Tag Archives: book publishing

Recommended Reading: The Editor’s Eye

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The Book: The Editor’s Eye by Stacy Ennis

The Take-Away: The Editor’s Eye is a great introduction to the craft of editing for authors who are writing a book and wondering how the editing process works. It also makes a compelling case for WHY having your book professionally edited is necessary to ensuring the tome’s success.

The Review: I have a reputation in my family for being ridiculously “meta,” so when I heard about this book – which provides an overview of editing a book – I knew I would love it. And in today’s changing publishing environment, it’s no longer a given that everyone involved implicitly accepts that editors are an integral part of the process.

The Editor’s Eye is aimed at first-time authors, but is studded with tips that can help more experienced writers find a good editorial team and can provide editors with new and powerful ways to explain what they do and how it adds value to a manuscript.

One of the biggest strengths of the book is that it is able to provide a reality check for those new to publishing. She provides advice that helps writers learn how to incorporate editing into the writing process from the very first draft – wait, scratch that, from the outline of the book – and devotes a chapter on how to find and work with an editor. Her guidelines, while not dictatorial or rigid, provide boundaries that can help would-be book authors know of they are on track … or not.

The Editor’s Eye is a great gift to a new author embarking on a project, an editor who wants to move into book editing (or explain what he/she does more clearly), or anyone interested in the process of how books come to life.

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Write This Way, Condensed: Top Writing and Editing Links for December 30, 2012

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Photo courtesy of SXC.

False Starts | Adam Westbrook

Was 2012 not quite what you were hoping, in terms of your creative output? Well, Westbrook, a sharp, talented UK-based multimedia journalist, has a little pep talk for anyone who’s ever started a project, only to see it falter. He lists more than half a dozen of his own false starts, and tells readers of his (recently) retired blog:

The point is, every one has false starts and stumbles. Everyone falters and fails, particularly on the way to doing important work. Although each of these were disappointing and painful at the time, I learned something important from each of them. Don’t be set back by your personal false starts. The people who make it in the end are the ones who pick themselves back up, dust themselves off and get busy again. As long as you learn something from them they haven’t been a waste of time.

The best in narrative, 2012: Storyboard’s top picks in audio, magazines, newspapers and online
The Nieman Storyboard blog, a project of the Nieman Foundation for Journalism at Harvard, provides links to 34 pieces of narrative nonfiction in a variety of formats. The list provides access to a sumptuous feast to sate your end-of-the-year reading hunger, and it’s a great guide to writing/editing/producing excellent stories.

Five Things My Literary Agent Taught Me About Publishing Success

Tim Sanders of Net Minds publishing company discusses five valuable lessons his literary agent, Jan Miller, taught him. I like the point he makes about focusing on writing a strong book, rather than expecting promotional tricks to drive everything in terms of sales.

A book must “work”.  Promotion just gives it a chance to work – (Jan) learned this working with all of her authors over time.  Her point is that books must connect deeply with readers, so the reader tells all of his friends to buy the book. While you sleep, your book is working, promting itself via its quality. Without word-of-mouth or BIG media, books languish in obscurity. Marketing and promotion places the book into enough hands for the resulting word-of-mouth to make a big difference.  To write a book that works: Write what you know and then show us who you are.  Be generous, helpful and provocative.

Can You REALLY Make Money Blogging? [7 Things I Know About Making Money from Blogging]

Darren Rowse, creator of ProBlogger, offers his opinion on the blogging-for-money question, based upon his experience and those of the people with whom he interacts and works as the owner of a blog about blogging professionally. I found the post very matter-of-fact and grounding. Here’s a sample of what he has to say, in this case about whether there is a single formula to follow to make a living as a blogger.

From time to time, people have released products that claim to be formulas for success when it comes to making money online. They outline steps to follow to “guarantee” you’ll make money. In my experience there is no formula. Each full-time blogger I’ve met in the last ten years has forged their own path and has a unique story to tell. They have often acted on hunches and made surprising discoveries along the way.

There are certainly similarities in many of the stories but each blogger has their own personality and style, each one is reaching a different audience, and each niche tends to monetize differently. The key lesson is to be aware of what others are doing and to learn what you can from each other, but to also be willing to forge your own path as well!

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Making a Statement Without Saying a Word: One Very Awesome Book Trailer By Jessica McCann

Novelist and nonfiction writer Jessica McCann

Jessica McCann has written for the magazine I edit at my day job. She’s interviewed me for an article on the college and university magazine market. I’ve interviewed her about writing fiction and nonfiction on this blog.

But the reason I’m posting today is to introduce you to the book trailer that Jessica developed for her novel, “All Kinds of Free.”  Book trailers are increasingly becoming an integral part of selling a book, whether it be fiction or nonfiction. The trailer for “All Different Kinds of Free” is an incredible demonstration of how to repurpose compelling material from print into a multimedia format and create a persuasive video to sell a historical novel.

Even more inspiring to me is the fact that Jessica made this trailer almost entirely by herself. In an interview on the Wolf and Redhood Media blog, Jessica revealed that she made the trailer herself, using Windows MovieMaker and photos and music from istockphoto.com.

Here’s what she had to say about how she crafted the trailer:

“The text for the trailer came from a variety of materials that had been written over the past couple of years – from my original pitch letter to my agent all the way down the line to the current back-cover copy. Writing and editing those types of materials helps you hone down to the key points in a small amount of space.

“For the trailer, I just whittled it down a bit more, while still hitting the highlights with fewer words. Then, once I had all the pieces in place in MovieMaker, it was a matter of tweaking the timing. I’d watch the trailer and take notes about which slides seemed to linger too long, which ones flashed by too quickly, if they seemed too copy heavy or took too long to read. I’d watch, then fine-tune, watch again, and fine-tune some more. Then I had a test audience (my husband and two teenage children!) watch and give me the same type of feedback, which led to still more fine-tuning.”

Writers of every genre can learn something by watching Jessica’s book trailer. And there is a bonus to going and watching the trailer on YouTube: If you leave a comment, you may win a copy of the book! The publisher will begin giving away one copy of the book to a random commenter when the page reaches 500 views and the book give-away will continue with one book given away for every 500 views until the trailer reaches 10,000 views or Dec. 31, 2011, whichever happens sooner. You can review all the details of this give-away on Jessica’s blog.

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Biography of a biographer: Marshall Terrill on writing about the lives of others

Celebrity biographer Marshall Terrill

Today I present my interview with celebrity biographer Marshall Terrill. I happened to know Marshall slightly through my day job at Arizona State University (where he also works), but did not know until recently about his sideline of writing celebrity biographies – or the incredible dedication he has given a craft that is, in his words, an “expensive hobby.”

His interview provides a very candid look at his book writing career, and offers lots of specific advice to writers who are interested in pursuing this nonfiction genre.

Tell us about your professional background and your introduction to writing nonfiction.

My introduction to writing came as a result of unfortunate personal circumstances.  Let’s just say my writing career was as much a surprise to me as it was to anyone else.

In the late 1980s I worked in the mailroom for Phoenix businessman Charles Keating, who was later sent to federal prison as a result of a savings and loan scandal.  At the time I worked for Keating I was attending college, studying business and was in the first year of my marriage.  I had hitched my wagon to his star in hopes that one day I would work in a higher job capacity for him when I graduated college.  When Keating went to prison, I was out work and my future looked bleak.  Because of the stress, my wife left me and so I was very much at a crossroads in my life.  My father called me from Washington D.C. and said, “Well, you just lost your job and your wife left you.  What’s your next trick going to be?”

What I said took us both by surprise. “Actually, I want to move back to Washington D.C. and write a book on the life of Steve McQueen.”  The Library of Congress was not far from my parents’ home, which is where I conducted a majority of my research.  My dad said, “Why on earth would you want to do a thing like that?  I could barely get you to read in high school.”  I told him that I had always wanted to write a book on Steve McQueen and that something had compelled me to do this.  He thought for a moment and said, “Well, you might as well do it while you’re young because if you fail, you can recover.”  So that was it.  I moved back into my parents’ home at the age of 24 and stayed there until I was 28.  “Steve McQueen: Portrait of an American Rebel” was published in December 1993 just as I turned 29.

What motivated you to write your first book?

I had read other books on McQueen and felt they focused on the bad-boy behavior, the man on the motorcycle if you will, and zipped through his film work.  They had only covered parts of his life, but largely ignoring his acting.  There was not one all-encompassing biography of his life and I felt the market had demanded it.  I’ve always felt he was a terrific film actor, perhaps the best of his generation, and was greatly underrated in his lifetime. Turned out I was right.  Every co-star I interviewed said McQueen was gifted and that he was the best actor and they had ever worked with and had this incredible screen presence.  What’s amazing to me is that his legacy grows with each passing year. Today he is the most emulated actor in Hollywood and in the last few years, he’s made Forbes’ Top 10 list of dead celebrity earners.  Not bad for a guy who died more than 30 years ago.

How did you settle on biography as a nonfiction writing genre?

Because I think like most non-fiction readers do – if you’re going to take the time to read a book, you might as well learn something.  Fiction to me is more of an escape and if I wanted to escape, I’ll go to the movies or rent a DVD.  There’s so much you can learn about life when you read non-fiction.  You can learn about history, human behavior, psychology, triumph and tragedy, and invaluable life lessons.

What is the greatest challenge in writing a good biography?

The monumental effort it takes to put it all together.  It’s the ultimate jigsaw when you really come down to it, and you never know what challenges or roadblocks you’ll face.  I wrote a book with boxer Ken Norton that I thought would take maybe a year at most.  However, before I met him, he was in a life-threatening car accident and his memory was completely wiped out. So instead of him telling me his story, I went to the library and researched his entire life, which took almost four years.  As I began to outline his life, I had to repeat back to him his life story, which triggered his memory.  It was a very strange experience, but luckily we pulled it off.

Another interesting experience that took me much longer was the seven years I spent “Maravich” (a biography of basketball legend “Pistol” Pete Maravich co-authored with Wayne Federman) but two of those years were committed to transcribing 300 interviews.  That is a very tedious process.  On top of that I spent another few years culling other information that included newspaper and magazine articles, official documents, memorabilia and interviews with people who knew the subject.  When you’re done with the research, you have to assemble all of that information together to tell the story.  It’s a Herculean effort.  Then there’s the post-production process: editing, trying to find an agent/publisher and finally, promotion.  You can write the greatest book in the world but if no one knows about it, you’ve simply wasted your times.  Those are all skills learned along the way that aren’t taught but are self-learned.  You either sink or swim.

You’ve managed to write 15 books over the past 20 years, often while holding down day jobs that involve writing as well. What are your tips for managing one’s writing time effectively?

It all boils down to dedication, which is 90 percent of the battle.  People always ask me, “What’s the secret of getting published?”  I tell them there’s no real secret to writing a book – you get on the computer and you write.  I mainly see two big problems: 1.) People give up way too easily.  Are they willing to put in the time that is required to finish the task?  Sometimes that task is a year; other times it is seven years.  … When I wrote the first book, I worked 8 to 10 hours a day for three-and-a-half years straight.  You have to have that sort of dedication to get a book published or it’s just not going to happen. 2.) The other problem I see is a form of self-sabotage and it happens more often than not.  I’ve seen many writers start a book, write about half the manuscript, then drop that project and start another.  Or they’ll write a chapter and then go back and edit it to the point where they can’t go forward.  They think this is perfectly normal.  I don’t.  I say finish the first book to the point of perfection and then move onto the next project.  I’ve seen so many stalled careers because the writer can’t complete the first project.

Set aside a time each day and write.  What worked best for me was to write an hour a day before/after work and four to five hours on Saturday and Sunday.  Someone who has kids is going to have a harder time, and that’s the harsh reality.  I don’t have kids and a very understanding wife, who made a lot of sacrifices so I could write my books.

How have your day jobs augmented your career as a celebrity biographer?

It took a while for me to get it through my thick head that I couldn’t earn a living at simply writing non-fiction books.  I dedicated 10 years of my life to make it work and I just couldn’t.  I owned a house and took in boarders (that’s a book in and of itself!), took part-time jobs to bring in some sort of income to pay the bills and I was financially treading water the entire time.  That gets old after a while.  Unless you are selling millions of books, it’s just not going to happen because of the way book that deals are structured, which is always in favor of the publisher.  And that’s not a negative – the publisher is putting up the money and taking the risk, so they should be rewarded.  For example, a typical hardback book will cost somewhere in the neighborhood of $5 to produce.  The publisher sells that to the wholesaler/retailer somewhere in the range of $12 to $15.  The publisher makes somewhere between $7 and $10 per book and the royalty for the writer is around $2 to $3 depending on what you’ve negotiated.  Everybody thinks they’re going to get on Oprah Winfrey and sell a million books, but that’s not reality.  It’s like banking your future on winning the lottery.

Most of my books sell somewhere between 10,000 and 15,000 copies, depending on what kind of publicity I get and if the timing is good (most of my books are timed on anniversaries and key dates so I have a news hook to pitch to the media).  Realistically, I make between $20,000 to $30,000 a book, and keep in mind royalty checks are spread out six months apart.  It’s not as if the publisher is going to let you have all that money at once.  But if you weigh the paycheck vs. the time I’ve put into writing the book, money spent on editors, travel, postage, research, long-distance phone calls and office supplies, it’s literally pennies on the dollar.  It’s supplemental income at best, but the work is full-time.  I call writing my “expensive hobby” because it costs money to write a book.  Ask any published non-fiction writer if it cost them money to pursue their books and they’ll be able to show you their tax receipts.

After 10 years of writing books from home, I decided it was time to get a job because I didn’t want to be 40, have no pension or a big hole on my resume.  So when an opportunity arose at a local newspaper as a journalist, I took it.  It was a practical decision because it’s what I loved to do and I could continue to write my books on the side.  I would have remained a journalist for the rest of my life but then the economic crash hit our country, and I could see the handwriting on the wall.  Newspapers got hit very hard and so I made the switch to the other side – public relations.  I knew how to get publicity from my books and what made for a good news story, so it was a very easy transition.  I work now for Arizona State University in Public Affairs.

Your website mentions you write your books with Cheryl Hosmer, a developmental editor/writer. How does your partnership work?

I instinctively knew that a big part of my success was that when I turned in a manuscript, it was fully edited.  Many reasons why other writers don’t get published is that their manuscripts needed a lot of editing.  This is where the ego gets in the way.  I’ve talked to many young writers who say, “I’m such a good writer that I don’t need editing,” or they didn’t have the money to pay an editor.   I’ve been in publishing now more than 20 years and most of my manuscripts have at least two editors, sometimes three and four.  If you write a 150,000 word manuscript, there’s bound to be mistakes, typos and grammatical errors.  My first draft always has mistakes, and it’s simply a part of the process to clean it up.  I also like to have input and the very first thing I tell editors is, “Don’t be afraid to tell me when I’m wrong or off base.”  Just because I’ve had success getting published doesn’t mean I’m perfect or can be wrong.

Every finished manuscript will have mistakes.  Publishing houses no longer have line editors who will comb over your book looking for mistakes.  They expect your manuscript to be near perfect, and they don’t have the time or money to help you clean it up.  So that’s why I’ve formed a partnership with Cheryl Hosmer, who has edited several of my books. So we offer these editing services to writers who are serious about getting published.  And of course, they get to pick my brain on the publishing industry. I’ve helped many people turn their manuscripts into books.

What are some benefits of writer-editor collaborations such as the one you have with Hosmer?

Many benefits come to mind.  The first is that I am not alone in the writing process.  I have a sounding board in case I am way off.  The trick is to find someone you completely trust, someone who will tell you the truth but not step on your creative toes.  I recently read a great book called “Starting Over,” a book by Ken Sharp on the making of John Lennon’s “Double Fantasy.”  The producer of that album was a veteran named Jack Douglas.  Douglas said Lennon was such a force of nature that his job was to sit behind the recording console and not get in Lennon’s way.  That’s what a good editor should do.  Stand back, let the author do his/her thing, but be ready to give advice when called upon.

What writing projects are next for you?

None in the foreseeable future.  This last book, “Steve McQueen: The Life and Legend of a Hollywood Icon,” took a lot out of me in terms of physical, emotional and mental exhaustion.  Each time I start a book, it’s like going to literary boot camp for five years.  While I like the end result, the experience isn’t always so pleasant because of the intensity of what I have to go through to get published. I’m not saying I’ll never write again, but I’m taking a very long break.

Any advice to nonfiction writers in today’s unpredictable market?

Know the market, know what publishers are looking for, and know who your readers are.  Publishers certainly care about the writing, but they care more about the number of books they can sell.  Not only do they want you to tell them why it’s a great book, but they want to know how you’re going to sell the book, who is the market, why readers will buy and how many books will they sell.  It’s a tough business and failure is not an option in these fiscally tough times.  Learn how to write a killer proposal and take the guess work out of it for publishers.

Is there anything else we haven’t covered that you’d like to add?

I don’t want to come off as sounding very negative because that’s not my intent.  My intent is to paint a very realistic picture of what a writer goes through in order to get a book published.  Everyone seems to think it’s a glamorous profession or something they can do if they don’t want to get a real job.  The reality is that it is extremely hard work.  People think that writing a book is a warm and fuzzy experience and an easy lifestyle.  If you talk to any published author, you’ll find that’s not the case.  I once interviewed Jackie Collins and I asked her about her work ethic.  She puts in 8 to 10 hours a day on the computer.  I hear Steven King writes 12 hours a day.  And something needs to be explained here –writing is physically and emotionally exhausting.  It’s a serious workout.  When you are finished, you are absolutely wiped out at the end of the day.  Needless to say it’s a lot of hard work, sacrifice and time spent alone.  There were many times when my wife had to eat dinner by herself, or spend weekends with her friends because I was working.  I’ve also had to sacrifice time away from my dog, a bike ride around the lake, or an evening with family and friends.  However, there’s a positive here – my work has granted me friendships and life experiences I would have never otherwise had, and worldly experiences that can be taught in a textbook.

My final piece of advice is to write every book with the idea that it’s going to be a labor of love because most likely there won’t be a financial return.  And if there is any return at all, then it’s all gravy.  The only reason you should ever write a book is because your heart and soul is aching to do it, and you can’t move on in life unless you do.

***

Marshall’s latest book, “Steve McQueen: The Life and Legend of a Hollywood Icon,” is available on Amazon and at major book retailers.

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Write This Way, Condensed: Top Writing and Editing Links for July 11, 2010

Photo courtesy Dora Mitsonia via SXC.


Concerning the ‘Interview’ | Glassdoor.com Blog

Blog post that summarizes the best sections of a newly published manuscript by Mark Twain, who probably wrote it around 1890. It lampoons the journalistic interview, saying “True, he (the journalist conducting the interview) means well, but so does the cyclone.”

Change This – THE FASCINATION FACTOR

Mark Levy, the founder of Levy Innovation, a marketing strategy firm, publishes a very persuasive “manifesto” that argues that writers should focus on what compels them, and not just market trends, when writing books and book proposals.

Small museums provide great sources for writers « The Writing Loft

John J. Gillmore discusses the joys of tapping small, specialized museums for research projects related to articles or books.

Enhance Your Travels by Keeping an Illustrated Journal | BootsnAll Travel Articles

Cynthia Morris provides a quick list of reasons to improve your experience of your trip and the memories of it afterward by using journals to record words and images related to your travels. The post is also a good argument for why anyone, traveling or not, might want to keep this type of journal.

Live a Writer’s Life with your Kids

Guest post on Imagination Soup blog by Jennifer Cervantes, author of Tortilla Sun, on ways to engage your children in writing-type activities with you.

Nieman Reports | News-Focused Game Playing: Is It a Good Way to Engage People in an Issue?

Nora Paul and Kathleen A. Hansen, winners of a Knight News Center grant to explore new ways to help readers/viewers engage with complex news stories, discuss their pilot project that had audiences play online games and engage in other activities to better understand an issue in the news.

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Behind the (by)lines: An interview with editor Barbara McNichol

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Today we interview Barbara McNichol, a talented book editor and book author based in Tucson. She has some wonderful thoughts on the differences between editing and co-writing, the best sort of training for would-be editors, and the challenges (and joys) of working with writers. Enjoy!

How did you get started as an editor? How did you determine that editing was one of your strong communications skills?

You might say I got started as an editor in fourth grade when my teacher had me correct the spelling tests for her in class. Later on at university in journalism school, I gravitated toward the copyediting class. Right from the start, I felt successful in that role. I even applied for a copy desk job at the Toronto Star after graduating. That told me editing was one of my strong suits. (No, I didn’t get the job and my life journeys took me elsewhere … for a while.)

How have you developed your niche as a book editor?

In developing my niche as a book and article editor, I look back to my years in corporate communication when I took charge of a corporate magazine called Round Up. I constantly rewrote jargon-laden articles by consultants to make them understandable. As a freelance editor, revising articles quickly expanded into rewriting and editing nonfiction books. I’ve had a full 15 years experience now editing mostly business, financial, health, and spirituality books.

How is your role as a freelance book editor different than a (bylined) co-writer of a book or an editor at a publishing house?

Freelance editing differs from co-writing because authorship involves much more—researching, interviewing, accounting, marketing, sales, and so on. As an editor, I work on 30 manuscripts a year, which doesn’t leave a lot of time for co-writing. I enjoy working with authors who come to me through a publishing house. The setup they’ve gone through with the publisher adds more planning, accountability, and sense of partnership to the whole project. Kaplan Publishing hired me to edit or ghostwrite about two dozen of their authors’ books over the years.

An editor’s best training is a strong grounding in grammar in several languages, not just English. Studying Greek in my twenties helped me understand English grammar and sentence structure better than ever.

What are the greatest challenges in working with book authors? The greatest joys?

My greatest challenges working with authors (assuming they’re being accountable, generous, and serious about schedules) is when they get too attached their own wording and can’t see simpler ways to get their ideas across. I’m all for making the reading experience simple and enjoyable for readers, which means not forcing them to work too hard to understand the author’s message. The joys come when their books make a splash in the marketplace and they share the credit and praise with me. Their appreciation goes a long way with me.

What do you spend more time on during your editing: developmental or line editing–that is, getting the structure and language right, or copy editing?

I’ve always found it tricky to put labels on the kind of editing I do because the degree of editing varies from author to author. My talent lies not only in smoothing out their ideas without losing their voices, but in looking for what might be missing and what could be improved on.

What would be the best sort of training for working as a book editor? What skills are essential to this kind of work?

An editor’s best training is a strong grounding in grammar in several languages, not just English. Studying Greek in my twenties helped me understand English grammar and sentence structure better than ever. Beyond that, taking copyediting classes in journalism school or its equivalent gives essential training in writing crisp, tight sentences and polishing to the point of making the copy “sing.”

Learn to simplify your ideas by reworking and revising your sentences until their clarity shines like a diamond.

Have you published a book under your own byline? Do you ever hope to?

I co-wrote The Landlord’s Handbook, 3rd edition, when the author struck a deal with me to do the updates for Kaplan. It hasn’t made me rich as an author or a landlord!

What really matters today is my own e-book called Word Trippers. Over my 15 years as a freelance editor, I’ve tripped over hundreds of confusing or misused words working with authors’ pieces. Word combinations like “further vs. farther” and “except vs. accept” are so frequently misused, I had to start shouting out about them! So I compiled an extensive guide called Word Trippers: The Ultimate Source for Choosing the Perfect Word When It Really Matters. It’s available on my website at http://www.BarbaraMcNichol.com; so is a signup for my free e-zine called Word Tripper of the Week. Word Trippers helps anyone get grounded in the accurate use of our language and can save embarrassing mistakes, too.

Any other advice or comments for readers who aspire to improve their editing?

To improve writing (which makes editing easier and better), my best, most succinct nugget is this: Learn to simplify your ideas by reworking and revising your sentences until their clarity shines like a diamond. For 10 more nuggets like these, please email me at editor@barbaramcnichol.com and request my “10 Top Techniques” article.

More from Barbara McNichol:

Website

Blog

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Write This Way: Writing and Editing Links for September 10, 2008

Photo courtesy of SXC.

After a brief delay, we’re back with our monthly literary link-fest! This episode includes words of blogging wisdom from an online journalist, a bit about using software to increase your writing productivity, a terrific blog on book publishing, and a contest deadline to nominate your favorite writing blog!

In a Web 2.0 world, one year seems like a century. Wasn’t it only yesterday that we thought faxes were a great way to exchange edits on a manuscript?

The good folks at the UK’s Online Journalism Blog are celebrating the site’s 1000th post with an entry on 1000 Things I’ve Learned About Blogging. It’s a pithy romp through all the ways in which our writing has been influenced by trends in the blogosphere.

Just to give you a sample of the sorts of observations the OJB authors are making, here are the first five items on the list:

1.    Blogging is not ‘writing a blog’. Blogging is linking and commenting. Any writing is a bonus.
2.    Regular posting is important…
3.    But quality posting is even more important. Spending a week or more on a single post can be one of the most important things you ever do.
4.    First knowledge, then analysis, then ideas.
5.    A picture is worth a thousand words. More importantly, a picture is worth a thousand words in two hundred countries. The fact that readers don’t need to speak English to understand what you’re communicating can make a word-free post – or at least one with a good image – your most successful one.

It’s a great post, although I’m going to be a spoiler (or perhaps a messenger of relief!) and let you know there aren’t 1000 items on the list. What the OJB folks have collected in terms of wisdom over the years is definitely well-distilled and presented here.

There was also an interesting post last week at Web Worker Daily on 6 Tools for Changing Your Writerly Rhythms. I don’t normally think of software as being key to producing prose on time and without sweating bullets, but this post mentions a number of tools and hacks you might find interesting, such as 7 lesser-known tips for getting the most out of Microsoft Word.

If you’re aiming to get a book published soon, or if you just find the process authors go through to get their books out in the world sort of interesting, you’ll want to check out Alan Rinzler’s The Book Deal
blog.

Rinzler calls his blog “A Publishing Blog for Writers and Book People,” and it is full of interesting interviews with published authors, notes from Rinzler’s editing work, and more. Start your trip into Alan’s blog with this hilarious guest post by author Lisa Haneberg detailing her implosive experience at a Barnes & Noble while out on a book-signing tour.

Finally, if you want to give some props to your favorite source of writing inspiration, Michael Stelzner’s Writing White Papers blog is having its annual Top 10 Blogs for Writers contest. The deadline for nominations is this Friday, September 12, and the comment field on this post already has 250+ nominations!

If you reach this post after the deadline, or you just want to see what other blog writer-readers are finding inspirational, you can always peruse the blog’s list of last year’s winners.

And while it didn’t occur to me while I was gathering links for this post to suggest that readers nominate Write Livelihood, I certainly wouldn’t mind if you shared the love, and spread the word, about this little blog! (Thanks in advance if you are so inclined!)

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