Sunday, September 16, 2012

Why you need to backup data

Aside from having to rehab my right shoulder after rotator cuff surgery, my newest computer crashed and I no longer have access to my passwords on the numerous site I frequent.

Rebuilding my password list is a royal pain, not to mention time consuming.

My WIP is on the newest computer also, which means I have to start over from scratch on my book until I can afford to repair my computer.

I have been working with computers since the 1990s without a problem, along comes 2012 and I am in deep trouble.

Please be forewarned.

Back up your work online somewhere with a strong password that only you know and remember.

Robert Medak
Freelance Writer, Blogger, Editor, Reviewer, Marketer

Sunday, July 15, 2012

How Many Hats Does a Writer Wear?

Let me say it is many more than just writer in today’s publishing culture.

Traditional publishers are no longer in the business of correcting multiple errors in manuscripts.
Acquisitions editors are looking for a minimum of errors and as close to print ready manuscripts for publication.

What does this mean for writers?

Writers will have to do much of what traditional publishers use to do. Writers will have to build a follow using social media, network marketing, blogging, creating video book trailers, and create a marketing plan at the minimum. Publishers will be requiring this and possibly even literary agents.

There are two ways for writers to accomplish this, DIY or outsourcing. Outsourcing is ideal if writers have the money. If a writer doesn’t have deep pockets, the only alternative is DIY.

Writers need a blog to garner interest in their book and build a following of interested potential purchasers. Writers will need a well-written proposal letter to get past the gatekeepers at traditional publishers, hence the growth of self-publishing and the bemoaning of the quality of self-published books..

There are many authors self-publishing that reading web sites and blogs lead to a backlash because of the quality of many books.

As a reviewer, I’ve seen this in many books for review. Writers need to find a professional editor for their work, and should never try to edit their own work. A professional editor looks at a piece of writing from a different perspective than he writer does from an objective point of view and distance from the work, while the writer is so close that they may miss simple errors.

Writers should make sure that their project is as print ready as possible before submitting it for publication. Writes also need to have marketing, PR, and promotion plans in place when submitting a manuscript to a traditional publisher.

Writers need to wear the hats of publicist, blogger, marketer, social media manager, book promoter, network marketer, web designer, retailer, bookkeeper, and shipper unless they have the capital to outsource these actions. To outsource this could run into thousands of dollars.

With work, writers can DIY. All it takes is some willingness to learn some simple techniques, writers don’t need to master these only have a good working knowledge of the techniques required.

Welcome to the fact that publishing has changed.

Freelance Writer/Blogger/Editor/Proofreader/Reviewer/Marketer

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Why Authors Need a Platform

Like it or not, let’s start with the fact that writing is a business for better or worse. Authors are entrepreneurs with a product. Whether self-published or traditionally published a book is a product or commodity in search of customers. That is what business is about, finding customers.

Authors need readers and they need a platform for readers to find them and their books.

Does building a platform take time away from writing?

Anything that authors do other than writing is time away from creating the story. Unfortunately, platform building comes with the territory of the author. Either the author builds the platform or they must outsource the platform building to someone else.

When building an author’s platform it would be nice if one platform were enough, but never rely on just one to work for you. Authors just like businesses need more than one platform to inform potential customers what you have to offer by online platforms.

What are the platforms?

Platforms come in many varieties. One is a Web site; others are social media (Facebook, Blog, Twitter…), newsletters, video trailers (YouTube or posted on a blog...), any way for readers to find out about an author’s book.

Platforms are a way for authors to promote and advertise their books as well as a way to sell books. A blog is a good way for others to build interest in their book as they blog about the creation of the book by writing about the book on their blog and keeping potential readers up to date on how the book is advancing.

Platforms are free advertising for authors; and create interest in potential readers making them customers.  

Platforms like blogs and Web sites are a great place to post chapter excerpts and receive feedback from the people who visit our blog or wherever you post an excerpt from your book building interest and creating a list of potential purchasers and readers waiting for publishing of author’s book.

Finally, there is no question that authors need more than one platform; the question is whom is the one building it. Either the author must take on the job or outsource it.

Robert Medak
Freelance writer, blogger, editor, proofreader, reviewer, marketer

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

An Obituary for Writers

I read an article titled Facts, 360 B.C.-A.D. 2012 in the website of the ChicagoTribune.

Facts are important when writing, so are places, and timelines.

Readers of articles and books may know something about the time, place, and more written about. A reader may live in a place mentioned, this happened to a book I read for review. The author was writing about my hometown, I have seen the same thing on television shows.

When writing, always check your facts with more than one source. Be careful when checking facts on the internet, they may not always be correct. This is where a trip to your local library and talking with your librarian come into play.

When in college and taking a course in political science, if we used statistics or quotes, we had to name the source and the instructor would check them to make sure we were correct. Always spend the time to fact check as part of the editing process.

Readers deserve the best writing the author is capable of, this means quality, and part of quality is to insure that anything mentioned in the article or story is as correct as possible through multiple sources.

Quality writing includes grammar, spelling, punctuation, and correctness. As writers we should strive for the best original writing as possible, not a copy and paste approach to writing as seen on the internet.

Having read over 100 books for review, there books that make me wonder whom and how books are published needing editing. As a reviewer, I will not give five stars to any book in need of editing.

Just to let you know something about me, I edited Jihad Genocide for the author; I have also edited other manuscripts, proofread books, copy edited, and act as an acquisitions editor for a publisher. 

Robert Medak
Freelance Writer/Blogger/Editor/Reviewer




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Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Writing is a Business

Writing is a business just like any other business and you should handle it like one.

Writers are entrepreneurs, they need to maintain records for taxes, advertise, maintain a web site, maintain a blog, and deal with multiple marketing channels the same way businesses do. If clients don’t know a writer exists, or how to contact them, they will not come. This is why every writer, at a minimum needs a blog with a contact page, along with networking on social media sites.

As an entrepreneur, there is a level of expectation from the client, whoever they may be. Writers must present themself as professional. When writing for a project, whether book or something else, the writing should be the best an individual writer is capable of writing. Writers should write every day. Only through practice can a writer improve their craft, along with writing, writers need to read.

As an entrepreneur, writers should create a persona via standards that they hold themselves to. I signed a Business Ethics Pledge, and hold myself to a high business standard. Part of what I offer as a writer is 100 percent original work that will pass Copyscape. The only software I use is WordWeb, which is a dictionary. I will not use spinners or auto programs for my writing. I take pride in my work, as all writers should.

Although each writer is an individual, they must be professional in their writing. Unfortunately, readers perceive writers by their work, and one of lower quality lowers the perception of all writers. For this reason, writers must be exemplary in their work. Readers hate reading non-quality writing.

As a reviewer, I constantly read books, and Web content that is in need of proofing and editing. Many traditional publishers no longer offer editing. Manuscripts, Web content, and marketing materials need a second pair of eyes to make sure that the content of a project is the best it can be at all times.

Robert Medak

Writer, Blogger, Edit, Reviewer

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