Jennifer Lawler

Shelley, typically when publishers have had questions about my experience (something that isn’t obvious from the LOI), they will just shoot me an email: “Have you experience TYPE OF EDITING for TYPE OF BOOK?” And I either do or don’t. If I have done something related, I’ll say so: “I haven’t done developmental editing on a personal finance how-to book but I have written about personal finance for X and Y [links included] and feel comfortable with the subject matter. I have edited a few economics textbooks and understand the basic theories. And of course for personal finance I would work to ensure that the information was targeted correctly for the audience.”

In other words, I would try to anticipate the type of reassurance they’re looking for.

From there, they will often ask me/anyone to take an editing test before going further. Once that hurdle has been successfully leapt, they will often ask me/anyone to jump on a call where they will talk about process and ascertain whether I/anyone have/has realistic expectations of the work.

When I was hiring CEs and DEs, this call would often help me decide if the person would be reliable enough to do the work. I sometimes heard things like, “I want to work on projects that excite and energize me!” Well, so do we all. What I really needed was a freelancer who understood that not every project was going to be tons of fun but they’d meet the deadline anyway.

No one is going to spend a lot of time going through a portfolio looking for answers, so as long as you have information laid out in a logical fashion on your website so that someone looking for a specific sign that you have a specific skill can find it, that’s about all you need to worry about. Your current portfolio arrangement sounds about right.