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They Wrote The Book On Entitlement

, , | Right | June 16, 2021

I recently became a freelance editor, proofreader, etc. for authors wanting to self-publish. 

Client: “Hi, [Mutual Friend] gave me your number.”

Me: “Sure, how can I help you?”

Client: “I have a novel, almost 90,000 words, and [Printing Company] are charging me $600 with a turnaround of two weeks to format it for publishing. Now, I think you can do me a better deal.”

Me: “I’m sorry, I have no idea about how to format and typeset a book. I only do—”

Client: “It can’t be that hard! I’ll send you some YouTube videos. You should be able to do it in an afternoon.”

Me: “I think it’s a bit more involved than YouTube videos, or everyone could do it themselves. I don’t really have time to get trained on specialist software used to format books. Plus, I’d have to buy the software, too, and I know that’s not cheap.”

Client: “I will pay you $300 if you can get it done in a week, but really, it should only take you one afternoon.”

Me: “Let me get this straight. You want me to do your book in half the time, for half the cost, using skills and software I don’t have?”

Client: “Yes! It’s not hard.”

Me: “Then I suggest you watch those YouTube videos and do it yourself. Goodbye.”

Years later, when I learned what really goes into typesetting and formatting a book, I think $600 for two weeks’ turnaround is a bargain! It’s not something you can learn from some YouTube videos and do in “one afternoon.”