Tag Archives: digital

I want to help Freelancers

I have had many people ask me why I want to build a business with freelancers instead of employing a team of workers.

Both have their merits and I agree that a dedicated team would be a more stable (but costly) option – knowing that I have someone on hand to do the job when it lands.

However, I have spent my life as a freelance worker and I know the benefits.  I also know it can be a very lonely place. Never-more-so than a freelance starting out in the publishing world.

When I started out, the one thing I was wanting was FEEDBACK.  I spent 8 months submitting manuscripts to various Publishers and Literary Agents – it was a thankless task and after the 6th rejection letter, I started to wonder if it was ever going to go anywhere. I was prepared for this however; I had read all the books that tell you how to send successful submissions, how to write a successful covering letter and synopsis, as far as I was aware, I had done everything to the best of my ability but I was still getting rejections. Was the work not good enough? Would they prefer it if I send it without illustrations? These are questions you never get answered when submitting work, so I decided to network, go and talk to people face to face… where to start?

‘Start close to home’ I thought. The London Book Fair was imminent. I registered (not fully understanding what it meant when it said it was a rights and licensing fair – I soon learned). But there were still publishers there, I could finally get someone to look at my book and be able to see for myself, their reaction! Body language! Never underestimate how powerful it is.

The London Book Fair, regardless of the fact that it was not the ideal venue for an unpublished author and illustrator, was the greatest experience of my publishing career. Within 2 hours I knew I had potentially successful product, but I had packaged it wrongly!

It was from this point on, that I decided that I want to help other freelancers stride more confidently into their future. I wanted to provide a support network that gives feedback, not just me, but from other freelancers in the network.

When I set up VixenUK I decided I would dedicate a sector of my business to developing the VixenUK Freelance Community (website coming soon).

I understand, first hand, how difficult it is to get into creative businesses (having worked in 2 of the most difficult to break into) and I also understand that many creative people don’t know how to network and sell their work. Some simply don’t want to, they’d rather focus on their creativity.

Selling your work and selling yourselves as the worker is an essential part of getting jobs but… you are the creators not the sales people! Which is where I can help. You simply have to ‘sell yourself to me’ – get me to buy into your work, skills, desire and prove your work ethic is something I can sell on and I will!

I am blessed (some may say cursed) with the knowledge and ability to be both creative and business-minded, however, even though I posses these skills, I find it is impossible to do them at the same time which means I spend my time flitting between the two… selling myself, my business and products, and then having to develop them (sometimes the other way round). I need a team of people I can rely on to be creative when I am out selling and bringing in the contracts. I am finding that the more contracts I attract the more I am having to multitask business and creativity and it is becoming more difficult to find the right balance.  I realise I cannot do this alone I need to delegate some work!

If you are a freelance (in any field of work) wanting to find out more about the work and support VixenUK can offer please send me your CV via the email link on this website: http://vixenuk.co.uk

I look forward to hearing from you.

by Victoria Southgate


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The Future of Publishing – A 7 year old’s perspective

by Victoria Southgate

I decided to take a break over Christmas because I spent the months running up to it in, what can only be describe with hindsight as, a disorientating freefall.  2011 provided me with many contacts and the majority of them have been an open resource of information, guidance, advice and support. I have spent months trying to gather all the information I need and just before Christmas I found myself floundering, it is very probable that I was overloaded with information and advice. I needed to decide where I wanted to be, be specific (for the first time in my life) as to what I wanted to achieve. I wanted to create a super-duper business plan/strategy, something that I could refer back to, that would spur me on in the darkest of times, which all start-up businesses go through.

However, I asked for help to do this, so I had a game-plan, but the help wasn’t there. No-one could tell me what I needed to know, nobody else knew what I could do. I had to figure it out for myself! So after months of reassessing my business idea and stressing about what my end game should be, yet never really getting my head around where I am truly going, Christmas was upon me. I went into the Christmas week in a blur. I felt as if I should be doing something, what had I forgotten to do?  Then I realised; Christmas was going to happen anyway, even if I had forgotten something and …did it really matter? It was at that moment I decided to STOP DOING and START BEING.

The first thing I did?… I played with my 7 year old daughter, I allowed myself to be immersed in her world. I discovered how differently she views things. I listened to her; her stories; her songs; her chats with her toys; the games she plays; and I listened to her reading from many different types of books.

It then occurred to me that sitting beside me ‘was’ the future of publishing. It is her generation that will decide how publishing will progress, so I asked her what she prefers to read – Digital or Physical books? Her initial answer was concise, so simple, she simply said “Both!”. So I asked her what she would read in the Physical form and what she would read in Digital format. Her answer was, this time, more considered and intellectually astute… this is what she said:

“I would read Physical fiction books and Digital non-fiction”

her reasoning was this:

“I get more of an experience out of the non-real stories when I read them and feel the book and I can really ‘get into’ the story. And when I want to know and learn about real things, I think it is good to be able to get extra information and it makes learning fun.”

As a 7 year old, she is reading stories that are littered with illustrations, because her ability to read and imagine is still limited even though her reading age is far older than she is. She could easily read text based books, but she would not get as much enjoyment out of them as she does when there is visual stimuli to break up the monotony of text.

My Daughter’s responses to my questions confirms that the Future of Publishing must include Physical Books and Digital Content, working together to create a greater whole.   So beyond wanting to provide creative services for publishing professionals and companies, I have decided that VixenUK’s end game will include collaborating with other companies to produce high quality Physical and Digital products.

I would very much like to hear from anyone who would like to join me to develop a great future for the Publishing Industry.

Email: info@vixenuk.co.uk


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