Sunday, February 22, 2009


Freelance Writers - Choosing an Editor

Getting Your Book Published - How to Choose the Right Editor For You and Your Manuscript
By L Murdock

There are a lot of things you should consider when hiring an editor to help you hone writing chops and polish your manuscript.

The process can certainly be confusing, but following the 5 steps below should keep you on the right track.

1. Go with your gut. For a full-length book, you'll likely be working with an editor for at least a few weeks; I've worked with some of my writers over several years and several books. The editing and evaluation process works best and will be the most valuable to you if you can develop a friendly, easy relationship with your editor. Early conversation - whether by e-mail or phone - should leave you feeling confident that you're working with someone who wants to help you succeed. If you don't feel comfortable with one editor, move on to another.

2. Get a second opinion. I always recommend that writers ask for references, particularly when they're looking for an editor to perform a good deal of work (line edits, developmental editing, extensive copyediting, manuscript evaluations and critiques, etc.). Go ahead and ask an editor if you can talk to one of his or her previous clients - they'll be able to give you unique insight into the process and the value of the services you're considering.

3. Do your research. Google the editor's name and/or business name. Look for any complaints or warnings other writers may have published online. At the very least, ask the editor about any troubling posts. Of course, Google has its limitations - don't worry too much if you find that your editor's name brings up a whole cast of strange characters - there are at least 5 other Lindsay Murdocks that pop up on my GoogleAlerts - one of them actually lives only a few towns over!

Also, although I've mentioned it before, I have to reiterate - check any editor you're considering hiring against the Preditors and Editors database. Not all freelance editors are listed there - but if an editor does have complaints against him or her, chances are those complaints are documented on this site.

4. Take a taste. When you order an expensive bottle of wine at a restaurant, the server will have you take a sip before serving the rest of the bottle, just to make sure you like it. An editor should do the the same - offering you a sample edit so you can see precisely what you're getting for your money. I offer a free ten page sample edit or evaluation to ALL potential clients. Most editors I know will do the same.

5. Get it in Writing. Some editors use written contracts, some don't. At the very least, get a detailed description of what you're getting for your money, what your options are, what deliverables you can expect when, how much it's going to cost, and when payments are due. Ask questions and get answers. Remember, your editor is a professional who will be working for you.

BONUS: Be nice, and expect the same from your editor. We're all in this together!

Good luck!

Lindsay is a freelance editor and publishing consultant specializing in Manuscript Evaluation and Manuscript Critique. Read more on her blog at or her website,

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Freelance Writing Online for Money

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Friday, February 13, 2009


Any Freelance Writer Can Have an Online Business with Article Marketing

By Donovan Baldwin

One of the best known, and commonly used, methods of Internet marketing is known as Article Marketing.

In article marketing, once the product has been selected, the marketer drives traffic to the selected website and heightens interest in the product by writing and publishing articles relevant to the product or service.

For example, if someone is selling AMSOIL synthetic motor oil, such as I am at he or she can drive a ton of targeted traffic to the site by publishing articles on automotive subjects, such as I have been doing for quite some time at

Just a few of the great things about Article Marketing is that it is free, works great to increase site ranking as major article directories are regularly indexed by major search engines, and can be used to drive targeted traffic to ANY website.

Articles also stay up for years, leaving a constant link in place.

In the last few years, a new market has emerged for freelance SEO (Search Engine Optimization) Copy Writers, many of whom have their own business(es) on the side while providing copy for other Internet marketers as well.

If you are not certain how YOU can use article marketing to build an Internet business, you can click Here to get a free copy of The Fast and Simple Guide to Article Marketing in PDF format.

Freelance Writing Online for Money

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Tuesday, February 10, 2009


Freelance Writing Online for Money - Try Medical Writing

Breaking Into Freelance Medical Writing
By Cyndy Kryder

When I speak at freelance medical writing seminars, I can always count on someone who is just getting started in the business to come up to me and ask, "Now what should I do?"

I'm delighted to give up-and-coming freelance medical writers a little personal advice. And my first tip always is to join the American Medical Writers Association, AMWA for short. I know when you're just starting out, annual dues to a professional organization might not be in your budget. But the value you'll get from an AMWA membership will outweigh its cost. Besides, you've got to spend money to make money, and membership in AMWA is an investment in your future success.

AMWA and its regional chapters sponsor workshops where you can learn different aspects of medical writing. These workshops, and the annual national conference, aren't just for newbies, though. You'd be surprised by what even an experienced writer or editor can learn in a basic AMWA workshop! Plus, when you attend regional AMWA meetings, you'll meet other medical writers as well as prospective clients. This face-to-face networking will go a long way in getting freelance work. And you'll get a feel for the writing needs and the competition in your geographic area.

As for the next step, anyone considering freelance medical writing needs to decide what type of medical writing to pursue, and whether to be an employee or a freelance. In my opinion, medical writing can be divided into 3 broad categories: Regulatory, promotional, and educational.

Regulatory writing is highly scientific and involves creating documents that are often submitted to the US Food and Drug Administration. Promotional writing is any writing created for the purpose of selling or promoting a drug, intervention, or medical device. Educational writing includes any materials created for the purpose of educating health care professionals or the general public. This includes writing content for continuing medical education programs, as well as creating patient-education brochures.

Once you decide what type of medical writing you want to do and how you want to work, the next step is to identify the companies that employ writers or purchase that type of writing. They include pharmaceutical companies, CROs (contract research organizations), medical education companies, medical communications companies, and medical advertising agencies. Of course, you could also decide you want to write for a medical journal or a hospital, or even start a health column in your local newspaper. There are lots of avenues to explore.

For anyone who decides to become a freelance, one final suggestion is to begin a targeted promotional campaign to reach prospective clients. An easy way to do this is to join an online social network for professionals, such as LinkedIn. LinkedIn is just one such network, others exist. Use it as a tool to enable future clients to get to know you. Create a profile, seek out contacts, and join groups in your industry. Once you've become a group member, start discussions and respond to discussions that are already ongoing. Prove to group members that you have valuable information to contribute.

I can't stress enough the value of networking, especially virtual networking. But it takes a lot of time, and you need to be consistent in your approach. Make sure everything you put out there looks professional and portrays you in a positive manner. That means inserting a real photo rather than an avatar, using proper grammar and punctuation rather than "text-speak," and responding to contacts in a timely manner. Once you start your virtual networking, keep at it. You'll soon find that it pays off.

About the Author

Cyndy Kryder, MS, CCC-Sp, has been a freelance medical writer for more than 16 years. As one-half of the Accidental Medical Writer writing team, she offers advice and writing tips for aspiring medical writers at:

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Thursday, February 05, 2009


Freelance Writers - Plan Your Next Project

Writers - How to Plan Your Next Writing Project
By Melinda Copp

Like any endeavor in life or business, in writing, a good end result is often attributed to a good starting plan. Just to sit down and to start to write can be effective as a jumping off point to figure out what your ideas are. But once you've put your main ideas into words, take some time to plan how those ideas relate to your main point and how the relate to each other. This process will help to ensure the composition flows from one sentence, one paragraph, or one chapter to the next.

To plan your next writing project, ask yourself the following questions.

What are you REALLY trying to say?

Look at your main ideas and try to sum up each point in a sentence. Consider what purpose each scene or section serves. What is each scene or section really about? What meaning do you want the reader to gain? How does it move the story forward?

When you know the main point of each section in your composition, then it's easier to determine what needs to go where, what to keep and what to cut, and how much time to spend on each topic or scene. Everything that doesn't move toward the main idea can go.

What arrangement is most effective?

One of the first questions to ask yourself when planning a composition is: what is the best way to present your main ideas? Or in a narrative work, such as fiction or memoir, where are your main scenes and how do they best come together?

In an instructional or academic work, you might dedicate a chapter to each main topic you want to cover. For example, in an article about types of military jets, you use a section for fighter planes, a section for interceptors, and a section for bombers. Then once you've explained what fighters, interceptors, and bombers are, you can then explain how a fighter's characteristics differs from an interceptor's or how some jets have the characteristics of both bombers and fighters.

In a short narrative work, you might only have one main scene. But within that scene you can break away from the narrative to explain the action. In a longer work with several scenes, you can dedicate a chapter to each main scene. Putting them in order will depend on chronology and dramatic effect. Keep in mind that your order will likely change as you write and revise.

How much space do you need?

Another important question to consider is the length of the composition. How much page space do you have to work with? Although you want to communicate your message in as few words as possible, some ideas need more space than others. If you write too long, you risk stretching out your ideas so much they become too diluted to be relevant.

The amount of page space you need is directly related to your topic and focus. For instructional works, you need enough space to introduce the subject, outline the main points in brief, explain them with examples, and then summate your purpose again in conclusion. In a narrative work, like fiction or memoir, you need enough space to thoroughly flesh out a scene, portray the action, and communicate your ideas and themes.

Planning Your Next Project

A well-planned composition will ensure each idea is explained and each scene is developed. And writing will become easier when you work from a plan, even if you adapt and change the plan later. Using these questions to plan your next composition will help solidify your message and save you time during the revision stage.

About the Author

Melinda Copp is a writing coach, book editor, and ghostwriter who specializes in helping aspiring authors achieve their writing goals. Sign up for Melinda's free e-zine, and learn the top ten mistakes aspiring authors make and how to avoid them!

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Monday, February 02, 2009


Tips to Getting Rid of Writer's Block

By Lyn Mok

I have a lot of writing projects including zillions of articles to write, several novels-in-the-making and tonnes of blog posts to put up but I also frequently get hit by writer's block and this will be the death of me at the rate of I kept getting this most dreaded condition. It is like the worst 'disease' ever to hit any writer, author or blogger. I mean, here I am with tonnes and tonnes of things to do but I am stuck. Literally. I could not even string a sentence together. Well, at least, not a very clear sentence that could fit into any of my writing projects.

So, of all people, I truly understand when it comes to writers block and getting rid writers block isn't easy. It is worst than having your wisdom tooth removed. I would know since I suffered the indignity of a swollen face for several days complete with a throbbing gum after the wisdom tooth was forcibly dug out by the evil dentist out to make me poorer and torture me at the same time. Yep, getting rid writers block is definitely akin, if not worst, than having your wisdom tooth removed. It is almost literally like a big huge boulder blocking your way mentally and physically.

Like someone placed a lock and vice on your computer (or typewriter or notepad - whichever writing instrument you use). It is like having our pens taken away. Our notepads destroyed. Our computers hacked and wiped out by some evil virus. Our typewriters incinerated. Well, you get my meaning. That's why I say I am almost an expert when it comes to writers block. I have very vast experience in it. Instead of completing my articles, I get veered off course by a big huge boulder landing on my computer. Okay, so, not literally but it is bad enough.

What do I do to get rid of writers block? Well, there are some ways to getting rid writers block and here are some of the methods I use:

1. I start typing nonsense and string nonsensical words together continuously for about an hour or so. Somehow these words will suddenly make sense and before I know it, I am writing one of my writing-project-in-progress.

2. I surf the net and check out other writers' websites and blogs and turn green with envy over their progress while plotting an evil takeover of their written works - okay, so I'm joking bout the taking over of their written works but blog hopping and website surfing on other authors' and writers' blogs do help as they sometimes do offer loads of inspiration to chase away your boulder-sized writers block.

3. I sing a song and do a silly dance - okay so, maybe I don't do that but what I meant was that I simply turn off the offending blank-screen and go do something else. At least, I am getting something done and not forcing any leftover braincells to try to work when obviously they are on vacation.

Getting rid of writers block is all about mind power, so try it and you will see.

There are plenty of other writing tips here and more tips to get rid of writers block here.

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