We’re having a second Christmas this week when our friends Doug and Raul come to visit. Combine that with Ali’s birthday AND another snowstorm and you can imagine that the excitement level is still pretty high at the Hoy House!
I must have been very good this year because Santa was very good to me! I got an antique log cabin dollhouse that I’ve had my eye on. It lights up on the inside and is decorated for Christmas. It’s beautiful! My favorite gift, however, was a gorgeous tree (an artistic, metal one) my mother gave me that is decorated with pieces of her mother’s jewelry. I am honored to receive it and the display is absolutely breathtaking! I cried when I opened it. 🙂
Okay, I have to get back to the festivities!
This week’s Maxism:
“Mom!!! Frank won’t stop singing to me!!!”
Hugs to all!
P.S. QUERY LETTERS THAT WORKED! Real Queries That Landed $2K+ Writing Assignments – Want to read real query letters that landed these contracts? Woman’s Day – $2,800; Redbook – $3,500; Ladies Home Journal – $3,000; – $2,000; Lifetime Magazine – $3,000; Life Extension Magazine – $6,480; Natural Remedies – $11,300; and many more! See:
BOOK PROPOSALS THAT WORKED! Real Book Proposals That Landed $10K – $100K Publishing Contracts – Want to read real book proposals that landed these contracts? Simon and Schuster – $100,000; Berkeley Books – $25,000; Osborne-McGraw-Hill – $19,500; Random House $15,000; and many more! See a complete list here:

Letters To The Editor For December 30th

Just heard about your post yesterday with the letter from the “SEO writer.” A couple of things that I thought I’d pass on, and that you’re more than welcome to post:
I’ve taught smart business practices to many writers and know a good many more. From low to high, the 3.75 hours the “SEO writer” spent for $7 would have brought regular writers amounts ranging from $112.50 to $562.50 ($30/hour to $150/hour). And the low end is very low compared to what many freelance writers I know make. More realistic is probably $50/hour, for a total of $187.50.
In terms of SEO, only the truly inexperienced think that search engine optimization is simply cramming keywords into writing. Real SEO practices are far more sophisticated, involving writing structure, links, tags for images, and much more. Keyword research is a start, but far from truly optimizing content to be found by search engines. The reason that the content mills are successful has more to do with the choice of topics (driven by keyword research done by the mills, not the writers) and the massive volume of information added monthly. It’s the volume that lets the mills make money. Conversely, it’s the volume that keeps the writers from doing the same. And, yes, I regularly use good SEO practices in my online work. So do most professional writers I know. It’s just one more aspect of the craft.
Erik Sherman
Writer and Photographer
Writing site:
Writing, Food, and Business Blogs:
Photo site:
I think anyone who promotes proper use of the English language today is fighting a “loosing” battle. It feels as if the English language is on the decline and will be ruined forever by the Internet. Too bad. The Internet has done such good things in some areas, but elevating writing skills is certainly not one of them.
K.M. Lowe
Hi Angela;
I was just reading your reply to An Idiot Stole My Column and I saw your reference to stolen cars.
Before I retired I was in the automotive aftermarket and I had a friend who owned a custom kit car business. He bought a junker car only for the frame. He ran the numbers and it came back clean. He converted it to a $70,000 custom car for a buyer in Sweden.
As they were doing all of the required title, invoicing and Customs declaration they, Customs, ran the frame numbers through again, a different government computer system, and it came back as a stolen car.
He was forced to return the car and wasn’t allowed to recover any of the parts used in the conversion. The value of the frame was $60. Everything else was his custom parts.
The story has a happy ending because the original owner turned out to be a really nice guy and let my friend legally buy the frame / car for $75. My friend threw in an extra $1500 and some parts to help the guy in a restoration he was doing.
Just thought you might get a chuckle.
Happy Solstice & Merry Christmas,

From Another (Alleged) Google Books Victim

Yesterday I discovered that two (so far) of my published books appear for free on Google Books.
Since I didn’t put them there, and I certainly have no recollection of having authorized anybody else to put them there, I’m wondering if you have any ideas about how to get them taken down.


If you celebrate Christmas and you have (or had) young children in the house, you know what our house is like today. The children can barely sit still in their excitement for Santa’s visit tomorrow night!

From a Content Mill Contributor – DON’T MISS THIS ONE!

The letter below has not been edited by WritersWeekly.
Its interesting to watch the rumblings between “traditional freelance writers” and the “every woman” writer regarding “content mills”. And while I’ve just started to dabble with ehow writing, I’ve been very impressed at how 15 articles combined can earn $1.00 a day after one week. Yes I started during the later half of the first week of December. And I think what you and many other “traditional writers” who have appointed themselves the gatekeepers to all written information on the net are missing, is the fact that many “professional SEO writers” write content based on how people find information on the web. The trends are surprising when it comes to how people search on “loosing weight” (if you don’t believe me do some keyword research). And the writer who wants to capture that audience will optimize titles and content based on those misspellings.
SEO writing and bonifide freelance writing are two different bowels of cherries. “We” play in different sandboxes. And there are many “content mill” writers who write primarily based on keyword research and CPC. So that in fact is the quandary, writing for the way people search. Perhaps that should be your beef. Why Joe Smith has a “blatant disregard” for common spellings when he goes to perform a google search, rather than bashing a “writer” who understands that writing for “content mills” has very little to do with Strunk and White and the “Element of Style”.

I’m shocked that you think $7 for 15 articles is good pay. Even if it was 10 times that much, it would be too low.
The articles I mentioned in my piece did not have intentionally misspelled words. They contained numerous errors and they were supposedly edited by the content mill editors. Many of these places are dumping junk onto the Internet. None of those writers can honestly claim they made that many errors intentionally. I haven’t heard that one before and it made me laugh out loud.
I also noticed that you typed “bowels of cherries” instead of “bowls of cherries” and bonifide instead of bona fide. I’m not trying to be mean but I can tell you that the vast majority of emails I get from content mill contributors also contain numerous errors…and those emails, like yours, were obviously not written with SEO in mind.
Have a beautiful holiday,
This letter has also not been edited by WritersWeekly.
Thanks for catching the typo Angela. The “misspellings” was inside joke between me and another person I shared this with before sending. As I understand, you have crowned yourself the purveyor of quality internet writing. How in the world do you know that every single content mill writer has excluded SEO as a normal back-link practice?
You wouldn’t. This isn’t REALLY about preserving well written distribution of information on the net. Its about SELF preservation and a tad bit of envy. “Tad bit” being an understatement.
And you probably would think that my return (and $7 isn’t accurate) after one week is an awful return. But it took me less than 15 minutes to write each article at my current rate of views and CPC, I will earn thousands in residual every month. For the traditional writer who refuses to think outside of the box and further feels “invaded” that information has become much more accessible-it probably hurts. And I’d probably be just as salty as you and your writing. Your sarcasm is cute and typical though LOL.
Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.
Feel free to check for typos hun….

I figured you’d try to tell me your email typos were also intentional. I supposed this was intentional as well?
The “misspellings” was inside joke…
You’re the one who stated you earned $7 in one week. Fifteen articles at 15 minutes per article = 3.75 hours. I’m not sure how you think anyone would be envious of that. If you think you’re going to earn “thousands” per month in residuals, I feel very sorry for you. You should read this:
How Much Are Writers Really Earning?
and this
Writers Speak Up About and Similar “Pay Per Click” Services
It’s not my practice to repeat myself to people who are being taken advantage of. If you want to continue to write for insulting wages, I’m not going to argue with you so this will be my last email.
Again, have a wonderful holiday.

The P.O.D. of Christmas Past: Self-Publishing in 1843 By Steve Anderson

The P.O.D. of Christmas Past: Self-Publishing in 1843 By Steve Anderson

Does this sound familiar? Traditional publishers won’t take a chance on an author’s new book, so he decides to publish it himself. He works late into the night, barely pausing to eat, scrambling to finish his new project while keeping up with existing deadlines. He writes a groundbreaking novel in just six weeks, gets it into the bookstores – and almost immediately, cheap knockoffs start showing up down the street.
That’s life in the twenty-first century, right? Except, it wasn’t. It was 1843.

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