EFA membership benefits are described below. Click on the link in each section for more detailed information. To read what members have said about the value of membership, visit the member testimonials page.
"About six months ago, I got a call out of the blue. They're now a regular client … an absolute joy to work with! … pay promptly … and the work keeps coming …"
A powerful marketing tool, directory listings come free with membership. All members are included with minimal information (name, street address, and business-only telephone). Members customize their entries with the information they choose: name, contact information, skills and specialties, brief promotional blurbs, and resume. Potential clients use the directory to find and get in touch with members nationwide. Many members report getting good assignments from clients who hired them after searching the directory for freelancers with the skills and expertise they were seeking. The directory —which was reengineered and got a facelift in summer 2008— is searchable by skills, specialties, location, name, or keyword.
Members enjoy reduced tuition to EFA courses designed especially for freelancers to build and enhance editorial and entrepreneurial skills. Courses cover everything from basic copyediting to breaking into the corporate market to setting project rates. Courses, many of which are conducted online, are usually offered in the fall and spring of each year and are open to nonmembers as well as members.
"I've found many clients and tons of useful info and networking through my membership in EFA, through the JobList and the on-line membership directory."
Included in the annual membership fee, the Job List postings provide members access to a wide variety of jobs, both freelance and full-time, in-house and at home. Clients from coast to coast and beyond — publishers, individuals, authors, businesses, and nonprofits — use this service (free to them), and many members get most of their work from EFA's Job List.
EFA's primary online forum is its lively members-only discussion list, where participants exchange ideas and advice with hundreds of other editorial professionals all across the country. Many members tell us the discussion list is one of the most enjoyable and valuable features of membership. The discussion list is free to EFA members and is a separate service from the Job List.
Another online forum is EFA's fan page on Facebook. EFA members with Facebook accounts are invited to participate. This will in turn help the organization, the Job List, and membership generally.
EFA has a presence on Twitter as EFA International. We encourage EFA members with Twitter accounts to follow our tweets. Tweeting is a great way to make connections and stay apprised of EFA's latest news and events.
EFA's on LinkedIn is restricted to EFA members. It offers a mutually beneficial marketing presence. We encourage EFA members with LinkedIn pages to join the EFA group and include the logo affiliation on their LinkedIn profile pages.
EFA has regional chapters and networking groups all over the country, and new ones form as interest arises. Meetings and other activities are listed on individual chapter pages. Chapter events are open to all members, guests of members, and freelancers interested in joining EFA. EFA also invites members to act as regional liaisons in areas without chapters. Liaisons answer questions on the organization and freelancing in their locale.
EFA offers freelancers a variety of meetings, social events, and networking opportunities. Meetings may take place at NYC headquarters, at regional chapters across the country, and by nationwide teleconference. They include expert panels, open-mike forums, special guest speakers, and joint meetings with related organizations.
On the lighter side, EFA holds receptions for new members, Scrabble night, and a much-anticipated holiday party. Less frequently, EFA sponsors national professional conferences designed specifically for its members (and open to nonmembers at higher fees).
Affinity Groups hold small monthly meetings, often with guest speakers, to explore interests and concerns on a more specialized level. Over the years, EFA members have formed affinity groups in such areas as medical writing and editing, business communications and public relations, el-hi textbooks, children's publishing, desktop publishing, and new freelancers, according to their interests.
Shake is a technology platform that gives freelancers the power to create, sign, and send legal agreements directly from their mobile devices. The webinar "What Every Freelancer Needs to Know About Contracts," presented on January 21, 2015, by Shake's chief legal officer, will help you ensure that your client contracts address key points so you can avoid conflicts before they start, get paid, keep your project on scope, specify ownership of your work, clarify client expectations, deal with contract cancellations, limit your liability, decide whether you should form a company, and more. To access the webinar recording and accompanying materials, visit the Member Benefits Information page.
Nominally a blog, the Vocabula Review is a rich online resource on the English language produced since 1999 by Robert Hartwell Fiske. Among its contributors is Richard Lederer, author of Anguished English. Vocabula offers various services and welcomes submissions. EFA members receive complimentary access with full membership. For more about the Review, visit the website or subscribe as an EFA member.
JPASS is a way for individuals to pay for access to the JSTOR archive on a monthly or annual basis. It is designed for those with limited or no access to academic scholarship through a library or institution. With JPASS, EFA members can enjoy a “personal library card”; you pay a discounted fee and get unlimited reading and limited downloading to a digital library. An annual JPASS access plan is available to EFA members for $149, which is a 25% discount off what others pay. Monthly access, at $19.50 per month, is also available. To activate your member discount, visit the Member Benefits Information page.
EFA membership offers access to health-care discount plans at group rates through Careington and DentalSave. In addition, the application fee for Careington plan subscriptions is waived for EFA members. For more information about each program, see the websites for Careington and DentalSave.
PerfectIt is a Word add-in for PCs that helps you find and correct consistency errors in documents. Among the many types of inconsistencies it finds are those involving hyphenation, spelling, numbers, abbreviations, and lists. For more information or a free trial, visit the Intelligent Editing website. EFA members receive a 15% discount on the PerfectIt Pro Edition. To activate your member discount, visit the Member Benefits Information page.
Better World Club is the environmentally friendly alternative to AAA, an auto club providing 24-hour nationwide roadside assistance, travel and insurance services. EFA members receive a 10% discount on the enrollment fee. To activate your member discount, visit the Member Benefits Information page.
EFA members can now join and use ZipCar for only $25/year—for a savings of 66%. Available in an expanding number of locations across North America and the United Kingdom — including London, Vancouver, San Francisco, Chicago, New York, Washington DC, Chapel Hill, Boston, and Minneapolis. Rent a car for a few hours or a full day, gas and insurance included. To activate your member discount, visit the Member Benefits Information page.