Articles

To Pay or Not to Pay…Fellow Writers By A Struggling Freelance Writer

With keen interest I read a letter written to Angela Hoy from a fledgling newsletter editor unable to pay column writers. Angela nicely but firmly advised the editor to think twice about that no-pay policy. She warned the novice that the seasoned and veteran writers would flame viciously and ruin the editor's reputation. Not so. Writers write for free all the time and no one seems to care. Writers even write for other writers without the respect of a paycheck. What I've learned as a writer who likes to write articles about writing, is that writers are some of the worse paymasters in the world. And for some reason that depresses me. …

Great Opportunity? No! By Ellen Scolnic

An experienced writer knows how to ask the right questions. Not just "Is your new movie a comedy, Mr. Hanks?" But questions like: "Do you pay on acceptance or when the article is published?" or "How long to you estimate interviewing the participants will take?" and "Is this contract for one-time only publication rights?" …

Protect Your Profession By Reporting Bad Publishers By Justin Ulmer

Like many other writers trying to make it in the world, most of us have had an unfortunate experience in the publishing industry. With the incredible number of publishers out there who are ready and willing to make your dreams come true (or take advantage of you), what can you do to help prevent your next contract from becoming a nightmare? …

A Rose By Any Other Name Might Get You Sued – A Brief Discussion of Titles By Neil Wilkinson

The title of the novel and movie Fahrenheit 451, by Ray Bradbury, refers to the temperature at which book paper burns. Fahrenheit 9/11, Michael Moore’s new movie, is a criticism of George W. Bush and his handling of events on and after September 11, 2001. The former is about a society that seeks out and burns all books, forcing its people to memorize and become one book or another. The latter, equally political in its own way though maybe more pointedly so, shares a portion of the title, and is to all but the most obtuse observer, a rather transparent attempt to play, for commercial gain, on the recognition generated by the former.…

Finding Work in Your Own Backyard By Debbie Swanson

Local clients are a home-based writer's dream. They are easy to stay in touch with, and are likely to share your name with other local companies - resulting in a network of accessible clients. Here are five easy ways to tap into the market just outside your door. …

Libraries: A Neglected Market By Rickey E. Pittman

There are approximately 120,000 libraries of various types in the United States. These libraries employ nearly 140,000 librarians. Libraries and librarians play a significant and influential role in our society. More significantly, authors need to know that libraries spend billions each year purchasing books. Why shouldn't your book be one of these? …

Travelling and Creating By Victor Paul Borg

Travelling and Creating By Victor Paul Borg

Three years ago, in London, I was feeling stuck. I had just finished a guidebook, and increasingly wanted to write about travel, but how could I write about travel if I couldn’t afford to travel? I wasn’t making enough money (from writing and temping) to keep my house, travel on research trips, return to base and write stories; I needed all my income just to survive. I became despondent; I stopped going out and started living the life of a frugal recluse. Over six months, I managed to save a few grand, and that gave me enough money to extricate myself from London. But where would I go? A friend was planning a trip to India, so I decided to join her. We got a flight ticket, London to India to Thailand to Australia. I bought a laptop; with the money left-over I calculated I could spend six months in Asia, and then, when I got to Australia, wouldn’t I be able to find some kind of menial employment? …

Copyright Confusion? By Neil Wilkinson

What I am writing at this moment is protected by copyright. As soon as my individual expression is fixed in a tangible medium, I can do any of the following things with it: reproduce it in copies, make derivative works of it, distribute the work in copies, perform the work, display the work, or broadcast the work. This "bundle of rights" extends to the holder of the copyright securing nearly complete control over the work. Notice that I referred to the holder of the copyright and not the author of the work, who may be one in the same, but not necessarily. Another of the rights enjoyed by an author of any type of work is the right to transfer it to another. …

What Do You Have to Do to Get a Break In This Town? (or How to Sell Your Screenplay) By David William Cabrera

The first "moving pictures" began to entertain audiences around the world almost 120 years ago. These silent films generally had ex-vaudevillians, called scenarists, come up with humorous situations for actors to perform in front of the camera. All of that changed when, in 1927, singer Al Jolson proclaimed the immortal words in the first full-length talking picture, The Jazz Singer: "Wait a minute. Wait a minute. You ain't heard nothin' yet." This was actually an ad-lib by Jolson, promoting his 1919 hit song You Ain't Heard Nothin' Yet. At that moment, directors and film studios realized that if they expected actors to speak, they'd better hire professional writers to put words in their mouths. Suddenly actors needed something to say, and Hollywood recruited some of the nation's best journalists and writers, including the likes of F. Scott Fitzgerald and William Faulkner, who earned as much as $1500 a week, at a time when the average salary in this country was forty dollars a month and you could get a steak dinner for 10 cents. …

Teenage Baseball Fan Becomes Adult Self-Publisher By Beth Easley

When the Pirates won the World Series in 1972, every kid within a 60-mile radius was probably a fan. But Spalding was so devoted that he put together a 250-page book about the Pirates from 1971-1975. The book was a compilation of write-ups of each game, including player information and game highlights. He contacted some of the local sportscasters, including "Wild" Bill Curry of KDKA, noted for his southern drawl and loud suits. Spalding asked him and others about publishing. "It was kind of a real adventure, calling around and discovering the sports publishing business," he says. …

A Green Pasture By Jacquie McTaggart

In October 2000, I decided to leave my rewarding and successful forty-two year teaching career at the end of the school year. Like most, I looked forward to traveling, seeing more of my grandkids, and sleeping in late. However, those opportunities were not paramount in my decision-making process. My primary reason for wanting to leave the classroom at age 62 was a desire to go out while I was still on top of my game. I wanted to be remembered as effective, energetic, inspiring, and fun. I did not want to end my career as a crotchety old biddy that fell asleep at her desk during sharing time and waddled to her car at 4:00 in order to "rest up" for another day. It had been a glorious ride, but it was time to dismount and move on. …

Only List Your Book With Established POD and E-Publishers! By Mary Jekielek Insprucker

While not all e-publishing experiences are bad, mine was one of unpaid royalties, broken promises of POD's, unanswered messages, royalty percentage changes on bargain sales, failures in promotion, and a finale that included the company going out of business without any formal notice to writers. (I only found out my book was no longer available when I checked my account.) …

Emergencies Happen to Writers, Too By C. Hope Clark

Writers and authors seem to fall in an all or nothing category financially. Either we're limping along between checks, or we're basking in a new contract and royalty advance. Even those with advances often backslide when the money's gone and the book is still at the printer. But rich or poor, famous or obscure, writers live a roller coaster existence in their choice to pen words for a living. And catastrophe affects us all. …

Plagiarism: Much Ado About Something By Neil Wilkinson

It is a huge problem, though the philosophical underpinnings of why are all over the map. Educators lament it. Schools toss people out for it. Yet it continues. Jayson Blair was fired by The New York Times for it. Stephen Ambrose admitted to it. Janet Dailey was called on it by Nora Roberts. Alex Haley paid Harold Courlander a six-figure sum for having purloined Mr. Courlander…

The 10 Top Do’s & Don’ts of Pitching Oprah! By Susan Harrow

Most people believe that getting on Oprah will make them richer than Joe Millionaire. For your career to careen toward the stars, you must prepare to make the most of your appearance. Here are 10 do's and don'ts to help you reach the dream of being on Oprah. As a media coach and marketing expert, I have helped many people be great guests on Oprah. Follow this advice to increase your chances of getting on the show. …

Color Outside the Lines to Sell Your Book By Jacquie McTaggart

In 2001 I reluctantly retired from an incredibly rewarding and satisfying 42-year teaching career. I had loved everything (well, almost everything) about teaching, but I was 62 years old and I wanted to leave the profession while I was still effective and enjoying my community…

No More Freelance Money Blues By James Raia

I can vividly remember the green envelopes I used to receive once a week from each of my three newspaper employers. With paychecks enclosed, the tightly sealed business-size envelopes were usually distributed late in the afternoon. Sometimes, the checks were dispatched into employee mailboxes. On other occasions, the checks were dispensed in a silly ritual conducted by an administrative secretary or a middle management-type. The check distributors always seemed arrogant. They'd hand me my check and then stand there waiting for a "thank you." They acted like they were doing me a favor …

The Freedom of Information Act: A Right to Know? By Neil Wilkinson

It is only within the last forty years that any such right was conferred to American citizens. Beginning in 1966, the Freedom of Information Act was passed by Congress. States began to feel the pressure and passed their own versions. As is the propensity for such things, the release of information, not a natural thing for a government to do despite the best advice of its founders, is strictly regulated. What that means is that there are classifications of types of information not available for release under nearly any circumstance. For the rest, as any good legal draftsperson knows, when you want controversy, you can build that in. …

Creative Writing Ideas to Pitch Locally By Debra Johanyak

All writers want top market prices for their work. But top markets often ask for publishing credits, and how can you get publishing credits without making a sale? Rather than give away your writing to hungry publications that are too new or too poor to pay, sell your work to small or local markets. Commercial sales help to fill your vita with the much-desired publishing credits and provide you with experience in marketing your work and negotiating rights—for profit. …

Ten Sure-Fire Themes to Effectively Use in Your Sitcom Spec Script By Peter J. Fogel

Ten Sure-Fire Themes to Effectively Use in Your Sitcom Spec Script By Peter J. Fogel

Want to write a sitcom spec script that'll catch the eye of a producer or agent who will hopefully catapult your career? Stuck? One way to jump start your creativity is to investigate the different themes used in most sitcoms so you can come up with the most effective and enticing story to tell. Don't reinvent the wheel...just improve upon it! …

Lessons Learned from a Month of Novel-Writing Insanity By Sarah White

National Novel Writing Month began five years ago as a way to use the power of deadlines to get writers to complete novels. Participants often are people who say they would like to write a novel "one day," but without this pressure they would never actually do it. …

Hook ‘Em By Darlene Ryan

In reality, most writers build an audience by word of mouth. One way to spread the word about your book is through local and regional radio, even if you write fiction. All it takes is the right hook. …

A Dozen Unique Ways To Make More Money Writing By Patricia L. Fry

Are you a working writer? Do you have strong time-management and marketing skills? Can you find enough work to support your writing habit? Would you like to make even more money writing? Of course you would. And you can! All you need is an awareness of the vast opportunities out there for writers and the willingness to stretch and grow... …

Good Leads = Article Sales By Kristine Hansen

Good Leads = Article Sales By Kristine Hansen

So, what makes a good article lead? Think of your article or query lead as the front porch, hotel lobby or gateway to your article. It must attract, captivate and keep the reader. Don't write such a boring lead that your readers (and the editor) never make it past the second paragraph. …

Writing for Role-Playing Games By Peter Tupper

One overlooked area of science fiction and fantasy writing is novels and stories set in role-playing game worlds. While they don't get much critical attention, some of these novels have reached bestseller lists, and their writers have gone on to publish original works. …

Editorial Service Kickbacks? Reading Fees? Protect Yourself! By Diane Craver

All kinds of scams are committed everyday. We read in the newspaper and see on television about people of all ages being taken advantage of by dishonest persons. But I never thought I'd be a victim of a well-known New York agent. I hope you haven't experienced what I did several years ago. I still get a sick feeling whenever I read about the people I put my trust in. …

Welcoming the Good Clients While Shunning the Bad By One Wiser Businesswoman

Welcoming the Good Clients While Shunning the Bad By One Wiser Businesswoman

The time-period spanning December 2003 and January 2004 was terrible for my Writing Services business. It would take me a year to write an accurate account about what happened to hurt my business during that time. Every snafu was a problem caused by some jerk of a client. I immediately realized two things about that week: 1) The need to disengage from Immoral Scofflaws, and 2) The need to rethink how I do business as a writer... …

1 19 20 21 22 23 25