Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Communication

I've been thinking a bit about communication today.

We have all kinds of different 'modes' of communication these days. Writers have to be conversant with all of them.

For example, I calculate that, on average, I send 45% of spec subs by email and 50% through online web-based systems. I prefer the latter...they're generally more reliable. The remaining 5% go through regular mail. It was 10% or so not that long ago. (I do not submit to magazines that charge for electronic submissions, especially as most try to say it costs them $3, $3.50 or even $4 to process an e-sub).

Most post-contract communication tends to be via email, but I also communicate with publishers via Facebook. I also use Google Docs a fair bit for collaboration.

Phone calls are very, very rare, and I generally do not give out my cell number except to people I have a very strong relationship with, so I don't use texting for business...but I do use it a lot for personal communications.

Now. People go on about having their preferred means of communication. Some people, for example, don't want to send anything important via email because they don't trust it. I admit I've lost stuff before.

But...as a freelancer I need to be willing to communicate with clients and publishers by whatever means they prefer, even if it isn't something I'd normally do. (Heck, it's a big reason why I still use Facebook...because some people prefer to use it as a tool for communication). You have to be flexible, and being set in your ways can be an obstacle to getting, and keeping, work.