How Can You Become A Better Writer?

Word Count: 538 Summary: I have been writing professionally for more than two decades and teaching writing nearly that long. Every conference, every writing staff, and every class has always included some writer who asks: “How Can I Become A Better Writer?” They don’t usually like my answer. “Practice writing every day and read to study the writing of others every day.” They don’t like the answer for one of two reasons usually. Some people are looking for some quick fix, magic formula that will… Keywords: write, writing, publish, edit, profit, market, advice, help, tip, article, improve, skill, book Article Body: I have been writing professionally for more than two decades and teaching writing nearly that long. Every conference, every …

How To Be Your Own Editor

Word Count: 750 Summary: There is a stigma associated with writers turning to editors for assistance with their work. Some people see outside editing as an unfair advantage, a form of literary cheating. Writers are expected to be able to objectively evaluate their own work. Interestingly, this is exactly the opposite of what one finds in other professions. Keywords: edit, proofread, write, editor, writer, proofreader, editing, writing, proofreading Article Body: There is a stigma associated with writers turning to editors for assistance with their work. Some people see outside editing as an unfair advantage, a form of literary cheating. Writers are expected to be able to objectively evaluate their own work. Interestingly, this is exactly the opposite of what one …

How New Authors Can Keep Their Manuscripts Coherent

In large publishing houses, many manuscripts penned by first-time authors, never make it past the “first reader” who for all practical purposes is a gatekeeper of sorts. This person’s job is to weed out manuscripts that do not fit certain established submission criteria. However, many never make it to the editor’s desk, simply because they are badly disorganized and downright incoherent. But even if you are self-publishing, you owe it to yourself as well as your readers to develop a theme. Not only will a theme tell what your book is about, it also serves to hold your book together. Every other element — your chapters, for example — should support your theme. It is what keeps you from rambling …

How I Became a Syndicated Columnist — And You Can Too!

Real Estate has “Location, location, location,” and writing has “Clips, clips, clips.” When people ask me how I became a syndicated columnist, I usually say, “it just snowballed.” And basically that’s what happened: one publication led to another, which led to another, and so forth. I began my career writing for a small community paper in my neighborhood. To look back on those first published clips is quite entertaining! But how can I be ashamed? The work I did at The Julington Creek Plantation Press (the JCPP) became a springboard for my now nationally syndicated column “Shore Duty.” (If you read between the lines here, what I’m saying is, Don’t be impatient, and don’t expect quick success! Be willing to …

How to Be an Editor’s First Choice

There are writers who editors like, and those they’d bet their careers on. How can you be that writer who the editor will call on every time she needs an important assignment to be done? Are you a hot favorite or a pass-on-for-another-freelancer who keeps querying but receives no response? Here are the qualities that will endear you to an editor. 1. Giving more than you promise When an editor asks for two samples, give her three. If she trusts you with an assignment, don’t wait for the final deadline, but send it in a day in advance. If she’s asked you to provide notes, make sure you give her everything she needs so that she doesn’t have to ask …

How Publishers Use Reader Reports to Make Contract Offers

Congratulations! You’ve cleared the first hurdle in commercial publishing. Whether through an agent or your own submission, the editor is interested in your book proposal (a package that included your proposal, one or two sample chapters, and your biography). The next step in this delicate dance is the Reader Report: a market feedback tool used by an editor as part of the publishing decision process. A “reader” is someone the editor trusts for his or her commercial acumen. In other words, readers help the editor decide if your book concept is salable. The editor solicits opinions from an eclectic mix of readers, reflecting different tastes and topic viewpoints. For example, two people might be interns or editorial assistants within the …

How to Find a Book Using Online Bookstores

Looking for improving your gaming skills by reading some of the best books on professional gaming that are around? That is a good idea, but, and as you may have already noticed, it is easier said than done. Once you go online to one of the many online bookstores such as Amazon and Barnes and Ruble and can type in a phrase you get a long list (if you are lucky) of potential books. What do you do then? How do you know which book suits you? And if you even could figure that out, how do you know the book is worth anything? Many of the authors are pros, but, then, you can also easily land up on amateur …

Attention Women Authors! Get Your Articles Noticed by Magazine Editors

Women writers will find there are many opportunities for magazine writers. There are magazines on most any topic you can think of: sports, hobbies, business, collectibles, cars, boats, decorating, cooking, child rearing, and children’s interests. This creates an open market for women writers. Perhaps you would like to become one of the women who write for magazines. Here are some magazine submission tips that will help you get started. Find the Right Magazine The first step is to find a publication that covers the topics you want to write about. You can find a list of publications in a directory for writers at a bookstore. Libraries usually offer a reference list in a “List of Periodicals.” Also, look for a …

10 Habits of Frequently Published Wrters p1a

Are you ready to sign off on your first project or publish more of what you have already written? Have you been wondering who will publish your work? The publishing industry is changing in the new millennium and doesn’t appear ready to stop changing. It is estimated that in the next 10 years, 50 percent of all books will be self-published or published by smaller presses. Even so, it should not exempt us from the pursuit of excellence in our craft through sound writing rules and business etiquette. With that said the way to more published writing credits is basically the same as Anne Wayman says, “Write well and write often.” If you want to get published more by industry …

7 Vital Book Promotion Tips

As a literary publicist I often am asked about publicity tips, tricks, and the magic behind my work. It’s not magic. All you need to know are the basics and from there you will be able to create an effective book promotion. Below I’ve listed the most vital and basic tips to a successful book publicity campaign. 1. ALWAYS Take ‘No’ for an answer It can be frustrating when the media isn’t interested in your book or story idea, but always thank them for their time and move on. If you try and persuade or argue with them you will leave a bad impression of yourself and your chances of working with this particular media in the future are slim. …

7 Deadly Mistakes that Cost You Money and Assignments

Sometimes, you just don’t get second chances. Freelance writing works a little that way. If you’ve offended an editor, it’s quite unlikely that she’s going to work with you again. If you don’t muster up the courage and ask for a higher payment rate, you won’t get that chance till the next acceptance. And if you sell all rights for less, you write away all future income from the sale of that piece. These seemingly small mistakes can cost you big money when done repeatedly. Avoid these common pitfalls and you’ll not only earn more from each sale, but also ensure that you’re developing working relationships with editors who’ll look to you for regular work. Mistake No. 1: Missing Deadlines …

10 Smart Moves For Getting Published In Top Magazines

Eager to see your byline in magazines like Smithsonian, National Geographic, Parade or Outside? Here are 10 tips on getting past the threshold of “Maybe” to “Yes” at top magazines. 1. Put timing on your side. You can change a perennial story, where there’s no special reason to do it now rather than next year, to one that prompts an immediate assignment by adding a connection to some upcoming season or event. For instance, “the disposable versus cloth diaper debate” lacks any time element. But you can peg it to Earth Day, coming up in April, or specific future environmental powwows. You can get the same effect by tying a perennial topic to recent front-page news. If devastating floods are …

Fueling The Ideal – Marketing With Articles

It’s that time of year again … pages of backpacks, notebooks and back-to-school clothing fill every circular that hits your mailbox. And you’re off to the races … the races being the mall, plus every other store in between. You’re in the same spot you were last year this time, getting ready to head off to work while your kids head off to school. Back to hugging them goodbye in the morning and seeing them just long enough in the evening to say I love you and tuck them in. Wouldn’t it be fantastic if the easier schedule of the summer lasted all year long? No more spending all your hours away from your kids just to earn enough money …

Article Plagiarism: the Next Internet Ripoff?

Content is King! shout the search engines. That’s what the search engines love. We also love the non-reciprocal links that we get for our websites when our articles are published on other peoples’ sites with our resource boxes dutifully appended below them. To create a well written article takes time and effort. We have to get everything right: it has to be of relevance to the reader in that subject field; it has to be well researched; all spelling, punctuation and grammar must be correct; it has to be a genuine contribution to that particular area of specialization, and so interesting that the editor will jump at the chance of publishing it. And, oh yes, all the right keywords have …

Article Marketing To Boost Site Traffic

You’ve been writing great articles for your website or blog, keyword rich, insightful pieces that should be studied in marketing classes. You’ve probably seen an increase in site traffic since you started writing using SEO. But there’s another way to use the articles that you’re already writing to boost traffic even more. Publish them on other sites. It’s simple math. Your site receives 200 hits a day. Site B receives 500. If you get an article published on Site B, your site and marketing links are exposed to 700 people. Unfortunately, this can be easier said than done. You have to convince the editor or webmaster of Site B that your article is more worthy of publication than Joe Schmoe’s …

Writing Articles For The Web That Get Read Is Easy When You Know This

Writing articles for the web is a learned skill. And you can learn it. In fact, you can master it. Once a professional writer in the print publishing world, I had feature articles published by some well-known names (Woman’s Day, The Washington Post, Family Circle, Christian Science Monitor and more). Fortunately, as a self-publisher online, I’m able to transfer some of my professional print writing skills to this form of online publishing. I don’t struggle with writing articles. And that makes filling my websites with useful, well-written information a lot easier for me. But it’s not so for everyone. Some people struggle with article writing. Maybe that’s you. Do you struggle with writing articles for your website readers? Do you …