Business Spotlight: Rhonda Crowder, freelance editor

Intimate Conversation with editor Rhonda Crowder

Offering developmental, content, and copy services to authors and publishers, Rhonda Crowder is a freelance editor who has worked on seven novels in less than three years with two appearing on the Essence bestsellers list. Currently, she lives in Cleveland, Ohio and is a general assignment reporter for the Call and Post Newspapers as well as a contributing writer for magazines and trade publications. Rhonda is also an aspiring novelist and has been featured in Who's Who in Black Cleveland.

Ella: How did you get your start in this business/industry? After interviewing and writing an article about Triple Crown Publications CEO Vickie Stringer (which she loved), for the Call and Post Newspapers, she asked me if I edited manuscripts. I said yes, submitted my resume, completed a sample edit, and went on to work on three novels. Two became Essence bestsellers. After that, I signed up on myspace and found there was a huge market for this service. From there, I established myself as a freelance editor and authors began to reach out in need of my services.

Ella: Did you have any formal training?
Yes I do. I hold a Bachelor of Arts in English with a concentration in creative writing, editing, and publishing from Cleveland State University.

Ella: What separates you and your firm from the competition?
I believe I have the ability to view a manuscript from four different perspectives: as the average reader, a student of literature, writer, and editor. Then, when it comes to street or urban lit, I got some 'cred.' LOL. Also, I understand psychology and logic. That's important when reviewing stories because stories must make sense.

Ella: How would you describe your experience as a entrepreneur?
One word, chal-len-ging. And, that's because I'm a one woman show. There's so much to be done other than the actual work. Records and taxes. While, I enjoy doing the actual work more so than doing the business. There's a difference between the two. But, I refuse to give up. My goal is to perfect the business. I've finally got the work load under control.

Ella: What do you like most about your profession?
I enjoy reading. I love working with words. And, although I may sometimes become extremely frustrated during the process, I get a rush when witnessing a story come together in the end. Also, it's a shear pleasure to hear the sound of an author's voice or see the look on their face once that book is in print. I love helping people make their ideas and dreams come to life.

Ella: What is your biggest challenge in business? How did you overcome it?
Transforming what I do as a side job into a company. But, this year, I plan to use the resources available through organizations such as the Urban League and others to ensure that the business aspects is in order and can thrive.

Ella: What advice would you give someone just starting out in your industry?
You have to do this work for the love, the passion, not the money. It's a slow grind in the beginning. But, if you love it, never give up. The rewards will eventually come!

Ella: What do you hope to offer your clients or customers to shape their lives?
In addition to a well-edited manuscript that will sell forever, the tools they need as to survive as writers with or without me.

Ella: What are 3 things all leaders possess?
An ability to listen, generate ideas to solve problems, and communicate effectively.

Ella: How does your mission or vision keep your business growing?
By helping others communicate effectively, the have a better chance at stay in business. With that, I remain in business!

Rhonda Crowder can be contacted at her on-line at Myspace, Facebook, and Twitter.

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Black Authors Culture Center-- Twitter with Ella--Black Pearls Mag