Maria Perez

    • Member Type(s): Content Publisher
      Communications Professional
      Media - Freelancer
      Media - Broadcast
      Media - Print Journalist
      Media - Student Journalist
      Media - Web-only/Blogger
      Media - Other
    • Title:Director, Audience Content
    • Organization:ProfNet
    • Area of Expertise:ProfNet

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    Math for Writers: Yes, You Do Need It

    Thursday, January 31, 2013, 11:14 AM [General]
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    I'll admit it: One of the main reasons I got into the communications field was because I stink at math. Correction: I don't just stink at it, I hate it -- with every fiber of my being.

    So when I read Laura Laing's blog post in the ASJA newsletter, I breathed a sigh of relief. If she's writing about this, then I'm not the only one who feels this way.

    I heard Laing speak at the ASJA conference last year. I like the way she breaks math down in ways we can all relate -- even those of us (ahem) who are arithmophobes.

    Laing has a new book, "Math for Writers," coming out this spring. I can't believe I'm saying this, but I'm actually looking forward to reading it. There, I said it: I'm looking forward to reading a book about math.

    In the meantime, you can read Laing's post here: Writers Do Need Math (Don't Panic).

    Ok, 'fess up: Do you loathe math as much as I do? And if not, what other subjects make the hair on the back of your neck stand up?

    Read This Before You Write Your Book

    Thursday, January 24, 2013, 1:45 PM [General]
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    The No. 1 misconception among authors is a cliché: “If you write it they will come.”

    That is the premise of an interesting and informative article on The Freelance Strategist

    According to the article, 30 percent of all books sell less than 100 copies. That’s a lot of disappointed authors.

    So while many of us dream about appearing on the New York Times Best Seller list, the truth is that our chances of gaining literary fame are “abysmal.”

    To illustrate the uphill battle authors face, The Freelance Strategist provides a neat infographic about the U.S. publishing industry. You can read it here:

    The Uphill Battle of Writing Books

    Yes, the figures are disheartening, but don’t let that dissuade you from writing your first (or next) book. While it’s true that 30 percent of all books sell less than 100 copies, that also means 70 percent of books sell more.

    Instead of giving up on your writing dream, check out these tips from Sandra Beckwith on “How to Get Your Book the Buzz it Deserves.” Beckwith works as a book marketing coach, teaches an e-course on book publicity and promotion, and publishes the free Build Book Buzz e-zine for authors. She shares some helpful tips on when to start working on book promotion, how to build a platform, using social media, and much more.

    Good luck!

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    * Image via NYTimes Best Sellers List

    Bloggers and Copyright Violations

    Tuesday, December 18, 2012, 11:42 AM [General]
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    If you’re a blogger, you have probably linked to another blogger’s post at some point – because it was interesting or helpful, or you agreed/disagreed with its premise and wanted to comment on it.

    But you could be in danger of violating copyright law, and you don’t even know it. There are a lot of misconceptions when it comes to including other bloggers’ work on your own blog. It also doesn’t help that there is a dearth of clear and concise information online to help bloggers understand the law.

    In her recent blog post, “Legal Danger for Bloggers,” on the ASJA blog, writer Susan Weiner does a great job of explaining how bloggers can avoid violating the ”fair use” law.

    “Most bloggers know you shouldn’t copy someone else’s work and pass it off as your own,” writes Weiner. “However, I’ve seen folks who think it’s okay to copy an entire newspaper article on their blogs as long as they name the author and publication details in addition to linking online to the original article. This is not correct.”

    In the article, Weiner shares a few resources to help bloggers understand the law, as well as her own suggestion: asking the author for permission (as I did before posting this).

    It’s an easy and helpful read on a topic all bloggers should better understand.

    BuzzFeed’s Long-Form Editor: What Freelancers Should Know

    Wednesday, November 21, 2012, 11:10 AM [General]
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    Think long-form journalism is dead? Don't tell BuzzFeed that. The site recently hired Steve Kandell as long-form editor.

    So what does a freelance writer need to do to get involved with BuzzFeed's long-form content? Mainly, patience and a lot of ingenuity.

    "We’re trying to the find long, in-depth, exhaustive equivalent of the kind of quick-hit thing that the site does, in terms of people wanting to share,” says Kandell.

    Kandell also says he's open to pitches from freelancers. What does he look for in pitches? Just come up with a great idea, an interesting angle, and execute it well. There are no secrets or hoops to jump through.

    Read the full interview with Kandell on The Freelance Strategist:

    BuzzFeed's Long-Form Editor: What Freelancers Should Know

    Balancing Your Creative and Business Writing

    Tuesday, November 20, 2012, 2:48 PM [General]
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    If you read my blog regularly, you know I'm a big fan of the American Society of Journalists and Authors. I attend the ASJA's annual conference every year, and I respect the support and guidance they provide their members.

    ASJA also publishes a newsletter, The ASJA Monthly, that features articles written by the organization's professional journalist members; interviews with leading authors, journalists, editors, and publishers; reviews of books; reviews of technology, software, and apps of interest to nonfiction writers; and highlights of its members' accomplishments. It's chock-full of information helpful to any type of writer.

    I'll be spotlighting some of my favorite articles from the newsletter here on a weekly basis. I'll start with a great piece by Judy Mandel that shares seven tips for balancing your creative and business writing life:

    Balancing Your Creative and Business Writing - By Judy L. Mandel

    And if you're a freelance writer -- whether for magazines, books or some other type of non-fiction writing -- take a look at what ASJA has to offer.

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