Archive for November 16th, 2007

November/December 2007 Roar Board

Got success? Share it with your fellow writers on the rise. You egg us on to more success when you do!

Please remember to share, not self-promote. Thanks!

And thanks for keeping us posted.

The Secret Language of Editors: Byline

Abigail GreenFreelancers’ Phrase Book
By Abigail Green

Is there any greater thrill than seeing your very own name in print? Unless it’s in the obituaries or police blotter, that is… I’m referring to seeing your byline accompanying an article you penned yourself. I’ve been at this for more than a decade, and I still get a little burst of pride when I spot my byline–probably because I know how much hard work went into getting to that point!

If you’re trying to build your clip file and get recognized for your work, obviously you want to focus on publications that give bylines. Not all do, however. Some magazines run writers’ bylines for feature articles, but not for shorter pieces like the front of the book sections. And some publications give a credit rather than a byline–meaning your name may be listed in tiny italics beneath the piece rather than in 18-point type at the top. Of course, the font size and location on the page of your byline is up to the graphic designers.

Many publications also include short writers’ bios, such as “Abigail Green is a frequent contributor to the magazine,” or “Freelancer Abigail Green lives and writes in Baltimore.” Some may even plug your book, blog or Web site. When you’re studying markets for your work, take note of how bylines are handled so you’ll know what to expect.

A word of caution: if at all possible, confirm the spelling of your name before your article goes to press. I have been dismayed to see my hard-earned byline as “Abigail Greene” and other interpretations. Once an article of mine even appeared with another writer’s byline. Turns out the designer had pasted in the wrong name. Fortunately, they were able to correct the error on a color printout so I can still use the clip. For even more peace of mind, ask to see the galleys (the pre-publication layout of your article) before the magazine goes to press.

Byline or credit, small type or large, above the text or below… these may seem like trivial issues, but for writers, getting credit–and recognition–for our work is vital. Just make sure to keep your increasingly recognizable name out of the police blotter, OK?

Abigail Green (www.abigailgreen.com) is a freelance writer in Baltimore. Over the past 10 years, she has written about health, travel, weddings, business, education and more for national, regional and online publications including AOL, AAA World, Bride’s, Baltimore Magazine, Cooking Light and Health. Her latest project is raising her first child, which she chronicles in her blog: http://diaryofanewmom.blogspot.com/.

Joy to the world—and your writing colleagues

sharonwotrhead.gifThe Parent-Writer: Strategies for Success
By Sharon Miller Cindrich

‘Tis the season to give thanks for all your blessings – and this year that means those who support you, write along side you, edit you and publish you.

Editors. Interns. Fellow writers. Teachers. The holiday season gives you a unique opportunity to acknowledge your professional relationships and express your hopes for and interest in an even more productive new year.

Check out these ideas when sending holiday cheer:

Send an e-mail. A simple e-mail costs nothing, yet allows you to use your writing skills to extend best wishes for continued success in your working relationships. Do check out www.hallmark.com or www.cardfountain.com for some fun, festive–even talking–e-mail options. Don’t send a bulk e-mail.

Send a card. A hand written note of thanks is something to be treasured in today’s e-world. Find cards with a fun writing theme and handwrite a simple, yet personal message inside. Do send individual cards to different editors at the same address. Don’t forget to include your business card and contact information inside the card.

Send a small gift. Small trinkets of thanks can be inexpensive and memorable. Pencil-shaped chocolates, fancy paperclips or a donation to a charity in the name of your colleague can really make an impression. Do send something creative–a ball that reads “I had a ball working with you this year” from www.sendaball.com or coffee with an “Editor’s Brew” sticker on the package. Don’t send something too expensive–it sends the wrong message.

My favorite: Each year, I purchase several beehives through Heifer International in the names of my colleagues, and send cards thanking them for keeping me “busy as a bee” during the year. Check them out at www.heifer.org.

Giving gifts to your clients and colleagues can also give a gift to you when it’s time to report to the IRS. Don’t forget to keep track of expenses, as business gifts, cards, postage and charitable donations are tax deductible.

E-Parenting, Keeping Up with Your Tech-Savvy Kids by Sharon CindrichSharon Miller Cindrich is a freelance writer whose work has been published nationally in magazines and newspapers around the country including The Chicago Tribune, Parents Magazine, and The Writer. She is a Contributing Editor at FamilyFun Magazine and writes a bimonthly humor column for West Suburban Living Magazine in the Chicago Suburbs. She is a regular contributor to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel’s Lifestyle section and Metroparent Magazine. Her book E-Parenting: Keeping Up with Your Tech-Savvy Kids is now out from Random House. Read more about Sharon at http://www.pluggedinparent.com/.

An Interview with April Eberhardt, Andrea Brown Literary Agency Agent

eberhardtwb.jpgIn the Spotlight: Agent & Editor Insights for Getting Published
By Lori Russell

This month, April Eberhardt, an associate agent with The Andrea Brown Literary Agency, shares her thoughts about platform, passion and persistence and what writers need to know when looking for an agent and/or a publisher for their work. The Andrea Brown Literary Agency is a mid-sized firm celebrating 25 years in the publishing industry. With six agents and offices in California and New York, the agency offers its clients the personal attention of a small firm and the clout of a larger one. Eberhardt particularly enjoys working with new and emerging fiction writers.

Each agent brings a unique background and set of skills to her work. How has your experience at a literary magazine and in careers in the banking and management consulting fields shaped your perspective as an agent?

My experience at literary magazines underscored how many new voices are out there deserving to be heard. It whetted my appetite to work primarily with new authors to help them get published. All those years of banking and management consulting shaped my business sense. I learned the importance of strategy, good project management and organization, along with professionalism and integrity. And of course the tenet that in business, including publishing, the trick is to balance creativity and marketing with achieving some financial success.

What types of projects are you and your agency currently looking to represent? Are you open to working with first-time authors?

We’re six different agents with six different tastes. Speaking for myself, I’m most interested in finding first-time authors with distinctive voices, fast-moving contemporary takes, smart female characters, and a wry-to-sardonic sense of telling tales. No mysteries, thrillers or murders. I don’t care much for romances, either, unless they’ve got an unusual twist. Nothing too lovey-dovey.

Non-fiction authors must have an expertise in their subject matter and need to develop a platform prior to pitching their book proposal.

What is important for fiction authors to consider before contacting an agent for a project?

Three things:

  1. Does the agent represent what you write? Read the agency’s Web site before submitting.
  2. What else is out there that’s similar to what you’ve written? Do your market research and be prepared to say why yours is different.
  3. How are you prepared to help market your work? Platform is important in fiction, too, as is perseverance and passion for getting it out there. It’s essential for the agent, the author and the publisher to establish a creative marketing collaboration early on, to bring their best ideas and efforts to selling your work.

How important is the size and location of a literary agency when choosing an agent?

I believe it’s the quality and commitment of the agent, as well as a good match between your work and what she loves to represent, that matters most. Technology has made location moot, although having said that, developing a good working relationship always involves a face-to-face component at some point, whether it’s author-to-agent or agent-to-editor. We spend a lot of time building and cultivating relationships with our clients and with editors on both coasts, as well as around the world.

What do you believe writers most need to understand about the publishing industry and/or the writer/agent relationship?

The publishing industry is notoriously fickle—what sells today may not be hot tomorrow. That’s why an openness to tailoring and editing, as well as a creative marketing collaboration, are key. Please also understand that we as agents are inundated with queries—the volume is unbelievable, especially now that many of us accept online submissions—and that’s true for editors too. So if we don’t get right back to you, please don’t take it personally. We’ll be as speedy as humanly possible!

How would you like writers to contact you?

We will only accept queries via e-mail. Please see our bios on our Web site at www.andreabrownlit.com and choose only one agent to whom you will submit your e-query. Target the agent for whom you feel your work is the best fit and send a short e-mail query letter to that agent, along with the first 10 pages of your work. We do not open attachments, so the query must be in the body of your e-mail, and it should include publisher submission history and previous publishing credits, if applicable. Please put QUERY and the title of your work in the subject field of your e-mail.

Lori RusselLori Russell is an award-winning writer who has had the pleasure to work with several great editors in her 17 years as a freelancer. She is a contributing editor to Columbia Gorge Magazine and has been a regular contributor to Ruralite for more than a decade. Her articles have appeared in newspapers and magazines throughout the country and her short fiction and poetry has been published in several journals and anthologies. Lori recently completed her first novel, Light on Windy River.

Brand Your Writing Career with Products

gregorywotr_002.gifWriter-preneur: Building Your Writing Career Using Technology
By Gregory A. Kompes

Freelance writers rarely earn enough cash from a single source to finance their lives. We require multiple income streams. Creating multiple writing gigs is one way to accomplish that. Another way to add a stream, while building your writer’s brand, is developing a product line. Journals, greeting cards, mugs, playing cards, and T-shirts are all popular options.

Having a product line serves two main purposes. The first is to generate income. When I speak at conferences, high schools, and speaker associations, in addition to having my books for sale, I also offer my products. The second is to help build brand awareness.

You can start simply by putting your logo or Web site URL on giveaway items like pens, mugs, or mouse pads. That’s one way to keep your brand and contact information at client’s fingertips. Or, consider something like this. I love taking pictures. I take them when I travel and when I interview people for articles and books. I snap away around town, too. I took advantage of this side interest by creating a line of art cards and gifts featuring my own photos. I use my photo journals, cards, and other products as giveaways, prizes, and for back of room (BOR) sales when I speak.

A company that can help you easily get started with your own product line is CafePress (CP: http://www.cafepress.com/). CP is a print on demand (POD) product company so there’s no initial investment, no overhead, and no warehousing of products. And using the service is simple. Just create a free account, upload an image or photo, choose the products you’d like to sell, add the uploaded picture, and set the price.

CP also allows you to purchase your own products below sales price so you can sell them BOR when you speak and present. For sample CaféPress shops, visit Writer’s on the Rise Online Store (http://www.cafepress.com/writersontheris) and my own shop of art cards and gifts (http://www.cafepress.com/gregorykompes). If you choose to create a CP shop, you’ll help out Writer’s on the Rise if you use “writersontheris” as your referrer!

For a larger personal investment, you can create logo and promotional products even cheaper by using one of the many imprint companies around the world. My two favorites are 4Imprint (http://www.4imprint.com) and Monarch Promotions (http://www.monarchpromotions.com).

As you build your writer brand, adding promotion and logo products will keep you and your company in the minds of existing and potential clients.

Gregory A. Kompes (www.Kompes.com) is a writer, speaker, mentor and coach. He is the author of the #1 bestseller 50 Fabulous Gay-Friendly Places to Live, The Endorsement Quest, Turning Your Writing Hobby into a Writing Career, and The Everyday Gay Activist. Gregory is the editor of The Fabulist Flash, an informative newsletter for writers, founder of LAMOO Books, and Coordinator of the Las Vegas Writer’s Conference. The author holds a BA in English Literature from Columbia University, NY, and is currently a MS in Education candidate at California State University, Eastbay.


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