A client was looking to write an e-book about companies who work for environmental and social good and the people who work for them. He and his business partner were in the process of starting a nonprofit in Cape Town, South Africa, for under privileged children. They had already interviewed, recorded, and transcribed conversations with several people who agreed to participate in the project. Now they needed someone to pull it all together into an e-book. They wanted the book written and published in one month. Could I do it?
I told them that the timeline was too tight for their request to be done well. And by “well,” I meant building an outline, researching, writing, and editing. But they were set on doing this book and getting it done no matter what it took. It was one of my first big freelance gigs, so I thought, “Why not give it a try,” and sent them a statement of work (SOW).
After they signed the SOW, I dove in by analyzing the transcripts for common topics and themes. While the questions they asked the participants were similar, they weren’t the same for everyone, which made it difficult to present broader opinions and input for some topics.
I was also concerned that the title didn’t accurately reflect the subject matter of the book. So I came up with several variations that included succinct subtitles and presented them to my clients.
The authors were pleased with my outline and were available for me to interview them as needed to complete particular sections of the book. While I delivered the draft on time (although in a rush to the last minute and little time for a thorough proofread), my clients were pleased with the content that I produced.
Editorial note: Since writing this book, I reinvented my business so my bio shows the former name of my business and former membership with the Editorial Freelancers Association.