Just a little rant. This happened a couple weeks ago, but I keep thinking about it, and I thought I’d ask if others have done the same.
I provide copyediting and proofreading services. For my proofreading service, in the gig description, I don’t ask that anyone contacts me beforehand. Anyone can just order from that gig because it’ll likely be around 3k words and that’s nothing.
But for my copyediting gig, it is specifically for fiction novels. I usually get orders that are at least 70k words, and I like to be able to put as much focus on one, max two, at a time because of the varying levels of editing needs for the manuscript. In my gig description, it’s impossible to miss the part where I say the buyer needs to contact me and I need to see the manuscript (or at least some of it) to determine how heavy the copyedit will be. It’s highlighted and in bold.
One morning, I woke up to see that an order had been started on my fiction novel gig. I was already in the middle of editing a 160k-word novel and just starting another smaller one, so seeing that someone had not only gone through my gig and submitted their requirements but had also not even sent me a measly message—man, I was pissed. I had to cancel the order, citing the fact that I had requirements the buyer looked over or ignored. So, of course, it hurt my cancellation rate. I didn’t even bother trying to set up something to work with the buyer after that either, because I don’t want to work with someone who can’t even have enough respect to listen.
I just think it’s incredibly frustrating when buyers can’t even be bothered to read the gig page. I’ve now edited my Requirements section to include a message that states that we’ve already discussed the terms, and if they haven’t, they must cancel the order.
I just ask that buyers actually read the gig page. It’s not there as a backdrop. And it’s especially disappointing when it’s a fellow writer doing it. They should be most in-tune to details when it comes to reading.
What do you guys think? Have you had an experience like this before? Do you have similar messages in your gig description that the buyer needs to contact you first?