Hello this morning to Jane Badger from Jane Badger proofreading and editing (and she’s a writer, too!). Jane’s been with the interview series for a while now: we first chatted in November 2013 and updated for the first time in December 2014 when she’d gone full time with her editing work. After another update in January 2016 , we caught up most recently in February 2017, and at that point, this is where she wanted to be by now: “I’m hoping to have some local clients. The SfEP courses I did were really worthwhile, and my plan is to work on upgrading to advanced membership through doing more training courses, looking in particular at developing my editing skills. I will get the rights back to Heroines on Horseback, my book on pony books, later this year, so am investigating how I’m going to proceed with that. Whatever I do, it will be a steep learning curve, so I’m looking forward to that. The Society of Authors runs workshops on e-book publishing, so I’m planning on doing one of those.” Let’s see how she’s getting on …
Hello again, Jane! Are you where you thought you’d be when you looked forward a year ago?
I do have some local clients, though there’s still more work to be done there.
I have done some of the training towards Professional membership of the SfEP (and passed the copy-editing exam, to my relief), but still need to do another course. I have an editing course run by the Publishing Training Centre in my sights. That is the one thing I need to do to upgrade as I have all the other requirements.
I was slightly side-tracked as I also did practical and theory exams in singing. They went well, thankfully, and I shan’t have to do any more music theory unless I find a sudden deep, burning desire to do so and can persuade my singing teacher that it will not be agony for us both. On balance, I think I’ll stick to the practical side.
I went to the Society of Authors workshop on e-book publishing, which was excellent – I can highly recommend. I also did one of their social media workshops, which was also very well worth doing, as it focused on doing things from an author’s point of view.
What has changed and what has stayed the same?
I have even more corporate work, which wasn’t quite the plan, but I’m going with it for the moment while I sort out the publishing side.
I’ve started up a local branch of the Society for Editors and Proofreaders, which has been really good. It’s got me out of the house, for one thing, I’ve met some lovely people, and have learned a lot about both proofreading and self-publishing.
What have you learned? What do you wish you’d known a year ago?
I’ve learned a lot on how to produce an e-book, and the differences between producing one that is fiction and one that is non-fiction (basically – pictures. The more pictures you have, the more Amazon charge you to upload, with a corresponding effect on your profit margin. I’m still experimenting with this). That and the cover are the last things I need to sort out with Heroines on Horseback, and then it’s off to beta readers with it to test out how it works on various devices.
I outsourced the design of my new pony book encyclopaedia website. I’m glad I did this, as design is not one of my strengths, but the project has not been problem-free. I’m still waiting for a major glitch to be worked out, as my plan was (and is) to launch the new website and the new version of Heroines on Horseback at the same time.
On the blogging front, I learned that a Buzzfeed-type blog post that I wrote in ten minutes managed 4,000 views in a couple of days. The carefully crafted post I did on railway women and horses, which took weeks to research, has 2,500 views. I guess I’ve learned that a balance of things is a good idea! And that all the years of research I’ve done into the horse does mean that I can pull something together very quickly. And that doing so does seem to produce something people want to read.
Any more hints and tips for people?
Don’t be afraid to try something new, having thought out the implications.
And … where do you see yourself and your business in a(nother) year’s time?
I hope I’ll have managed to get Heroines on Horseback back out into the world, and the new website, too! It’s frustrating to be so close but have to rely on other people to achieve what I want. But balanced against that is the fact that the end result will be much better than anything I could have done on my own.
I’m also hoping that I’ll have been able to focus on new writing. My plan for this year is to do less corporate and editing work for other people and carve out more time for me to write. It’s so very easy to do stuff for other people which pays within weeks rather than spend the time doing my own stuff, the payoff for which is months, if not years, down the line!
So, I’m hoping that I will have an income stream from my books, have a sensible plan to develop it further, and have acquired a couple more clients.
I love Jane’s sensible Top Tip – do it, but think about it first, in essence. And I can empathise with her blog post findings – one of my most popular posts is still the very first one I jotted down to remind myself how to sort something out! I did go back and add more text and screenshots, but it’s funny how something I did for myself ended up helping thousands of other people! I do hope that this time next year I can share links on where to buy the new Heroines on Horseback (it’s a great book – I have an original copy): good luck to Jane with that final push!.
Find Jane’s website at janebadger.com
If you’ve enjoyed this interview, please see more small business chat, the index to all the interviewees, and information on how you can have your business featured (I have a full roster of interviewees now so am only taking on a very few new ones). If you’re considering setting up a new business or have recently done so, why not take a look at my books, all available now, in print and e-book formats, from a variety of sources.