Get Paid to Write! (Culture Tools Series): The No-Nonsense Guide to Freelance Writing


Williams shares the trade secrets for defining the style and editorial slant of the publications you want to write for, crafting the all important query letter, finding good ideas for articles, structuring an article, selling information on the internet, and much, much more.

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Williams shares the trade secrets for defining the style and editorial slant of the publications you want to write for, crafting the all important query letter, finding good ideas for articles, structuring an article, selling information on the internet, and much, much more.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
Would you like to set your own hours, work at home, and write about fascinating topics and interesting people, all while getting well paid for your efforts? Selling articles to magazines, newspapers, and websites–or even writing your own book–can be a very attractive career option, especially in tough economic times, if you like to write and have a little initiative. Author Tom Williams has been a freelance writer for twenty-five years and he knows what the aspiring freelancer needs to be successful. He has written for magazines ranging from Esquire, to Home Office Computing, to Writer’s Digest. He has edited and published his own magazines and newspapers, for which he has bought thousands of freelance articles and read many more queries. He has also written and published 13 successful books, both with major presses and by self-publishing.

In Get Paid to Write! Williams shares the trade secrets for divining the style and editorial slant of the publications you want to write for, crafting the all-important query letter, finding good ideas for articles, structuring an article, selling information on the internet, and much, much more. He also covers many topics of interest for those who want to write books. He answers questions such as:

How can I get a literary agent? How much money will I make and when will I make it? Will they steal my idea? What about the new Print On Demand publishers like IUniverse and 1st Books. How do they work? Should I use them? How can I know what editors are really looking for? How can I write query letters that regularly get results? What is the article type that is both easiest to write and easiest to sell?

Using the information in this book, aspiring freelancers won’t have to keep sending out query after query without knowing where and how to send them, without knowing who’s buying what, without knowing how much editors are paying, without protecting their literary property, and without the agent they need.

Get Paid to Write! is loaded with detailed, highly-practical, step-by-step instructions on topics not often found in other books on this subject, such as how to use the stylistic elements that editors are looking for, how to protect your ideas, or what to do when your book or article gets published. This is the book to buy if you want to be a successful freelance writer!
--Fast Cash Freelance

Thomas A. Williams' Get Paid To Write: The No-Nonsense Guide To Freelance Writing is part of the rather consistently impressive Sentient Publications "The Culture Tools Series". An extremely practical self-starter career guide packed with tips, tricks, and techniques for selling articles to magazines, newspapers, and websites, or even writing a book, Get Paid To Write covers everything from the basic facts of freelance to learning what magazine editors want just from reading a copy, using the query system to one's advantage, success secrets, getting an agent if needed, dealing with the possibility of idea theft, writing especially for business, building one's professional reputation, and much more. A highly recommended "must-have" for anyone contemplating a writing career.
--Midwest Book Review; June 2004

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781591810124
  • Publisher: Sentient Publications
  • Publication date: 3/15/2004
  • Series: The Culture Tools Series
  • Pages: 184
  • Product dimensions: 6.38 (w) x 8.96 (h) x 0.53 (d)

Table of Contents

Chapter 1 The Freelance Facts of Life 11
What is a magazine?
How much can you make?
Don't give up your day job
The writer's ego, and how it helps and hurts
The bad news
The good news: what you don't see may be bigger than what you see
Chapter 2 How to Read a Magazine and Know What Editors Really Want 21
Check out the masthead
What kinds of articles does your target magazine publish?
Analyze style and technique
Study the advertising
Chapter 3 The Query System and How to Make It Work for You 28
How to write a query
The terrible ten-second sort
Nine characteristics of good queries
Nine beginner's mistakes you must avoid
Why many editors steer clear of beginners
Exceptions to the rule
Why good queries are rejected
Chapter 4 Ideas and How to Get Them 40
A good idea is worth its weight in gold
We just don't believe it
We are our own worst critics
The idea vanishes before we capture it
The importance of specialization
Basic human needs and desires
Read, clip and file
Chapter 5 The Professional Writer's Toolkit 52
How did he do that?
A personal example
The six most common flaws and how to remedy them
Poor structure: the anatomy of a magazine article
Inappropriate tone
Omission of the telling detail
Awkward handling of quotes
Transition trouble
Lack of anecdote and illustration: the freelancers' paradigm
The paradigm is a pattern
The paradigm is basic
Everybody uses the paradigm, even highbrows
The greatest teachers
Chapter 6 Eight Success Secrets of the Masters 71
The masters specialize
The masters recycle
The masters write every day
The masters revise what they write
The masters observe the Rule of One
The masters observe the Rule of Twenty-Four
The masters observe the Rule of Seven
The masters overcome writer's block
Chapter 7 How to Write for Newspapers and Syndicate Your Own Column 77
Chaos is real and time is short
The big dailies
Niche-market tabloids
To pitch an idea
The real opportunity: syndicate your own column
Profile of a column
What a column does
Profile of a columnist
How much do you earn?
Marketing your column
Create a sales package
Assemble your package
Plan your marketing campaign
Market in concentric circles
An example
Sending out the package
Secondary profit centers
Chapter 8 Need an Agent? Here's How to Get One 94
What an agent is
An agent is born
What the agent is selling
What agents are looking for (do you fill the bill)
Three questions agents may ask you
The reading fee
Getting the ball rolling: how to make contact with an agent
Querying an agent
A sample letter
Get an agent by publishing your own book
Not just an agent, but a good agent
Questions you want to ask
Legitimate agent charges
Chapter 9 Will They Steal My Idea? and Other Scary Questions 111
My own experience
Ideas and words
Ideas and editors
Slant and style
When it looks like theft, but isn't
What about copyright?
What copyright does not cover
Trademarks and fair trade practices
A work made for hire
New dangers: the electronic frontier
A minor case of e-grabbing
Life after life
The POD Blues
Why a union?
Chapter 10 How to Sell Information on the Internet 127
The World Wide Web: a chaos of opportunities for writers
The web is in a constant state of change
Information sells: a story from pre-Internet days
The light dawns
What kind of information can you sell?
Trolling for information
Ideas from newspapers and magazines
Building your website
What you say on your site
Getting the money
If you build it, will they come?
The secret: attract traffic with classified ads
Write articles promoting your products
Other web sales opportunities
Chapter 11 Business Details: Rights and Contracts 145
The rights you are selling
Check out this source of information: NWU
ASJA on electronic rights
Your compensation
By the word or by the piece
"On spec" assignments
The kill fee
Be careful what warranties you give
Copyright your work
Chapter 12 Writing for Businesses 153
Capabilities brochures
Annual reports
Operations manuals
Business plans
Work with accountants
Employee manuals
Editing and ghost writing
Chapter 13 How to Build Your Reputation as a Writer 161
Prepare a media kit
Small but powerful publications
Bombard the world with news releases
A release for every occasion
How to get on television
The payoff
Appendix 1 Contacts and Sources 170
Appendix 2 Glossary 176
Index 182
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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 22, 2004

    Williams tells it like it is.

    Want to get rich quick by writing? So does everyone. Move on. This is the guide for the hard-working writer who wants to make it as a freelancer. With time-tested methods and a lot of hustle, it's possible to make a name for yourself as a freelancer, and Williams explains how. From self-publishing to working with periodicals, this guide has everything you'll need to find your way as a paid writer.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
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