Monday, November 16, 2009

The Well-Fed Self-Publisher

By Peter Bowerman

Given the state of today’s publishing industry, and the number of books being published yearly, have you considered self-publishing as an alternative to the mainstream publishers? While there are many self-published books in today’s market, the problem with many is the poor quality of the writing (lack of editing) and physical design (especially book covers). In this comprehensive book, Peter explains about what it takes to be a successful self-publisher. Incidentally, he doesn’t consider POD self-publishing, but offers up several scenarios where POD makes sense for certain books/authors.

In TWFSP, you will find information on why self-publishing might make sense, getting comfortable with the sales and marketing process, building a book, targeting buyers and building demand, building a book website, distribution, Amazon, maximizing mainstream media, article writing, radio shows, the ins and outs of live appearances, creating multiple stream of income from your book, and much more. The appendices contain self-publishing resources, info on a valuable companion marketing e-kit, a self-publishing time line, and a section of foreign rights.

The Well-Fed Self-Publisher is a complete manual for a business as a self-publisher. In today’s publishing environment, finding an agent, then waiting and hoping that your book will get published, can be a dead end. This book shows you how to do it yourself and still get your book on bookstore shelves.

Items discussed in TWFSP are the cover, how to make your self-published book compete with the mainstream publishers’ books in look, feel, and quality (books that don’t compare to those coming out of publishing houses will be hard to promote to reviewers, wholesalers, distributors, and bookstores). Especially useful is a chapter explain and demystifying the concepts of “Sales & Marketing” that terrify many authors today, but which they’ll have to learn and use to get their book into the hands of readers.

The Well-Fed Self-Publisher is a roadmap to self-publishing and getting your book into the hands of readers. This book, filled with information about the publishing industry and what authors need to accomplish in order to become a published author, is delivered in a conversational tone from someone who’s successfully self-published his books (over 50,000 copies of his first two books are in print). Check out The Well-Fed Self-Publisher “Biz-in-a-Box” Teaser in the back of the book.

This reviewer gives this book a five-star rating. If you are considering self-publishing, read this book and find out what self-publishing is about.

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Monday, November 9, 2009


If you can get interviews on blog radio or on a blog as a promotion of your writing or your book, my all means look for opportunities to do so.

Use networking to find the opportunities. Offer to do some free writing. It has worked for me. I have an interview on a BlogTalk Radio show and also on a blog, Writers in Business.

Web 2.0 is a marvelous way to become known and letting people learn more about you.

Network marketing is more than just buzz words, it is a way to further your sales and influence on the internet. Network marketing is more than just trying to sell things, it is about creating relationships with people. These relationships will help you more than you may realize.

Authors today need to be smart marketers and business people at the same time.

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Monday, October 26, 2009

Word Trippers: The Ultimate Source for Choosing the Perfect Word When It Really Matters

By Barbara McNichol

As Mark Twain said, “The difference between the almost right word and the right word is really a large matter–it’s the difference between the lightning bug and the lightning.”

That’s why choosing the exact right word is important. For example, do you know when to use “affect” versus “effect” in your writing? Or “further” versus “farther”? Or “famous” versus “notorious”?

If you’re not sure, Word Trippers is the perfect reference ebook for you. This ebook contains 49 pages of 300+ pairings of words in alphabetical order and searchable on your computer, so they’re easy to find. Each word pairing is explained, then used in sentences to easily show how each is properly used, like this:

Affect, effect – “Affect” is a verb meaning to change or influence. “Your quick action affects (influences) the outcome.” “Affect is also a noun to mean feeling, emotion, or emotional response. “During his grief process, my client displayed an uncharacteristically flat affect.” “Effect” is a verb meaning to bring about, to cause. “You can effect (bring about) a change easily.” “Effect” is also a noun meaning result or outcome. “The story has a desired effect.”

Whether you’re writing for business or crafting the next great American novel, this Word Trippers ebook will lead you to choosing the correct word when it really matters. It’s been created by expert nonfiction editor Barbara McNichol.

This reviewer highly recommends Word Trippers as an excellent reference tool, and gives it a four-star rating.

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Thursday, October 22, 2009

The Top 10 Things Every Writer Needs

I read this post at Apollo's Lyre today and found the post to be funny and true to life at the same time.

It is something the writers will get a kick out of ready.

Head on over to Apollo's Lyre and read it for yourself.

Please post a comment after you read it.

Thank you.

Monday, October 12, 2009

2009 Muse Online Writers Conference

For the first time, I was a presenter at The Muse Online Writers Conference.

The conference is held in October. You must register for the conference to be able to attend. The conference is closed to registration for this year. You can however
register next year for the conference in October 2010 when registration is open. The cost is free.

I have attended The Muse conference for years, but this is my first time as a presenter. I may do it again next year. I presented a course, "So, you want to be a Freelance Writer", I also plan on visiting the accompanying forum to answer any questions I can about freelance writing.

Friday, October 9, 2009

My interview of Ocotber 8, 2009 on Blogtalk Radio

Linda Leon was kind enough to offer me a half hour spot on her Blogtalk Radio show where we discussed editing.

I believe the show was informative and also allowed me to offer some insights to listeners about some of the common errors seen in manuscripts.

The recording is posted on the right-hand side of this blog so that you may listen to the show. I hope you enjoy the recording as much as I did being the guest on Linda's show.

I am considering creating a station of my own to discuss writing, freelance writing, and editing on Blogtalk Radio. I just don not know how well it will do.

I found the experience on Linda's show to be time well spent and hope that there are many listeners, and they got something out of the program.

The things I took away from this guest appearance on Linda Leon's show about writing is a wonderful way to disseminate information about the subject of editing that was discussed with Linda, depending on the listeners at the time. The show was recorded and archived for those that could not make the show time. This also allowed me to promote my editing services, and my website.

I would like to make my show more of a Q&A then just me talking. I would also like to find the right guests to talk about writing.

Friday, July 3, 2009

Five Writing Tips for All Levels of Writers

First, is the fact that if the story is not believable to you, it will not be to the reader. It is fine to come up with plot, setting, characters, and such, but if it does not ring true, your audience will call you on it. If you are a new writer, you will most likely be rejected if you try to submit your manuscript.

Make sure you check your spelling, punctuation, and grammar. It cannot be stressed enough, DO NOT rely on spell check and grammar check in word processing programs. If you are weak in this area, find a class and learn how to punctuate and learn your grammar.

Second is dialogue. If your characters are of a certain age and they use language that does not fit the age, your characters are not believable and the reader will put down the story and most likely not pick up anything else you might right. If you are writing for yourself and never want to be published, wrong dialogue is probably ok, NOT! If you are going to write something, make it the best you can every time you put words on paper.

Third is, make sure you use the right word. As Mark Twain said, “The difference between the almost right word & the right word is really a large matter--it's the difference between the lightning bug and the lightning.” I could not agree more. Spend the money and get a good dictionary and thesaurus. Do not let them sit on the shelf collecting dust; USE THEM!

Ray Bradbury mentioned in a lecture before Southwest Manuscriptors the fourth and possibly the most important tip is; “READ!” Read the classics, read everything you can get your hands on; read, read, read. Only by reading published books, can you get some idea of what works and what does not. Especially if you have say, Mysteries in mind, read various authors in the genre.

Fifth, if you decide to edit your own work, set it aside for a minimum of a week. When you come back to it, come with a blue pencil. Take that blue pencil and take out the irrelevant junk. Make sure the meaning of what you want to say is clear. Does what you read while editing move the story along? Are your characters believable? Are they fully fleshed out? There is more, but you get the idea.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

About Site Editors

Not all editors edit the same. This is not big news. Each editor brings their own experience to their editing. The main problem is when someone edits a How-To article on a subject they know nothing about. An example would be someone editing a How-To on electronics when they do not even know what a "schematic" is. To all editors, this is Electronics 101. If you have no idea what one is, how can you edit a How-To article?

Just in case you wish to know what a schematic is, it is.
The Merriam-Webster Unabridged Dictionary definition is:
Main Entry: 1sche·mat·ic Pronunciation Guide
Pronunciation: ()sk|mad.]ik, skim-, -at], ]k
Function: adjective
Etymology: New Latin schematicus, from Latin schemat-, schema shape, figure, manner (from Greek schmat-, schma) + -icus -ic
: of, relating to, or constituting a scheme or schema : as a : corresponding to an established or formalized conception b : showing part for part in a model or diagram c : employing or constituting a scheme of conventional symbols

If an editor doesn't know this, the writer should try to at least inform the editor, or request another editor. Hopefully, someone at the site where you submit your How-To has some knowledge about electronics. If they don't, they should not be excepting articles on the subject.

As a freelance writer, editor, and book reviewer, this is just common sense, but not to some sites that request How-To articles from freelance writers. The same could be applied to freelance writers, it is always a good thing to try and expand your knowledge base,but make sure you do the proper research to know at least the rudimentary aspects of the subject you plan on writing about.

Is it easy? NO. Should it be done? A resounding YES. This is what being a freelance writer or editor is all about.

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Do You Need a Degree to be a Freelance Writer?

This is an ongoing debate. The answer is YES, and NO. Some jobs require a degree, and some don’t. Some jobs require years of experience, and some don’t. The secret is, only apply for the jobs where you meet the qualifications.

Looking at job sites, degrees range from Bachelors to PhD, and ranging from English, Journalism, Communications, Computer Science, and Scientific disciplines. The years of experience can range from as low as 2 to 5, or as high as 7 to 10 years in one of the disciplines above. You can see that you will need to read the job requirements carefully and only applying for it if you have the matching requirements.

If you are willing to work for low pay, there are many bidding sites where you can find jobs. These are not for someone that values him or herself. There are bidding sites where a percentage is held out by the site, and others that cost you money buying credits or jobs lists. None of these requires a degree.

Some people say that not having a degree means that you are not a professional freelance writer. Disagreeing, with this premise, there are statistics that many graduates of universities and colleges unable to write a complete sentence, a degree is not the be-all-end-all to prove professionalism. There is also experience, and lifelong learning to be said for in the experience equation.

Yes, a degree is nice, and furthering your education is never a bad thing. You can be a freelancer without the requirement of a piece of paper. For some jobs, a degree is a requirement; those jobs will have to be left for those that have the required degree and years of experience.

When first starting out, it may be difficult to find work. All freelancers need to learn patience and perseverance if they want to become freelancers. Nothing happens overnight. If you give up easily, freelancing is not for you.

If you think you need a degree, find courses in a local college or university, or even take courses online if you can afford them. With the economy, many colleges and universities are raising their per semester costs. You will need to judge for yourself if getting a degree is what you want or need. Don’t let anyone dictate to you that you need this or that to freelance.

Friday, April 10, 2009

A must read - Jumpstart You Publishing Dreams by W. Terry Whalin

Jumpstart Your Publishing Dreams is not just for book authors, it is a manual that gives the reader information and resources about the publishing industry, editors and wring for the freelance writer. In this book, you will find information and resources about writing for magazines, information on how to approach magazine editors with queries, and what you need to do to enhance your chances of becoming a published author.

Mr. Whalin has more than twenty years of experience writing magazine articles, books, and editing in the publishing industry. He has written 60 books, and published in more the 50 magazines. Having read some other book by Mr. Whalin, this book is the nuts-and-bolts of what every writer, storyteller, and freelance writer needs to know and take to heart.

Jumpstart Your Publishing Dreams is loaded with information, resources, and links for more information. After visiting many of the links, this is a book that you will revisit often, also the websites, articles, and book to peruse when more time is available. There are some special offers that Mr. Whalin has for the writer. Do yourself a favor, take advantage of these special offers, you will not regret it.

If you aspire to publication, Jumpstart Your Publishing Dreams is one book that should be in your writer’s library. It is a book with a high recommendation by this reviewer.

Jumpstart Your Publishing Dreams:
ISBN-10: 1935085506
ISBN-13: 978-1935085508

Available at:
Barnes and Noble

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Are you on social media sites?

Social media sites are inexpensive ways to get your marketing message out into the world. Social media doesn’t mean just Facebook and site like that. These days, social media is also blogs, websites, and anywhere where people visit. Social media sites are also good for networking and learning from others willing to share. There are forums for just about any subject. Do a search, and find a forum that meets your needs and join in the conversations.

Remember that if you do join a social network site, get involved; involved means be helpful if you can, talk with people, but don’t be a nuisance. Be a part of the community and get known as being helpful, you will more likely have others willing to help you in return. Learn the subtle are of networking.

Through networking and social media, you can let people know about what you have to offer and lead them to your website. This is a free way to get your message out from a marketing standpoint. With the way things are in the economy, not everyone has the bucks to mount a massive advertising campaign. The more ways to get your business out there for little or no cost and work on your business, the better of you will be.
Social media can be good for your business if used wisely. Visit sites and look around to see if they are something for you. Visit and be active in forums and all forms of social media that could pertain to your business.

Saturday, March 7, 2009

Is Social Media Useful?

Can you find work as a freelance writer through social media sites? With sites like FaceBook, MySpace, Twitter and more, you can make contacts, but finding work still isn’t easy. Finding work depends on the individual writer, their education, their experience, and how proactive the person is.

Making contacts and being helpful whenever possible, is what anyone using social media needs to do. Social media also consists of blogs as well as sites like FaceBook and others. The blog is the best way for people to find you and learn something about you. This puts a person with the name. Your blog should contain the best writing and content you can do. If your blog is about a niche subject, make it entertaining and useful to whoever reads it.

Content is still king when creating posts to your blog. This will get you read. As people read and tell others, your traffic builds and you will have greater opportunities to find work.

Being proactive and asking people, or guest posting is one way to get known. Let’s face it, if no one knows you, they will not come to you. You need to make relevant posts to your subject, and to offer people something in return for reading your post(s).

At social media sites, you need to be interactive and helpful to others on the site. Post links to articles that are helpful, or to sites that are helpful. Retweet items that have relevance to others, include hashtags on Twitter to various groups that might be interested in a link to information you find, such as #writers, #editor, and more. Be a helpful member. You don’t need to hang out all day, but when you are at some social media site, be friendly and be a part of the community.

At any social media site, be sure to create a bio so people can read about you. Post a recent picture of yourself so that people can put a face to the name. People reading a post like to know that there is a real person posting to a blog, posting links, or information to a social media site.

Will all of this help you with your business or service? Maybe, it depends on what the other people at the site are looking for. Social media is another form of advertising.

Friday, February 20, 2009

About the Book I'm Writing

After being asked how to break into freelance writing, I decided to write a book about it.

I have 11,081 words at the moment, 3 appendices,an about the author page and the Table of Contents page. I have begun chapter eight of ten chapters in the first draft. I am not sure how many I will ultimately end up with. I've already added more than I thought as it is. This is a list of job sites compiled in this book.

I work on this book in between writing, copy editing,, and work on the social network for freelance writers I created on

Tuesday, January 27, 2009


What is branding in the Web 2.0 environment? First, what is the definition of branding? The definition of branding: is giving a product or service a particular image or brand identification.

In the realm of freelance writing, what you stand for is your image, and brand identification. You are your brand, and you are your brand if you are a solo-entrepreneur. Do you have a logo, a website, do you belong to social media sites, and do you have a blog, whatever you do in the Web 2.0 environment, is your business, in front of the possibility of thousands of potential customers looking at your web presence, and you ultimately. Your web presences, and your business, if you are a freelance writer, are one in the same.

This means, that you are a writer, and your business is writing. You are and your business is about writing, there is no period where writing is not the major part of what you are about as a solo-entrepreneur freelance writer. You are looking for work or if you have branded and marketed yourself efficiently, work may come to you. Anytime you are writing, webese is not acceptable. You must always write as though you were writing for a client.

If you have a website, and other sites where you visit on a regular basis, consider suing one name, and that name be what you are trying to get out to the public as a brand. Have thought about a brand?

If you are in any business, you need a brand, more so if you are a freelance writer and want to find jobs. You also need to place your URLs on as many sites as you can when on places like Twitter, FaceBook, MySpace, LinkedIn, Digg, and more. Any place you visit, use your brand. Let people know what you stand for and that you are a freelance writer.

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Finding Work as a Freelance Writer

Finding Work as a Freelance Writer

There are numerous places for finding work as an aspiring freelance writer:

About Freelance Writing



Freelance Writing

Freelance Writing Jobs



Online Writing Jobs

Sun Oasis

Some of these sites charge a fee per month, sign-up fee, take tests, or require a percentage of the income from your gigs. You can do a search and find more. Some jobs will also require a degree in English, Journalism, Science, or Engineering.

Although you may be looking for freelance writing jobs to some people freelance writing means building web sites, link building, and more. At least you can choose your jobs when you freelance. Some sites want experts in various subjects like:


Suite 101

The sites listed here are not recommendations. As with anything online, proceed with caution.