What education and/or training do you have that relates to your work?
I am always taking online courses and I participate in several social media forums for marketers and artists. I write regularly for several national magazines and enjoy improving my skills wherever I can.
Do you have a standard pricing system for your service? If so, please share the details here.
My pricing isn't complicated really. A 10-12 page book on any topic is about $500. If the topic requires a lot of research and special editing, or numerous photos it can cost more - up to $750. A 10-12 page book for which you have all the photos and most of the text can be as low as $300 depending on how much editing/rewriting you need. The more pages and photos, writing and editing that's needed, the more the book will cost. What you have to keep in mind however is the value of that book - not what my time is worth. Will it bring you sales and customers? Will it enhance your business and how credible you look in your profession? Will it get people to sign up for your services or site so they can get the book? Remember, it's about the value the book can bring to your business or life - not what an hourly or per page rate is.
How did you get started doing this type of work?
I loved art, photography, writing and creating things since I was a child. After discovering printing, computers and writing in school it was just a matter of finding an outlet for how I could use all my skills to be a graphic designer and writer. It all kind of actually happened because I was open to finding a job I loved to do.
What types of customers have you worked with?
Most of my ebooks are for small businesses who want to tell an engaging story about what they do. Some customers want books they can sell, others want something to give away to people so they can attract readers. Most books are 10-12 pages ($500) and are the best personalized advertising (eternal!) a business can create!
Describe a recent project you are fond of. How long did it take?
Every book I do is wonderful and I'm proud of them all! I recently completed an ebook about project management for children. It's a story book that teaches children from the fourth grade on up how to manage their time and management large projects. I think it's a great lesson for kids. It's called, "Before the Snow Flies"
What advice would you give a customer looking to hire a provider in your area of work?
Look at portfolio's. See what the provider has done for other clients. Read their testimonials. You can see mine at http://rsbpublishingonline.com/testimonials/
Talk to the provider before hiring them. Most will give you a 10-30 minute free consult. See if you get a good gut feeling about them. Ask questions, make sure they are willing to put things in writing (contract and details) and to communicate with you on a regular basis. Check references. Be prepared to pay a deposit and agree to a kill fee (an amount you pay if you decide to cancel the project to compensate the designer/writer for their time even if you don't use the project). Take your time and find a provider you like and then respect them and pay them well. In the end they will help you do more to build your business than anyone.
What questions should customers think through before talking to professionals about their project?
That writing and design only LOOKS simple. It took me nearly 30 years of classes, practice, hard work, experience and effort to learn all I know. Yes, it may be easy to drag a photo and some text and other things onto a page, but knowing WHICH photos, text and things to drag is what is valuable. I'm a professional and my services provide true value to my customers. I wish they understood how complex and involved and creative what I do actually is.