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Friday

Chapter15 - The Many Facets of Freelancing

Chapter fifteen topics
  • $$$ and Sense of Publishing Specialties
  • Associations and Freelancing
  • Technical Writing
  • Trades
  • Writing Memoirs
  • Personal Interest Stories
  • Writing Parenting Articles
  • Writing Columns
  • $$$ and Sense of Publishing Specialties
  • Associations and Freelancing
  • Technical Writing
  • Trades
  • Writing Memoirs
  • Personal Interest Stories
  • Writing Parenting Articles
  • Writing Columns
$$$ and sense of publishing specialties
Sometimes writers, caught up in the editorial content side of things, forget that publishing is by-and-large a business, with many financially-sensitive cogs in the wheel that ultimately deliver your article to the readers.

Writing for corporation's specialty publications is one career field. According to news figures Corporate America spends $14 billion producing its own publications and another $4 billion to $8 billion in postage to distribute the material. And that's only roughly half of the combined amount generated by the traditional consumer and business-to-business magazines.

Who's spending this money?

Publishing is costing health care, technology and finance businesses $510 million.

What types of publication is the money spent on?

Custom-publishing a quarterly magazine, on average, costs in the neighborhood of $470,000 annually.

The marketing and public relations departments of corporations handle the majority of custom publishing in-house.

Tip: Marketing and public relations departments need employees with writing skills.

Typically, companies produce 1.82 unique publications, each at an average frequency of 6+ times. If publications are aimed at non-company audiences, approximately 50,000 copies (20+ pages each) are printed and three quarters of those are in four-color.

Companies spend, annually, a billion dollars on these publications. Advertisers add over $700 million to the publishing pot.

Custom media spending has risen to an all time high, which you can read about at Custom Content Council, http://tinyurl.com/yhozzyr.

Associations and freelancing
National Association of Publisher's Representative (NAPR), http://www.napronline.org/. While you're browsing and learning, check Resources.

The Editorial Freelancers Association's site, http://www.the-efa.org/, offers courses on medical copy-editing, grammar and usage, editing footnotes, picture research, interviewing and breaking into corporate communications. . Information here, http://tinyurl.com/32ka8or. Follow links, and discover a wide variety of markets, too.

EFA's Archives contain a wealth of information. Click Resources, and look in left panel for Archives. You'll find fee schedules for various writing jobs here, http://www.the-efa.org/res/rates.php. Browse the links to find good free information, such as Job List Tips, which provides good advice, http://www.the-efa.org/mem/joblisttips.php.

Michelle Goodman's The Anti 9-5 Guide has this article on freelancing,
http://www.anti9to5guide.com/category/this-freelance-life/.

Surf at these sites
Terry Burns is a fifth generation Irish storyteller who is also a fourth generation Texas teller of tall tales. You can enjoy his writing and learn from him free, http://www.terryburns.net/. Don't miss his Articles, Musings, and Writing Link Library.

Technical writing
Technical writing information is available at FreelanceWrite.About.com., http://freelancewrite.about.com/. (Search technical writing and scroll to In This Topic: Technical Writing.) The direct link is: http://freelancewrite.about.com/od/technicalwriting/.

Click Technical Writing first, because it's important that you learn if Tech Writing is right for you. (part of the New York Times http://www.nytco.com/, New York Times, http://www.nytimes.com/. New York Times login, http://www.nytimes.com/auth/login required (which is free))

Please be advised that linking to an article on The New York Times is free of charge and does not require permission, but you MUST include the New York Times Publisher's URL, http://www.nytco.com/ which will take readers back to The New York Times web site in which they have to be a member, or become a member. Membership is free of charge and only takes a minute to complete.

Learn all you can from the resource links.

IMPORTANT -- Take time to learn which web sites are the property of New York times (You'll find them listed at the bottom of the home page.) About.com is owned by New York Times. In the permission I received from them to include information and links, they also said,
"Please be advised that linking to an article on The New York Times is free of charge and does not require permission. You do, however have to use the Publisher's URL which will take your readers back to The New York Times web site in which they have to be a member, or become a member. Membership is free of charge and only takes a minute to complete. For further information on linking, please see the URL below: http://www.nytimes.com/membercenter/faq/linking.html. If you wish to post an article onto your site (your URL would then host the material), then permission is needed and copyright fees apply." 
At JournalismNet, http://www.journalismnet.com/, you can get free web research tips every week, sent to you by email. Don't miss valuable information at People Search Pro, http://tips.peoplesearchpro.com/articles.html, and at Julian Sher, Investigative writer, TV director and trainer, http://www.juliansher.com/training/.

Trades
If writing trade articles interests you, you can learn a great deal about the industry at The International Trade Administration, http://trade.gov/index.asp. It's directed towards both new-to-export and experienced exporters.

Locate Trade Magazine at Free Trade Magazine Source, http://www.freetrademagazinesource.com/index.aspx. Selecting a category takes you to freetrademagazines.com, where you should begin with FAQ in top bar, and read, http://www.freetrademagazines.com/faq.asp.

Tip: If you don't already have the dogpile toolbar in your browser you should go to http://www.dogpile.com/ and Add dogpile to your browser. Then copy the title of a magazine into the dogpile search and scroll the results until you find the magazine's home page.

Presto!! You'll be able to study trade magazines online.

At Free Trade Magazine Source, http://www.freetrademagazinesource.com/index.aspx, when you click on a listed magazine, you'll get a freetrademagazines.com page with more magazines in that topic, too!

Study and compare them to learn magazines styles, content, publication dates, etc. Request media kits and editorial calendars from magazines you plan to target.

How much can you learn from one magazine?
SeedQuest contains an online and prints publications list. Begin at the homepage, http://www.seedquest.com/. I don't remember ever surfing so many links from one web page, and that led me to a wider variety of topics!! Nearly every line of type is a link!

Tip: Be persistent when something piques your interest but you don't find what you want. For instance, while surfing from the SeedQuest site, I became curious about the name PENDULA I read on a nursery site, but I couldn't locate a picture, and really didn't know what it was, either. So I typed PENDULA into http://www.dogpile.com/ and bingo! I located a picture and learned it is a particular weeping birch tree, BETULA PENDULA.

Let your curiosity lead you, because you never know when you might topic-spoke articles from a nugget of information.

Type trade magazines in SeedQuest's Search to get a list of archived seedquest articles to learn what has been published and to generate article ideas. (You can read full articles by topic listed in the left panel.) An editorial calendar is also linked. Seedquest-White-Pages-Homepage returns a wealth of information.

Writing memoirs
Sue William Silverman's Fearless Confessions: A Writer's Guide to Memoir is a highly recommended book on this genre, http://tinyurl.com/33zlgan.

While there are magazines that publish stories from your past, storypreservation.com, http://www.storypreservation.com/ published hundreds of people's memoirs online. Although an announcement reported it closed in 2004, the links to valuable memory-writing information still work and are worth studying.

Family Tree Magazine: http://www.familytreemagazine.com/magazine/.

Research Toolkit will reveal 101 Best Websites at, http://tinyurl.com/3585bbn.

Tips on writing memoirs
Memoir: A Journey Into Your Past, http://tinyurl.com/34gweg9.

At Read.Write.Think, you can teach yourself much by surfing links and gleaning,
http://www.readwritethink.org/.

Personal interest stories
Feminine Wiles, by Donna Elizabeth Boetig (Linden Publishing Inc, http://tinyurl.com/2vbhd2z) is a fantastic course in writing these type pieces for national publications.

Tip: Scroll to Free Reports, http://tinyurl.com/2323afmand Links for Writers, http://tinyurl.com/2abgay7.

Boetig has made her career writing these heart-trending stories for Readers Digest, Family Circle and others, and tells you everything you need to know from the query to the interview to the article.

Poetry
Poetry writing has its own special requirements, and since I'm not a poet you'll need to search out more information on the web. Don't think poetry doesn't pay. A visit to Griffin Poetry Prize website, http://www.griffinpoetryprize.com/ will enlighten you to the possibilities for recognition and big money.

The Griffin Poetry Prize was founded in 2000 to serve and encourage excellence in poetry, and the Griffin Trust For Excellence In Poetry doubled the annual prize money to a cumulative amount of $200,000 (which includes $10,000 for each of the short listed poets who participated in the Readings). The judges for this year's books were Anne Carson, Scottish poet Kathleen Jamie and American poet Carl Phillips.

Search online for paying poetry markets, and also type in payingpoetry (all one word) when searching for paying markets. Suite101.com Media Inc., a private Canadian company based in Vancouver, British Columbia has information at suite101.com, http://tinyurl.com/34l8g4c.

At Poets and Writers, http://www.pw.org/, users can go to the magazine, which includes articles on agents, editors, and the literary life, as well as a Classifieds advertising section; the databases, which includes Grants and Awards: Our Guide to Writing Contests, Literary Agents, Literary Magazines, and Small Presses; plus the Literary Events calendar and a Directory of American Writers.

Founded, in 1970, Poets and Writers "believes in contemporary literature's indispensable value to our national culture. The organization's mission is
"to foster the professional development of poets and writers, to promote communication throughout the literary community, and to help create an environment in which literature can be appreciated by the widest possible public. P and W accomplishes this by publishing Poets and Writers Magazine, producing http://www.pw.org/, providing publishing information, introducing emerging writers outside of New York to the New York City literary community, and paying fees to writers participating in public literary events. P&W's programs introduce writers to the larger literary community and connect them to audiences, making today's writing visible and accessible in major cities and small towns across the country."
While The Electronic Poetry Network (EPN), founded in 1997 and edited by Carlos Colon, doesn't pay for poetry, it offers something of infinite value; week-long electronic display in a public library. Check it out here, http://www.shreve-lib.org/poemofday.htm.

Although many links are for residents of Louisiana only, you'll find many terrific links to information sources for anyone.

Writing parenting articles
At Parenting Publications of America, http://www.parentingpublications.org/, scroll left panel to For Writers. You can find target-markets for articles in PPA's Mailing List ($50.) Search free  and find some publications here, http://tinyurl.com/2d2qgfk. It's not necessary to know the name of the publication; simply type in a parenting-related word and see what comes up. (ie: parent, parents, parenting, etc.) Links also bring good tips for writers, and also a fee schedule.

Writing columns
There are many reasons to write a column. Remember, though, that you are competing against the large syndicates which sell subscriptions to papers for $20-$30 a week. For that they get camera-ready copy of columns, features, filler, cartoons, editorial and puzzles.

With that as competition, it's hard to ask for more than $10-$50 for a column. To be profitable selling columns to newspapers you have to be in a volume business. Another reason to go for volume when you market your column is simply to diversify your market.

If you've published a book and want publicity, start a syndicated column on the subject. That will put you constantly in front of potential customers.

Study at University of Missouri Extension, http://muextension.missouri.edu/explore/comm/cm0360.htm.

At ewritersplace.com, http://www.ewritersplace.com/, read Why the Editor is Not the Enemy, by Mridu Khullar, a 2007 graduate student of Access The World And Write Your Way To $$$.

Submission guidelines for columns
For information about submitting columns (and to see specifically what one editor wants) study Strike website, http://www.strike-the-root.com/submissions.html. It spells out what many editors consider the basics writing columns.

Washington Post's column web site, http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/style/columns/. To read all columns, sign in (free) is required. However, you can find their Style columns for every day of the week; click on them and get to the archives of that column.

They include advice, humor, family, book reviews, magazine reviews, chess, and all sorts of stuff. You may find a column type you hadn't considered before that you could develop and market in other directions
."Washington Post allows text links (no use of their logo, graphics or photos please) to current articles for 14 days after they are published. After that period of time, the articles go into the Archives (fee-based) and are unavailable for linking. WP also does not allow their content to appear within frames at other sites. For permissions to post the full article after the 14 day period, please contact their Permissions Group at, permissions@washingtonpost.com." 
Try out any or all of the above categories and keep writing daily while you're finding your niche and developing your unique writing voice. Send queries, and keep climbing your ladder of successes.

Exercise,
  1. Write your resume.
Advice FromThe Pros: http://writerinsidertips.blogspot.com/

8-1, Negotiate Your Contract! (waiting for permission)

8-2, Collecting What's Due You: http://tinyurl.com/2cw8fnm

Next, Chapter 16 - Education and Reference: http://tinyurl.com/36maz9e

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