Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Comparing the work environment

I've got a couple comparisons I would like to make for the sake of sorting out my own impressions.  The first is with regard to the 3 major groups I do freelance work for.  In the first, Nobo Live, I've been working with them the longest.  I edit foreign manuscripts before they go up for peer review.  The second, SciEdit, I've only been working with a few weeks but it is a similar gig.  The final is Words and Numbers, where I have done some text book editing, and also some curriculum development writing.

To compare the first two, I make $0.03/word at Nobo Live, and about $0.04/word at SciEdit.  NoboLive mails me a check, SciEdit pays me in yuan through PayPal.  In both place, my only contact is a person who is my editor, but the role of this person is different.  At Nobo Live, the editor will deal with the client, or suggest I may need to make further changes based on her own observation.  At SciEdit, I receive a QA form with comments from a separate party.  Neither has provided any training on what types of comments/changes they would like to see- which I have heard other groups like American Journal Experts do.

I'd been doing editing for a while before I actually wrote anything that needed to be edited.  It was really enlightening to go over editor's comments/changes on some of my stuff.  At Words and Numbers, I have an editor who provides me work, keeps in touch with the client, and gets my work edited.  I like that my main contact there who provides me contracts (and at SciEdit) is not also the person providing criticism for my work, but that may just be a preference thing.  There is a similar QA process, with writers and editors going back and forth to polish a piece before it is returned in the final version to the client.  I find it a little frustrating sometimes not to be able to talk directly with the client ("You wrote this software.  What do YOU think it does??"), but for the most part, I think it keeps everyone honest and unemotional.  The client only sees a near final version that they approve with some minor comments.  It's a much more corporate structure then the Chinese version which feels like it has all the structure of a hotmail account.  And I do have a lot more interaction with my editor at Words and Number than I do with either of the others.

All three are easy to work with.  The first two tend to give me short to very short deadlines (I recently got a paper to edit in 2 days).  The third tends to give me a lot of time to schedule things (would you be willing to take a 20 hour contract in the next month or so?).  Between the three styles, this week has been very busy, and it's nice to be making some cash.

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