Oh Dear! The In-Laws Are STILL Here!!

We’ve been to Bar Harbor, on a day-trip to our land, out to a great lunch with author Mark LaFlamme (The Pink Room) and his wife, and to an endless array of restaurants. We’ve been shopping, the women have been cooking together, and the men have been fixing things around the house.

My Time to Whine: When A Contest Sponsor Gets FED UP! By Angela Hoy

Every quarter, we host the WritersWeekly.com 24-Hour Short Story Contest. The first thing you should know is we don’t make a profit on the contest. After charging a $5 entry fee for the contest to the maximum number of contestants (500) and then paying the judges (by the hour), the winners ($300, $250 and $200) and also royalties to authors of books that are chosen as prizes for other contestants, we actually lose money on each contest. But, it is a good publicity tool and lots of fun so we keep it going, year after year.
The best part of the contest is that I get to read lots of great stories!
The worst part of the contest is dealing with disqualified or just plain grumpy contestants.

Copywriting Course?

Regarding the question about copywriting courses posted last week:
Hi, Ang.
I’m a senior copywriter at a very large international nonprofit organization. I’ve won a lot of awards; so suffice it to say that I know the business.
With that in mind, I would caution your readers to be VERY leery of signing up for any of those courses unless you find one that charges $200 to $300 instead of the usual exorbitant fees (and, even better, one that’s offered by a local college).
For one thing, getting freelance copywriting projects (not to mention earning a living as a freelance copywriter) is a lot harder than it sounds. No matter how good you are, you have to market yourself incessantly until you’ve acquired steady clients (and even then, you have to keep doing it, as you’ll lose clients from time to time).
So, if you shell out $1,500 – $2,000, you’d better not do it on a maxed-out credit card or expect to recoup that money in a few months. Unless you’re a truly gifted copywriter AND an outstanding marketer, it just won’t happen.

Thanks for affirming my gut reaction–that ‘get-rich-quick’ doesn’t come cheap or easy no matter how much I’d like it to.

Special Report: Israel Under Fire – Working Under the Gun By Yocheved Golani

Journalists take serious risks when they report from a war zone. I’ve borne rather nominal scars in my freelance journalistic efforts within Israel, and I’ve learned quite a bit from them. I’m taking time out from my daily life to jot down some thoughts, and to distract myself from the noise of military aircraft overhead.

Threats of Tortuous Interference

A magazine owes numerous writers thousands of dollars (yep, me included).
I want to warn other freelancers to avoid this firm, but I was told that if I complained, I could be sued for “tortuous influences” (i.e., driving away their business). But if i give you info (or, well, anyone), I can’t stay anonymous. Do i really have to bite my tongue? Is there anyway I can warn writers under an assumed name, or is that impossible? It seems so unfair to the people they are scamming.

Ebook Publishing Is No Joke By Diane Craver

If you have seen the movie, Last Holiday, with Queen Latifah, then you know how the main character, Georgia Byrd, makes a book of where she wants to be someday in her life. In her scrapbook titled Possibilities, Georgia includes pictures of a future cooking career and of a future husband. She likes a fellow store worker, so his picture goes into the cutout of a groom on the wedding page with her as the bride. She does several things in order for her dreams to come true. Trying to crack the current fiction market is a realistic dream for many of us and can be accomplished if we make our own book of possibilities.

Oh Dear! The In-Laws are Here!!

Richard’s dad and step-mom are here for a 9-day stay. We’ll be entertaining them during the day on most days and we’ll be working nights to stay caught up. We have lots of fun, touristy activities planned.

POD Files Held Hostage for $1500?! If You Pay For It, You Should Own It! By Angela Hoy

Two things happened last week that disturbed me. First, an author I know wanted to hire a certain cover designer, but the designer refused to design his cover unless he published his book through the designer’s “publishing company.” Second, another author I know wanted to terminate her contract with iUniverse, but learned she’d need to pay them $1500 to obtain copies of her book text and cover files…files that she paid them to create!