Another free BigStockPhoto weekly image
Not many folks share the same enthusiasm for the first day of the week as I do. I know that. It has been repeatedly pointed out to me but someone's gotta be happy about Monday, you know? Sacrifices have to be made for the larger good :) This week is going to be super fabulous is what I tell myself every Monday morning. But seriously, this week is super fabulous - so much that you might not hear from me all week long! I have a feature article to submit (that is a lot of targeted words to type apart from the random words I type otherwise!), more website content proofreading to do for a corporate client (cha-ching cha-ching) and about six different events to check out during the week (I can see all the story ideas and pitches and queries automatically writing themselves out!). That apart, I was able to put in some time reading a few books on writing and being a freelancer (reviews of which will be shared at a later time), writing some more of my book and working some more on my website (like on my blog post right now) and chasing down some checks (I take my money seriously). All in all, productive as a precocious little piggy - did I just term that? I might have read it somewhere, not sure right now, but that's a question for another day. Hi-ho, hi-ho, its off to work I go!
No, really, Thank God Its Saturday! I am almost done with the education article I was working on so looks like submission is on track. Well into the website content project and it takes a. lot. of. time. but it keeps me focussed so that is good. Meanwhile, have just been assigned a feature article in an entertainment industry publication local to the area so that was a pleasant surprise. Hopefully I do a good job and we like each other and this works out good for us all in the long run. Hope your weekend is doubly awesomer than mine :)
Check out this one - more in line with the work I do as a copy editor :) And you can always click on my name there and see other articles I've written.
Only my second article here but excited...hope you will read and share your thoughts on the original post. Thanks!
Not sure how this happened, its a great problem to have but I am going to have to work extra hard to meet my deadlines this week. On my plate - an article for a magazine about a local business owner, edits on a book on social etiquette and another on education, an article on education for a new magazine I'm writing for (which I hope will bring in consistent future work), and a training conference call for a proofreading project I will be doing in a few days. I see a lot of phone calls and a lot of typing in the works. What are you working on?
Free image of the week from Bigstockphoto
Many outlets I write for, both print and online, ask me for accompanying images for articles. Which is great if I have taken some of my own but if not then asking around for images or resorting to a stock photo library seems like a good deal. One such library I recommend is Bigstockphoto.com - their weekly free image is something I look forward to. This one featured here is what I received this week. Can never say where I can end up using it so I have an ongoing library of their free images. Their monthly plans I have never needed to use but for an emergency, I have checked out their credit packs and those are pretty reasonable. Do you use this service? I'd love to know your thoughts, or are there other websites you use for stock images? Do share your inputs :)
Noel Parent, 38, is a writer, landscaper and researcher with a B.A. from University of Notre Dame. He has lived in South Bend, Indiana and Auroville, India but currently resides in Atlanta GA. Reach him on his blog website or on Facebook. His book ‘Transcendent Sky - A Spiritual Journey of Poetry’ is a 64-page paperback and e-book on poetry, spirituality and yoga published June 2013. You can find out more on the website and the Facebook page. The book is available for purchase in paperback at the Createspace E-store, on Amazon Kindle and on Smashwords for Nook, Sony, Kobo and other E-books.
Noel shares about the idea for the book, the genre, the research - I have been writing poetry for 15 years as a natural outflow of all my inner spiritual seeking and meditation. It had become a way of expressing the deeper Truth that I was awakening to within myself, which came naturally as a part of my Yoga. Even around 2000, I had compiled one collection of poems under the same name as the current book, but never published it. I recently felt a strong need to share this poetry with everyone, and finally decided to take the best poems and organize it into a decent book to offer to others. To put it simply, it just felt like now was the time to do this book. It has been a long process of inner exploration over many years…a constant research of the Soul, Spirit, and Consciousness.
Were there challenges in the writing process, was there a writing schedule? Writing poetry for me is not about thinking, but about entering an inner Silence in order to connect with something deeper and beyond oneself, something Divine. So the difficulty comes in being able to stay with that Silence and Openness and then receiving something that is beyond oneself, and yet still a part of oneself at the same time, so that one can express it in as pure and clear a way as possible. It is truly a Yoga practice, a practice of awakening Consciousness. In fact, the writing is not the most difficult part, but rather the editing and organizing of the book after the poems are already written…when the mind becomes more involved! I had no structure, no time…whenever the Inspiration came, wherever…so many different times and places.
On collaborators, technology and publishing - My close friend Jenny Beaudin helped me with the cover image editing and creation. She does photo retouching work. Most poems I wrote by hand in a small notepad first, then later typed all into a computer document. I really saw this first book as an experiment in self-publishing. I never thought about sending to publishing companies, as I knew this would be a very long process, and I just wanted to put something into the world and see what would happen. I thought I would simply offer it as an E-book only, but then decided to also do the Print-On-Demand service through Amazon's Createspace. I wanted to cover all areas with a print version and also being able to offer it as an E-book for all formats and versions - Kindle, Nook, Kobo, Sony, even a generic PDF for those who just want to read on a computer. I feel the most options offered the better.
What was the process after that, once you had your book ready to be published? And how did you market it? A lot of the work was in the technical formatting of the book for the various formats needed - the print version needed one format, then an E-book format. In fact, two versions of the E-book were needed because of the technical demands for the different E-book formats…one for Kindle, one for Smashwords, which does the formatting for all other E-book versions. Once this was done, began the long road of marketing and researching ways to market…an endless job for self-publishers, I feel. I am still really at the beginning of the marketing phase, but I already had a blog/website related to my writings on which I added a page for my book, while writing a Book Release blog to put out into my Wordpress community, and beyond. I also created a Facebook page, and plan to use social media as much as possible. I sent a mass email to all my Email addresses to get friends and family involved in spreading the word. I hope in time to start visiting independent bookstores and other artsy shops to inquire about carrying my book, as well as visiting poetry readings. I plan to do a press release to various newspapers/magazines, and also create an email list for various poetry groups, yoga studios, spiritual communities and other groups that might connect with my particular brand of poetry. I plan to do this slowly as I have time. I'm certainly open to any leads people have to share!
His plans for the future - I will have at least one, possibly two, children's books being published by early 2014. I continue to write articles for my blog, but also have plans to write a couple novels and a nonfiction book on spirituality, consciousness, and Yoga.
Your advice for aspiring writers? Well, as I am still in the beginning of my own journey in publishing, I can only offer this: Don't be too much in a hurry, take your time and do every detail with perfection and care, follow what your inner Sense tells you in terms of what direction to take - to self-publish or to find a publisher, to do a print book or an E-book or both. And just keep at it, be creative in all aspects of the work - the writing, the design and layout, the marketing, with everything…and reach out to everyone to make the connections that can slowly grow and help build a network of people who want to read what you have to say.
Noel is the first poetry writer to be featured here. We look forward to his books in 2014!
No this ain't no April Fool's joke 'cos I simply would not fool around about something like this. I am happy to share that I am a finalist for the Atlanta Press Club 2013 Excellence Award in the print non-daily category. Was on vacation for a few weeks and completely did not expect it when I received the email congratulating me for being shortlisted as a finalist. It feels great to be in the good company of other members from the Atlanta press community. The APC is hosting a reception soon to announce the winners, so wish me luck and I will keep you posted on the results. Meanwhile, here is the link to the article that got me nominated for the award.
I am a Copy Editor. I like to do it. And I am good at it. Ask anyone I have worked with. I wouldn't be doing it if I did not enjoy it or was no good at it, would I? But this article says it better than ever - the need for copy editors, and much as we are an invisible species, we are much needed. Read it, and share your thoughts on this post if you will. Cheers!
The last I remember this was a fairly easy process. You set up an account on Yahoo to contribute to their growing number of articles. You can choose to write your own topics and have the editors review for publication. Or you can check on the assignment desk and see what types of articles they are looking for, and submit content in keeping with their requirements. Most times this is something very easy and requires just your personal experience or some very basic searching online. The articles almost always get published right away unless you did something terribly wrong and did not follow all instructions. Sometimes they can even get rejected or sent back for corrections but most times they get approved right away. Some of them you get paid for on publication and some you get paid for based on views - either ways once the article is published, there is infinite opportunity for it to be viewed and read so it is always fun when out of the blue, you get a few dollars deposited in your account for performance pays for these articles you submitted long long ago. All you need is an active PayPal account and this could be an additional course of surprise income for you :) Read my latest here or see other articles I have written and sign up for your own account.
I am unsure if I might have mentioned this before. But if I have not, then I am glad I finally did. Help a Reporter Out or HARO is a great resource for reporters, journalists, article writers, etc. You can submit a query to the site and it will head out in one of their newsletters during the day. Next thing you know, you have a few sources to get inputs to quote in your article. You can also get a basic free account to sign up to be a source. You will receive their newsletters with all the pitches made by reporters and you can respond. That way you can get your name out there as well. I have used HARO both ways. I have used it for getting sources for my articles. I recently did an article for Social Media Monthly where almost all sources were those who responded to my pitch on HARO. You can read that article here. I have also used HARO to be quoted as a source. Just this morning an article was published featuring my inputs. I had responded to the pitch on HARO and sent my responses to the writer. This had to do with my green business but you can read it here. So go ahead and use this to your advantage. They have some paid plans as well but the basic free plan has worked for me just fine.
I think I had mentioned in an earlier post I am chapter host for Ed2010 - a national-level organization that brings together magazines editors and editor wannabes to help achieve their dream magazine industry jobs. I organized the first speaker session for the city chapter on the 9th at the Hypepotamus, a co-working space in Atlanta. Our speaker was the lovely (pictured above with me) Sue G Collins, editor of Buckhaven Lifestyle magazine, who I have the pleasure of working with currently as the proofreader for that publication, and occasional article writer as well. Sue was excited to share about her experience as an editor, about the magazine she works with, and also gave some tips pitching and approaching editors for writing assignments. The event was attended by a good group of enthusiastic writers, freelancers and students representing quite a few Atlanta area publications. There were giveaways galore thanks to Sue, and I had a few Fair Trade Federation calendars from my other business to hand out as well. There were also healthy muffins to snack on courtesy Frannie's Gluten Free. Definitely saw a lot of networking happen and business cards being exchanged. I sent out a post-event survey to see what folks thought and what their feedback was so hoping to hear some constructive criticism that I can work with. The next event is scheduled for April 10th so if you are in the area and interested in the local magazine publishing scene, you should join in on the fun. More images here.
Beginning of the year beckons an update of all records, and that includes your resume. Even if you have an online version on LinkedIn, ensure you have a nicely formatted word document or pdf version of it as well that you can easily send as an attachment to prospects and clients. Once you have this in place, it can serve as a master document for updates you want to make elsewhere, such as a portfolio website like mine or other online resources where you have a resume requirement.
These articles I wrote on achieving email efficiency are good resources as well:
Part 1 and Part 2
Hope it helps, do share your tips as well.
PS - If you need help with a resume review or formatting your resume, just email me and we can work on it together.
Not sure about you but I am a bit of a social media person and try to use social media as much as possible for my personal and professional pursuits. If you'd like to connect with me then check out the Facebook, Twitter and Linkedin icons at the top right corner of the page on the masthead. I am sure we can connect on one of those media.
Meanwhile, new entrant on the social media scene - Vizify! I just got my invitation and set up an account. Click on the image here and you should be able to see my page. Let me know your thoughts.
I am also doing an article for an online mag about Vizify and how that affects the social media playing field, if it is useful or not and how you see it affecting social media overall, and at the user level. So if you have any inputs to share, just mail me on firstname.lastname@example.org and who knows, maybe I will use your quote and send some reader love your way :)
Funny how just when you think you have it all worked out, turns out that wasn't the case! Was thinking I would have all my projects done and dealt with by the weekend so I can get things going for Thanksgiving, when I have some dear friends visiting. But, as luck would have it, I now have an article to turn in, more proofreading to do, and a bunch of blog posts and reports to submit - all next week! Ah, the simple pleasures of working at home.
This is the first time I am facing this dilemma and really am not sure what to do with it. I have been assigned my first article with a magazine and need to interview somebody for their inputs but it looks like the person I am supposed to interview is not much of a professional. They keep confirming times for an interview but when I call, I am asked to reschedule. Emails are of no use as they wont respond to that. Typically when someone is being featured in media they are very professional about it but this person clearly does not care one bit. On one hand, I want to stick to this no matter what as it is my first experience writing for this new magazine and I'd like to have a long-term association with them. On the other hand, I feel like a professional who is this unprofessional is really not worthy of a magazine article. What to do? My deadline is tonight!
One of the magazines I write for wanted to cover this event by celebrity lifestylist AJ and so off to the W Downtown I went nice and early in the morning. It was a great event - small number of attendees so the interaction level was high. AJ is a great person, a ball of energy, always a smile on her face, ready to answer questions, very approachable and personable. I will have a link to the blog post here soon as well as a link to the article which should be published next month! Meanwhile see who stopped by at AJ's workshop :)
Not sure that I have shared this here. I don't believe so. I have always turned to my professional network first when it came to any of my professional pursuits. I was able to connect with one young lady who then got me in touch with someone she knew. And through this connection was born the opportunity for me to write for a new publication. I have an interview scheduled today with a very remarkable woman who will be featured in the next issue of Upscale magazine for the Power Profile segment. I can't wait to talk to her and get going at the article!
I am interviewing Atlanta's very own Kyla Cox of Grape Crush Productions this morning. She is being featured on the gourmand issue of one of the magazines I write for and she is also a good friend of mine so I am only too happy to be speaking with her and sharing more about her work and achievements. Will have a link on here for you to read about her when the article is published. Read more about the Grape Girls here http://www.grapecrushevents.com/ and be sure to add your name to their mailing list for information on all the fun events they plan to throw.
Meanwhile, be fairly warned, I am off blogging for the next 10 days as my brother visits me for the very first time in Atlanta. I will be out until the 12th but will catch up later, cheers!
Well, what a fab way to begin the month! For me, at least, and I do hope for you too :)
My proofreading client has signed me on to an annual contract after the first trial project. I just got signed on to write 3 more article for online and print magazines. I will be interviewing one of the fine ladies who is the subject of my article today, and she also happens to be a good friend of mine through my green business.