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Editors Unplugged: Get to know our speaker for How to Find Freelance Editing Work

Interview conducted by Catherine Dorton.

Our popular monthly program meetings often feature a jam-packed agenda. We like to keep our introductions short, so you can hear more from our panellists and less from us! It’s hard to do justice to the incredible wealth of experience these guests bring to the table, so we are offering you a preview with this short Q&A beforehand.

This month, we are honoured to be joined by Greg Ioannou, who will be talking about how to find editing work, including freelance, and Editors Canada’s plans to help editors find work

What book, movie, or TV show title best describes your life?

My brother sometimes talks about how he’s never seen or read anything that remotely resembles our lives. I may have to write the damned thing myself.

What was the luckiest thing that ever happened to you?

Getting drafted by the Australian army. They were going to send me to Vietnam. I opted for Canada instead.

What genre or type of project have you not yet had the chance to work on, but would like to?

I’ve done three books on cannibalism, and many, many cookbooks, but never a cannibalism cookbook.

What can’t you live without?

Chaos, apparently. I can’t stand a tidy desk, a completed to-do list, everything being orderly and under control. I thrive where things are about to fall apart, revel in avoiding inchoate rubble and ruin. Neatness is the ultimate evil.

What can’t you work without?

Co-workers. I used to freelance at home, and found it boring, lonely, depressing. I need an office to go to and people to work with.

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How to Find Freelance Editing Work

When: Tuesday, April 23, 7:30–9:30 pm

Where: Centre for Social Innovation (CSI) Spadina, 192 Spadina Ave., Third Floor, Room F

For the penultimate program meeting of 2018–19, we are pleased to feature publisher and Editors Canada co-founder Greg Ioannou, who will speak about how freelancers can generate work, and what Editors Canada plans to do to help freelancers find jobs in today’s evolving marketplace. We’re also treating members to a specially curated collection of short video presentations, by a diverse group of editors adept at generating freelance work. Please join us for what will surely be an informative program devoted to the practical and business side of the editing profession.

More about our speaker:

Greg IoannouGreg Ioannou has a long history in publishing. He’s worked on well over 3,000 books, on topics ranging from cannibalism to vegetarian cuisine, and from science fiction to how to design a helicopter. He’s taught publishing at Ryerson University, George Brown College, and elsewhere, and served four terms as president of Editors Canada. He is the CEO of Colborne Communications, a writing and editing company, and president of the Toronto hybrid publisher Iguana Books. Through Colborne, Greg and his team have worked on everything from websites and self-published books to board games and government reports. As a hybrid publisher, Greg has helped more than 100 authors publish top-quality books in genres ranging from mysteries to political thrillers to humour, and in 2018, Iguana Books co-published with Canadian Authors Association the first in a series of planned anthologies of new Canadian writing.

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Editor for Life: Greg Ioannou, freelance editor, owner of Colborne Communications, and co-founder of PubLaunch.com and Iguana Books

Interview conducted by Jennifer D. Foster

A career as an editor is often a solo adventure, especially if you’re a freelancer. So we thought one way to better connect with fellow editors was to ask them the W5: who, what, where, when, and why. Read on for some thought-provoking, enlightening tidbits from those of us who choose to work with words to earn our keep.

Greg Ioannou

Greg, please tell us a little about yourself, the kind of work you do, and how long you’ve been an editor.

I started freelancing on September 6, 1977, though I’d done lots of writing and some volunteer editing for a couple of years before that. So not quite 40 years. My first paid editing gig was working on Coles Notes (I edited almost 200 of them), and from there I branched out into textbooks, dictionaries, and trade books. By 1982, I was working for a range of publishers, and also editing a section of Ontario’s provincial budget. I’ve always been a complete generalist. My all-time favourite customer was Cranium, the board game company. I worked on over 30 games for them.

In 1985, I agreed to share a small office with two friends, which ended my days as a lonely freelancer working from my spare bedroom. That became a company that was originally called The Editorial Centre and is now Colborne Communications.

Five of us founded Iguana Books in 1991 as a book packaging company. (We put out one book soon after we launched the company. It was someone else’s pet project—an academic book on a business subject—and I’ve never seen a copy of it.) In 2011 I converted Iguana to a hybrid publisher, serving self-publishing authors. Iguana has published about 70 books, many of which I’m intensely proud of.

Iguana publishes general trade books—fiction, non-fiction, poetry, kids’ books, whatever. I won’t publish a book unless it is at a fully professional standard. Our books are as well edited and designed as the books coming out of the major trade-publishing companies. As an editor, I’ve always been a complete generalist, and my publishing company is the same.

Iguana started crowdfunding its books in 2013, mostly using a New York-based website called Pubslush. By early 2015, a large portion of my income was coming through Pubslush, so when the company announced in August 2015 that it was going out of business, I sort of acquired the company. That deal fell apart seven weeks later. We’d been planning to rebrand the company as PubLaunch anyway, so that was an opportunity to program PubLaunch the way we’d wished that Pubslush had worked. (more…)

Seminars: Getting government work

Some of the highest-paid, most challenging and satisfying editing work is for government. But landing the projects can be as challenging and time-consuming as doing the work. This seminar covers the various ways in which governments at various levels farm out freelance and contract work. We will look at the complexities of getting on suppliers’ lists (and staying on them) and becoming a Vendor of Record, as well as how to get standing-order contracts and how to get work from them. The seminar will also cover the entire process of finding and responding to RFPs, RFQs, RFIs, and other government procurement documents. Finally, you’ll learn when to submit a proposal and how to do so effectively (more…)