

The right to remain silent? More quiet in the classroom

One of my earlier posts, ‘Quiet in the Classroom’, has prompted an interesting discussion on Facebook. The original article concerned my experience of university seminar teaching, specifically in relation to two contrasting seminar groups of history undergraduates: one, a highly vocal group who interacted with one another extremely well; the other, a group in which, … Continue reading The right to remain silent? More quiet in the classroom

The festive freelancer

Spare a thought for many freelancers and self-employed at Christmas. A good friend of mine, whose entire career has been spent in self-employment, has always been unfailingly curmudgeonly at this time of year. I had never understood his loathing of Christmas. Sure, there are numerous annoyances (which do seem to accumulate as one gets older), … Continue reading The festive freelancer

The way of the ronin

Once upon a time, provided one had the money, some knights could be hired for pay. They were the original freelancers: possessing a horse and a lance, and with no bond of loyalty to a lord, they were free. In feudal Japan the equivalent was the ronin, the masterless samurai famously depicted in Akira Kurosawa’s … Continue reading The way of the ronin

Quiet in the classroom

One of the most rewarding experiences of teaching undergraduate students is the lively, engaged seminar group. When ideas and views and vigorous discussion are flying around the classroom, when the group are interacting enthusiastically and brightly, then I sense that clear progress is being made. Conversely, few things are more dispiriting than the seminar group … Continue reading Quiet in the classroom