My publish vs. freelancing post got a lot of hits and discussion so I thought I would talk more about my feelings on both.
Freelancing is nice, it is very cut and dry for the most part. I need XXX words by this date or I need this book approx. this long (word count) by Y, or I need 4 pieces of art 2 half page and 2 full page by Y. You have a set job, a deadline and you can just go for it.
For writing it can be easy, what makes it tough if you are not doing the whole book is everyone writes with their own voice so it may be tough not to jar the reader when flipping from chapter 8 to chapter 9 in a game book. For an anthology like we are currently doing it is a lot easier because when the characters change the flow may change but that makes sense, like the personality of the story changes as well, it feels OK.
Art can be the same, most books like a similar feel, your art directors job to make sure it all works together but a good art director also wants each artist to shine as well, bring a little of themselves to the art, I love good art, I have bought gaming books simply because the art was awesome. I may be in the minority here, but I feel art can bring a book to life.
Ok, back on topic, freelancing also has the advantage that you can say no to more work if you are busy and it does not affect you directly, obviously if you can do more, the publisher may come to you first because you helped but it is not a necessity, if you cannot do it someone else can.
It is freeing, because once you are done it is gone and you can start to write/paint the next subject.
Also there is no out of pocket expenses (unless you freelance like me, and invest into each product, grrr), just time, so if something does happen it is not your checkbook on the line.
Some of the disadvantages are, potentially low pay, delay in payments can happen or worse, the item is canceled.
The lack of control that can be freeing can also drive you bonkers, you have had my stuff for months why do I not have any updates on a release!!!! Where is the book? Why is it delayed?
Your freedom to move on may also be your biggest stressor at times.
You may have a period in time where you have no projects, so if this is your sole income, not having work can be just as devastating as having too much work.
Being a freelancer is not easy, you need to make sure you do not make anyone angry always do your work on time or at least communicate to the publisher if there is an issue and why but if you can garner a reputation and a “need” to have you as part of a project then you should be OK.
Some good examples of this are Stan! and Matt Forbeck amongst the many other, I always see them working or associated with products, I have worked with Matt and he is a pro 100% and a super nice guy, and Stan Brown is always willing to give you advice if he cannot help with the project that you offered him, top notch guys-there are many others but this is not a commercial for freelancers.
Next week I will talk about the blurred freelancing work I did for my anthology and how that made me more passionate about it.
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