I'm just about done with my next ebook, which is about where to find clients, and hope to release next month. Hooray!
As always happens with a big project, I can't include everything or else the book would be too long (it's already 2,000 words more than I anticipated, but since I'm the publisher, I'll let me slide).
One of those chapters is about how to find work at colleges and universities. This is especially relevant right now because I'm also digging out from under an avalanche of assignments from such institutions.
Why? You may ask. It's August, right? Everyone should be on vacation, right?
Because July 1 is the start the new fiscal year for a lot of non-profits. Budgets are refreshed, fall alumni magazine production deadlines loom on the horizon, and I get so much work at one time that I did this last week when yet another assignment came in:
Of course, I could say no. But I'm also gearing up for the five- to six-week break this fall (yes I'm vaccinated and yes I'm watching the delta variant and yes I'm wearing a mask indoors and yes everything is refundable and yes I've already adjusted where I'm going based on who has high vaccination rates; right now, the trip is on). That means taking on more work than I normally would. I negotiate deadlines to spread the work out for the time I'm still here and, in some cases, ask if assignments can wait until I get back. Does that mean turning some September-due assignments down? Yes. Do I care? Not much. I really need a break.
The good news (other than the work of course) is that I knew this would happen. Ever since I recalibrated my business to have colleges and universities made up about 20% of my income, I've seen a jump in assignments in July and August. It's also why I tend to take vacation in September, when things calm down (in both work and in National Parks) and why I usually take time off in January. It's also a quieter month for me.
This also points to the importance of diversifying your income. If all of my work came from colleges and universities, I'd be trapped a much bigger feast or famine cycle. But because it's only one fifth of my business, and the other sectors have their own cycles, I can handle it. My goal it to be more like Nordstrom, which does steady business with seasonal sales spikes (including the Anniversary sale, which is going on right now, yes I'm a fan) than a dress shop on a boardwalk down the shore. I can take some fluctuations, but making most of my income on a three-month span is not ideal for me.
If you're not already doing some kind of tracking for your work patterns, I recommend it. Mine is pretty basic: I use an Excel spreadsheet to track how much I bill and how much I'm paid per month (and then per quarter, and then per year).
So that's a bit that didn't make the book, which really is coming soon! Exactly when depends on the designer's schedule and how long it takes for her to do her magic (it'll look exactly like the first ebook, which is $5 off with code "summer"), but we're well on target for mid to late September. Of course I'll announce it here. In fact, y'all will be the first to know when it's for sale.
I chose September for publication both because of when I could write the book (June to just after the Fourth of July holiday is a bit slow for me), but also because I'm going to be away in September and October, and the book will be a form of passive income. If you'd like to learn more about how to put some of your earnings on autopilot, I'll be talking at a seminar about just that on September 21.
And now, on with the rest of the show.
"Helping Runners with Long Covid Get Back on their Feet" for The New York Times
"Spreading the Good Word" for Brown University School of Public Health's Continuum
"Driving Operational Efficiency is Top CPO Priority for 2021" for Supply Chain Dive
"As Cloud Costs Climb, is Repatriation the Answer?" for CIO Dive
"Security Leaders Don't Control Budgets, Even with Mounting Threats" for Cybersecurity Dive
"Retailers Leverage Open Calls to Add Diversity, Sustainability to Supply Chains" for Supply Chain Dive
What I'm Reading
- A Woman of No Importance by Sonia Purnell. Very good, very interesting, and again shows how important it is to show the roles women played in shaping important historical events – in this case WW II. I listened to this as an audiobook.
- Hello Gorgeous: Becoming Barbara Streisand by William J Mann. This was a wonderful, dishy read. By focusing only in the crucial years that took Streisand from a nobody to a really big somebody, Mann wrote a biography about Streisand without having to recount her whole life. Loved it.
- A Delicate Deception by Cat Sebastian. I know I've written about Sebastian before, but I really do appreciate what she's doing within the Regency Romance novel form in showing a more representative picture of just how people are. Both the hero and heroine are bisexual, and there's an asexual character. Queer people have always existed. They should be represented in these kinds of books too.
- The Things We Cherished by Pam Jenoff. An interesting story told across two timelines, but I have to admit that I had to look the book up again to remember what it was about.
- The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo by Talor Jenkins Reid. IEEEEEE! Perfect summer beach reach (or vacation read, or what have you). It's about a fictional old Hollywood dame. It's not perfect (the twist near the end was a bit "really?") but I stuck myself to the couch to finish it.
- The Complete Maus: A Survivor's Tale by Art Spiegelman. Maus is one of those books that I have known about but never read. It's stunning and beautiful and heartbreaking and something more people should read, especially right now.
- Summer at Meadow Wood by Amy Rebecca Tan. This was a great story about girls at a summer camp. There's always this debate about whether or not adults should read YA, but I was once a girl at a summer camp (or, summer campground, which is where I spent most of my summers). I enjoyed this.
- The Map Thief by Michael Blanding. MAP HEIST! This is fascinating. Also great as an audiobook.
- Cordina's Crown Jewel by Nora Roberts. Not one of Roberts' greatest hits, but that's OK. It's a nice, sweet story.
- A Duke in Disguise by Cat Sebastian. Again, as above. This has a character with epilepsy. Again: of course people had epilepsy in the past. I'm glad Sebastian and other writers are doing work like this.
- The Abduction of Pretty Penny by Leonard Goldberg. Another entry into the Daughter of Sherlock Holmes series, though I don't know how I feel about the direction this one went. It was more gruesome than past books in this series.
- Project Hail Mary by Andy Weir. I started reading this and thought "oh it's just another version of The Martian," which he also wrote. But it goes in an entirely different direction. Another one that's not perfect, but wooooo a lot to think about.
- In the Heights. My first movie back in a crowd (though, as someone who goes to movies on weekdays in the middle of the day, not that crowded). I enjoyed it, but I think it's important to note the discussions of colorism that surround it.
- Crime of the Century. This made me want to throw things. Well done, but infuriating.
- Black Widow. Enjoyable, but it felt like and afterthought because it was (this isn't my original idea – that was the general vibe of he discussion on Pop Culture Happy Hour). Disney's making it worse by their response to Scarlett Johansson's lawsuit over compensation. Telling a woman "you are ungrateful because you have enough" – is also infuriating.
- Loki. Jeez that was fun. It's delightful to see Tom Hiddleston find so much joy in playing this character for more than a decade.
- Set It Up. Yawn.
- Succession. I don't seem to find as much enjoyment watching a bunch of rich jerks run around as some people do, but it's a good treadmill show.
- I Think You Should Leave. This is a unique gem in the comedy world. VERY weird, but it sticks with you.
- Doc Martin. Not every British serial has to be about murder. I enjoy this. I can't wait for more (I find it interesting that they film this every other year. What a great gift to the actors so they can do other stuff).
- Heist. This is a GREAT documentary series on Netflix – three heists, with each heist getting two episodes. It's an ideal blend of interviews with real people, and reenactments. Highly recommend.
- Love is Blind: After the Alter, Celebrations and Confrontations. This whole thing is a PSA for being single by choice (hello!) and sobriety. What a mess. Did the original series not make me feel cringe because the world was falling apart? Or is this just worse? Big questions upon which to end the newsletter.