Trends in Publishing

If you follow the publishing industry at all you will have noticed a number of trends. Everybody and their dog are talking about the trends in self-publishing via eBooks. I’m not going to talk about these: they are well covered.

trends in publishing

What has motivated me this morning is a discussion I’ve been having with a managing editor at one of the magazines I write for. A couple of days ago she opened a discussion with me about a special project article. Special projects are stand-alone publications. They often bear the name of the parent magazine, but are published as a magazine sized book. We have been discussing this proposal via e-mail since. One of the questions I asked was the expected word count. Continue reading “Trends in Publishing”

Rooted in Minimalism

minimalist sculpture Tony Smith

As you know, Dear Reader, I have recently been looking at and talking about the concepts of minimalism.  While I can not currently claim membership in that club, it is the direction in which I’m moving, and it occurs to me that it is the direction from whence I came.  Yes, I was once a certifiable minimalist – long before it was popular, before there was a fancy nameplate to hang on one’s door to announce it to the world.  It was just the way it was.  No; I didn’t grow up in the Great Depression, it was something far stranger than that.

You see, it began in childhood.  We were an Air Force family and the government has never been any too generous with Non-Com pay rates.  My parent’s always saw that the 4 of us young’uns had what we needed, but frills were few.  Don’t get me wrong; we weren’t raised in a packing crate or anything, we were comfortable and happy.  The only time I ever felt even a little deprived was when a friend came to school wearing a pair of the latest tennis shoes – you know, the ones that make you run like the wind and allow you to leap over small buildings in a single bound, I’d feel a twinge of envy.  But it passed quickly.  My parents raised us with better values than that.  They taught us to find contentment in what we had.  More or less!   Continue reading “Rooted in Minimalism”

Write Faster, Earn More

typewriter, writing, editing
A Hermes Rocket typewriter from the 1950’s

This article is not intended for novelists.  While novelists are certainly welcome to read it, I doubt you’ll find anything useful to your calling here.  This article is intended for those who write magazine articles, blog post/web content, and perhaps short stories or brief memoir pieces.

While the admonition of “write faster” may seem self-explanatory on the surface, it goes way beyond just hitting the keys at a higher rate of speed.  Although that too can help.  Isaac Asimov was once being interviewed by Barbara Walters. In between two of the segments she asked him, ”But what would you do if the doctor gave you only six months to live?” He said, “Type faster.”1

One of the things I like best about being a freelance writer over being a cubicle dweller or factory worker is the aspect that it’s up to me to decide how much I work and how much I earn.  As a corporate employee I worked so many hours a week and got a paycheck for a certain amount every two weeks.  Other than the rare opportunity for overtime, I had little to do with how much time I put in or the pay I took away.

As a freelancer, it is entirely — well, mostly — up to me to decide when I work and how much I get paid.  No work: no pay, work hard: get paid well, simple as that.  Mostly.  But it’s more than just keeping my nose to the grindstone longer.  I can eek out more profit by making that time count for more by working smarter, not just longer.  Here’s how that works.

Continue reading “Write Faster, Earn More”

Interview or e-Terview: When and Why

interview, Q&A imageIn our modern world of highly connected, internet based communications writers sometimes resort to e-mailing questions to an interview subject instead of doing a personal or telephone interview.  Whether this is a good thing or bad thing depends on a lot of factors.   Continue reading “Interview or e-Terview: When and Why”