Over time, Wadadli Pen has added a fair amount of writing and publishing information – from interviews with authors and publishers, to the reading rooms, to the opportunities pages (technically posts not pages). This post-not-page is something slightly different, though there’ll probably be a bit of overlap. Like the reading room and opportunities (which you can use the search box to find), it will be updated from time to time; its purpose is to gather and share information related to publishing that writers need to know – information that too many of us have to learn the hard way. Hope you find it useful on your writing and publishing journey. Also visit the Writer’s Toolbox. Disclaimer: We don’t take responsibility for the information provided on any of the linked sites. Remember, do your own due diligence and seek the advice of an agent and/or lawyer if you can.
Authors – Getting Paid
The ABCs of School Visits with an Independent Bookstore Some good tips here but worth remembering that we live in the Caribbean where the gumption of an author asking to be paid for school visits (in any form) is often met by a … huh? (and likely some behind-the-back grumbling about the author lacking community spirit). These posts are however a reminder to value what you do (give what time you can and/or choose to, of course, but don’t let anyone shame you for valuing what you do or for not giving what you cannot or can no longer afford to give). Shift the paradigm.
Festival Appearances – Guidance for Authors (UK specific but the principles, especially the breakdown re why authors should be paid, applies to authors everywhere)
Carib Export webinar
“Don’t assume, ever…definitely register your copyright, definitely sign a split sheet if you’re collaborating with anyone.”
On the Hustle – Tips for Freelance Writers
“One thing to keep in mind: Once you’ve been published …, it is almost always worth sending them more ideas, even if they don’t ask for them. You’ve already started the relationship with them, and they know you as a writer, so they are more likely to give your queries consideration.” – How to Write and Get Paid: 11 Cases of Freelance Writing Success edited by Jacob Jans (don’t have a link but worth sharing)
7 Things You Must Do To Survive A Recession As A Freelancer including
1. Prioritize adding income over cutting expenses
Your first reaction to a big drop in income may be to cut back your expenses. That’s not wrong, but it’s more important to focus on bringing in more work. If you already live frugally, as many freelancers do, there’s only so much you can eliminate from your budget. Earn more and you won’t have to cut as much. When you have a good month—and you will, even in a downturn—save as much as you can to improve your cash flow for the next month. We could devote an entire article to getting more work. But a few ways to expand your roster of clients is to ask your current editors to connect you with their colleagues, update your online portfolios and social media pages, scour freelance job boards, and keep an eye on social media for calls for pitches.
“Find your minimum…and charge no less than that. If someone comes to you and says ‘…can you go lower?’ just say no… If you’re getting a lot of low paying work, you just need to learn to say ‘no’ more…You are worth a certain rate as a writer and when you go below that you are undervaluing yourself and as a result that paints the wrong picture of you to your clients.” Very good webinar on navigating the freelancing life.
“As a writer, you set the bar for acceptable pay. Don’t settle for less than you deserve and look for opportunities to upsell your services.” – Five Ways to Upsell Your Writing Services
Freelance Fees (insights to how freelancers charge)
‘While coaching me and my almost exclusively female classmates, Brodesser-Akner declared the following: “Always ask for more money!” It was a habit she’d developed after noticing that men did it all the time, without thinking twice about it. People respect you more for knowing what you’re worth, she told us.’ – How to negotiate your rate like a pro
“If you’re still a little unsure of your abilities, keep telling yourself that you have skills and experience that people are prepared to pay for. You’ve been invited to a meeting for a reason. You’ve won their approval thus far; you now just need to bring home the business by impressing them face-to-face.” – Learning how to sell yourself: how to win over a new client during a pitch by Katy Cowan
“Most freelancers spend about 30 percent of their time completing non-billable work like pitching, researching, interviewing, responding to emails, marketing, networking, and invoicing…That means an eight-hour workday only leaves you with about five billable hours. So when finding your own rate, be realistic with what you can charge and how many hours in the week you can work.” – Rates
Rates (a sample of some freelance publication rates)
“So be bold. Go after the writing you want, keep yourself at the forefront of editors’ minds, ask for fair compensation, and see what happens!” – Reminder to Be Bold when pitching
“The time you spend working for clients who underpay or don’t appreciate you is better spent seeking great clients who love you, understand your value, and pay appropriately.” – Carol Tice
‘While coaching me and my almost exclusively female classmates, Brodesser-Akner declared the following: “Always ask for more money!”’ – from How to negotiate like a Pro.
Publishing – Books
Carly Watters – Literary Agent Blog – I’m sharing this here because I don’t really have an agents’ blog on this site but I find, just perusing her comments section that she’s quite responsive and has some insights about the industry that might be useful, whichever agent you pitch.
Guidelines for formatting your manuscript before submission and more guidelines BUT remember to check the publisher website for any guidelines specific to her.
“I highly recommend a professional editor such as Joanne Hillhouse (jhohadli.wordpress.com/writing-editing-coaching-services/) or Virginia Hampton (email@example.com) who have provided excellent service to me and other writers in Belize and abroad.” – Belizean writer Ivory Kelly in an article providing publishing tips for authors in Belize which authors in the wider Caribbean and beyond may find a useful resource
Publishing – Journals, Anthologies
Publishing – Promotion
“Don’t make the mistake of just replicating your content across platforms.” – Tips for Better Social Media Marketing
How to Tame the Social Media Beast (a primer for writers on the use of social media as a promotional tool)
“Consider the topic being more than about the book’s release, and instead more about the impact of the book, a strange intriguing fact about how the book came about, how the book meets an urgent need, how a famous/semi-famous person reviewed your book and what they thought. In other words, the book isn’t the news…something else amazing related to the book is.” – Press Releases: a Blast from the Past by Greta Burroughs
Classes, Services (Writing and Publishing) – short sample limited to people who have had some connection with Antigua and Barbuda and especially Wadadli Pen
About your e-signature and how to utilize it as a marketing tool
Guidance Sheet re Recording and Sharing Author Archives – Guidance sheet recordkeeping and transferring archives – “Authors should take time to ensure that they make the right choice of archive service for donation or deposit, and this may require a period of negotiation and discussion. It is important that there is sympathy and synergy between the author’s collection and the archival institution which will be responsible for its care and promotion. Seeking to change archive service once the process is underway can be a difficult process.”
How to Hire a Skilled Editor and What You’ll Pay (because some writers really do need to consider what’s involved before pushing back on the rates – negotiating is fine, disrespect and derision is not) – rates and reasons vary but this isn’t a bad guide
How to lose a third of a million dollars without really trying – a lot of this may feel like another world (every author isn’t getting advances of this size, for one) but posting just as a cautionary tale for any writer trying to navigate the publishing world (because it can be very confusing)
This writer says, be professional and do your own research before asking (i.e. respect another writer or editor’s time – which is not to say, don’t ask, but do your leg work)
As with all content on wadadlipen.wordpress.com, except otherwise noted, this is written by Joanne C. Hillhouse (author of The Boy from Willow Bend, Dancing Nude in the Moonlight 10th Anniversary Edition and Other Writings, Musical Youth, With Grace, Lost! A Caribbean Sea Adventure, and Oh Gad!). All Rights Reserved. If you enjoyed it, check out my page on Amazon, WordPress, and/or Facebook, and help spread the word about Wadadli Pen, my books, and my freelance writing-editing-coaching-workshop services. You can also subscribe to the site to keep up with future updates. Thanks.