My Home Office

It's well over a year now since I moved to a little Greek island to set up as a freelance writer and editor in a home office.

For the first year, I divulged my whereabouts only on a need-to-know basis. Thanks to the magic of, when I'm doing Summersdale work, it looks like I'm working from an office in Chichester. To a lot of agents, if you're not in London, it doesn't really matter where you are - most London agents (most Londoners, in fact) aren't quite sure where Chichester is.

I'd realised that most of my job was done by email anyway, whether I was dealing with someone in the US or Australia or Manchester. As long as I had a good internet connection, I could work from home. On an island, so that when I was finished at my desk, I could get outside and in ten minutes be walking up a hill, or down to the sea.

I work with people for whom 'normal' is to do something like rowing across the Indian Ocean, or skiing to the South Pole, or paragliding across the Himalayas. They weren't bothered that I was going to live on a Greek island. And in fact, a lot of people in the publishing business shrugged and said, 'Oh yes, I know someone else who did something like that.'

It's important to see people face to face a couple of times a year, and I love my trips back to the UK. But being far away from the UK has also forced me to get more connected with people online and to use social media resources more (which is, I suppose, why I'm writing this).

Last summer, a few months after making the move, I acquired a book called COMMANDO DAD for Summersdale after a series of Skype discussions with the authors; it got lots of attention, to be featured on ITV and in the Guardian and Telegraph: I also acquired UK rights to Torre DeRoche's LOVE WITH A CHANCE OF DROWNING, which would never have happened if I hadn't been spending more time on Facebook:

And two weeks ago, in a cafe in Rhodes, I acquired a wonderful new travel book about Sri Lanka by a British author who was at that point in the Andes. She was very relieved to find out that her not being in the UK wouldn't be a problem.

1 comment:

  1. Hi Jennifer,

    It seems like you have got the best of both worlds. Touchwood!

    I am a copywriter with an advertising agency based in Dubai. Every now and then, when deadlines loom menacingly close, I escape to faraway lands with the help of my loyal friend, one Mr. Google. And that's how I came across your island, sorry, blog.

    I love traveling and often dream about getting into travel writing. (Easier said than done, you must be thinking.) I have made a feeble attempt to document some of my travels to Italy, Turkey, Kerala, Andaman Islands, etc. in my blog. I can easily blame the double-dip recession, time constraints and my noisy neighbour for not getting down to what I should be doing more - write. Actually thanks to Facebook, I've been documenting my travels to some other countries such as Lebanon, Armenia and Spain. Sort of photographic essays.

    I'd be really grateful if you could spare some time and go through my blog and give me some feedback about my writing.

    And I do hope you keep on getting the best out of both worlds.

    Micky Kalita