Tuesday, February 27, 2007

It was too Good to be True

A couple of weeks ago I posted an ad by Body & Brain. The editor seemed really interested in working with writers as if we were professionals, and while I received a note from someone who had a less than great experience working with them, I was hopeful.
The magazine, which focused on yoga and was turning more mainstream health is folding. I just hope the editor lands at another publication where she can implement her ideas of treating writers with dignity and respect and paying a fair wage.

Monday, February 26, 2007

Today is Author Q&A Day and I'm posting a Q&A with Wendy Lyons Sunshine, author of The Connected Child: Bring hope and healing to your adoptive family. Please bear with sporadic posts this week. As many of you know, I lost my mother on Friday and I'm not feeling very creative or snarky at the moment.

Tell us about yourself: I’m a full-time freelance writer based in the Dallas area who focuses on health, environment, and more. This is my dream job -- I get to learn so much, and share what I’ve found with others.

Tell us about your book: The Connected Child: Bring hope and healing to your adoptive family (McGraw-Hill) was written to help parents become healers for their at-risk and adopted children. The book is presented in a warm and supportive, parent-friendly format, yet based on solid research findings. The approach is multidisciplinary, addressing everything from behavioral interventions to nutritional support to the importance of touch, and even how parents own attachment styles affect family bonding. It can help parents become a detective about what’s really behind their child’s difficult behavior – for example, sometimes ADHD is confused with the symptoms of a fear reaction.

How did you become interested in this subject? I’ve always been interested in healthy families, and when I was assigned to profile my co-authors for a local newspaper, their personal commitment to helping children impressed me tremendously. I was delighted when they invited me to help them write their first book (it became my first book project, as well!).

As a writer, how did you build your platform in your expertise? You said you got endorsements on the book before its release. How did you do that? The Connected Child is a fortunate collaboration in many ways. My co-authors bring more than twenty years of subject expertise and professional contacts to the project, while I bring professional writing skills. They approached several colleagues for endorsements, and I assisted by approaching writer acquaintances.

How did you find your agent and publisher? On PublishersMarketplace.com, I searched for agents with a good record of selling parenting books. Then I sent a targeted pitch to a handful. A few asked for the full proposal. We went with the agent who expressed passion for the project, and a great caring for at-risk children (Gina Panettieri at Talcott Notch Literary Agency). She sold the book quickly – in fact she got two publishers bidding against each other, and we went with the larger one.

What made you want to write this book? I resonated with the respectful, caring attitude of my co-authors, and felt they have a special gift for helping families. I’ve seen them reach children who have been considered untreatable. I consider it a privilege to help them share their insights.

Are there particular challenges to writing a book on such a sensitive topic? The bigger challenge, really, was to avoid heavy academic-speak, especially when referencing research studies. We wanted this book to be both credible *and* accessible to any parent interested in the topic.

What advice would you give to writers wanting to develop a book in a particular subject, especially with regards to parenting? From the perspective of a collaborator – I’d want a co-author with an established and respected track record in the field. As far as the manuscript, you want to address the parents’ (ie, readers’) concerns most of all. Help them feel you are supporting and empowering them to have more joyful family relationships.

Any other advice for writers? Keep developing your writing skills so you are prepared to take advantage of opportunities that crop up. Pursue what interests you deeply, especially for a book-length project.

When and where will your book be available and what is your next project? The Connected Child: Bring hope and healing to your adoptive family by Karyn B. Purvis, David R. Cross, and Wendy Lyons Sunshine will be released by McGraw-Hill in U.S. and U.K. bookstores shortly. You can order it online now, and should receive it in early March. Learn more about it at http://www.wlsunshine.com/bookpage.htm.
Currently, I’m helping a retired public figure write his autobiography. I also continue to write articles for magazines, newspapers, and websites. You’re welcome to visit www.WLSunshine.com for more about me.

Friday, February 23, 2007

Peak A Boo

From Dawn, one of Write4U's readers:

"At Peekaboo, we are dedicated to providing our readers with the highest quality editorial content and trend-savvy insight. Our goal is to become a multi-faceted resource for the modern parent. In pursuit of this goal, we are excited to be launching our Features Segment and are currently looking for high quality writers to join our staff. Our ideal candidate is a mother (or father) who prides themselves on staying on top of the latest in baby and toddler trends. We are looking for someone who enjoys writing and can bring a unique voice to our publication. This is a great opportunity for writers looking to build their portfolio and increase their clips. All writers will be credited on our site with a bio. While we are not able to offer any monetary compensation at this time, perks include the aforementioned along with lots of free BABY SWAG (mommy swag too!)"

Another online site dependant on writers to give them the "highest quality editorial content and trend-savvy insight," yet they are not willing to pay to get it. These scammers who want people to work for nothing will never learn that writers cannot pay their bills or feed our own families with "exposure" (i.e. credit and bio in their publication) or baby SWAG or mommy SWAG (whatever that is), until writers quit responding to these offensive ads.

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Work Together for Profit

If this guy has as many typos on his website as he does in this ad, I wouldn't be counting on too much profit sharing:

"am working on a web site and AI am in need of an option to allow users to submit text and a pic or two. make a paymet oprion and that information be displayd instantly.
Compensation: work together on the site to recive profit."

Monday, February 19, 2007

Picture Perfect

This Monday's author interview is with Erik Sherman, author of The Complete Idiot's Guide to Canon EOS Digital Cameras. He tells us how he got into authoring series books and how he established his expertise in the subject.

Tell us about yourself:

I’m a full-time freelance writer and photographer living in rural western Massachusetts with my wife, our two kids, seven chickens, and a couple of computers.

Tell us about your book:

The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Canon EOS Digital Cameras sounds like an extended camera manual for that line of cameras, but it’s really about how to use the features common to virtually all digital SLRs to take better pictures. It starts with an overview of the equipment line and continues through the basics: how to keep the camera steady, composing images, dealing with the technical requirements of digital image files, and dealing with exposure and lighting. Then there are more advanced topics such as editing images and choosing settings for specific types of subjects.

How long have you been a photo subject matter expert and how did you develop that?

I’ve been a photographer since I was a kid and have learned a lot about the topic over the years. This was an outgrowth of a personal interest and also listening to my wife who, shortly after I started in freelance writing, suggested that using a camera could mean additional income.

As a writer, how did you build your platform in your expertise?

What I had for this was expertise, not platform. Platform refers to having an existing audience for an existing topic. Expertise is what lets you competently write the book. Because it was part of a series and the publisher’s idea, they needed someone who could produce the manuscript on time and who had a plausible background in the topic. I already was using Canon equipment, which gave me an in.

How did you find your agent and publisher?
It was a referral from another writer – Jennifer Lawler. She had worked with agent Marilyn Allen before and heard that Alpha/Penguin was looking for someone to write this book. She remembered my offering photo advice to people in Freelance Success and so emailed me asking if I might be interested. I was and forwarded some background information. Marilyn got in touch with me, put my name forward with another writer who was probably more qualified from a background/platform view, but who wanted to do a different type of project.

How did you propose a book in the Idiot's Guide series?

It is a series, and I didn’t propose that book. However, after doing the first one, I was chatting with the editor and asked about upcoming titles that might need a writer. She mentioned a book on pizza, and I have a long-standing practical interest in cooking. I said I’d be interested, she brought my name up to the publisher, noting that while I didn’t have a food platform, I had done some food writing, knew food, and had experience with the series. So the Complete Idiot’s Guide to Pizza and Panini will be out in early August. I’m just waiting for author’s review.

Were there particular challenges to doing a book in a series (following their format, etc?)

I’ve done series books in the past on technical topics and those also required formatting. Once you get used to it, it’s not a problem at all. The only tough thing was the deadline, and because I was writing about something I knew so well, I was able to do the whole book in about five or six weeks without a sweat.

What advice would you give to writers wanting to develop a "how to" book in a particular subject?

There’s the classic advice of “write what you know,” but while you can stretch the boundaries with most types of reporting, I think a how-to book needs practical experience. Without having that knowledge, the research has to include becoming practices, and getting up to speed can make the entire project arduous. If you want to write a book about something you’ve never done, try doing it first. You might find that you don’t enjoy it, and that’s a great way of saving yourself from agony.

Any other advice for writers?
Understand the business end of writing as well as you understand the actual writing. Both are important when you’re looking to write for money. Also, keep pushing to break old writing habits and to open new horizons in the craft. If your writing isn’t improving, then it’s getting stale, and who wants that?

When and where will your book be available?

The book is available now online (Amazon, B&N, Powell’s, and so on) and it should be in the stores, though I don’t know if it’s hit the physical shelves yet.

Friday, February 16, 2007

The Ugly

Sorry. A family emergency prevented me from posting the final installment this morning.

Here it is, in all it's glory:

"The positions pay $15 for 650-word articles. Watch experts will be paid $20 per article after training."

Whoo-hoo! A whole $15 per article and $20 per article if I'm an expert in something and have spent time in a non-paid training program.

You know it folks, I'm asking, "Where do I sign up!?"

Thursday, February 15, 2007

The Bad

"This is a small start up so pay for the debut issue will be on the low end of the scale for features and shorter contributions will be paid in copies and a by-line. This is an outstanding opportunity for talented writers breaking into the trade to get a published clip in a magazine that has tremendous potential for growth."

Need I say more? Don't all of these start ups have a tremendous potential for growth? Too bad the business plan isn't as tremendous.

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

The Good

I spend a lot of time dissing scammers and debunking ads that want us to give our talents away, so when I saw this ad, which came to me via a subscription service, it sounded almost too good to be true.
After investigating various writer forums and organizations for warnings, it looks as if it is the real thing. A conversation yesterday with Catherine Rourke, the editor of body & brain Magazine, convinced me I should highlight it as the first in my three part series of The Good, the Bad and the Ugly:

"National quarterly holistic health/yoga journal based in Sedona, Ariz., seeks professional freelance writers to craft lively, upbeat and informative magazine-style feature articles about nutrition, health, yoga, brain research, spiritual wisdom and other inspirational topics for our savvy, sophisticated and enlightened readers. body & brain's editorial staff consists of former freelancers who have established writer-friendly policies, such as North American rights, respectable pay rates and other terms in accordance with the National Writers Union. We believe that freelance contributors deserve respect, dignity, timely pay and the rights to their intellectual property."

My jaw dropped and my eyes widened. What? Someone who is placing an ad for writers who actually believes that we writers deserve respect, dignity, timely pay and the rights to our intellectual property?
"Every word the public sees from articles to ads had to be created by a wordsmith," Rourke told me on the phone. "And the perception of writers remains abyssmal. As a writer, I've had to chase down editors who take your intellectual property and toss us crumbs."
Seems a year ago, when Rourke took this job, the magazine, which formerly concentrated on yoga, took all rights and paid writers .20 a word.
She convinced the publishers to change the rights contract to First North American Serial Rights and upped the pay.
Rourke admits she would still like to see higher pay (it ranges from .40--.50 cents a word), but says the magazine is small, with about 100,000 circulation, but is growing. And as it does, she will continue to fight to bring up the pay rates.
Sure beats business models who want us to work for free until they show a profit.
Kudos to Rourke and body & brain for recognizing the craftspeople who will be responsible for your growth.
And if you're interested in writing for body & brain, go to www.bodynbrain.com for writer's guidelines, which are being updated to reflect the new look of the magazine.

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Barfing up a Lung

This came from a friend of mine yesterday who found this ad. He said he almost barfed up a lung when he saw this ad and I about spit out my coffee reading his email. He wrote:

"This is one of my "warning signals" for potentially headache-inducing clients - the bad ones always have spelling mistakes in their adverts!"

And here's the ad:

New magazine looking for freelance writer to write a few articles per month on magazine subjects. This is a startup business and small publication of around fourty pages to start. So both articles and research will be not be of much langth. Students will be considered, pay to be determined on experience. Please reply via email. Thank you for your consideration

Monday, February 12, 2007

Sooner Rather Than Later

Today, Sally Jadlow, author of "The Late Sooner," tells about her success finding a publisher at a writer's conference:

1). Tell us about yourself.
I am a sixty-four year old grandmother of eleven, mother of four, wife of one, who has written poetry for thirty-five years--and a member of Kansas City Writers Group for nine years. My latest book is "The Late Sooner."

2). Tell us about your book.
It's a historical fiction based on my great-grandfather's diary. He participated in the first land run of the Oklahoma Territory in 1889.

3). Why did you decide to write it?
It was too moving a story to leave it on a dusty shelf for another 118 years. I wanted to help people, young and old, to appreciate the blessings we enjoy today. Generations before us paid a high price for our luxuries.

4). What was the most challenging aspect?
It was a challenge to make it as historically accurate as I could. Sanford's terms were sometimes hard to understand. When he spoke of "sufferers," he was talking about the famine of 1890. There was nothing to eat but turnips for man and beast.

5). Tell us about your writing habits, what works best for you?
I think about what I'm writing during the week and on Saturday I practice "button writing"--I put my butt on the chair and write.

6). What has been the most surprising thing about writing this book and getting it published?
That people identify so completely with the characters that they want to see it made into a movie.

7). How did you find your agent and/or publisher?
I found my publisher at the Oklahoma Writer's Federation, Inc. conference in Oklahoma City last May. I signed up for my free ten minute conference with Dan Case, (AWOCbooks.com) and pitched the book to him. Three weeks later he called to tell me he wanted to publish it.

8). What else do you think other writers can learn from your experience?
Write your passion. Let the characters take you along; don't resist their leading. Put yourself in the scene with your characters; then write what you see, hear, smell, and feel..

Sally Jadlow
author of "The Late Sooner"available at http://AWOCbooks.comhttp://TheLateSooner.com or http://amazon.comCheck out my blog at http://thelatesooner.blogspot.com

Friday, February 09, 2007

When You Need a Distraction...Get Into Your Writing

For the past three weeks I've been dealing with my elderly mother, who has pneumonia. Most of my days have been a complete juggling act between home, getting my assignments done and Mom.
It's a particularly challenging time because this happened not just when I had regular assignments, but at a time I'm also teaching three of my online classes. I had also signed up to take an essay class after leading initiating some pleas for the instructor to teach the class again.
On top of housework, laundry, caring for the pets and cooking dinners, I started to lose control of the juggling.
Last night, after another grueling day following my mother's ambulance back to the hospital and sitting in the emergency with her for nearly five hours, I came home wanting to drop. But knowing she was being cared for and safe, I needed to take advantage of the quiet of the evening to get some work accomplished.
After feeding the dogs (I ate at the hospital cafeteria and I think my poor hubby had fast food again), I wanted to keep on a straight course down the hall to the bedroom, but I turned into my office and got to work.
And you know what?
It felt good.
I had a ton of research to do for a project that involved a lot of calls and it really put me in a different mindset to get fully involved in my project.
If you're under a lot of stress from something, maybe the best thing to do is immerse yourself in your work. Completely forget about all of the other balls for awhile, even a good juggler needs a break.
As for all those other balls I have to pick up, I decided I am a practicing juggling novice at a carnival, instead of a pro in the circus.
I might drop one every once in awhile - such as the laundry - but I can pick it up and drop something else - do a load when we need some clean underwear - when needed.
I cant worry about the things I've dropped until I need to worry and I've finally figured out that's how to get through this circus of a life.

Thursday, February 08, 2007

Remember Writers, You Can't Take it With You

On January 29, this ad appeared in a job listing service to which I subscribe. For those of you who know my work, you know that one of my passions is writing about social issues, particularly the homeless veterans in this country. As a result, I violated one of my own rules of applying for these sorts of listings - be very wary of start-ups:

I am looking for freelance writers that are interested in developing a column for my online magazine that will be launching in March 2007. The magazine is a human interest magazine that will focus primarily on bringing today's problems (homelessness, addiction, genocide)to the forefront and to offer possible solutions or at least attempt to begin a dialogue with those within our Government that can begin to take action on these and other issues. We will also offer light entertainment, business, and local (Palm Springs) news while expanding slowly to every major city in the US. If you have a writing background or are currently a college student interested in a career in journalism please apply to the email below. I don't need a resume, I just need you to tell me what you are passionate about and why you'd like to write a weekly column. • Compensation: TBD

Yesterday, I received a letter in my email box that said in part:
Dear writer, (my note: I think the lack of capitalization here says a lot about exactly how he views our profession - and this guy is going to be an editor?)

"I thank you for your recent inquiry in regards to joining a revolutionary online webzine SensoryPress.com. based in beautiful Palm Springs, California.
A few of you quoted me your “rates” and I wanted to be upfront with everyone from the beginning. I have been in the Internet marketing business since the beginning. A new website does not generate an income stream for approximately one year. Income for a website is generated through selling advertising (banner ads, display pages, email newsletter links, and so forth) so, initial pay will be “expenses only” and on occasion a cash payment for an in-depth article.
Once the revenue stream has begun I will make staff position offers to those who have proven themselves as a good writer and as a loyal passionate person."
The letter was signed by Calvin Byer, CEO/Editor

I wrote him the following:

"I am a professional writer who had sent you my qualifications to write for your website.

In your job posting, you listed compensation as TBD, which usually means To Be Determined, or to be negotiated.

It doesn't mean: I Won't Pay You Until I Have a Revenue Stream.

This leads me to a question. When you set up your Internet provider for this site, did you tell them you were interviewing a few ISP's and that the one who provided you free services for a year would possibly be paid if your revenue stream increased? Did you tell your utility company that if they passed your loyalty test of providing you services for a year that you would pay them? How about your landlord/mortgage holder, are they passionate enough to provide you a place to conduct your business for free?

I didn't think so.

When I was in business school, I learned when you set up a business plan, you forecasted expenses for the professional services that your business requires. If you are opening a restaurant, you hire wait staff, cooks and dishwashers. If you're opening a retail store, you hire retail clerks and stockers. If you're starting a publication, you hire editors, copy editors and writers.

The operative word: HIRE for pay so we can all pay our bills.

I will never understand a business model for a publication that requires the talents of professional writers when pay for these services to make the publication successful are not built into the plan.

Next time, if you want to be up front with people about your "business," you might want to let professional writers know in advance you don't intend on paying until (if) your revenue stream increased and they pass your loyalty test of working for a year for free. "

And of course, I received the following reply from him this morning:

"Your letter proved my point. Your passion is $$$$ and not the subject matters which my magazine will cover. You would not be a fit within my company and as a matter of fact my ISP and Web Designer are working for free.

I wish you the best of luck but, remember....You can't take it with you."

Well, instead of taking it with me, I guess I will just continue to do my best contributing to my family's income so we can continue to live in this spacious house, all 1,200 square feet of it, while taking care of my elderly mother because the government will not and donating a portion of my sales from my own book about homelessness to homeless veterans - although my expenses on the book haven't even become close to being paid.

Darn, I'm not a good fit for his company. This guy is no different than that other scammer last year who called me a Greedy Money Hungry Writer because I expected a wage (gasp!) for my work. Only this guy is hiding behind the guise of Doing Good Things for Society.

I'm not a saint, but I won't be guilted into wanting a fair price for my work and my talents.

Really, writers, if you want to give of your time and money (and I suggest we all give back), find legitimate charities to which to contribute.

Wednesday, February 07, 2007


Not knowing too much about high fashion as Hanes sweats are about as designer name as I get anymore I don't know anything about Nylon Magazine, who supposedly put this ad up. I say the magazine supposedly put this ad up, because this appears to be a real publication.

We need contributing writers in any of the following markets: NEW YORK, LOS ANGELES, LONDON,CHICAGO, MIAMI, SAN FRANCISCO, and much more!! readership of more than 500,000 readers worldwide, so there's an opportunity for great exposure. Don’t be afraid.

This is an internship position, which translates usually into unpaid. Don't be afraid of the exposure, folks, you won't die, really. But if you write for the exposure, remember that you writing business probably will and that means you'll be once again exposed to working for someone else.
If you want the exposure, the ad gives a hotmail address for responses. Apparently, this magazine's 500,000 readers aren't generating enough ad income for them to even pay for a legitimate looking email box.

Tuesday, February 06, 2007

Are You a Book Junkie?

Today, we have a Q&A with writer, author and now website entrepreneur Thomas Bosch, who has just launched www.bookjunkies.net In our Q&A, he talks about the website and the writing life:

Tell us a bit about yourself: 32 years old on February 23rd, originally from Scotland but now living permanently in Germany. My paying jobs are English tutoring and freelance writing. In the past, I have worked in numerous industries including the Scottish civil service, journalism, marketing and banking. I have also worked in numerous countries.
Tell us about bookjunkies.com: BookJunkies is a website dedicated to books and everything about books. I have been an avid reader for over 25 years and I now average about 8-10 books a month (a lot less if I am swamped with work but over the year, it generally evens out). I wanted some way to show my love & appreciation for books (to quote Austin Powers' Goldmember "I love the smell of it, the feel of it!") and in the back of my mind, I have future plans to start a book shop business online. So I decided to start a website, starting with book reviews, a blog, a newsletter and advice / tips with the option later to expand it greatly into other areas such as the book business, a merchandising shop and so on, maybe even a small POD printing press. Book websites come and go with frequent regularity so I am aiming for the long haul - when everyone else has packed up and moved on, I want to be the one left standing!
How will it be unique from other sites like it? As well as book reviews, a blog and all the other usual features, BookJunkies will also focus on beginning book authors, the first-time published authors who are perhaps struggling to promote their work and break into the big leagues. BookJunkies will offer free profile pages for new published book authors as well as provide links to their work, reviews of their work and their contact information. So if anyone is looking for a new author to read, they can browse the profiles and be taken directly to the published books with reviews. The profiles will also help the author to build a bigger online presence in the search engines. If BookJunkies reads and reviews their work, I will post the review on the site as well as post the review on Amazon (if the author wishes that). So hopefully it will help them to get a few good reviews and some word-of-mouth referrals. BookJunkies will also promote freedom of the press, freedom of speech and we will campaign against banned books to the point where I will directly point people to where they can get the banned book if they want to read it. If the book's copyright is expired, I will point people towards Project Gutenberg to download a copy.
Why did you decide to launch it? Many reasons. First, I have been doing book reviews for Amazon for the past 3 years or so but Amazon heavily censors reviews or doesn't publish them at all. They're obviously only thinking about their profit margin so they don't want to post too many negative reviews that will impact sales. I think this is grossly unfair to paying customers who are only hearing what Amazon wants them to hear. Other places such as Barnes & Noble are no better. So BookJunkies will be uncensored, all reviews will be fully published (good or bad), all comments on the blog will be uncensored and I aim to start a open and honest discussion about books and publishing. Second, I think there are not many good websites out there that offer practical helpful advice about things such as book repair, how to spot a fake signature and so on. Perhaps the exception to the rule is Craig Stark's "BookThink" or the email forum newsletter at BookFinder.com but on the whole, I think the market is still ripe for a new good practical easy-to-use website for books and the care / sale / love of books. Of course there are lots of book blogs but they tend to only do reviews in order to drive people to Amazon to buy the book through the affiliate scheme. BookJunkies will also do that (to finance itself) but I am aiming to offer more than just reviews. I want BookJunkies to be one of the top websites for anything concerning books.
How do you think it's going to help writers? As I explained, the beginning author will get a free profile page with their contact details (if they wish), links to their work, details of their next book project, scheduled appearances / book signings, reviews of their work, etc, so they are getting free advertising and promotion. My advantage is that I will sell the author's work by linking to their Amazon listing through the Amazon affiliate program. So we both get something out of it. The blog will cover current issues and news about the publishing industry so hopefully authors will find it informative and useful. I am considering setting up a forum where authors can talk, meet and network but that is a future "maybe". A forum will take up a lot of time and effort and there are other things I want to do first.
What is the best piece of advice you can give writers? As a published writer of newspaper articles, magazine articles, website articles and ghostwriter of e-books and technical manuals, the best advice I can offer is 1) when you think you have re-written the text enough, then you probably need to do another 2 or 3 re-writes before it is really finished, 2) try to read as much as possible. When I have writer's block, I stop trying to write and I read instead. Reading gives me ideas for writing. I am currently writing a science-fiction story after reading an Isaac Asimov book. Good ol' Isaac got my inspiration going. Oh and 3) never give up even if you think time is getting on and you'll never make it. Sidney Sheldon didn't get his first book published until he was 51 so since I am only 32, I figure I still have plenty of time to be successful. Age is only an issue if you make it an issue.
Anything else about your site or writing? Just bookmark the site and check back often. I have two day jobs so BookJunkies is still only a hobby right now but time permitting, I have some great features I want to implement So bookmark the site, visit often and see what's new. If anyone has any constructive criticism and / or comments / suggestions, I would love to hear them. The site will only improve upon the feedback of the visitors.

Monday, February 05, 2007

The Spot of Writing

Here's a good job opportunity for sports hobbyists who want to spend more time writing about it:
I just started up a sports news blog Right now Don't worry, these aren't lengthy serious sports article posts. They are mostly witty/sardonic commentary on daily news and happenings in the sports world. I'm planning on building this site to attract a lot of visitors and wanted to bring a couple of writers to do a profit share type thing. If interested, have some sample writings ready and email me with what sports you are interested in. Humor is a big plus. Interest in all sports is also a big plus.
Compensation: Profit Sharing.

The problem these people don't seem to get with these start ups when they want writers to share in the profits, is that businesses usually take awhile to have profits in which to share. In the meantime, a writer's bills go on.

Friday, February 02, 2007

Craft This!

My first professional clips came from a local craft magazine. My mother founded one of the first craft consignment and homeshow businesses outside of the Ozarks in 1980, and I followed in her footsteps, founding a company in 1994. As a side, I traded advertising with the publisher of this craft magazine and since embarking on my full-time writing career, have kept my fingers in craft, hobby and antique show writing.
So, I was automatically drawn to an ad for "Craft Writers," and automatically turned off when I clicked on the ad:

Looking for creative individuals to come up with craft ideas and write step by step directions.
· Compensation: $5 per craft project

$5 for project? Are they kidding. I then clicked on an ad not to far down:

"I am looking for people who like to write on various topics to add resources for my business. I will start the pay at $1 per article and will increase based on the quality of work. I have many topics and titles for you to choose from and you can write as often as you like. If interested, please reply with topics you can write about and how often you want to write. If you are making a counter offer, please state how much per article. "

From $5 an article down to $1? You can bet I made a counter offer:
"I'm making a counter-offer for $1 a word, the acceptable rate for a professional writer."
I'm sure I'll be hired.

Thursday, February 01, 2007

Writing Under Stress

The good thing about being a self-employed writer is that I get to set my own hours and if I have to adjust my schedule, I can do so without having to turn in forms, beg for forgiveness from a supervisor or worry about it "counting against me."
The bad thing about being a self-employed writer is that I get to set my own hours, and if I have an emergency and cannot work, I don't get paid.
This double edged sword is something anyone who is self employed has to deal with. When they told my mother she was going into a nursing home on Tuesday, I didn't have time to get my work done before I had to go be with her. And while I should know by now that all the stress usually ends up in my back, I didn't plan on my back going out yesterday either.
Realizing I was going to be late with a deadline, I wrote my editor a note of apology and asked for a deadline extension.
Luckily for me, I had a very understanding new-to-me-editor. "Emergencies happen when they happen, that's why they call them emergencies," she said to me and she told me her drop dead date for my work.
The moral here is to always try to work ahead to avoid such things, but when you can't, notify your editor as soon as possible to ask for an extension.
I think most editors will understand true emergencies and try to work with you.
The next lesson learned here is to getting back to work is not only important for our budget, it's good for my sanity.
For me, work distracts me from other things happening in my life and the busier I am the better.