Category: newsletter writing

Humor: How and how much can you use in freelance articles?

OnSometimes (actually, often) absolutely none. No joke: even provoking a smile by a touch of word play will release you to the path of penury. The editor won’t buy it, and she probably won’t look at future queries from you either! Why? Because either the topic (death, disaster, rape, and so on) won’t allow it [...]

Your book needs final, professional proofreading…

OnWhat will kill a reader’s fervor fastest? Misspellings, punctuation errors, endless paragraphs, no flow, and nonsense. If somebody asks another, “How was ____ (your) book?” and they respond, “I couldn’t get into it. He can’t spell.” Or they say, “It didn’t make any sense…,” you probably lost that potential reader forever. So you need a [...]

Test your book with experts after you’ve finished the first draft

OnYour book has been written, you have given it a no-nonsense proofing, and it’s just about ready to go to your paid (final) proofreader so it will be properly and correctly written before you submit it for printing. Letting others read your book at this stage is controversial, but probably wise if it’s your first [...]

What you must do to properly finish your book’s first draft…

OnIn most of the past dozen or so posts in this blog we have been talking about writing and publishing your own book quickly and properly. And we’re near the gathering, formatting, and end-road prepping of your tome before it is given a last-step review and is submitted to print. It’s like a new home [...]

Copyright? Using others’ words or artwork in your book.

OnTo avoid the whole issue just read or hear what others say and retell it in your words. That would be the text of your book. But there can be wee pitffalls. If you are quoting them directly, you must tell the reader who they are, and usually the context of the statement. Others often [...]

Eight ways you can correct book errors in print!

OnWe’ve just published a book (The Art of School Boarding) that probably reached the printer (McNaughton-Gunn) yesterday. I’ll double check tomorrow to be sure the text we sent and the artwork (from Pakistan) are there. It used to be that once a book reached the paper or hard back printer (here, to Saline, Michigan, from [...]

Does your book need much or more research?

OnSometimes books don’t need much research. If your book is about a little girl spending a day at the circus with her grandparents, a quick refresher on what one sees or does at a circus is probably enough, maybe with a little girl in tow. Later you can go back and mull around to fill [...]

Where do you find more information for your book?

OnHere are some solid starters: * Start with a keyword list. Think, if you need the four (or six or ten) words that best describe your topic, what would they be? Create two columns on a piece of paper. Put those keywords in the first column. * Head to Google (or more specific search engines) [...]

How to write your book’s first draft

OnAs quickly as possible—and do it first! Let me share an inside secret on how you can separate the newbies from the veterans. The latter race through the first draft while the first timers belabor every word, parse thrice every phrase, and start again and again and again. The vets know that their initial inspirations [...]

Four ways to get magazine or newspaper interviews

OnOver the past 30-years, in my “Writing Travel Articles That Sell” seminar, I’d talk for about 20 minutes about interviewing. The entire process has almost completely changed during that time. First, though, why bother to interview at all? Who really cares? The editors who will hopefully buy your article (even book) care a lot. It’s [...]