Good Writers Are Made, Not Born

As we marvel at such masterpieces as “Dream of A Red Mansion” or “Wuthering Heights,” we cannot help wondering if their authors were born to be outstanding writers. However, like other geniuses, talented writers are largely made, not born.

First of all, language itself, writers’ most important commodity, is an acquired ability. Human beings are born with the potential to speak, but to realize this potential we have to learn from our elders. If a child grows up among dumb people, or in isolation from adults, he or she would not be able to speak any language. Writers are not exception in this respect. The major distinction between them and other people is the capacity for the creative use of language. Since no one is born with the ability to speak, could there be anyone who is born with the ability to use language creatively?

Important as it is, the mere ability to use language in an original may by no means guarantees success as a writer. Masterpieces originate from rich experiences. This does not means that one has to lead a colorful, adventurous life, full of thrilling, encounters with dangers or romantic relationships in exotic lands. Many great writers lead fairly peaceful, even seemingly mundane lives, yet their apparently ordinary experiences are greatly enriched and enlivened by their original thinking and imagination. But anyway, one has to derive his or her inspiration from everyday life, not from some mysterious source that predestines one to be a writer even before he or she is born.

Rich experiences plus creative use of language are still inadequate for the making of a good writer. When we read a history of literature, we may notice that most great writers have a period of “apprenticeship” when they imitate the styles of other great writers. Like playing the piano or painting, writing follows certain rules. In writers’ eyes, all literary classics share something in common and, for them, they serve the same function as studies do for pianists, or sketches do for painters. It is through studying and imitating classics that they learn how to express their ideas and feelings in such a way as to reach the highest, most lasting standard in literature.

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Makler Heidelberg

Source by Allen Keneth

The Second Law of Business Writing – Appearance Counts

A good first impression makes a difference; a document that looks unreadable will probably not get read.

Just as your business clothes make a clear statement about your professionalism, so the appearance of the material you write makes a statement too. If the page is sloppy or if it looks wrong, your expertise may be questioned. If content sounds arrogant, out of date, or impossible to read, you may have unwittingly set up a negative response.

Before you send your document, take a good look at it. Does it look inviting? Or is it off-putting? The white space you see is not merely an absence of print; it leads the reader’s eye to the nearest black. If there is too much black, it looks too tough to read and readers are reluctant to plunge in.  They may set it aside, skim here and there, or simply trash it immediately. Whatever they do, you have not impressed them.

So, if there is not enough white space in your document, add some. How? Split any paragraph that is more than two and a half inches long. Use lists. Maintain good margins. Or create one wide column for text and a more narrow column for “pull quotes.” By the way, pull quotes are an ideal technique to use in dense documents because they lighten the overall look while repeating an important phrase or sentence from the text–and drawing attention to it.

Conversely, if there is too much white space, the material looks disorganized and impossible to read. Of course, you may have a paragraph that is only one sentence long. But if all your paragraphs are single sentences, the document looks like the writer doesn’t really understand what a paragraph is. Fix it.

Here’s how to improve the appearance of all your documents.

  • Think of the white space as an important component of the letter or document. The margins should frame the material, and the text must not appear too dense to wade through.
  • Try to keep letters to one or two pages. If you must convey a lot of information, use a cover letter and attach the information to it.
  • Avoid loose odds and ends–such as a single sentence on a second page.
  • Use lists to efficiently move the reader’s eye through information and to add white space.
  • Keep paragraphs to a maximum of four sentences. In a letter, remember to close with a separate paragraph “Call for Action”; do not write a one-paragraph letter.

What you say is important to the reader only if they bother to read. When you make your material look easy to read, it will actually get read. When your document looks accessible, it is.  The truth is, whether we like it or not, appearance counts.

Immobilienmakler Heidelberg

Makler Heidelberg

Source by Fern Lebo

Get Paid to Write Memoirs

Many memoirs are written for personal satisfaction and often appear as books of less than one hundred pages distributed to a small number of family and friends. Often, no more that twenty-five books are printed. There is no intention the book will become an international best seller. You can get paid to write these kinds of memoirs.

Finding Clients

Let people know you are available to write memoirs. Create a website and a blog; print and hand out business cards; print and hand out ballpoint pens with your name, telephone number, and Web addresses; create your professional profile on Google, Yahoo!, and LinkedIn; join a local or state writers’ club and become involved in their activities; be available to speak to organizations and professional groups.

Consider writing your first memoir for free for a family member or friend, then use the book as an example of your work.

What to Charge

You should charge a fee that best represents your skills and expertise. Determine what hourly wage you are prepared to work for. This could be $50, $100 or more. I have seen memoir writers charge $300 per hour. Turn your hourly rate into the total cost you will quote a client. It is not uncommon for memoir writers to charge $5,000, $10,000, or $50,000 for a project.

Offer your client a written contract that spells out what you will do and what the client will do. See a sample contract at

Interviewing and Writing

Set up a series of interviews with your client. These could be sixty to ninety minutes each, once a week for several weeks, in person or by telephone. Use a digital voice recorder. After you have transcribed each interview (I prefer to pay someone to transcribe so I can concentrate on writing) edit, rewrite, and arrange the manuscript so events appear in a logical sequence and the finished manuscript sounds like the author. You are the writer. Your client is the author and copyright owner of the manuscript and finished product. The editing and writing will take approximately ten times longer than the interviews.

Present the manuscript to your client for review as one or more chapters are finished. Present the final manuscript on a CD rather than printed pages. You may want to charge extra for printed pages. Your manuscript should have a contents page, page numbers, and chapter headings.

Producing a Book

You may include in the original agreement the cost of preparing the manuscript to become a book, or you may make a separate book-preparation agreement. I use ten percent of the interviewing and writing fees as an initial guide for book preparation.

Producing a book involves finding a short-run printer, often called an on-demand printer; exchanging emails and telephone calls with the printer; determining the cover art and the appearance of the inside pages; proofreading; and printing and delivery of the finished books. Your client pays for each of these and pays you to facilitate their completion.

Here is wishing you the best of success with many happy clients.

Immobilienmakler Heidelberg

Makler Heidelberg

Source by Wayne Groner

Writing For TV: How To Become A TV Script Writer

Have you ever watched an episode of Eastenders, Coronation Street, Casualty, Spooks, Hollyoaks or even an old classic like The Good Life and thought…. I could do something like that?

I have to be honest, writing for TV probably isn’t the easiest way of making money from writing…. but there are a lot more opportunities than you might think. I know for a fact that TV is absolutely desperate for talented new writers with original ideas. It seems like a lot of fun too.

The rewards from writing for TV can be excellent. All from just coming up with a good idea. Did you know that even fairly average TV scriptwriters can earn anything from £5,000 to £15,000…. for writing just one single episode of a TV drama or soap?

I think you can see that at those sort of rates you wouldn’t need to write that many scripts in a year to make a very lucrative full time income from writing.

So this week I thought it would be a good idea to look at how you could get into TV scriptwriting:

* You can come up with your own idea for a TV programme or write for an existing one. It’s probably easier to start by writing for an existing one. Popular TV programmes often have teams of dozens of writers writing for them.

TV is a mass market media so your idea needs to be fairly mass market. So look at ever-popular, mass-market topics to write on. For example: Crime. Mystery. Comedy. Popular history. Sci-fi…. there’s a reason Doctor Who has lasted so long. Real life stories. Romance. Look for modern twists on these new ideas.

It’s not just fiction either. You can write a documentary or investigation. Or write some kind of factual programme…. such as cookery, gardening, travel or a children’s TV programme.

* Take some time to study the craft of scriptwriting. Look for any short courses your local writers’ groups might offer. Or read some books on the subject – you can find a selection of scriptwriting books on Amazon.

* You’ll need an example of your work to get started. This is known as a ‘calling card’ or ‘shop window’ script. Don’t write an entire series of programmes. A script for 10-20 minutes of your programme idea would probably be enough.

Your script must be: Well structured, have a good plot and strong characters. Keep it fairly simple – say a conversation between 2/3/4 characters in the pub. (Tip. Don’t write a script that needs a massive cast list or an exotic location. Thinking of the cost puts buyers off before you’ve started!)

Your script needs to be written in dialogue.

* Next you need to market your script. The person you need to get in touch with is the Script Editor for the TV programme or TV company you want to write for. Script Editors are responsible for commissioning writers.

It’s a long shot…. but it’s worth a try. Try phoning and asking to speak to the Script Editor. Ask if they’d be interested in reading your sample script. Assuming you don’t get to speak to them (which is most likely) send a letter outlining your idea. Don’t send them your sample script unless they say they are interested.

There are several places you can try to sell your TV writing. Here are a few ideas:

* The BBC. The BBC is not only one of the biggest buyers of TV writing but most open to new writing talent. So OK, they’re going to have a very stretched budget over the next few years but that’s actually good news for new writers not bad news. As successful writers get poached by commercial companies they’re going to need lots of new writers to replace them.

Most new opportunities to write for the BBC are handled through their centralised service called Writersroom:

* ITV. The ITV Network is made up of 15 regional licences, 11 of the licences in England and Wales are owned by ITV Plc. You’ll need to find the right department to send your idea to – have a look on their website. This is probably not the easiest way to get started though.

* Independent production companies. These are private companies who make TV programmes for the BBC, ITV and other TV stations…. all Channel 4 programmes are made by independent production companies for example. They’re a pretty good bet for new writers, although you’ll probably be expected to do some work on your idea and only get paid for it if they can still it to a TV channel.

Most independent production companies specialise in one or a small number of subjects so you’ll need to find those who are most likely to be interested in your type of idea. The trade association PACT has an online directory of members. Or better still just watch lots of TV and note down the name of the production company at the end!

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Makler Heidelberg

Source by Mark Hempshell

Getting Published: Publishing Tips and Advice

It appears that today everyone is a writer, and we all have the same dream. We all hope to someday be published. So as writers, where do we get started?

I suggest joining writing groups first and start seeking feedback that can help your career as a writer. It is most likely that your closest friends and family are telling you that your writing is the greatest thing since Steven King’s, and maybe it is, but it doesn’t hurt to get some feedback from your fellow writers.

Once you are ready to take that plunge into the deep oceans of writing to see your work published for the first time, the best places to start are magazines and e-zines looking for calls for submission. For example, there are over 150 publishers listed on the Today’s Woman Writing Community website, all looking for stories and poetry.

You are going to want to purchase a copy of Writer’s Market that is published annually. This is an essential book for writers who are interested in publishing their work. You are also going to want to research your market. You are going to want to see just what kind of stories the magazine publishers are seeking. Each publisher will have specific guidelines to follow.

Offer your short stories for publication in their magazines, and be sure to list your other published work if any, and thank the editor for considering your work. If you are hoping to see your book published, some publishers will want you to send them your entire manuscript, while others may only want a query letter outlining your book proposal. Some may wish to see a few chapters from the book. If you’re sending a full manuscript or sample chapters, always include an S.A.S.E. (Self Addressed Stamped Envelope) bearing sufficient postage with your submission. Present a cover letter that is professional. I suggest doing a Google search for query letter to give you some examples. If you are submitting by email, make sure that you follow the guidelines on the publisher’s website.

Stories posted on websites – are they personal or published?

In some cases, magazines will consider a story posted on your website or in an open community to be published. Therefore, they will not be able to claim first rights to it and most magazines, newspapers, etc. will not accept it as a submission. This will differ from publisher to publisher, and it is a very gray area. I suggest if you are submitting work that has already appeared on the web for publication, mention in the cover letter the forums or site where the story has been posted and let the editor make an informed decision.

Simultaneous Submissions?

There is a great debate in the writing community regarding simultaneous submissions. I have had a few interesting discussions myself. Some feel that it is the only way to get published quickly; others feel that it could lead to a bad reputation for you as a writer. This is due to the fact that publisher one will invest time in to reading your manuscript, only to find later it has been accepted by another publisher. I do encourage writers who wish to use simultaneous submission to advise the editors of it in their query letters.

Look over the contract:

Many first-time writers are so excited to just be published that they sign their name on anything without fully reading the contract. I can honestly say this is one mistake that I have made. Without carefully reading over the contract, you could sign yourself into a contract where for the next seven years you are bound to it and your publisher is reaping the rewards. Do not get trapped into this loop hole. Make sure you do an in-depth check into the background of any publisher. Once you send off your manuscript, now the fun comes. You sit and wait.

How long does it take?

It could take from 8 to 10 weeks to 8 to 10 months. Don’t be discouraged by rejections; every writer gets rejected. Even Steven King was rejected. One published author says every story, on average, must be submitted to 100 markets before it is accepted.

You are going to want to know about rights, like first serial rights, etc. On Today’s Woman under ‘writing lessons,’ there are some great articles that cover rights. Please be sure to check them out.

Getting published isn’t easy. The editors get thousands of unsolicited Manuscripts a year. Don’t give up. Start at the bottom and work up. I know some very talented writers who still aren’t published. They’ve been trying for years. Writing is all about creating a name for yourself and that takes time.

If you are really eager about having your book published, you may wish to consider self-publishing or POD (print on demand) publishing. If you are considering this, I suggest developing a budget for publishing and advertising costs. You are going to want to shop around and look at the different prices of POD publishers or printing companies.

If you are going to go the self-publishing route you are going to need your own ISBN number and cover designer. In Canada you can get an ISBN number through []. If you’re looking for a print on demand publisher, I suggest starting at the Today’s Woman Writing Community database of POD Publishers’ Be sure to consider factors such as set-up costs, royalty payments, control over your book, distribution, cover price, advertising and the publisher’s reputation. The Internet can be a very useful tool as it allows you to investigate the company’s name to see if other writers have had trouble with the company. Another approach to learning about the reputation of a publishing company might be to post questions within the different writing groups. also hosts a ‘Warning Writers’ page [’]. Be sure to do your homework and never just take the publisher’s word.

If you write poetry, why not consider making a chapbook of your poetry. A chapbook is “a small book or pamphlet containing poems, ballads, stories, or religious tracts” (MIT) the term is still used today to refer to short, inexpensive booklets. Be sure to read my article “Make a Chapbook of Your Poetry”.’

Remember self-publishing means just what it says- self-publishing- you do the editing, the marketing, advertising, distribution, and sales.

It might be good to get some writing credits under your name before you think big. Whatever you decide to do, I wish you much success and hope you never give up on your dreams.

“If you can imagine it, you can achieve it. If you can dream it, you can become it.” -William Arthur Ward

Immobilienmakler Heidelberg

Makler Heidelberg

Source by Rose DesRochers

Best Travel Writing – Top 10 Travel Novels

It’s hard to find great travel writing, but it’s out there. Part of the reason for this is that so much travel writing is also considered nature writing or narrative non-fiction. Part of the reason is that the field is so competitive because of a lot of good authors competing for a relatively small market space. But there is a wide array of great travel fiction out there, and here is my list of the best ten travel novels I’ve read over the past couple years.

10) Through Painted Deserts, by Donald Miller. This is one I actually found in the “Christian Non-Fiction” section, which can be unfair. There’s no question Miller is a Christian, but he’s a writer first and foremost, he’s not preachy, and his questioning of his own faith, of reasons for existence, of who and what he is or is becoming is reminiscent of the fantastic soul searching that came from the travel writing of the Beat generation. Miller’s account of his trip is great, going through the moments of beauty, the necessity of good road trip music, and admitting his moments of embarrassment and fear as freely as any other part of his journey.

9) Holy Cow: An Indian Adventure by Sarah MacDonald. The early reading of this book can be hard, because after the first few chapters there’s a lot of the Western perspective, the whining of living conditions and poverty, the type of scorn you don’t care to read from travel writing. I’m glad I read the rest, because like “Through Painted Deserts,” “Holy Cow” is about the author’s journey. Sarah evolves and changes chapter to chapter in front of you as she sheds the scornful nature of an atheist “too smart” to fall for superstition, and she opens up, traveling through India and sampling all the different religious beliefs and practices as she becomes a humble Theist who learns happiness, learns to grow, and learns that alien cultures can have a lot to offer the open traveler.

8) Into the Wild by John Krakauer. I first caught sight of this book at a Barnes and Noble on one of the feature tables. I was on winter break from Alaska and visiting family in Iowa. I picked up the book, sat down, and read the entire work in one sitting. Travel book, journalistic book, nature book, adventure book-whatever you call it, this is one heck of a read, and the debate this book causes is deep and passionate. As a wanderlust traveler, I understand the drive the main character feels, as an Alaskan, I understand the native perspective of irritation, of the lack of understanding that nature is brutal and especially Alaska needs to be respected as such.

7) Dark Star Safari: Overland from Cairo to Cape Town, by Paul Theroux. Paul Theroux is at his best in “Dark Star Safar,” where his skills of observation and his dry wit are on full display. Paul takes readers the length of Africa via overcrowded rattletrap bus, dugout canoe, cattle truck, armed convoy, ferry, and train in a journey that is hard to forget. There are moments of beauty, but there are also many moments of misery and danger. This is a narration of Africa that goes beyond the skin deep to dare to look at the deeper core of what is often referred to as “The Dark Continent.”

6) Blue Highways: A Journey Into America, by William Least Heat-Moon. This is an auto-biographical travel journey taken by Heat-Mean in 1978. After separating from his wife and losing his job, Heat-Moon decided to take an extended road trip around the United States, sticking to “Blue Highways,” a term to refer to small out of the way roads connecting rural America (which were drawn in blue in the old Rand McNally atlases). So Heat-Moon outfits his van, named “Ghost Dancing” and takes off on a 3-month soul-searching tour of the United States. The book chronicles the 13,000 mile journey and the people he meets along the way, as he steers clear of cities and interstates, avoiding fast food and exploring local American culture on a journey that is just as amazing today as when he first took the journey.

5) The Lost Continent, by Bill Bryson. There are tons of fantastic Bill Bryson books out there, and any one of them could hold this spot here. “The Lost Continent” is Bryson’s trip across America, visiting some common places (the grand canyon), but also exploring the back roads and looking for that familiarity that helps him remember home.

4) Wanderlust: Real-Life Tales of Adventures and Romance by Pico Iyer. Probably one of the best travel writing collections released in recent memory, this collection is under the name Pico Iyer, who helped to edit this collection. These stories come from the “Wanderlust” section of and create a varied tapestry of travel writing that will keep the reader flipping from one writer to another.

3) A Walk Across America by Peter Jenkins. This is one of the all time modern classics in travel literature, as Peter Jenkins recalls the story of his 1973-1975 walk from New York to New Orleans. For many readers, this remains a rare travel book that grips you and keeps you. Known as a travel writer who will walk anywhere, including Alaska and China, Peter Jenkins says, “I started out searching for myself and my country and found both.” That sums up what travel writing should be all about.

2) Travels w/ Charlie by John Steinbeck. This was a novel that helped John Steinbeck win a Nobel Prize in Literature. “Travels with Charlie” is a fantastic travel narrative that gets to the heart of travel, the point of the trip, and the strange confrontation and realization that the places and people you remember are gone once you are. As he revisits the places of his youth that many of his books are based on, he realizes on seeing old friends that they’re as uncomfortable with him being back as he is with being there. A great story about travel, about home, about mourning lost history, about aging, and about America-this should be required reading for every high school student.

1) The Dharma Bums, by Jack Kerouac. The beat generation was full of great travel narratives, and Jack Kerouac was the master of powerful, moving, passionate language that unfolded stories like few people have ever managed. While “On the Road” is the most often pointed to travel narrative by Kerouac, “The Dharma Bums” is a better book. Full of passion, interesting characters and stories, and the kind of passionate language and powerful prose that made the beat generation writers popular, this Kerouac book is extraordinary and deserving of its number one spot.

Immobilienmakler Heidelberg

Makler Heidelberg

Source by Shane Dayton

What Every Internet Marketer and Article Writer Ought to Know About SEO Article Writing

If you have taken up article writing you must know that writing SEO articles is a great way to boost a marketing campaign on the internet. And yes, writing articles is easy but there are still some things you need to know so you can get the best results from your writing endeavours.

1. Your first step is to choose a topic. You want your topic to be compelling and search engine optimized as well. You want to use a topic that relates to the information that you will be selling or promoting and you should use the article as a tool for meeting the needs of your target population.

This can mean answering a question, providing a solution to a problem or provide advice to enable them in better decision making. The latter can include product reviews which are big these days with people trying to ensure that they get the best bang for their buck whenever they make a purchase.

2. You must choose relevant keywords. If you don’t choose the right keywords for your niche then you won’t attract the right targets.

You can find keywords using the Google keyword tool and then use these in your articles to get them recognized by the search engines. You will need to use the exact word or phrase that you find in the keyword search tool as this is what will get you results.

3. Next will be research. You must ensure that you have enough information as well as the most up to date information when writing your articles. Even experts need to research as new information arises daily and you want to show your prospects that you are very current with the information that you provide.

4. When writing, you don’t only want to provide articles that are general and shallow. You can go in-depth to a certain extent providing the readers with information that is useful to them and which shows off your expertise.

This is a sure-fire way to win the trust of persons reading the article which is the key in getting them to purchase anything from you. You want them to see how you can solve their problems and why you are better than your competitors. Because you are quicker, more affordable and offer the easiest way. Give them not only solutions to problems but also guidelines and tips to get them along the path.

5. While you want to have articles that go in-depth you don’t want them to be so complicated that your target audience will find them unusable. Instead they should be easy to read and understand using short paragraphs and providing spaces in between paragraphs.

6. Last but not least is the point of article optimization. This is probably the most important step of them all as without this people won’t even find your article to begin with. The entire article should be optimized starting right within the title using your main keyword.

Immobilienmakler Heidelberg

Makler Heidelberg

Source by Joe Koh

What Makes a Good Writer?

So you want to be a writer? How can you be a good writer? It would be difficult to define a good writer with just one definition.

Writing is an art as well as a science. Writing is an art since it has various styles to it and it is a science as you would use different techniques to write it.

Good writing however has much more to it than just the common techniques used. [It depends on who your target audience is and whether you know your audience well]

The parameters for a good writer depend on the audience who is going to read it.

For instance, the differences between the style content writers use and the style full-time is that the content-writers mostly use first and second person; whereas a writer for a newspaper would use an objective tone (third-person reporting). The language used is also different for different media of communication.

The general yardsticks to determine whether one is a good writer are to check whether his/her article has a good flow, eye-catching content and the language. The sentence structure, grammar, ideas and the form used are some of the other factors that play an important role in determining whether one is a good writer.

However, there is no one way to find out who a good writer is.

Immobilienmakler Heidelberg

Makler Heidelberg

Source by Sharmila S

How Publishers Choose Manuscripts

How Publishers Choose Fiction Manuscripts For Print And Profit

Everyone has a story to tell, and common dream is to publish a book. This dream comes from many desires whether financially or popularity driven. The advent of the personal computer provides just enough motivation to get amateurs started on their ways to writing. The ease of computer word processing revolutionized the ease of writing, allowing for more would be writers.

With the avalanche of manuscript submissions the rules for acquiring books had to change. The publishing companies had to develop guidelines and redefine. To answer the problem, we have to find out how publishers choose fiction manuscripts for print and profit.


With motivation to write being the driving force, it wasn’t uncommon fifteen years ago for potential authors to bang out manuscripts on word processors or electric typewriters. The Authors would go through a rewrite replacing as many pages as necessary. This rewrite might require running through whole chapters since a change to one paragraph would disrupt the numbering of sequential pages. Once finished, the author then had reedit several times before he had the perfect draft of the “world’s greatest novel”. A potential novelist might be thwarted by such as a daunting task, his story never put to paper.

To answer the current demand, around 5,000 publishing companies start up each year, and with that hopes of tremendous financial and literary success as they compete to fill shelf and cyberspace. According to R.R. Bowker Company (Cox 2000), 53,000 new book titles roll of the presses. The cold hard reality is that only three out of ten books actually make money for the publisher. The study of all publishers and how they need to do business to succeed would be exhausting and not condensed enough to fit into this presentation.

Publishing houses print basically two types of books: fiction, non-fiction. Non-fiction books cover biographies, self-help, how to, travel, and myriad genres too many to list. Likewise, fiction books cover mystery, religion, historical, horror, crime, and/or a combination of the above. I will report how fiction publishers compete for success in a fiction producing industry.


Publishers seek a certain type of reader based on the genre they specialize in. For example, William D. Watkins, acquisitions editor of Broadman & Holman Publishing, reported in a 1998 writer’s conference that publishers of religious fiction seek their reading audience; 35-year-old women readers. However, not only does a publisher such as Bethany Books compete with publishers of the same genre, they have to entice this same audience out of the ever-popular self-help section of the bookstore.

However, before the printing, fiction writers send their earth shattering manuscripts to publishers. They want to be printed to satisfy their egos, earn money, gain notoriety, be a role model, or contribute to the literary treasury (McHugh, 1999). These authors compete against astronomical numbers of other manuscripts sent to the very same acquisitions editor.

Selection Criteria

The Acquisitions Editor has the huge job of being proactive in the writing market place. Authors seek many publishers because they are experts in the field which they publish. These experts/publishers break down the company into departments of fiction and non-fiction, and then by genre. An acquisitions editor may find himself working in a department or genre and will be proactive in finding new authors, researching the marketplace, negotiating contracts and developing books.

Cox also relates that the acquisitions editor is busy dealing with unsolicited manuscripts. This is a touchy area since not too many publishers want to risk the $10,000 to $18,000 it takes to publish book on an unknown or unpublished author. However, the very manuscripts they reject another company may accept and publish a best seller.

Celebrity used to sell books (Marks, 1998) now the trend has changed. Marks explained that between 1995 and 1998 the sales of hardback books have decreased 7.5 percent. The large book publishing companies who used to award million dollar contracts can no longer afford to do so. Smarter acquisitions are necessary.

The acquisitions editor must have a standard for selecting manuscripts and adhere to that strict set of rules. The manuscript must have believable characters and the writing must not be grammatically or technically flawed. The story needs to be perfect as the editor has little time to spend on sloppy writing. Finally, the manuscript must meet the standards of the publishing company. For example, Broadman and Holman Publishing Company does not want erotica or profanity and the Wilshire Publishing Company only wants stories that have characters overcoming insurmountable odds (Young 2000). Additionally, many Christian Publishers do not want angels to miraculously descend and rescue a heroine.


Once he selects a manuscript, the acquisitions editor must be able to both sell his company to a likely author and sell an author to his company. According to McHugh, he might pitch author credentials, subject of book, the description of the work, marketing to targeted audience, finances and editorial development. This is the person most likely to make or break the success of his company.

If the acquisitions editor manages to sell the manuscript, the company must immediately begin a marketing plan. This shouldn’t be too difficult at this stage since the acquisitions editor probably included a marketing strategy shared by the proposing author or devised by himself. Early on, the publisher should satisfy questions of; who is the intended audience, where can we reach them, is the author willing to travel to sign the book, should the author travel, how much should the book cost, how many copies should we make? Cox also indicated that the lack of a good publicity will cause a literary masterpiece to fail.


While these questions are probed, a selection committee is reviewing the manuscript to verify the acquisitions editor’s hunch. They also look for validity of the story and can the story sell to the intended audience. This committee of reviewers will have as much pull as the acquisitions editor as they share responsibility on book acceptance. This author managed to have a manuscript accepted by an acquisitions editor pending on the outcome of the review committee. The committee voted not to accept the manuscript. During the acquisitions process, the editor will rarely contact the author and may reject the manuscript without giving reason. This is due to the high volume of submissions.

Editorial Concerns

An examination of the writing process might find an inexperienced author with an idea just typing away. Later, as he continually researches his trade, he learns information about writing technicalities that force him to reconstruct his story. One frustrating mistakes new authors make is Point of View (POV). This term describes who is speaking and what they are feeling. Abusing POV in a story causes confusion for the reader.

Consider this example:

John and his party approached the top of the crest, as they wove through the underbrush. While still twenty yards from the clearing, John could make out Marta and another man carrying a pot. He heard threatening voices, but couldn’t discern what was said.

He and his warriors approached the clearing slowly, methodically. He knew he had the advantage of cover and concealment, but Angus had the high ground, and Marta. Short of a better plan, John dispersed his remaining three men to advantageous positions and had them ready their fire.

“You there, in the clearing. You are completely surrounded. Release the woman, and you won’t get hurt” he yelled, sounding like a scene from bad movie.

Marta’s eyes perked up and her heart beat with new life. “John!” she called out excitedly before being pulled down. “You guys are going to get it now.”

“Will you please just shut up!” Angus put his hand over her mouth while holding his pistol to her head. “Listen out there, maybe we can make a deal,” he said slowly rising, using Marta for cover.

John was fuming, barely in control. His fists clenched and unclenched with unbridled fury. It had been too much seeing them push Marta around, but now they hid behind her. He motioned for two warriors to remain, as he took one with him. His mind was working furiously, trying to keep ahead of Angus’s possible moves. He and his warrior would circle, flanking Angus. If his warriors were good enough, they may have a clean shot. “What kind of deal did you have in mind?” John shouted before changing positions.

This POV is disconcerting because the reader is thrown around from the thoughts of one character to the other. The following is an example of good POV:

John and his party approached the top of the crest as they wove through the underbrush a few hours later. While still twenty yards from the clearing, John could make out Marta and another man carrying a pot. He heard threatening voices, but couldn’t discern what was said.

He and his warriors approached the clearing slowly, methodically. He knew he had the advantage of cover and concealment, but Angus had the high ground, and Marta. Short of a better plan, John dispersed his remaining three men to advantageous positions and had them ready their fire.

“You there, in the clearing. You are completely surrounded. Release, Marta and you won’t get hurt,” John yelled, sounding like a scene from bad movie. He heard Marta call his name with a voice full of hope. Then he saw Angus knock her down. You guys are going to get it now, he thought.

“Listen out there, maybe we can make a deal,” said Angus.

John was fuming, barely in control. His fists clenched and unclenched with unbridled fury. It had been too much seeing them push Marta around, but now they hid behind her. He motioned for two warriors to remain, as he took one with him. His mind was working furiously, trying to keep ahead of Angus’ possible moves. He and his warrior would circle, flanking Angus. If his warriors were good enough, they might have a clean shot. “What kind of deal did you have in mind?” John shouted before changing positions. With the latter POV, the reader lives the scene through one character’s eyes.

Author Responsibility

Just to reinforce, reconstructing a story either handwritten or typed was a horrible task only a few years ago. Fewer authors actually submitted stories. Publishers could pick and choose as they sought out new authors. Now, the computer allows cutting and pasting, automatic page numbering, tab setting and page formatting. Having easier access to completing a novel brought on many more submissions (Sally, 1999). The publishing companies had to change its vision of seeking authors to filtering through the piles of endless manuscript submissions. Now, it is easier to write a book but harder to publish it. The publishers have developed strict submission guidelines that put the author in a position to be editor and publicist just to get a query letter read.


Today, manuscripts end up in one of three piles; review later, discard, and review immediately. The acquisitions editor has to have a plan of action to filter through the avalanche of mail that comes his way. Some authors haphazardly send whole manuscripts, completely disregarding the publishers’ needs. Either they don’t know what to send, or they are arrogant enough to think their manuscript should get priority over all others. The editors have strict policies they must adhere to, if not, the company could run around acquiring manuscripts that are faulty and not serving the needs of the audience.

The review later pile is where an unknown author who has done his homework will most likely find himself. The authors have researched the name and mailing address of the acquisitions editor, they have submitted their manuscript in accordance with the publisher policy. This usually means a writer has sent out a letter telling of their book, and the editor wrote back asking for either a synopsis of the book or the full text manuscript. Most likely the editor will able to get to and respond to this pile within four weeks.

The discard pile is not normally a heap of worthless manuscripts. This pile consists of manuscripts that do not meet the needs of the publisher. Either the content is wrong, the paper is grammatically incorrect, or contains other major flaws that draw negative attention to itself. Finally this consists of authors who have done everything correctly, but for one reason or another (rarely specified), the publisher won’t turn it into a book. These rejections would normally be returned to an author if the author prepaid return postage. The golden rule for remaining out of this pile is to understand the needs of the company, send a perfect draft, follow all submission guide lines, and include a self addressed stamped envelope.

Oh to be in the review immediately pile. This pile is reserved for several different authors. One set of authors may have pitched the book at a writer’s conference and won the confidence of the editor after a face-to-face meeting. Another set of authors is well known with whom the company had either made initial contact or already had a working relationship.


This process may sound cruel and inhumane, leaving many authors run screaming in frustration. However, it is like any business where the employees grumble but do not have the burden of carrying their companies on their jobs and reputations. Consider this excerpt from an America House Publishing Company’s publishing contract. “This agreement is entered into by both parties in good faith, with the mutual understanding that neither party has guaranteed, or is to guarantee, the sale of any specific number of copies of the said literary work, it being impossible to predict, before publication, what success any book may attain”.

The preceding paragraph assures that the publisher assumes the risk of manuscript selection. The manuscript is only as successful as the marketing professionalism of a publishing company and the ability of the author. Noneffective publicity is certainly one risk both parties take. However a loosely written manuscript is likely to be torn apart by a knowlegable book reviewer. Recalling the earlier section on POV, consider this paraphrase from a review; “the point of view in this story switched frequently leaving the reader confused” (Army Times, 2001). This kind of statement will have readers scurrying away from the newstands. Not a productive ingredient to the success of a book.

We can see how publication has changed over the past two decades. Money that had flowed freely to wine and dine authors and million dollar advances no longer exist. New publishing companies emerge monthly to rival and steal business from corporate giants. The money faucet is clogged leaving publishing houses finding ingenious ways to publish and make profit. Most of the reponsibility lies on the acquisitions editor who must have foresight, instinct, a disciplined selection plan, and a publicists heart. Thier practice of prevention and quality control work hand in hand toward successful book publishing.


Cox, J. Self-Publishing: Tips, tricks, & techniques. The book lovers’ haven 26 paragraphs. Retrieved February 6, 2001 from the World Wide Web:


Marks, J. (1998, January 12). Publish and don’t perish. U.S. News five pages Retrieved February 16, 2001 from the World Wide Web:


McHugh, J. More checklists of acquisitions tips and techniques. The publishing law center 2 pages Retrieved February 16, 2001 from the World Wide Web:

Stuart, S. E. (1998) Christian writers’ market guide. Illinois: Harold Shaw Publishers.

Young, W. (2000) Christian book writers’ marketing guide. California: Joy Publishing

Immobilienmakler Heidelberg

Makler Heidelberg

Source by Jeffrey Bennett

Make Money Writing Articles Online – 3 Benefits to Writing for Free Websites

If you are hoping to make money writing online you have the option of setting up your own website or you can use one of the many free sites that allow you to upload your content. There are several free websites that allow you to make money from your writing. The most popular ones are Hubpages, Squidoo, Infobarrel, Zujava and Wizzley.

You can make money from these websites through the Google AdSense programme and through affiliate marketing links from websites like Amazon.

This article will look at 3 benefits that can be gained from using these free sites.

# 1 – There are No Set Up Costs

When you write for one of the free websites you do not have to pay for anything. You simply create a new account, learn what the rules and regulations are for that particular site and then you can start writing.

If you were to get your own website, you would have to pay for a domain name and a hosting account. When you are new to writing online, you may not have the money to invest or you may be a little unsure about your abilities. Using the free websites enables you to just get on with the thing that you want to do and that is to write.

# 2 – You Can Test Your Writing Skills

Another reason you may not want to invest in your own website is because you are not yet sure of your skills as a writer. Why spend lots of money when you are not absolutely sure that you will be able to make it from your writing? Using the free sites will give you the opportunity to test your writing skills. You can take your time to see what type of writing is the most effective when it comes to producing content that gets people to visit your articles and gets them to click on the product links that it contains.

The more that you write, the better your skills will get. You may find that once you have made enough money from the free sites, you have the confident to invest in your own website.

# 3 – You Can Write About Anything

When you create an account with one of the free sites, you have the freedom to write about anything. You can choose to write product reviews, you can write about your hobby, you can create fiction or write poetry.

The only thing you have to be sure to do is to read the rules and regulations that have been set by each website. They will stipulate which topics are not allowed and which are strictly forbidden. Once you know that, you can let your writing juices flow and create all the content you like.

It is quite common for people to choose to earn a little extra money by writing for these free websites because of the three benefits mentioned above. It is definitely a good way to get started. Once you have gained some experience, you might find that you are ready to move on and invest in your own domain name. Until then, using the free sites means that you can get writing sooner rather than later.

Immobilienmakler Heidelberg

Makler Heidelberg

Source by Victoria Virgo

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