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Just give it to me straight

Community Guru
Tonya P Member Since: Nov 26, 2015
21 of 28

Jeremy Y wrote:
Since anyone can self-publish garage these days, I take issue with calling such a person a "novelist" if they can't write. Whereas someone who can write (and has written novels) yet hasn't gone the self-publish route is NOT called a novelist? That seems very wrong to me.

Still, I get what you're saying. Hmm. I'm torn.

When attempting to market your services, it doesn't matter what you believe; it matters what your prospective clients perceive. Someone who has not published a novel can call themselves a novelist, but that doesn't mean anyone is going to pay them to write. 

Ace Contributor
Charles M Member Since: Sep 8, 2017
22 of 28

Tonya's point is spot-on.  I can fix my leaking sink, replace my toilet, etc., but I've never done plumbing professionally.  So can I call myself a professional plumber?  No, I can't.  Doing something and getting paid to do something are two completely different things, and when someone is looking to hire you to do a professional service, they want to make sure you have professional experience. Writing novels that haven't been published isn't professional experience. 

 

Out of curiosity, do you have a literary agent, or are you seeking out publishing houses that don't require an agent?

Ace Contributor
Laura M Member Since: May 10, 2018
23 of 28

Jeremy Y wrote:
Since anyone can self-publish garage these days, I take issue with calling such a person a "novelist" if they can't write. Whereas someone who can write (and has written novels) yet hasn't gone the self-publish route is NOT called a novelist? That seems very wrong to me.

Still, I get what you're saying. Hmm. I'm torn.

To be fair, plenty of actually traditionally-published stuff is hot garbage. A publishing house isn't publishing for quality, they're publishing for sales and mass appeal, and the public really isn't that discerning. 

Ace Contributor
Charles M Member Since: Sep 8, 2017
24 of 28

Jeremy,

 

Having just viewed your profile again after a couple of weeks, I noticed you took our advice.  That was a wise move, and I can't speak for everyone, but I appreciate you listening.  My next suggestion would be to trim your introduction.  You list some of your publications, talk about your skills, and then start in on whether or not you will use Track Changes with a client.  Cut that.  Decisions like that are internal decisions made between a client and a freelancer, and only serve to muddle your profile. 

 

Like it or not, people don't want to spend a great deal of time reading profiles.  For the most part, potential clients want quick snapshots, and adding in unnecessary information will only turn them away.

 

 

Community Guru
Robin H Member Since: May 28, 2019
25 of 28

I echo Charles' response.

 

Also, intro your list of published pieces (ex: "Published examples") and include 3-4 in a bulleted list.  It makes it easier on the eyes for clients to review.  

 

 

Active Member
Jeremy Y Member Since: Dec 2, 2018
26 of 28

Thanks for the additional feedback; I've further edited my profile.

 

I also appreciate knowing (especially with the recent Upwork changes) that one should be more established outside of Upwork first, as I erroneously intended for Upwork to be a launching spot. As suspected, there's little reason for anyone to hire me with bigger jobs, and with fewer smaller jobs here to earn clout (and spending money to simply apply for them) I'll continue to dwindle my few remaining connects as best I can and move on.

 

Though that's probably for the best, as I should re-focus on my own fiction anyway. Again, thanks to everyone -- you gave it to me straight, which is exactly what I wanted.

Ace Contributor
Charles M Member Since: Sep 8, 2017
27 of 28

Jeremy,

 

On the contrary, you are rather established, at least in terms of experience.  You've been published in Cricket Magazine!  That's a very flooded market, and difficult to get into. 

 

Now, without reading your proposals I can't say for sure, but it's possible you need to work on those.  Talk up the two jobs you've done.  Were they happy?  Were they really happy?  If so, say it!   Mention your publishing credits:  the titles and dates of the anthologies, the issue of Cricket, etc.  You may not have "a lot" of experience, but talk  up what you have (without being pretentious, of course.  No one likes pretentious people - most people just want to punch them in the face.  I would know . . . I get punched in the face a lot.  :-)).    

 

Lastly, you may want to consider going for some of the more menial jobs at first.  Give yourself more experience here on Upwork, which will, in turn, attract better and larger jobs and clients.  Apply for the menial job, give an outstanding performance, and you are more likely to get a glowing review, which will only improve your profile.  I'm aware that there are some here who disagree with this - that's fine.  They have to do what works for them.  I just know that if you're having trouble getting jobs, lowering your own bar a little bit just to build experience might help.

 

Anyway, that's all I've got.  I really do hope you succeed!

Active Member
Jeremy Y Member Since: Dec 2, 2018
28 of 28

Thanks for the further advice, Charles. However, while I had fully expected to take on "menial jobs" (such as the two I did) my understanding is Upwork wants to get rid of those. So with those dwindling, my chances as a newcomer lessen... and I'm to pay Upwork to simply apply for them? And if I finally get one, I still pay 20%? Sorry, but as a newcomer, I don't see the appeal. I much preferred the prior method with free monthly connects -- that way I could selectively apply without loss, yet not flood everyone with proposals. (I understand they have reasons for the change, but because of it, I no longer believe one should expect to "start" with Upwork as I originally intended.)

 

On a side note, I got an email on Tues when someone posted on this thread, saying they agreed with me, and thought connects should go back to how they were... but that post is no longer here. Please don't tell me Upwork censors people who disagree with their policies. Smiley Sad

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