Category Archives: Publishing

How Do I Become a Freelancer? A Grossly Incomplete Overview

In a few hours, I will be a guest in an editing and publishing class at Western Washington University, where I earned both my undergrad and graduate degrees and more or less got my writing and editing career started. Somehow, I am now considered some kind of authority and get to talk about how I’ve managed to fumble my way through a career as a wordsmith. Trust me, I like the feeling. But I’m just confused as to when people started asking for my advice on things.

I think the biggest part of getting started down the freelancer’s path is knowing where to start—and what things to consider. So, in preparation for my presentation, I figured I might as well give a brief scattershot of how I began, and how I sustain, this little career I’ve carved out.

These are my thoughts. They’re far from comprehensive, but hopefully somebody happening upon this site might learn a thing or two in the process. So let’s get to it. Continue reading

Let’s hear it for #AWP14! Where I’ll be, and where you should be too

Well, well, well. It’s time for AWP 2014 in my backyard of Seattle! Sure seems like this town and state in general have been rising in the ranks of national esteem lately, so the timing of this conference just feels so, so right to me. I’m very excited to be representing Cascadia poets everywhere, and although it’s always nice to travel to other locales (Boston was great last year), the hometown pride factor is pretty cool too.

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The Business of Editing: The Demand for Perfection

I love this article. The debate around error-free manuscripts is an interesting one, and not unlike a game of Pitfall. What this editor wisely points to, in the quest for perfection, is managing expectations. The ages-old adage, “You get what you pay for” rings especially true for editors working for budget- or timeline-conscious clients.

An American Editor

In a LinkedIn group, there has been a discussion about errors that are missed by editors. The discussion is a great illustration of the disconnect between reasonable and unreasonable expectations in editing.

On the one hand, you have an author who admits his manuscript is far from perfect and who expects the editor to make it error-free or keep working on it at the editor’s expense until the manuscript is error-free. On the other hand, you have editors who offer a broad range for what constitutes an acceptable number of errors. The discussion began with the question, “How many errors is it acceptable for an editor to miss in a 200-page manuscript?” The answers ranged from zero to (you pick a number).

Needless to say, there was a gap that could not be bridged. Authors (and some editors — usually editors who were also authors) remained steadfast in the belief that…

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Does My Book Need an Acknowledgments Section?

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Most clients I’ve worked with, whether they were involved in self-publishing projects or producing content for a large publisher, had a pretty good understanding of the basic process of putting out clean, professional work. By and large, they knew all the different components readers expected out of a book, and what they needed to do to put that together. There’s a good amount to keep track of, of course, and if you’re new to the process, it’s not uncommon that some of those things will be overlooked.

One such element I’ve noticed that authors forget or omit is the acknowledgments section. While technically optional, the acknowledgments section should be considered common courtesy, a way of recognizing the fact that no one makes a book entirely in a vacuum, and that a whole host of people helped you with your project along the way. Continue reading

How do I Get My Poetry Published?

A strange thing has happened in the past month or so, something that tickles me pink but that was entirely unexpected. And quite possibly undeserved.

People have started asking me for poetry advice.

Most recently, the question I got was “How do I get my poems published?”

Now of course, I’m no poetry expert—in any stage of the drafting or publishing process. Maybe one day, but at present I’m surrounded by so many other brilliant, passionate poetic minds that I know I’ve got a ways to go before I could even consider wearing that hat.

I’m just a guy who likes being a part of this world and who hopes to contribute in any way he can.

It was fun getting the question though, which came from a community college student in one of my friend’s classes. I remember being that age too (said the old man), and I remember having no clue how this process worked, so I thought it would be fun to give a short overview here.

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Do Indies do it Better?

I must start this post with an essential caveat: this is all anecdotal. These arguments would not hold up in a court of law, but that being said I would have no idea why anyone would be talking about this in court in the first place. That would be a boring case to litigate. This is just me thinking out loud, so to speak, because I think that’s what having a blog is for.

Second caveat: this whole thing is going to reek of sounding hipsterish.

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