Monday, November 30, 2015


THE POWER OF I AM by Joel Osteen (FaithWords) is #1 in Religion, Spirituality & Faith; and #6 in Advice, How-To & Misc.
THE FIVE LOVE LANGUAGES by Gary Chapman (Northfield/Moody) is #2 in Relationships and #7 in Advice, How-To & Misc.
*  FERVENT by Priscilla Shirer (B&H Publishing) is #3 in Religion, Spirituality & Faith.
*  THE FIVE LOVE LANGUAGES OF CHILDREN by Gary D. Chapman and Ross Campbell (Northfield) is #5 in Family and #9 in Relationships.
*  FOR THE LOVE by Jen Hatmaker (Nelson Books) is #5 in Religion, Spirituality & Faith.
*   JESUS CALLING by Sarah Young (Thomas Nelson) is #6 in Religion, Spirituality & Faith.
  • WHERE I AM by Billy Graham (Thomas Nelson) is #7 in Religion, Spirituality & Faith.
  • IMAGINE HEAVEN by John Burke (Baker Books) is #8 in Religion, Spirituality & Faith.
    *   LOVE DOES by Bob Goff (Thomas Nelson) is #8 in Relationships.
  • DESTINY by T. D. Jakes (FaithWords) is #9 in Religion, Spirituality & Faith.

    Friday, November 27, 2015


    A letter sent to an editor ascertaining an interest in a piece of writing you want to do. It is much like a job application. You tell the editor what you have to offer and the editor decides whether or not it is something he/she wants to take a look at. Since this is all the editor will have to go on initially, it is critical that the query letter is very specific about the content and slant of the piece you are offering. Not all publications require an initial query; they will accept a completed manuscript instead. It is important that you know which a particular publisher wants before submitting anything. The market guide listings or their guidelines are usually specific about their expectations.

    A query letter should be about one page, unless it is of a more technical topic that would require additional space to explain. Even in that case it shouldn't be more than 2 pages. Many publications now take query letters by email, but they still need to look professional in regular business letter format. If sending by email, it is important that you use appropriate wording in the subject line. Clearly identify it as a query. Be sure to address it to specific editor—spelling the editor's name and the name of the publication correctly.

    Here are the elements of a good query letter: (1) “Grabber” opening to get editor's attention. (2) A unique angle, if possible. (3) Demonstrate that you have a flare for dramatic writing. (4) State article topic in the first line or paragraph. (5) Be enthusiastic in your presentation— don't overdo it—it's not the answer to the world's problems. (6) Indicate your slant. (7) Tell what benefit the article will provide for the readers. (8) A sample of what will be included in the article (statistics, quotes, anecdotes, authorities). (9) Always indicate the approximate length; tell when you can have it ready; and what pictures or art is available, if applicable. (10) The editor will also want to know your qualifications for writing it (education, vocation, or experience). (11) Close with your writing experience, if you have any. If not, don't mention it.

    Come up with a lively title you can mention in the letter. If you can tie your topic to something timely, that would be a plus. Don't mention money; you should be aware of their pay rate already. Some editors will ask for published clips, but if you have none, offer to write the piece “on speculation.” Finally, if you get a go-ahead from the editor, be sure to mention in your cover letter, when you submit it, that this article is being sent at the editor's request in his letter or email of such-in-such a date. In some cases you may want to actually enclose a copy of the request document.

    For sample query letters to all types of periodicals, go to: (Also see book query.)

    Wednesday, November 25, 2015


    Page proof. This is a preliminary copy of the final layout of a book. It will show the layout of the pages and placement of any illustrations, charts, etc. The publisher's editorial staff will check the page proofs carefully for any errors, and depending on the terms of the contract, the author will also be asked to check them for errors. If given the opportunity, the author needs to take this task very seriously. Although they know the editors are also checking it, in some cases the author is the only one who will recognize if something is missing or out of order. When the page proofs are sent, the editor will indicate how long the author has to check and return them. If they are not returned on time, the contract will usually indicate that the publisher can assume they are correct and move ahead with printing the book. Realize that this is not the stage where the author can be asking for major changes, such as adding or deleting material, or rearranging the chapters. Changes at this stage are expensive, and most contracts indicate that if you ask for more than the correction of errors, you will be charged for such changes. The following Website gives detailed instructions on how to review the page proofs.

    Tuesday, November 24, 2015


    Writing something at the specific request of an editor. Most writers start out, at least, by writing on speculation—meaning they send a query or manuscript to the publisher and the publisher agrees to buy it only after seeing it and deciding if he/she wants to buy it. There is no obligation to do so. The opposite of that is writing on assignment, which means the editor has asked you to write a specific article or story. You sometimes may get such an assignment if you send a query to the publisher and he responds that he'd like to assign you the piece you queried about. However, unless you have written for this editor in the past, he is likely to ask to see the piece on speculation—meaning he'll only buy it if he likes it. No obligation on his part.

    In another scenario, he may come up with the idea for a piece and give you an assignment to write it. In this case he is saying he wants it—it won't be on speculation. However, if you write it and submit it, and he decides he doesn't like it or want it, he then has an obligation to reimburse you for your time with a kill fee.

    In order to get writing assignments, you have to develop a reputation as a writer that does a certain kind of writing (such a feature articles), or that writes knowledgeably on a certain topic or topics (such as marriage). You will also want to sell regularly to publications interested in what you have to offer. Once they recognize what you have to offer, and they can see that you understand their publication and the needs of their readers, they will often come to you with those coveted assignments. Assigned articles typically pay at a higher rate than unsolicited ones. Many publications will raise that rate as you write for them more and more often. For 8 ways to land new writing assignments, go to:
    Excerpt from "The Writing world Defined--A to Z" (

    Monday, November 23, 2015


    • THE FIVE LOVE LANGUAGES by Gary Chapman (Northfield/Moody) is #2 in Relationships and #8 in Advice, How-To & Misc.
    • FOR THE LOVE by Jen Hatmaker (Nelson Books) is #3 in Religion, Spirituality & Faith.
    • FERVENT by Priscilla Shirer (B&H Publishing) is #5 in Religion, Spirituality & Faith.
    • THE FIVE LOVE LANGUAGES OF CHILDREN by Gary D. Chapman and Ross Campbell (Northfield) is #7 in Family and #9 in Relationships.
    • LOVE DOES by Bob Goff (Thomas Nelson) is #8 in Relationships.
    • THE POWER OF I AM by Joel Osteen (FaithWords) is #9 in Advice, How-To & Misc.
    • DESTINY by T. D. Jakes (FaithWords) is #10 in Religion, Spirituality & Faith.
    • IMAGINE HEAVEN by John Burke (Baker Books) is #12 in E-book Nonfiction.


    Lloyd Hildebrand, CEO and President of Bridge-Logos steps down
    On December 31, 2015, Lloyd Hildebrand will step down as President/CEO of Bridge-Logos, Inc. Suzanne Wooldridge (the daughter of Guy and Kitty Morrell, the founders of Bridge-Logos) will become President/CEO.


    The Evangelical Christian Publishers Association (ECPA) has named Stan Jantz as executive director effective December 1. Jantz previously served as the interim director for ECPA, leading the association through a time of transition after President/CEO Mark Kuyper was hired as executive director of the Book Industry Study Group (BISG). “We anticipate a robust future for ECPA under the leadership of Stan Jantz.” said ECPA Board Chair Dwight Baker (Baker Publishing Group). “Stan is well prepared to shape ECPA in a manner that serves our members well, and he will strengthen our professional ties to the urgent needs of the church. The importance of Christian literature cannot be overstated, and God has blessed our publishing community with this assignment.” 

    Saturday, November 21, 2015


    When an editor indicates an interest in buying any type of written material from you, you are not obligated to accept the initial terms that he offers for the purchase of your material. Periodicals may or may not offer a contract, but you can still take the opportunity to respond to the editor's offer. Typically the offer will include the amount they will pay for the piece, plus what rights they are offering to buy. It may be that the price is acceptable, but they want to buy all rights, and you only want to give them first rights. Conversely, they may ask for only first rights, but are offering you a payment too low. In either case, you can negotiate with them for more acceptable terms. However, you may not get exactly what you want in either scenario, so before going into this type of negotiations, be sure you know at what point the offer would not be acceptable and you would be willing to turn down their final offer.

    If it is a book contract being offered, then negotiation takes place after the contract has been received. If you have an agent, it will be that person’s responsibility to negotiate the contract, incorporating any specific terms the author is concerned about. If you don't have an agent, then you will negotiate the contract yourself. It is not necessary to enlist the services of a lawyer. Unless it is a lawyer that specializes in book contracts they will not know what is typical and what is not, and will only complicate the negotiations. There are, however, experienced writers who can advise you on what points to negotiate. Just have a clear understanding of what changes you want to ask for and at what point the contract would become nonviable for you without the changes you are requesting. Keep in mind that as a first-time author you have little clout when asking for changes. The more books you have published, and the more successful they are, the better your chances of getting the terms you ask for. Never be afraid to ask for the changes you want or need. Negotiating a book contract is a normal part of the publishing business, so if a publisher becomes hostile or is unwilling to negotiate at all, then you may want to look elsewhere for a publisher. There are a number of books available on the market that will lead you step-by-step through the negotiation process. For help through the main steps and an explanation of what to look for and why, go to:

    Friday, November 20, 2015


    Best-Selling Author and Former EPA President to Fund New EPA Scholarship
    Jerry Jenkins, the writer of the New York Times best-selling "Left Behind" series and former editor of Moody Magazine, has signed a Letter of Intent with the Evangelical Press Association to establish the Jerry Jenkins Scholarship Fund. Jenkins has committed a sizable cash donation to EPA that will be awarded to deserving journalism students over a five-year period, beginning in 2016.
    Read the full article on the EPA website.

    Monday, November 16, 2015


    Magazine articles, types of. Magazine articles come in all types, as well as all formats and all topics. Although you don't necessarily need to designate the type of article you are writing when you begin, it is helpful if you can identify it by the time you contact an editor with a query. Included below, you will find a list of the most common article types.

    (1) Inspirational article - Writing that inspires readers to be better, do better, feel better, or that spurs them on to a change of attitude or to some action. Do not confuse inspirational writing with Christian or religious writing. Inspirational writing by itself is not necessarily religious. However, Christian or religious writing can be an extension of inspirational writing. All different types of written material can fall under the inspirational category, along with music, plays, television or film scripts.

    The religious inspirational market is open to devotional material, inspirational articles, and any kind of help for the day-to-day problems of life. Although there are a lot of Christian/religious publications and book publishers open to inspirational material, you will find that publications in the general market will often use them as well. When writing inspirational pieces for the general market, avoid specific references to Jesus or salvation. References to God and prayer are generally acceptable.

    You will find a list of Christian publications and book publishers in the Christian Writers' Market Guide (

    (2) Survey article – An article that's content is derived from information gleaned from surveys. It is important that when doing this type of article that the people surveyed are those most likely to be knowledgeable on the topic. For instruction on how to develop the questionnaire to distribute for a survey article, go to:

    (3) Personality profile – An article that covers some aspect of a person's life or history, focusing on a specific aspect of it. It might be their family life, spiritual life, their philanthropic activities, work ethic, or whatever might be of interest to potential readers. The part of their life to be covered would be dictated by the thrust of the periodical where it would appear. For example, for a Christian magazine, the interest would be in some spiritual aspect of their life. For a family magazine, the interest would be in how they balance their professional life and their family life. An article never covers the subject's entire life. It is important to focus on one aspect. It would also be possible to do more than one personality profile on the same subject by focusing on a different aspect of their life each time. For how to write a personality profile, go to:

    (4) Informational – An article that provides specific information on a topic of interest to the readers of the magazine where it appears.

    (5) Travel article – An article that provides specific information about a travel destination that might be of interest to the readers of a travel magazine, or one that includes travel information. Since most travel destinations will have already been covered generally, the editors will be looking for the unusual side-trips, off-road excursions, or something that goes on behind the scenes. In some cases you will simply write about your own travel experience—good or bad. If talking about a specific location, readers want to know details about actual costs, how to save money, best attractions to see, best places to stay, etc. Keep in mind that publications will generally want photographs to accompany a travel article. Be sure to check whether they want B & W or color and whether they want hard copies or they want them sent electronically. For instruction on writing travel pieces, go to:

    (6) How-to article – An article that teaches the reader how to do something. Almost every periodical for any age group is open to how-to articles. The key to selling this kind of article is in identifying what you know well enough to tell others how to do it, and then finding the periodicals whose readers would be interested in knowing about it. Everyone knows how to do something well, but although personal experience usually dictates your topic, you can also write how-to articles based on research or interviews. Possible topics are endless, from how to lead a Bible study or how to grow potatoes, to how the communicate with teenagers. The secret of success is in the love of detail and the ability to provide clear and concise instructions. Keep in mind that depending on the topic, and the publication you are targeting, the editor may want a numbered, step-by-step guide to producing a product—often with a photo to illustrate each step—or they will prefer the information be presented in the usual prose style. Studying their sample copies and guidelines should give you a clear understanding of their preferences. For a step-by-step guide to writing a how-to article, go to:

    (7) Expose – An article in which there is a revelation of documented facts intended to expose wrongdoing or foul play. This information comes to light as the result of careful investigative reporting by the writer. Such articles expose an important individual or politician, or a company or organization. Such a piece typically brings a shocked reaction from the readers.

    (8) Service article – An article that highlights a specific product or service. Often it compares different brands of a certain product to determine which is most effective. Some articles will not name specific brands, but simply talk about the features to look for, how to find the best deals, potential problems or limitations with this type of product, and the like. Women's magazines such as Real Simple or Good Housekeeping carry a lot of service articles.

    (9) Personal experience article – An article based primarily on the writer's personal experience. It could be either a positive experience or lesson, or a negative experience from which the reader can learn something worthwhile. Although there is little market for a personal experience book, a few publications are open to or actively seek personal experiences pieces that educate or inspire. Personal experience articles will usually be written in first person, however, they can also be done “as-told-to”

    --which means it is the subject's experience, but is told to the writer who writes it as if it was being written by the subject. Since all the articles in Guideposts are written in the first person, often they are actually done as as-told-to pieces. For detailed information on how to and how not to write personal experience articles, go to:

    (10) Interview articles – An article based on an interview with a person of interest that typically results in a personality profile on that person. Sometimes such an interview will be the result of a recent event of note, or perhaps a lifetime of achievement. Could also be an act of bravery, or even a negative experience. Always do background research on the subject or event before the interview and come prepared with questions to ask that will give you the information necessary for your article. Always ask yourself what you would want to know about this person or event and let that guide your questions. Tape record the interview, transcribe it, then use it to guide the writing and listen for direct quotes you can use in the articles. Find guidelines for writing up an interview article at:

    (11) Think piece – An article based on what the author thinks about the subject; his/her reaction to it. Since it is personal opinion, it does not need to be based on any specific research, but needs to be based on informed opinion. It is a serious attempt by the writer to bring reader's attention to problems of political, social, philosophical, or religious concern. The author's purpose in writing this type of article it to win the readers over to his/her way of thinking. Typical length would be 500-1,500 words. For more on think pieces, go to:

    (12) Humorous article. A funny article—one of the hardest types of article to write. Few writers are able to write funny successfully or consistently. Even writers who can be funny in person are seldom able to transfer that humor to the written page. Although few can pull off a whole humorous article, it's good to infuse a little humor into even more serious pieces—providing a little comic relief. A good humor writer can take a more serious issue and deal with it in a humorous way to capture the reader's attention and then to make a point. The purpose of any humor article is to make the reader smile or laugh. The lead to the article needs to be humorous to set the tone for the rest. Humorous articles are typically short. For more on writing funny, go to:

    (13) Nostalgia article - Article that highlights a memorable event, series of events, or other pleasant memory. You don't have to be a senior citizen to write nostalgia. Life is changing so quickly that past life is nostalgic for older people, but informative for younger ones. Nostalgia pieces are usually based on a universal subject, such as childhood memories, adolescence, TV programs, clothing, historical events, marriage and early days of marriage, or first job. Be sure to do enough research to verify basic historical facts. Paint vivid word pictures by drawing on the five senses. And, finally, be sure to make a comparison or contrast past to present for younger readers. For more on nostalgia writing, go to:

    (14) Filler or mini-article - A short, nonfiction item used to “fill” out the page of a periodical. It could be a timeless news item, joke, anecdote, light verse or short humor, puzzle, game, etc. Most magazines use some types of filler material, but not all. Submit fillers only to those that indicate they accept them—and only the types of fillers they indicate. When submitting fillers, include the exact number of words in the upper, right-hand corner of the manuscript. Fillers are selected according to the number of words it will take to fill the page in each different instance. Some publications pay a set amount for fillers, while others will pay by the word at the same rate they pay for longer articles. For more, go to:


    THE FIVE LOVE LANGUAGES by Gary Chapman (Northfield/Moody) is #2 in Relationships and #7 in Advice, How-To & Misc.
  • FOR THE LOVE by Jen Hatmaker (Nelson Books) is #3 in Religion, Spirituality & Faith.
  • FERVENT by Priscilla Shirer (B&H Publishing) is #5 in Religion, Spirituality & Faith.
  • THE FIVE LOVE LANGUAGES OF CHILDREN by Gary D. Chapman and Ross Campbell (Northfield) is #7 in Family and #9 in Relationships.
  • LOVE DOES by Bob Goff (Thomas Nelson) is #8 in Relationships.
  • THE POWER OF I AM by Joel Osteen (FaithWords) is #10 in Advice, How-To & Misc.
  • DESTINY by T. D. Jakes (FaithWords) is #10 in Religion, Spirituality & Faith.
  • IMAGINE HEAVEN by John Burke (Baker Books) is #13 in Advice, How-To & Misc.


    HarperOne, an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers, today announced HarperLegend, a new line that seeks to discover and publish new authors of visionary and transformational fiction in the digital-first format. HarperLegend will publish visionary fiction from new voices that communicates wisdom, insight, and/or personal growth with an overarching theme of transformation. Submissions will be accepted online via beginning today.

    Saturday, November 14, 2015


    Libel. To defame someone by an opinion or a misquote and put his or her reputation in jeopardy. To clarify, written or published defamation is libel, spoken defamation is considered slander. Although writers often worry that they will be accused of libel if they say anything negative about anyone, they need to know that there are very specific criteria necessary for any such statements to be libelous. (1) Defamation: What you say through the printed word must basically be untrue—a lie. (2) Identification: What is printed must make it obvious to the reader who the person is being targeted. And finally, (3) whatever statements are made must actually be printed in some form available to readers.

    Those most open to libel accusations are those who write expose books, or newspaper articles in which they accuse a politician or another of corruption of some kind. Because of the legal nature of this topic, we will not go into any specific detail concerning libel suits. We suggest you do online research on the topic and then contact a lawyer if this becomes a legal issue for you. For more legal details, go to:

    Libel clause. A book contract will include a clause to which you swear that the book contains nothing scandalous, libelous, or unlawful. A typical contract will also say that if it turns out that it does, you will hold the publisher blameless—since they took you at your word. In other words, if there is suit for damages, the responsibility will be yours—the publisher cannot be sued. If your book includes the real names of people along with their actions, the publisher is likely to ask for their written permission to include them in the book. If they don't give it, you will either have to drop the reference to them, or change the names. If it comes to the point of changing names, be sure that they cannot be identified simply by their actions. For a more detailed look at the libel clause, go to:
    Excerpts for The Writing World Defined--A to Z (

    Friday, November 13, 2015


    Give your piece time to “cool” before doing that final edit.


    A fee paid for a completed article done on assignment subsequently not published for a variety of reasons. The amount is usually 25-50% of what would have been paid if the piece had been published. Some publishers will pay 100% of the original scheduled payment. The amount of the kill fee, if needed, should be established prior to writing the article, typically in a contract. Keep in mind when a publisher responds positively to a query and tells you to send in your manuscript, they are looking at it on speculation. That is not considered an assignment. It simply means they are willing to take a look at it and if they like it will offer to buy it. If it does not meet their needs after all, they will simple return or discard it.

    Usually an editor will not make a definite assignment unless the writer has written for that publication in the past—so the editor knows the writer's work or reputation—and can be quite sure the writer will present them with a publishable piece. It would be unusual for a new writer to be given an assignment unless the topic was irresistible. In that case they may accept it but have to do a considerable amount of editing to make it publishable. For a more in-depth look at kill fees, go to:

    Thursday, November 12, 2015


     A record of your thoughts, experiences, feelings, or possible material for use in your writing. Find a blank book, steno pad, notebook, or whatever paper source you are comfortable with, but save it exclusively for your journal writing. It helps to have a set time and place to write in your journal, such as before or after reading or having your personal devotions, first thing in the morning, last thing at night, or any established time during the day that works for you. Some may prefer to keep it on the computer.

    It is not necessary to write several pages to make it worthwhile. Even a short entry each day, if it
    reflects your true thoughts and feelings, will have great value. Some days you may only write a
    sentence or two, while others may naturally produce a few pages. Avoid routine entries like:
    “Cleaned the house today,” or “Met Mary for lunch.” A personal journal is not a calendar of
    events, but tracking the events of your life as you see them through your heart and mind. It is
     an intensely personal experience. For the writer, it is good practice in expressing yourself on paper
    and helps clarify your thinking. A journal must be kept private, or you won’t be honest. Never tear
    out pages or edit it once it is written.

    Date your entries and number the pages, but avoid printed journals that give you a dated page for
    every day or restrict you to one page. If you don’t write every day, those blank pages tend to make
    e you feel like you’ve failed. A journal needs to be a “want to” not a “have to” experience, and quires
     some discipline—especially when developing the habit.

    Rather than a personal journal, some may prefer to keep a literary journal. In this kind, you jot down
    notes that might later be used in a story or poem, overheard dialogue or speech patterns, news items,
     unusual phrases, descriptions, etc. In other words, notes that may be useful in your writing. A
    personal journal may also be used for writing some day. For example, keeping a detailed journ
    al through the experience of losing a child, and later using it to write a book to help other parents who
     were experiencing the same thing. Not every writer enjoys or feels comfortable regularly writing in a
    journal. If you are one of those writers, don't feel like you have to keep one. For general instructions
    on journaling, go to: For instruction on spiritual

    Monday, November 9, 2015


    • THE FIVE LOVE LANGUAGES by Gary Chapman (Northfield/Moody) is #2 in Relationships and #10 in Advice, How-To & Misc.
    • FOR THE LOVE by Jen Hatmaker (Nelson Books) is #3 in Religion, Spirituality & Faith.
    • FERVENT by Priscilla Shirer (B&H Publishing) is #5 in Religion, Spirituality & Faith.
    • THE POWER OF I AM by Joel Osteen (FaithWords) is #6 in Advice, How-To & Misc.
    • THE FIVE LOVE LANGUAGES OF CHILDREN by Gary D. Chapman and Ross Campbell (Northfield) is #7 in Family and #9 in Relationships.
    • IMAGINE HEAVEN by John Burke (Baker Books) is #9 in Advice, How-To & Misc.
    • LOVE DOES by Bob Goff (Thomas Nelson) is #8 in Relationships.
    • DESTINY by T. D. Jakes (FaithWords) is #10 in Religion, Spirituality & Faith.


    Howard Books is pleased to announce that Lisa Stilwell has joined the company as Senior Editor. “I am delighted to have Lisa join our team” said Ami McConnell, Vice President, Editor in Chief. “She brings an unwavering passion for the industry and a wealth of knowledge to the position. We look forward to working together to grow Howard Books author roster and to publishing books that will encourage and inspire readers for years to come.” Lisa Stilwell’s seventeen-year history of book publishing began at Multnomah Publishers. She then joined HarperCollins Christian Publishing where she worked with New York Times bestselling authors such as Max Lucado, Sarah Young, Charles Stanley, Billy Graham, Lee Strobel, and David Jeremiah.

    Saturday, November 7, 2015


     Your first draft should never be your final draft.


            Writers and would-be writers are often interested in how much money they can make as a writer. The reality for most writers is “not enough.” Few writers can quit their day job and make enough writing to support themselves or their family. However, writing can provide an on-going supplement to the writer's regular income—depending on how much time they are willing or able to devote to writing. It is impossible to quote a reliable figure as there are so many variables involved. 
            Writing for periodicals can bring a regular paycheck, although some of those checks will be small. The advance and royalty checks from books will usually be more substantial, but they also come much further apart. You may get an advance when the book is accepted or published, but it can be another two years or more before you see any royalties. To have any hope of writing full-time, you must have ongoing sources of writing income, such as advances and royalties coming in on a regular basis, publications you get good-paying assignments for regularly, a regular column or more that bring in a monthly check, that sort of thing. 
            Before launching out to write full-time, create a realistic budget, and determine how many and what kinds of sales you need to make to meet that budget. Also it would be best to have 2 year's worth of income in the bank to cover the cash-flow slowdowns. The bottom line is that you must write for the love of it—not for the riches you might acquire. For a helpful blog that focuses on making money at your writing, go to: (Scroll down)

    Excerpt from The Writing World Defined--A to Z  (

    Wednesday, November 4, 2015


            A story, article, filler, poem, etc., that has to do with a specific holiday or season.
    This material must reach the publisher the specified number of months prior to the holiday/

    season. Some magazines do not recognize holidays in their magazine content—especially if they are a bimonthly or quarterly publication. Publications open to holiday/seasonal material typically get more submissions than they can possibly use for major holidays like Christmas and Easter, but are often desperate for submissions for the smaller holidays, such as Valentines Day, Mother's Day or Father's Day. Submissions for these and other holidays are often gladly accepted. 
            The important thing to observe in submitting this type of material is the lead time for such submissions. If you wait until a month or two before the holiday, it will probably be too late. Most publications will want the submission 6-9 months ahead—sometimes longer. Their guidelines will tell you their preferred lead time. Some publications put out a theme list that indicates the deadline for submissions to each issue—including those that want holiday/seasonal topics. It's best not to wait until that deadline to make your submission, as they may have already selected their holiday pieces. For information on the history of holidays in the United States, go to:

    Tuesday, November 3, 2015


            When an author produces a book or other form of writing, but gives credit of authorship to another person or organization. The author is paid for the work, but is not given any credit as the author. Often famous people hire a ghostwriter to write their life story, if the subject does not have the time or ability to do the writing himself or herself. However, the subject will usually take credit for the authorship when it comes to dealing with the media. Some writers are reluctant to or very much against ghostwriting because they perceive it as unethical to fool the reading public. Note that articles are sometimes ghostwritten as well.
            Payment for ghostwriting may be by the page, by the hour, or by the project. Always have a contract with the subject or organization that covers all the pertinent issues, such as method and timing of payment, a time line for the writing, who has final word on content, etc. All related issues must be resolved and the contract signed by the author and the subject before the work is begun. Although ghostwriting typically means the author gets no credit, in some instances the project may be done “as-told-to,” or “with” the subject. Such details need to be decided up front and made very clear in the contract. The cost for ghostwriting a book can range from $5,000 to $50,000 or more. For a full explanation of ghostwriting, go to:


     When you reach the end of the topic—quit writing.

    Monday, November 2, 2015


    A portion of the copyright law that outlines when a writer can and cannot quote from copyrighted material without asking permission. Unfortunately it is one of the grayest areas of the CR law, but one of the portions that will come into play most often in a writer's career. Some minor quotes from other writers can be included in your text without permission, but you still need to give the writer credit. If the portion used is more extensive, then you will need to both ask permission and give them credit. If it is necessary to get permission for some quotes in your book, you will be responsible to get the permissions and pay any required fees. Be sure you will be able to get those permissions before you submit your manuscript to a publisher, but don't get the permissions until you have a book contract, as there is often a time limit within which you can use the quoted material. For a full discussion and guidelines on this topic, go to:


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