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                    W R I T I N G   W O R L D

A World of Writing Information - For Writers Around the World

                  http://www.writing-world.com

Issue 14:04          13,240 subscribers          February 20, 2014
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IN THIS ISSUE:
=================================================================

THE EDITOR'S DESK: Too Busy Writing to Write, by Moira Allen
CRAFTING FABULOUS FICTION: Do You Hear Voices? by Victoria Grossack 
NEWS FROM THE WORLD OF WRITING
WRITING JOBS AND OPPORTUNITIES
FEATURE: How to Use Social Proof to Win Clients and Influence
Buyers, by Jennifer Brown Banks
THE INQUIRING WRITER: The Rights and Wrongs of Blogging for Pay, 
by Dawn Copeman
THE WRITE SITES -- Online Resources for Writers
WRITING CONTESTS WITH NO ENTRY FEES  
The Author's Bookshelf   
                           
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FROM THE EDITOR'S DESK: 
=================================================================

Too Busy Writing to Write!
--------------------------

Recently my husband asked me when I thought I would be getting back
to some "writing."  That led me to ask myself the same
soul-searching question, "Gee, why am I not getting any writing
done?"  Was it fear?  Procrastination?  Deep-seated doubts about
the validity of my work?

And yet... As I searched my soul, my soul whispered back, "But...
you HAVE been writing!  Constantly!"  Or so it seems...

On the theory (also regularly espoused by my spouse) that you can't
manage what you can't measure, I decided to take a look at just
what IS happening with my time.  How is it that I "feel" like I'm
writing, when I'm not getting any "writing" done?

One clue came in the form of an e-mail from a friend in Nigeria. 
When I mentioned my difficulty in "getting writing done," he
responded with a note of surprise: "But you just wrote 4000 words
to me!"  Wow - 4000 words, in one e-mail, in one afternoon. 
That's... a lot of words.

So I looked at my "writing" record for the past two days, and found
that, sure enough, I'm doing quite a lot of writing.  Yesterday, I
wrote another 2000-word e-mail to my friend (to make up for the
fact that I haven't sent him an e-mail in about a month).  Today,
I've written - counting this editorial - roughly 5000 words. 
Almost 2000 words went into an e-mail responding to a question
relating to my pet loss website (an e-mail which, admittedly, I
plan to turn into an article).  Since the critique group I've just
joined meets tomorrow, and requires crits to be delivered in
writing, I put in another 2000 words reviewing this week's
submissions.  And then Dawn sent me the newsletter, which I'd
completely forgotten about, with the note that "all we need is your
editorial!"

Now, while some of that 5000 words is fairly decent writing, none
of it is getting me any closer to, say, the short story that I've
committed to submitting to the critique group when MY turn comes up
next month.  And by the end of the day (which is, pretty much,
now), I'm definitely not going to have the energy or motivation to
tackle yet another 5000 words.  Which means that another day will
have gone by when I've been too busy writing to write.

It occurred to me, as I read Jennifer Banks' article on "Social
Proof" in this issue, that this problem may affect many of you as
well.  Today, we are constantly being told that we MUST write this,
that and the other -- "this that and the other" being in addition
to the books, stories, articles, poetry, or whatever else we
actually WANT to write.  We are told that we really must blog -
regularly! We simply MUST keep active on our Facebook page, posting
catchy updates and providing our readers with links to interesting
websites, cool pictures, and so forth.  It's absolutely VITAL that
we build a Twitter following.  And of course we need to keep
responding to other people's blogs, posts, and tweets, because
being a "successful" writer is all about interactivity and
"community."

In short, writers today have more demands upon their time and
skills than ever before in history.  Charles Dickens did not keep a
blog, and managed, instead, to write a number of quite popular (and
very LONG) books.  Agatha Christie did not have a Facebook page,
and wrote dozens of novels that are still top sellers today. 
Moving into the present, bestselling author Mary Higgins Clark -
arguably one of the more prolific of authors - does not (gasp) have
a blog.

Yet today, we dutifully finish our blog posts, write comments on
our friends' blogs, handle our e-mail, update our Facebook status,
respond to half a dozen tweets - and promise ourselves that
tomorrow we'll work on our novel/short story/memoir/whatever.  And
we wonder what is wrong, and why our dreams aren't "happening,"
when, after all, we are doing what all the pundits tell us are the
"right" things.  We may not be doing what we want to do, but we're
doing what we've been told we HAVE to do to become a successful
writer in "today's world."

The problem is, having a great blog and a fantastic Twitter
following isn't going to help anyone sell a book if they don't have
a book to sell!  I'm delighted to have found a fantastic critique
group, and pleased to help my fellow writers therein, but that
group won't help ME if I don't find time to write a submission.

We're living in an era where the very technologies that promised to
reduce labor have, instead, managed to multiply it beyond anyone's
wildest imagination.  Thanks to cell phones, we no longer have to
be in the office to "do business" - we can do business in the car,
on the bus, in an airport, even in the grocery store.  We can do
business at any hour of the day or night, whether we're at home or
on vacation - and so, naturally we do.  Not because we want to, but
because we're expected to, simply because we can.  E-mail has meant
that we can now be contacted by readers and fans around the world -
so instead of having a handful of letters to answer every month, a
popular writer may receive dozens or even hundreds a day.  Laptops
and tablets mean that we can write or work anytime, anywhere - so
(according to my sister's account of a recent cruise) even a
traveler on vacation is more likely to be dashing off posts and
tweets than enjoying the scenery he or she paid to visit in the
first place. In every area of our lives, technologies that start
out as "possibilities" turn, almost overnight, into requirements.

It seems that every generation encounters the tempting myth that
one can have, or do, it "all."  And for a time, we pursue it
eagerly, hoping that in our case, with our shining new technologies
and time-savers, this time it will actually prove to be true. 
Unfortunately, it isn't.  So if you're running faster and faster in
your efforts to do "all the right things" as a writer, here's my
suggestion for 2014: Stop trying to do it "all."  Instead, try to
do what counts.  Because all the Facebook friends in the world
won't help you sell a book that you're too tired, or "too busy
writing," to write.

-- Moira Allen, Editor
 
This article may be reprinted provided the author's byline, bio and
copyright notice are retained.  (For an author bio and complete
details on reprint terms, please visit 
http://www.writing-world.com/admin1/reprints.shtml)

Link to this article here:
http://www.writing-world.com/coffee/coffee75.shtml

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COLUMN: CRAFTING FABULOUS FICTION, Do You Hear Voices?
 
==================================================================
By Victoria Grossack

I confess that I do. All the time. I'm a type known as an "audio"
instead of a "visual," which means that I think in words as opposed
to pictures. My thoughts are expressed in my brain, usually aloud
(well, internally aloud). Most often these thoughts are expressed
in my own voice, but when I've been listening to another person
with a strong, interesting, distinctive voice, that voice will
sometimes take over as the position as narrator in my head. 

This can be irritating, especially when the voice is speaking
imperfect English (I spend a lot of time with people who don't have
English as their first language). Sometimes it's simply annoying,
because I feel as if this other personality is dominating mine and
I don't want it to. On the other hand, for my writing, this
"hearing of voices" has advantages. Dialogue and internal thoughts
come far more easily. I can also HEAR the rest of the language for
my story -- and as writing is written in words, this is very
helpful. 

But voice in literature implies a great deal more than just hearing
voices, although hearing voices may help you establish a literary
voice. What, exactly, is a literary voice?
 
Definitions 
-----------
First of all, let me say that VOICE is not PERSON. PERSON refers to
how the story is told, such as first, second or various degrees of
third. How you go about creating a voice is strongly influenced by
the person in which you write, but VOICE and PERSON are different. 
So, we know a little about what VOICE is not. What is it? As
there's little merit in re-inventing definitions, here are a few
already put together by others:
 
VOICE refers to the controlling presence or "authorial voice"
behind the characters, narrators, and personae of literature. It is
also described as the implied author. The particular qualities of
the author's voice are manifested by her or his method of
expression (an ironic narrator, a lyric persona), specific
language, and so forth. (The above can be found at 
http://web.uvic.ca/wguide/Pages/LTVoice.html, a site maintained by
the University of Victoria in Canada.)

Definition: VOICE has two meanings as it concerns creative writers: 

* VOICE is the author's style, the quality that makes his or her
writing unique, and which conveys the author's attitude,
personality, and character; or 

* VOICE is the characteristic speech and thought patterns of a
first-person narrator; a persona. 

Because voice has so much to do with the reader's experience of a
work of literature, it is one of the most important elements of a
piece of writing. (The above comes from 
http://fictionwriting.about.com/od/glossary/g/voice.htm.)
I would extend this definition to consider also applying the term
VOICE to characters, even when you're not writing in first person.
A well-developed character can also have a voice. Even though this
may not meet the technical, far-reaching definitions that we've
seen above, many of the techniques that apply to developing your
voice as a narrator can also be applied to developing the voices
and personalities and styles of your characters.
 
Examples 
--------
VOICE is an elusive quality, almost as difficult to define as style
is in fashion. It should become clearer if you see (hear) it. So
here are some examples:
 
Mark Twain, in "The Gilded Age":

"Their costumes, as to architecture, were the latest fashion
intensified; they were rainbow-hued; they were hung with
jewels--chiefly diamonds. It would have been plain to any eye that
it had cost something to upholster these women." 

When I read these sentences, I can hear the voice of Mark Twain
(aka Samuel Clemens): his ironic American twang, the
not-so-cultured yet very intelligent drawl. The echoes in my brain
are partly due to the fact that I've seen Samuel Clemens portrayed
in various shows -- both on the stage and on television -- but they
are also due to his unique style. 

Amy Tan, in "The Kitchen God's Wife":

"She was referring to the old beggar shoe-mender who walked from
door to door, whose breath and body smelled as bad as the old shoes
he fixed and tried to sell. I think all the mothers in our village
threatened to marry their daughters to Old Shoe Stink. And those
daughters must have obeyed. Otherwise, Old Shoe Stink would have
had twenty wives!" 

Can't you hear the accents of the immigrant Chinese woman, who has
learned English but whose thoughts and choice of words are still
colored by her original home? 

Mark Haddon, in "The Curious Incident of the Dog in the
Night-Time": 

"It was 7 minutes after midnight. The dog was lying on the grass in
the middle of the lawn in front of Mrs. Shears's house. Its eyes
were closed. It looked as if it was running on its side, the way
dogs run when they think they are chasing a cat in a dream. But the
dog was not running or asleep. The dog was dead. There was a garden
fork sticking out of the dog." 

Haddon is writing a first-person novel in which the narrator is an
autistic boy. The autism may not be so clear in the sentences given
above, but I believe the fact that the narrator is a boy comes
through loud and clear. 

How It's Done 
-------------
All right, so we've gone through a few examples. But how is it done?
 
These three are different in origin. Mark Twain's voice is almost
certainly his own; that is, the same voice, albeit with some
variation, can be found in the vast majority of his literature.
With respect to Amy Tan, she spent a lot of time with people who
emigrated from China and have English as their second language. So
although the voice may not be exactly her own -- there are many
passages in her books that are not written in this particular
dialect -- it is certainly something she knows well. So she has to
listen carefully and use the voice that she has heard so often. As
for Mark Haddon, he has a lot of experience writing for children,
if not portraying them. 

But let's take a look at some of the details and how they make
these voices different. 

WORDS: 

Mark Twain uses the word "upholstered" to refer to women's dress.
As the word is usually applied to furniture, his use of this word
is just a bit derogatory, as well as delightfully descriptive. 

Amy Tan's character uses the word "beggar" and "village." Now,
although these words are common enough in that everyone understands
them, they are not used so often, at least not in the United
States. "Homeless" is more frequently applied than "beggar;" "town"
or "small town" are things we hear instead of "village." The word
"village," at least in the US, refers to a particular section of
New York City. 

Mark Haddon deliberately writes "7" instead of "seven." Both the
autism (obsession with numerical accuracy) and the youth of the
narrator (the narrator might not realize that lower numerals are
usually written out in prose) make this approach logical. 

PHRASES: 

Mark Twain's "the latest fashion intensified" is not a phrase most
writers would use, but I can hear his voice uttering it. 

Amy Tan's "Old Shoe Stink" conveys a voice (and a smell) that makes
one think of a different place and time. 

Mark Haddon: "the way dogs run when they think they are chasing a
cat in a dream" -- this is a lovely detail, showing the remarkable
observational quality of the narrator.
 
SENTENCE STRUCTURE: 

Mark Twain: longer than one sees today, partly because he wrote in
the nineteenth century, when longer sentences were more common. 

Amy Tan: Chinese-immigrant dialect -- often there are no articles. 

Mark Haddon's narrator: He uses a simple structure befitting a
youthful writer.
 
WHAT THEY WRITE ABOUT: 

Mark Twain: often mocks the values that people took for granted,
such as dressing well. The morsel, "mostly diamonds" is choice
because diamonds are often generally accepted as the most expensive
gem. 

Amy Tan: the relationship between mothers and daughters -- a strong
theme in her book (and in many of her books). Also, in the Western
world, we have not so many instances of beggars going from house to
house, even those offering services. 

Mark Haddon's character: very matter-of-fact, exactly what he sees.
In addition, he chooses to write about the murder of a dog,
something which adults might not consider worth their time. The
combination of word choice, phrase creation, sentence structure and
what they write about somehow create a whole that is greater than
the sum of its parts -- the VOICE. 

How to Improve Your Voice(s) 
----------------------------
GET TO KNOW YOUR NARRATORS AND YOUR CHARACTERS. You need to have a
perspective to portray; you should have something to say. This
should influence the vocabulary you choose, how you put your
phrases and sentences together, and naturally, what you write
about. If you are just trying to be yourself, ask yourself if you
have a particular attitude that you want to become clear through
your writing. 

LISTEN TO PEOPLE SPEAKING, PARTICULARLY THOSE YOU WANT TO
REPRESENT. This may not be possible, as your characters may not be
alive -- for example many of my stories are set in Bronze Age
Greece, and it's not so easy to resurrect people from that time
period. On the other hand, I can read works that are closer to that
time period -- for example, Homer's "The Iliad" -- and adapt the
language for my own uses. So if you're writing for children, you
should listen to children. Not only should you listen to what they
actually say, you should try to discover what they like to say (fun
words, for example, beginning with crazy letters like z, or q, or b
as well as nonsensical rhymes, such as "cuddly-wuddly" and
"Humpty-Dumpty"). 

LISTEN TO AUDIO BOOKS. One of the advantages of this method is that
you can slow it down and ponder particular passages. In
conversations, especially when you are expected to give an answer
to something, you can't always take time to attend to the finer
details. 

WHEN YOU'RE READY, READ YOUR WRITING ALOUD. This is a good exercise
for plenty of other reasons -- for example it can help you catch
mistakes -- but it will also help you hear the voice that you have
developed. 

IF YOU CAN BEAR IT, HAVE SOMEONE ELSE READ YOUR WRITING ALOUD. I
suggest you don't try this until you've read it aloud yourself.
However, you can pick up a lot this way, and you can certainly
listen with greater concentration. Hint: this works best if you
find someone who is good at reading aloud, someone who likes
reading aloud. Check out your local drama groups for resources. 

READ OTHER VOICES. It never hurts to see how other writers manage
the challenge of creating voices. Here are some pieces you might
read: 

"The Color Purple," by Alice Walker, with the story told by Celie,
the poor, abused girl who is so uneducated at the beginning that
there seems no hope for her. Written in the form of letters, we get
the chance to see a world unfamiliar to many. 

"The Catbird Seat," by James Thurber. This enchanting little story
has one character (Mr. Martin) being tormented by the intrusion by
the actions and the voice of another character (Mrs. Ulgine
Barrows), and tells what Mr. Martin does to liberate himself. 

"Just-So Stories," by Rudyard Kipling. Although some of his stories
might be deemed politically incorrect for today's audience, the
narrator's voice -- basically a father telling bedtime stories to
his young daughter -- has a powerful magic to it. 

Again, consider reading these aloud, so that you hear the rhythm of
the language. 

Thanks for listening to my voice as I rant on about voice.  May you
keep on reading, on keep listening, and keep on writing.

>>--------------------------------------------------<<

Victoria Grossack studied Creative Writing and English Literature
at Dartmouth College, and has published stories and articles in
publications such as Contingencies, Women's World and I Love Cats.
Victoria is co-author with Alice Underwood of the Tapestry of
Bronze series (Jocasta; Children of Tantalus; The Road to Thebes;
Arrow of Artemis; and Antigone & Creon), based on Greek myths and
set in the late Bronze Age. On her own she has written The Highbury
Murders, in which channeled the spirits and styles of Jane Austen
and Agatha Christie.  Her newest novel is Academic Assassination (A
Zofia Martin Mystery) - available now on Kindle and coming soon in
print.  Besides all this, Victoria is married with kids, and
(though American) spends much of her time in Europe. Her hobbies
include gardening, hiking, bird-watching and tutoring mathematics.
Visit her website at http://www.tapestryofbronze.com, or contact
her at tapestry (at) tapestryofbronze (dot) com 

Copyright 2014 Victoria Grossack. A Version of this article
appeared at Fiction Fix.

This article may not be reprinted or posted without the written
permission of the author.

Want to learn more about crafting fabulous fiction? Victoria now
offers one-on-one writing classes; find out more at: 
http://www.tapestryofbronze.com/VictoriasWritingClasses.html.

Link to this article here: 
http://www.writing-world.com/victoria/crafting37.shtml
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FREE CALLS FOR SUBMISSIONS
WritingCareer.com is a free online resource to find paying markets
for your poetry, fiction, and nonfiction. Updated daily, we report
on current needs of editors and publishers who are open for
submissions, pay competitive rates, and do not charge reading fees.
http://www.writingcareer.com

 *****************************************************************

NEWS FROM THE WORLD OF WRITING
=================================================================
Can You Earn More As An Author if You Self-Publish?
---------------------------------------------------
Self-publishing, or in particular self-publishing through Amazon,
has been in the news a lot recently due to self-published author
Hugh Howey publishing his Author Earnings Report and claiming that
authors are better off self-publishing with Amazon.  There has been
some dispute over this (and a lot of statistics), which basically
seem to say "it depends."  To find out more on this story visit: 
http://tinyurl.com/madqyw4

"On the Road" Re-written With Precise Directions
------------------------------------------------
If you ever fancied doing a road trip Jack Kerouac style, but
wanted the convenience of knowing exactly where you are and where
you are heading, then the ebook "On the Road for 17527 Miles" could
be for you.  This ebook was created by Gregor Weichbrodt using Jack
Kerouac's novel and Google Maps.  To find out more visit: 
http://tinyurl.com/qffh34s

Wikipedia to Become 1000 Books?
-------------------------------
According to Wired magazine there is a crowdfunding project to turn
Wikipedia into a regular, printed encyclopedia.  If printed,
Wired.co.uk, says, the book would have 1,193,014 pages. Naturally,
it won't be printed in one book; like the encyclopaedias of old it
will be a series of books, in Wikipedia's case 1000 books, each
1200 pages long.  To find out more visit: http://tinyurl.com/krs2lwa

****************************************************************

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Writing Jobs and Opportunities
=================================================================

Resurrection House Seeking Dark Fiction
---------------------------------------
RESURRECTION HOUSE is seeking science fiction, fantasy, horror, and
creative non-fiction for a loosely themed anthology to be released
in the winter of 2015. Stories should be between 1,000 and 7,000
words, and pay will be 5 cents/word. Reprints are not out of the
question, but will be handled on an individual basis. Deadline for
submissions is March 31st, 2014. For more information visit the
website.
http://www.resurrectionhouse.com/2013/12/call-for-stories/

Anthology Seeks Authors' Tales of Rejection
-------------------------------------------
Finally, an anthology we can all submit to!  Cairn Press LLC is
seeking stories, essays or poems from authors on the theme of being
rejected as a writer. They are looking for "humorous, sarcastic and
pithy" entries rather than depressing ones. 

Work must be submitted by March 31 2014. To find out more read the
guidelines here: http://cairnpress.com/rejection

Apocalypse Ink Seeking Fiction and Nonfiction Works
---------------------------------------------------
Apocalypse Ink is seeking a dark speculative fiction trilogy - or
series of three linked novellas.  They do NOT want zombies!  They
do want dark urban fantasy or horror set anytime from 1950 to 2020.
 

On a separate note they are also seeking a nonfiction book proposal
on writing in the Internet Age. Deadline for submissions for both
works is March 31. 

To find out more about this call for submissions and to view
detailed guidelines visit the website.
http://www.apocalypse-ink.com/page/Submission-Guidelines.aspx

****************************************************************

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*****************************************************************

FEATURE: How to Use Social Proof to Win Clients and Influence
Buyers (when you're not "social media" active) 
====================================================================
By Jennifer Brown Banks
To paraphrase the lyrics of many a popular song, you are nobody
until you are loved. And though you may disagree with this premise
in the real world, it holds great merit in the "virtual one."

In fact, did you know that the amount of folks that "love you,"  as
evidenced by blog followers, FaceBook fans, and Twitter "peeps," is
often used by publishers, agents, and potential clients as a
success indicator? That's right; these "profiles" are often
assessed to evaluate your platform, your influence, your
connections, and your writing as a commodity. And for those of us
who may lack the time or savvy to indulge in a lot of social media
activity (and therefore lack huge followings), it's important to
capitalize on the phenomenon of social proof.

I learned the hard way. 

Back around 2006, I submitted a book proposal to a New York agent,
after many years of penning pieces for noted, national
publications, in hopes of representation for a self-help book. She
initially expressed great interest in reviewing my work and
potentially partnering.

Her rejection (two weeks later), came as follows: "You have obvious
talent as a writer. But, not a big enough platform."  It served as
a harsh reality check.

Back then, I didn't have an active blog, nor any real social media
history. And though I've since then gotten "on board," I must admit
that I'd STILL rather write than hang out and make small talk in
these popular forums. Which is why understanding the persuasive
power of Social Proof has become increasingly important over the
years. 

WHAT IS SOCIAL PROOF?
---------------------
It's a psychological term that comes in many forms, but to put it
loosely, it means outside validation that people approve of a
person or a product. For example, you're probably more likely to
see a movie that's been highly rated by many others, or try a
product that has a lot of favorable online reviews. It's all about
perceived value, popularity, and conformity.

Copywriter, author and strategist Dean Rieck states that we should
"Remember to ask what is the most tangible and relevant way to show
how my product or service is popular?"

With this in mind, here are a few creative ways that I've used to
establish my success and popularity, in the absence of a huge
Twitter count or massive subscriber base. And you can too.

1. Success by Association
-------------------------
Though my articles and blog posts may not be shared at a rate that
makes them go "viral," I have name recognition at some of the most
popular sites online. With many guest posts  and commentary pieces
penned at award-winning sites like Pro Blogger, Technorati, Men
With Pens, LifeHack, and The Well-Fed Writer, I am able to heighten
my visibility and my writing status. It should be noted that these
blogs are extremely selective, and require better than average
writing skills to make the cut. If you have had a similar
experience, make sure to include it in your Bio.

2. Testimonials   
---------------
Do you have clients that sing your praises? Have you worked with
high-profile people? Use their compliments and quotes on your site
to establish your expertise and skills as a  reliable service
provider.  Remember that there is "moni" in testimonials.

3. Awards and Recognition
-------------------------
In 2011, my Blog was chosen as a finalist at Write to Done's Top 10
Writing Blogs, out of more than a thousand entries. It was a
pivotal point in my career. That accomplishment helped to garner
advertisers, guest post requests, and serious "brownie points" in
the blogging community. Not long after, Writing World recognized me
with the "Totally Awesome Blog" designation. Boasting more than a
million readers, it brought with it the potential of having more
sets of eyes than Lens Crafters, and added prestige as well! Award
titles are great to add to email signature lines, strategic
placement on blogs, and even business cards.

4. Google Ranking
-----------------
Google has a ranking system that assigns a number of 1-10 to sites
based upon their number of inbound quality links, credibility and
other factors. After 2 years of blogging, my site ranked a 4
(though these rankings can fluctuate each year that Google revisits
its system). Why is this number important? The higher the number,
the greater the site's prestige factor. Some bloggers even use this
as a barometer to determine which sites to pitch guest posts.
Typically, sites ranked a 5 or better are viewed as top-tier in the
blogosphere. To check yours, see here:  
http://www.prchecker.info/check_page_rank.php

5. Online Reviews
-----------------
If you're an author whose book has received favorable ratings and
recommendations through sites like Amazon.com or Good Reads, use it
as a selling tool to entice future fans and buyers. Post excerpts
at your site, or even use it in your promotional materials.

So if you've been a social media recluse like me, don't despair.
Used strategically, social proof has the power to impress decision
makers, help promote your business, and allow you to work smarter
not harder.  Use it in 2014 as an integral part of your marketing
strategy.

Here's a tool to help you gauge just how much online clout you
currently have:

http://klout.com/corp/klout_score

>>--------------------------------------------------<<

Jennifer Brown Banks is a veteran freelance writer, Pro blogger,
and relationship columnist. Her guest posts and articles have
appeared at award-winning sites such as: Pro Blogger, Daily Blog
Tips, Technorati, Funds for Writers, and Men With Pens. She is also
a Ghost Writer, providing web content and blog posts for busy
professionals. Visit her site at http://Penandprosper.blogspot.com/.

This article may not be reprinted or posted without the written
permission of the author.

Link to this article here:
http://www.writing-world.com/promotion/proof.shtml


For more advice using social media to help your writing career,
check out these articles from our archives:     
http://writing-world.com/promotion/socialmedia.shtml
http://writing-world.com/promotion/sylvia.shtml

*****************************************************************

EBOOK SELF-PUBLISHING EXPLAINED
A publishing revolution is sweeping the industry. We explain what
is happening and show you how to self-publish your own eBooks.
http://www.PublishYourOwnEbooks.com

*****************************************************************
THE INQUIRING WRITER: The Rights and Wrongs of Blogging for Pay

=================================================================
By Dawn Copeman

Last month we had an intriguing question from Kathy in Canada. 
Kathy wrote: "I have a question(s) about blogging for pay. When I
write a blog article (for content for a website), can I rewrite
another version and sell it again? How much does it have to change
in order to qualify as a new version? Is this even ethical? If I
sell the article/blog then what rights am I selling, i.e. can the
employer then use it (or part of it) in print (hard copy)
advertising?  Hope you can help."

I've come across variations of this question before from many
writers who are used to writing primarily for magazines. When you
write an article for a magazine or for a website that is open to
submissions, you generally sell the rights to that article. This
could be first rights, electronic rights, reprint rights or all
rights. (For guidance on rights check out our section on rights: 
http://writing-world.com/rights/index.shtml)

With first rights and reprints you can, after a period of time
specified in the contract (or more often these days in the writers'
guidelines on the website), re-sell your article to another market.
 

When you write content or copy for businesses, including blog
posts, you are working as a 'writer for hire.'  This means that the
rights to the articles or blog posts belong to the company that
hired you - not you.

So the short answer to Kathy's question is that you can't sell the
content to another buyer - you don't own the rights.  Once the
company has paid you for your words, they own them and can do what
they want with them. They can print them as advertorials, use them
in brochures, on posters - whatever they want. They, (not you) can
submit them as guest posts on other sites (providing the other site
accepts previously published material).  They can submit your work
to article directories - they own the work - not you. 

This is the downside of copywriting - you do the work, but you
don't get the credit or the bylines!  

As to re-writing the blog post to sell to another market - that can
be done.  However, we are talking about a substantial rewrite:
taking the same theme, topic or news item and approaching it from a
completely different angle so that you have a completely new blog
post on the same theme. 

If you tried to sell the same blog post or content to another
company without changing a word, or by only changing some of your
post, you will not be employed by either company for long.  The
first company would, quite rightly, accuse the second company of
plagiarism, as the first company has the sole rights to the words.
The second company will not be happy either; no-one wants the same
content on their site or blog as on another site - Google severely
penalises sites that do this. Both companies would drop you like a
stone.

But with a bit of forethought and skill, you can write two blog
posts on the same theme for two companies and it needn't take a lot
of time. 

When I blogged for two IT companies I would use press releases and
industry news alerts as a way of finding new topics to write about.
 Of particular use were surveys on IT security or reports on major
new trends.  For one of my IT companies I would focus on one aspect
of the report - using certain quotes or statistics from it and
writing the blog with a specific focus relevant to that particular
IT company.  For the other, I would take a different focus, use
different quotes and statistics from the same report to create a
completely new blog post on the same theme. Both clients were
happy, both had blog posts on the same theme, but the posts were
totally unique.

When you get into the frame of mind of writing two articles or blog
posts on the same theme, you can easily sort out which angle to
take for each company and you get into the habit of looking at
topics from 2 to 4 different angles to enable you to produce as
many unique blog posts as you need to on that topic.  

I'm sorry if this is not what you wanted to hear - but when you
work as a copywriter - and any writer who writes content or blog
posts for others is a copywriter - you are a writer for hire.  You
are expected to provide a unique service for your client, and for
that you get paid.  If your blog posts aren't earning you as much
as you would like, then you need to consider writing more or moving
into higher paid blog writing positions. (Check out this article
for advice: http://writing-world.com/freelance/blog-gigs.shtml)

I hope this helps.  

Our question this month comes from Paul who wrote: "I've heard that
some companies are paying people to write tweets for them, do you
know if this is true?  If so, how to you get to be a tweet writer
and does it pay well?"

Do you tweet for celebrities?  Do you know someone who is a ghost
tweeter?  (If that's not the official name for them - it is now!  I
like that job title!) If you can help Paul, email me with the
subject line "Inquiring Writer" to editorial 'at' writing-world.com.

Also email me if you have a question to put to me or the writing
community. 

Until next time, 

Dawn 
>>--------------------------------------------------<<

Copyright Dawn Copeman 2014

Dawn Copeman is a British freelance writer, copywriter and eBook
ghost-writer who has published over 300 articles on the topics of
travel, cookery, history, health and writing. An experienced
commercial freelancer, Dawn contributed several chapters on
commercial writing to Moira Allen's Starting Your Career as a
Freelance Writer (2nd Edition). She edits the Writing World
newsletter and can be contacted at editorial "at" writing-world.com
and at http://www.linkedin.com/in/dawncopeman
 
This article may be reprinted provided the author's byline, bio and
copyright notice are retained.  

Link to this article here:
http://www.writing-world.com/dawn/blogrights.shtml

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THE WRITE SITES
=================================================================

The Writer's Forensics Blog
---------------------------
This is an amazing site for thriller and crime writers.  It has
news on the latest developments in forensics as well as interviews,
book reviews and details of online courses in thriller writing.  
http://writersforensicsblog.wordpress.com/

Grammar Bytes
-------------
I'm sure this is a site we've featured before, but it is worth
bookmarking and visiting.  This is the ultimate grammar site that
helps you to improve your grammar with quizzes (with rewards!) with
video clips and now with a no-charge MMO online course.  
http://www.chompchomp.com/

Cliché Finder
-------------
I don't know why you'd actually want to find a cliché, but if you
do, then this is the site for you.  Simply type in a word
(preferably a noun) and as quick as a flash (is that just a simile
or is it a cliché?) you'll get more clichés than you can shake a
stick at. http://www.westegg.com/cliche/

*****************************************************************

WRITING CONTESTS

================================================================= 
This section lists contests that charge no entry fees. Unless 
otherwise indicated, competitions are open to all adult writers. 
For a guide to nearly 1600 writing contests throughout the 
world, see Moira Allen's book, "Writing to Win: The Colossal 
Guide to Writing Contests"
(http://www.writing-world.com/bookstore/index.shtml).  
 
CARRIAGE HOUSE POETRY PRIZE
---------------------------
DEADLINE: March 1, 2014
GENRE:  Poetry
DETAILS:  In honor of Arbor Day, poems must contain reference to a
tree or trees (not necessarily poems about trees). Any style or
form. In honor of Arbor Day, poems must contain reference to a tree
or trees (not necessarily poems about trees). Any style or form.
1-2 poems, maximum 40 lines each 
PRIZES:  $ 250 and publication in Tiferet, a journal of the arts
and spirituality
URL: http://carriagehousepoetryseries.blogspot.com/ 

IT'S ALL WRITE SHORT STORY WRITING CONTEST FOR TEENS
----------------------------------------------------
DEADLINE:  March 14, 2014
OPEN TO: Students in Grades 6 to 12
GENRE:  Short Stories
DETAILS: Any theme, submit one story of between 4 and 8 pages in
length  
PRIZES: $200, $150, $100 and publication online and in a booklet.   
URL:   http://www.aadl.org/events/itsallwrite

GLASS WOMAN PRIZE
-----------------
DEADLINE:  March 21, 2014
GENRE: Short stories, nonfiction 
DETAILS: Theme is open but must be of significance to women. S0 -
5000 words. 
PRIZE: $500
URL:  http://www.sigriddaughter.com/GlassWomanPrize.htm

JANE MARTIN POETRY PRIZE
------------------------
DEADLINE: March 21, 2014 
OPEN TO: UK Residents aged 18 - 30.
GENRE:   Poetry
DETAILS: 1-4 poems, maximum 4 single-spaced pages total on any
theme and in any style.   
PRIZE: £700 and the chance to give reading at Girton College,
Cambridge. 
URL: http://www.girton.cam.ac.uk/images/poetryprizeflyer.pdf  

DIANA WOODS MEMORIAL AWARD IN CREATIVE NONFICTION
-------------------------------------------------
DEADLINE: March 31, 2014
GENRE: Nonfiction
DETAILS:  Submit an essay of up to 5000 words on a subject of your
choice.  You must also include a 100 word biography, a photo and a
note of thanks to the Woods family. 
PRIZE: $250 and publication in Lunch Ticket
URL: http://lunchticket.org/the-diana-woods-memorial-award/
 
CRIMINAL LINES
--------------
DEADLINE: May 5, 2014
OPEN TO: Unagented debut authors born or resident in UK or Ireland
GENRE: Books
DETAILS:  Submit the  first 15,000 words of your crime/thriller
novel and a synopsis of a maximum 800 words.  
PRIZE:  £1000 and chance to meet with AM Heath agents.
URL: http://amheath.com/blog/criminal-lines/

*****************************************************************

AUTHOR'S BOOKSHELF: Books by Our Readers
=================================================================

The Writer's Guide to Holidays, Observances and Awareness Dates, 
by Moira Allen
 
The Writer's Year: 2014, by Moira Allen

Find these and more great books at
http://www.writing-world.com/books/index.shtml

Have you just had a book published?  If so, let our readers know: 
just click on the link below to list your book.
http://www.writing-world.com/books/listyours.shtml

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Writing World is a publication of Writing-World.com
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Readers are welcome to forward this newsletter by e-mail IN ITS
ENTIRETY.  This newsletter may not be reposted or republished in
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unless otherwise indicated.

Editor and Publisher: MOIRA ALLEN (editors"at"writing-world.com) 
Newsletter Editor: DAWN COPEMAN (editorial"at"writing-world.com) 

Copyright 2014 Moira Allen







Copyright © 2017 by Moira Allen. All rights reserved.
All materials on this site are the property of their authors
and may not be reprinted without the author's written permission,
unless otherwise indicated.
For more information please contact Moira Allen, Editor