The Flying Nun, Oprah, and Me – by John Riddle

The Flying Nun, Oprah, and Me – by John Riddle

When I was 17 and a few months away from graduating HS in 1970, our family lived in public housing projects in Chester, PA. While watching an episode of “The Flying Nun” one night, I was intrigued by the closing credits that were dedicated to one of the writers who had passed away. Right then and there I prayed, and asked God if he wouldn’t mind making me a writer one day.

Moments later, I felt inspired to write my own episode. Using an old Royal Typewriter (with a few bent keys), I created eight pages of what I thought was “great material.” However, when I showed it to my English teacher at the Catholic HS I was attending, he told me it was “the worst piece of crap” (he used a different word) that he had ever read and that I should consider a career as a ditch digger.”

Right then and there I vowed that, one day, I would see my name on multiple covers of books and that I would travel the country, inspiring and teaching other people to follow their dream of writing. A few months later I enlisted in the Navy.

Fast forward through seven years of collecting rejection slips and I finally sold my first magazine article! I had arrived!!! With no college degree, but lots of clips, I could not get a job as a “real writer” so I drifted from being a payroll clerk at the Dupont Company (seven years) to a few part time jobs after I left there to pursue my writing dream.

A few years later, I found myself working as a Development Director in charge of fundraising and public relations at a local nonprofit agency. It was the best of both worlds, allowing me to use my gift of creative communication to write grant and fundraising letters, and to create special events. For example, I tried to set the Guinness Book of World Records by having the largest number of people dance the twist with Chubby Checker!

After seven years at one agency, I took another Development Director job at an agency closer to my home. I raised a boatload of money for them in the first 15 months or so and they rewarded me by laying me off.

As I sat home, licking my wounds, wondering where I was going to find another full-time job, etc., I remember watching the Oprah show one afternoon. She was going through the phase of the show where she would have self-help experts come on and tell people, “If you want it, make it happen, etc.”

I finally had my “light bulb moment!”

Why was I wasting my time looking for yet another full-time job when, by this time, I had tons of clips (The Washington Post, among others)? Thankfully, the Internet was still in the early stages and I started reaching out to editors online.

As of this date, I have written and sold 34 books to traditional publishers, and have worked as a ghostwriter on numerous projects. My byline has appeared in major publications all across the U.S., and I have written articles for over 200 Websites.

And I’m not done yet…

RELATED

John Riddle is a freelance writer, author, and ghostwriter from Bear, Delaware. His byline has appeared in major newspapers, magazines, websites and trade journals all across the country. He is the author of 34 books, including a few health and medical titles, and has worked as a ghostwriter on numerous projects. John is also the Founder of I Love To Write Day, a grassroots campaign he launched in 2002 to have people of all ages practice writing every November 15. Last year over 25,000 schools all across the United States held special I Love To Write Day events and activities. He is a frequent speaker at both Christian and secular writing conferences, and recently appeared at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C. You can obtain a quote for John’s ghostwriting services here: https://marketplace.writersweekly.com/ghostwriters

Have a Freelance Success Story to share? We pay $40 on acceptance, non-exclusive electronic rights only. Success stories run around 300 words but we're very flexible. Our guidelines are here:

http://writersweekly.com/writersweekly-com-writers-guidelines

>>>Read More Success Stories<<<









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It's A Dirty Job...Writing Porn For Fun And Profit! Includes Paying Markets!

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It's a Dirty Job







Recently Answered Questions:



Q –

Recently, I received an email from the Elite Choice Awards:


I’m Katherine from the Elite Choice Awards and I hope this email finds you well.

Every year, our program reaches out to a select group of authors to invite them to apply to the awards. This year, you are one of them!

We look for authors with fresh and new voices that we think would be deserving of a book award.

Here is some information about our program:

Prizes: A chance to win our grand prize of $5,000 in cash, an editorial review of your book and exposure to key book buying audiences.
Deadline: We have a rolling deadline which means that you can enter all year long.
Guidelines: Your book will be judged on the story or structure, writing style and tone, and originality. Your book must be written in English and have a publication date of 2010 or later.
Categories: A list of our official categories can be found on our website.

Here is a link to our website where you can learn more about how to formalize your application.

I hope that you take some time to apply.

Warm Regards,
Katherine Hughes


I am extremely skeptical that this is a legitimate book awards program. I went to the website and noted that they do not have lists of prior winners of their awards. I am unable to find out any information about the Elite Choice Awards other than through their website. I would like to make sure that other authors are not taken in by Elite Choice Awards, if in fact it is a scam. I thank you for your assistance. Thank you very much for all the good work that you do.

– William



A –

Thank you for alerting us to this, William.

I see several red flags here:

1. “Every year, our program reaches out to a select group of authors to invite them to apply to the awards. This year, you are one of them!”

Total B.S. Their website lets anyone enter.

2. They spammed you. NEVER send money to spammers.

2. Her email doesn’t mention the entry fee. It’s $99 for just one category. It appears you can enter your book in several categories, which is ludicrous.

From their website:

3. “One Of The World’s Most Trusted Book Awards” and “A Trusted Seal of Approval

Trusted by whom? They’ve only been in business since 2017!

4. “Since its inauguration, over 2,500 books have received an Elite Choice Award

2500 winners since just 2017? Seems to me that being a “winner” means nothing at all. Only one winner (allegedly) wins $5,000 each year. What are the other people winning? Looks like NOTHING.

5. “All entrants of the Elite Choice Awards are eligible to win the $5,000 cash prize. The cash prize winner is selected by random draw once per year.

The winner of a “random drawing” does NOT win based on merit so the “distinction” is worthless.

5. They claim honorees have been featured on Oprah. They started business in 2017. The Oprah Winfrey showed ceased airing in 2011.

6. When you click on the “award winners” link on their site, it says:
This page is currently being updated.

There are no winners listed at all even through they claim that 2500 books have received awards???

7. “A Mark of Distinction

HA HA HA HA HA!!!

8. No refunds permitted and “The Elite Choice Awards reserves the right to cancel, suspend, terminate or modify the award competition, without prior notice, including the selection of prize winners in any manner it deems fair and reasonable.

So, they can collect the money and change the award, or simply not hold the contest at all. And, remember, NO REFUNDS.

This is just another low-brow company preying on writers.

Don’t just take my word for it. Check out Patrick Finegan’s take on this racket here:

The latest book award fraud: Elite Choice Book Awards

RELATED

What?! New Authors Are Being Solicited by “Free” Publishers? How to Avoid This Common Scam…

Book Contests for a Publisher’s Authors? Pppfffttt!!!

From WritersWeekly Short Story Contest Winner to Simon and Schuster Contract!

14 Tips To Give Yourself A Leg Up In Writing Contests! By Angela Hoy

Having a “Typo Contest” is a HORRIBLE Idea!

Read More "Ask The Expert" Articles





7.625 STRATEGIES IN EVERY BEST-SELLER - Revised and Expanded Edition


At this moment, thousands of would-be authors are slaving away on their keyboards, dreaming of literary success. But their efforts won’t count for much. Of all those manuscripts, trade book editors will sign up only a slim fraction.

And of those titles--ones that that editors paid thousands of dollars to contract, print and publicize--an unhealthy percentage never sell enough copies to earn back their advances. Two years later, most will be out of print!

Acquisition Editor Tam Mossman shares seven essentials every book needs to stay in print, and sell!



Read more here:


http://writersweekly.com/books/5635.html





How Many Copies Of Your Book Would You Have To Sell In Order To Break Even?






The Best of Boyd's Blogs: 87 Solutions to a Life of Better Speaking and Listening






Ever wish you could have your favorite blog in book form? There's nothing like flipping through the pages and reading helpful snippets here and there.

In this book, Steve Boyd gives you that very opportunity. He has intrigued his readers and clients for years with his insightful newsletters and blog posts. This book includes some of his most interesting stories and communication tips, from listening to speaking. As he quotes this Chinese proverb, "From listening comes wisdom and from speaking repentance."

You won't need to repent from your next speech if you use these articles to guide both your preparation and delivery. As an avid reader of his blog said, "These articles are priceless! People need what you have to say."





Steve Boyd's articles on motivation and communication-related topics have appeared
in various publications. His books on public speaking have sold over 30,000 copies.
He is a popular after-dinner speaker and conducts workshops for businesses and associations
whose members want to speak and listen effectively to improve personally and professionally.




Read more here:


https://booklocker.com/books/7171.html



Q –

Hi Angela,

I’m hoping you can help me with a writing problem. I have been having trouble getting Freelancer.com to pay me for work I’ve completed for an employer using their platform. 

The overview:

On the Freelancer.com platform, the employer was “verified” and had deposited their money with the platform. That gives writers the green light to work on it, as Freelancer.com is holding the money. I submitted to the employer an outline and first paragraph. The employer loved it. I knew I was on the right track, so I completed the project and handed it in. Then the employer vanished. The employer is supposed to “release” funds to the writer once jobs are complete. I filed a complaint through Freelancer.com’s formal complaint channel. They said if the employer doesn’t respond within two weeks, they would find in my favor and I would get paid.

Two weeks passed and the funds were released. I felt relieved until after two days (the normal time it takes for funds to transfer from Freelancer.com to PayPal), I received a notice that the transfer was being cancelled because they needed more information from the employer. What? Freelancer.com insisted that they needed the employer to verify his identity. Uh, that had already been done! They said so when I took the job or I would not have taken it.

Then they claimed that their system automatically found some information on the employer that needed verifying, but in two weeks, it would likely be resolved. Then the employer’s account was closed. Over a month has passed and lately they’ve been saying that I have to wait until the ghosting employer decides to re-open the account and verify the information they want so I can get the money that Freelancer.com is holding. Yeah, like that’s ever happening! Interestingly, this is the first sizable amount of money I’ve earned through Freelancer.com. I have been paid on several smaller projects just fine.


A –

In my opinion, if Freelancer.com has the money from the employer already, they need to pay you for the work you did. If they erred somewhere along the way, that’s not your fault and you should not be penalized for that.

There are plenty of complaints about freelancer.com online.

Here’s a sampling:

The trouble with Freelancer.com

The Trouble With Freelancer.com: Part II

Freelancer.com is destroying my life – A warning to freelancers

Complaints Board

Indeed

Reddit

Don’t use Freelancer.com

Glassdoor

I always recommend writers avoid bidding sites. Write for real publications that offer firm rates for quality work.

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COMPLAINTS about Dog Ear Publishing – WOW…

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Complaints about Balboa Press

MORE Author Complaints About BookBaby

Complaints about AuthorHouse, Complaints about Xlibris, Complaints about iUniverse, Complaints about Trafford, etc., etc. – Angela Hoy

Complaints About Lulu Are Spilling Onto Lulu’s Own Twitter Page

Complaints about FastPencil / Infinity Publishing!

Read More "Ask The Expert" Articles











QUERY LETTERS THAT WORKED! Real Queries That Landed $2K+ Writing Assignments



Peek over the shoulders of highly successful freelance writers to see how they earn thousands per article! The query letter is the key!
In these pages, you'll find real query letters that landed real assignments for national magazines, websites, and corporations.

Also includes:

  • Abbi Perrets' form letter that brings in $30,000-$45,000 annually
  • Sample phone query from Christine Greeley
  • The Six Golden Rules of Queries and Submissions...and How I Broke Them! by Bob Freiday
  • Your Rights As a "Freelancer"
  • and ANGELA HOY'S SECRET for finding ongoing freelance work from companies that have a stable of freelancers, yet never run ads for them!

Make Sure Your Marketing is Targeted at the Right Audience



 

Q –

I noticed you have a page of complaints about specific publishers but do you get involved with finding scam PR sites where you can promote a book? Reason I asked is because I am looking at the possibility of promoting a non-fiction picture book.

There are quite a few PR sites were you just send them your press release and they send it to their list. I actually fell into the “Christian” business label for one such business. After researching their contacts, I actually found many (50%) that were no longer in business. It took me some time to do the research to validate the results.

I don’t now if other authors use such sites, but I thought I would mention it. Hoping to hear your response.

-John J.


A –

We advise authors to avoid press release services. Most of those end up in the physical trash (if they’re mailed), or in the spam folder or trash in people’s email inboxes. Those types of services are sending mass emails to the same publications over and over. And, with more than a millions books published each year now, a “new book” is no longer considered “news.” Many print on demand publishing services firms sell this service to their authors. DON’T BUY IT.

We recommend authors individually contact the media on their own. Please see:

Press Releases Are Boring – News is Not

RELATED

“My book hit the market and I’m now being bombarded with sales calls and spam…from another publisher!!”

Do Press Release Services Spam?

Are Your ISP’s Spam Filters Harming Your Business?

ARE YOU, TOO, GETTING SPAMMED TO KINGDOM COME BY THOSE “GET PUBLISHED” EMAILS?

Authors Who Spam…

Read More "Ask The Expert" Articles



90+ DAYS OF PROMOTING YOUR BOOK ONLINE: Your Book's Daily Marketing Plan by Angela Hoy and Richard Hoy



Promoting your book online should be considered at least a part-time job. Highly successful authors spend more time promoting a book than they do writing it - a lot more.

We know what you're thinking. You're an author, not a marketer. Not to worry! We have more than a decade of successful online book selling experience under our belts and we're going to teach you how to promote your book effectively online...and almost all of our techniques are FREE!

Online book promotion is not only simple but, if you have a step-by-step, day-to-day marketing plan (this book!), it can also be a very artistic endeavor, which makes it fun for creative folks like you!

Yes, online book promoting can be EASY and FUN! Let us show you how, from Day 1 through Day 90...and beyond!

7.625 STRATEGIES IN EVERY BEST-SELLER - Revised and Expanded Edition


At this moment, thousands of would-be authors are slaving away on their keyboards, dreaming of literary success. But their efforts won’t count for much. Of all those manuscripts, trade book editors will sign up only a slim fraction.

And of those titles--ones that that editors paid thousands of dollars to contract, print and publicize--an unhealthy percentage never sell enough copies to earn back their advances. Two years later, most will be out of print!

Acquisition Editor Tam Mossman shares seven essentials every book needs to stay in print, and sell!



Read more here:


http://writersweekly.com/books/5635.html









Q –

Hi Angela,

I hope this finds you safe and well. Interesting time we are living now! There is a problem with Amazon. Three of my readers contacted me to let me know that they tried to upload a book review for me on Amazon and give me a book rating of ***** but Amazon is not letting them do either, despite the fact that they are accredited purchases, and bought the book through Amazon!

I have checked some Amazon complaint forums and it looks, from what I have seen so far, that it is a common problem. A lot of authors are complaining about the fact that their readers cannot post any reviews. (Name removed) tried to put a review for me both on amazon.com and amazon.fr without success despite the fact that she is a verified purchaser and has bought book via Amazon. (Name removed) tried to post a book review for me today on Amazon.com and couldn’t. Same story with (name removed). All have purchased the book via Amazon. 

Safe hugs from far away.

J.


A –

I know this is frustrating but it’s par for the course for Amazon.

Please see:
IS AMAZON REJECTING BOOK REVIEWS FROM YOUR READERS? We Found a Work-Around!

RELATED

Read More "Ask The Expert" Articles



90+ DAYS OF PROMOTING YOUR BOOK ONLINE: Your Book's Daily Marketing Plan by Angela Hoy and Richard Hoy



Promoting your book online should be considered at least a part-time job. Highly successful authors spend more time promoting a book than they do writing it - a lot more.

We know what you're thinking. You're an author, not a marketer. Not to worry! We have more than a decade of successful online book selling experience under our belts and we're going to teach you how to promote your book effectively online...and almost all of our techniques are FREE!

Online book promotion is not only simple but, if you have a step-by-step, day-to-day marketing plan (this book!), it can also be a very artistic endeavor, which makes it fun for creative folks like you!

Yes, online book promoting can be EASY and FUN! Let us show you how, from Day 1 through Day 90...and beyond!

Make Sure Your Marketing is Targeted at the Right Audience





The Art and Craft of Writing and Editing


Writing is a constant dialogue between author and reader.



The craft of writing involves an interchange of emotions between an author and a reader. An author creates a story line, conflict, and characters, gives his characters words to speak, and then hands off these materials to a reader. This process results in a constant dialogue between the mental imagery produced by a reader and that proposed by the author.





Read more here:


http://writersweekly.com/books/6712.html





Writing FAST: How to Write Anything with Lightning Speed


A systematic approach to writing that generates better quality quickly!


Chock full of ideas, tips, techniques and inspiration, this down-to-earth book is easy to read, and even easier to apply. Let author Jeff Bollow take you through a process that brings your ideas to the page faster, more powerfully and easier than ever before.




Read more here:
http://writersweekly.com/books/3695.html





Q – 

Angela,

Thanks for the warning about “Christian” publishers. Would you please put up a list of questions to ask a publisher, “Christian” or non-Christian? Would you also give authors a range of fair prices for certain publishing services? For example, cover designs can range up to $2000. Having concrete information would equip authors to better evaluate publishing companies.


A – 

COVER DESIGN

Paying $2000 (or anything close to that) for cover design is WAY TOO MUCH!! You can get your own AFFORDABLE, original book cover design RIGHT HERE. Best of all, you’ll own all rights to the file. Almost every publishing service now claims all rights to their authors’ production files. (BookLocker does NOT!).

FAIR PRICING TO GET YOUR BOOK PUBLISHED

As far are fair pricing, you really need to consider what you need to simply get your book on the market. Why spend thousands of dollars up-front, before you even have a book available for people to buy?

Many publishing services now upsell authors on so many ridiculous products and services that their heads start to spin. And, I believe almost none of those services result in enough book sales to pay for said product or service.

My advice is this. Get your book on the market for the lowest price possible, but with a company that has an excellent reputation. If you sign up with one of the “big guys” in the industry, you’ll be spammed and telemarketed to Kingdom Come. Avoid those at all costs. There’s a reason they charge so much up front and that’s because they know they’re not going to make much money on book sales later.

Once your book is on the market, if you don’t want to do the promotion yourself, you’ll have a variety of companies to choose from. Never assume that you must pay your publisher to promote your book. Believe me…their prices are going to be far higher than is necessary for those services. I think that they assume authors will automatically sign up for their marketing services so, like used car salesmen, they give their authors the (grossly inflated!) friends and family special price.

How much should you spend? For a black-and-white-interior book, with interior formatting/conversion, cover design, ISBN, barcode, full distribution, listing on Amazon, etc., etc. I don’t recommend paying more than $875. And, you might qualify for a discount off of that to boot!

QUESTIONS TO ASK A PUBLISHER BEFORE SIGNING UP

  1. How long have you been in business? (If less than 10 years, avoid that company.)
  2. Do you have an overseas call center? (If yes, avoid that company.)
  3. Will I have direct access to the company’s owner if I have questions or concerns? (If no, avoid that company.)
  4. Will I have one person, and only one, to contact during the publishing process? (If no, avoid that company.)
  5. Has your firm ever been sued by any of its authors? (If yes, avoid that company.)
  6. Has your firm ever been involved in a class-action lawsuit? (If yes, DEFINITELY avoid that company.)
  7. Has your firm ever made a late royalty payment to any author? (If yes, avoid that company.)
  8. Do you call authors on the phone for special promotions? (If yes, avoid that company.)

And, again, I always recommend avoiding firms that use Christ’s name in their pursuit of profits!

RELATED

Read More "Ask The Expert" Articles

Make Sure Your Marketing is Targeted at the Right Audience









The Best of Boyd's Blogs: 87 Solutions to a Life of Better Speaking and Listening






Ever wish you could have your favorite blog in book form? There's nothing like flipping through the pages and reading helpful snippets here and there.

In this book, Steve Boyd gives you that very opportunity. He has intrigued his readers and clients for years with his insightful newsletters and blog posts. This book includes some of his most interesting stories and communication tips, from listening to speaking. As he quotes this Chinese proverb, "From listening comes wisdom and from speaking repentance."

You won't need to repent from your next speech if you use these articles to guide both your preparation and delivery. As an avid reader of his blog said, "These articles are priceless! People need what you have to say."





Steve Boyd's articles on motivation and communication-related topics have appeared
in various publications. His books on public speaking have sold over 30,000 copies.
He is a popular after-dinner speaker and conducts workshops for businesses and associations
whose members want to speak and listen effectively to improve personally and professionally.




Read more here:


https://booklocker.com/books/7171.html

 

 

Q –

Hello Angela –

I have been receiving your newsletter for quite a while and I look forward to opening it every week. I have written and sold devotionals for several of the organizations you have featured. Thank you for providing this wonderful service.

I do have a question. There are so many links online that claim they will help you market your indie published book (specifically Christian books). How can I know which ones are legitimate and which ones are, or border on, a scam?

My book is selling modestly but consistently on Amazon (it was the number 1 new release in it’s category) but I would like to promote it further, effectively.

Thank you ahead of time for your help!

Susan


A –

I can tell you that almost every “marketing service” for books is going to cost far more than any resulting book sales. They’re not necessarily scams. However, they won’t tell you about their many failed marketing campaigns where authors spent hundreds to thousands, only to see a handful of book sales (if any at all).

I just has our system email a free copy of 90+ Days of Marketing Your Book Online to you for providing me with a Q&A for WritersWeekly this week. Thank you!!!

RELATED

Read More "Ask The Expert" Articles



90+ DAYS OF PROMOTING YOUR BOOK ONLINE: Your Book's Daily Marketing Plan by Angela Hoy and Richard Hoy



Promoting your book online should be considered at least a part-time job. Highly successful authors spend more time promoting a book than they do writing it - a lot more.

We know what you're thinking. You're an author, not a marketer. Not to worry! We have more than a decade of successful online book selling experience under our belts and we're going to teach you how to promote your book effectively online...and almost all of our techniques are FREE!

Online book promotion is not only simple but, if you have a step-by-step, day-to-day marketing plan (this book!), it can also be a very artistic endeavor, which makes it fun for creative folks like you!

Yes, online book promoting can be EASY and FUN! Let us show you how, from Day 1 through Day 90...and beyond!







HOW TO REMEMBER, WRITE AND PUBLISH YOUR LIFE STORY


Angela Hoy's popular online class is now available in book format!


Remember Your Past
Write It and Publish It
in as little as 12 weeks!



Angela Hoy's book will get you started!



  • Using Angela's MEMORY TRIGGERS, recall memories that have been dormant for years
  • Record those memories in chronological order in your memory notebook
  • Using the memory notebook as your outline, write your autobiography!
  • Also works for biographies and memoirs!

Read more here:
http://booklocker.com/books/4764.html



The Art and Craft of Writing and Editing


Writing is a constant dialogue between author and reader.



The craft of writing involves an interchange of emotions between an author and a reader. An author creates a story line, conflict, and characters, gives his characters words to speak, and then hands off these materials to a reader. This process results in a constant dialogue between the mental imagery produced by a reader and that proposed by the author.





Read more here:


http://writersweekly.com/books/6712.html



Q –

You have done a bang up job of warning your readers about scammers victimizing writers and authors. I admit I enjoy reading those. I know that makes me sound bad. Is there a place on your website where those are all in one place? Your search option pull up a whole lot of results.

– Martin A.


A –

I admit some of the detailed complaints can be entertaining…but not so much for the victims. 🙁 The greatest benefit from reading those, however, are the lessons we all learn from others’ mistakes.

Since we’ve been publishing for more than 20 years, yes, the search results on WritersWeekly.com can deliver quite a lot. I do have a trick, through.

In the search box, simply type:
complaints about

Don’t use quotation marks or anything else. Just type (or paste) those two words in the box. 🙂

RELATED

More Than One Way to Expose a Deadbeat By Angela Hoy

Warning Signs of a Potential Deadbeat

ATTENTION DEADBEAT PUBLISHERS: Trying to Threaten Your Victims Into Silence DOES NOT WORK!

Aaarghh! I Wish I’d Googled That Deadbeat’s Name!

“An anthology publisher owes me royalties! What can I do?”

Complaints category on WritersWeekly

Complaints about Specific Publishers

Read More "Ask The Expert" Articles





Make Sure Your Marketing is Targeted at the Right Audience







 

Q –

I just finished a series of novels about celebrities who are now deceased. All of the scenes and dialogue are fiction and they can’t sue me because I read that dead people can’t sue. Are you interested in publishing this series for me?


A –

I’m not an attorney and this is not legal advice. It is simply my opinion.  

When someone spends weeks, months, or years writing something before researching the legal issues that might be involved, that can lead to extreme disappointment.

If you want to go bankrupt from legal fees then, by all means, write about celebrities, and try to profit from their names. If you don’t, however, I strongly suggest contacting an attorney.

Celebrities’ names and likenesses are usually trademarked and, after death, the rights are owned by their estates. And, if somebody is making money from that name, the estate is going to want in on the action. While some estates won’t bother filing lawsuits, many will. One such famous case is highlighted HERE.

Before embarking on a long writing project that will profit from the famous names of others, please consult with an attorney who specializes in such matters because the laws vary by state. You will end up saving yourself a lot to writing time, and you just might keep yourself out of the poor house in the process.

Of course, you can always contact the estate’s attorney to ask permission first but, if you’re an unknown author, your request will probably be ignored.

RELATED

Read More "Ask The Expert" Articles







7.625 STRATEGIES IN EVERY BEST-SELLER - Revised and Expanded Edition


At this moment, thousands of would-be authors are slaving away on their keyboards, dreaming of literary success. But their efforts won’t count for much. Of all those manuscripts, trade book editors will sign up only a slim fraction.

And of those titles--ones that that editors paid thousands of dollars to contract, print and publicize--an unhealthy percentage never sell enough copies to earn back their advances. Two years later, most will be out of print!

Acquisition Editor Tam Mossman shares seven essentials every book needs to stay in print, and sell!



Read more here:


http://writersweekly.com/books/5635.html





Make Sure Your Marketing is Targeted at the Right Audience





The Best of Boyd's Blogs: 87 Solutions to a Life of Better Speaking and Listening






Ever wish you could have your favorite blog in book form? There's nothing like flipping through the pages and reading helpful snippets here and there.

In this book, Steve Boyd gives you that very opportunity. He has intrigued his readers and clients for years with his insightful newsletters and blog posts. This book includes some of his most interesting stories and communication tips, from listening to speaking. As he quotes this Chinese proverb, "From listening comes wisdom and from speaking repentance."

You won't need to repent from your next speech if you use these articles to guide both your preparation and delivery. As an avid reader of his blog said, "These articles are priceless! People need what you have to say."





Steve Boyd's articles on motivation and communication-related topics have appeared
in various publications. His books on public speaking have sold over 30,000 copies.
He is a popular after-dinner speaker and conducts workshops for businesses and associations
whose members want to speak and listen effectively to improve personally and professionally.




Read more here:


https://booklocker.com/books/7171.html

Q –

A human resources manager hired me to create a benefits manual for his boss’ company. I already had one I’d written for another company so I had a good idea how much work would be involved, and time. When we were still in the negotiation phase, he told me that a woman he’d hired before me had ripped them off.

We came to an agreement and the company paid me up-front for the entire job. I had a four-week delivery time. That’s when the problems began. He emails me several times a day, demanding updates. He emails and texts me in the middle of the night asking why I haven’t responded to his previous messages (that were sent after-hours). He’s demanding I get it done faster than four weeks. He even cusses in his messages.

He seemed so nice when we were negotiating but now I’m starting to think this man is unhinged. There is definitely something wrong with him. I don’t mind doing the work but I don’t think I can survive another three weeks of his abuse. I wish I could just give him his money back but, truth to tell, I already spent it because my business has slowed down from Covid-19.

Can you tell me what I need to say to put this guy in his place, and to make him get out of my face?!


A –

Aaaaah, I know exactly what you’re experiencing. I have had tyrant clients before, too. My clients these days are all authors but I still try to screen them as thoroughly as possible before I offer them a contract. It’s usually not difficult (for me at least) but I still miss the mark sometimes. The content of their book can be telling, as well as their website.

Another telltale sign of potential future abuse is if the client comes out of the gate vehemently complaining about someone he or she has hired or worked with before. If they allege they were “scammed,” they just might accuse you of the same thing in the future, even if you’ve done nothing wrong. Narcissists frequently overuse and abuse the term “scam” to try to get their way, even when their victim hasn’t done anything wrong at all.

Since you can’t return his money and terminate the project, I recommend sending him something like this:

I have received your numerous emails and text messages since you hired me one week ago. Our contract (copy attached) specifically states a four-week delivery time. And, I fully intend to delivery on the due date.

Sending several emails and text messages each day, and in the middle of the night, that don’t contain any specific questions or comments about the project, only serves to delay my work, and may even result in late delivery of your manual, through no fault of my own.

If you have legitimate questions or comments about the content of the manual, I will be happy to answer or discuss those in writing. All future emails and texts of an abusive manner will be ignored. I am a professional and the funds you paid me to complete this project do not give you the privilege of demanding a faster delivery time, berating me when I have done nothing wrong, nor sending me profanity.

Please remain completely professional in your correspondence from now on or I will have no choice but to share all of your emails and text messages with the owner of your company.

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I was contacted by a writer seeking my advice, but who asked me not to publish her letter. I will not do so but I think you all need to know about this scam in the industry.

The writer was “hired” by what appeared to be a well known publisher. She was then offered a free computer on which to do the work.

The scammer:

1. Mailed her a check
2. Told her to deposit it into an ATM
3. And, told her exactly which vendor to use on Amazon to buy the computer

Of course, her alarm bells went off.

Here’s my response:

I find it extremely weird that you were told to deposit money into an ATM (which means there might be a one- or two-day delay in processing it), and then you had to buy the computer from a specific vendor. Not only would you be paying money to that vendor (who is probably the actual scammer) but, by the time the bank got around to processing your ATM deposit, you’d have already spent the money on the computer. Of course, the check they sent to you would bounce. Worse, they might then have your bank account information.

This entire scenario is way too weird. I recommend NOT depositing that money!! Rather, contact their bank, and report the possible scam. The check might not even be from a real bank.

UPDATE

The writer was finally able to connect with the legal department at the publishing house that the scammer was using as a cover. It was absolutely a scam and they were already aware of it. The writer is going to send the fake check and all of the scammer’s correspondence to the publisher’s attorney. I congratulated her on not only being smart enough to see this scam for what it was, but also for going the extra mile in an attempt to stop the scammer.

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2 Responses to "The Flying Nun, Oprah, and Me – by John Riddle"

  1. Amy Bartlett  May 4, 2019 at 2:46 am

    Great piece and great encouragement as always to keep the writer’s nose to the grindstone. Consistent message from one of the best freelance-process “coach”es in the biz.

  2. Roy Stevenson  March 30, 2019 at 8:38 pm

    Nice inspirational piece, John! Good for you, for keeping on. I’m wondering if the 200 websites you have written for all paid for your work, or if you wrote for some of them gratis?

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