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Preview Lock: An Author’s First Date

Preview Lock, that 10-minute period where you can choose whether or not an order is for you, is a bit like a first date. You get acquainted with the order and decide if it’s a love match. While you wish you could sit and talk for hours, all good dates come to an end, as does Preview Lock. Here is a guide to maximizing your 10-minute order introduction.


  • Minutes 1-4: Read the order briefing in its entirety. Ask yourself, “Am I familiar with the order topic? Does this order require external research? Does this order require more time or effort than I am comfortable with?” Additionally, note if  there is a deadline stipulated in the order briefing. If there is, does this deadline mesh with your current workload? Has the deadline stipulated in the order briefing already passed? If so, do not pick up the order!


  • Minutes 5-7: Test any external links included in the order briefing. Verify that there are no broken links or information that may become confusing or problematic later in the order writing process. Is the client asking for any particular formatting or html coding? Ask yourself, “Do I need to schedule time to make screencaps or find images?” Remember, your time is valuable! If you come across any parts of the order briefing that do not seem realistic, it is best to move on to another order.


  • Minutes 8-10: Make your final decision. Is it time for date number two, or are you off to explore other orders in the pool? If you’re ready to go, pick up the order. Sometimes, it’s not you; it’s the order. Never pick up an order with a briefing that you do not fully understand. You will save yourself more time — and time is money —  in the grand scheme of things if you let the order go. It is not always a love match!


If you follow the advice above and still find yourself stuck with an order briefing you do not understand, your best course of action is to contact the client for clarification. We hope this blog helped you in your quest to maximize your writing time. For more information on avoiding the briefing blues, check out this post.

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646391 24. June 2016 - 23:38

I find this method on textbroker very confusing.  Seeing these images of what you are describing really screwes me up when I am trying to write and use them when writing for clients.  I have written several articles, and while none of them have been returned to me yet, is there any other method I can use to just write my work out and have these bullet points and hyperlinks come out automatically when I type them in?  I do not like this system at all.  Any suggestions would be appreciated.  Thanks.


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