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Blogs of Writer, Artist, Photographer, & Caregiver Joanne D. Kiggins

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Location: United States

Joanne has published more than 2,500 articles and was award recipient of the 1990 Woman of the Year for Beaver County, Pennsylvania, for her accomplishments and excellence in journalism and to the community. Her co-authored book, “Unforgettable Journey,” won fifth place in the Grand Beginnings romance contest. An excerpt from her WIP, “Unearthed,” placed her fifth in the Absolute Write Idol contest. Most recently, her essay, “Perseverance,” is published in the Stories of Strength anthology in which 100% of the profits are donated to disaster relief charities. Her most recent articles were published in ByLine Magazine, Writer's Digest, AbsoluteWrite.com, and Moondance.org. She has a monthly freelance writing column at Absolutewrite.com. Currently, she is the sole caregiver for her 85-year-old mother.

Thursday, January 26, 2006

Book Review: The Street Smart Writer

The Street Smart Writer: Self-Defense Against Sharks and Scams in the Writing World

By Jenna Glatzer and Daniel Steven
Nomad Press
January 1, 2006
304 pp.
Reference/Writing Resource
ISBN: 0-9749344-4-5
Amazon.com price: $11.53
Highly recommended

Multi-published author Jenna Glatzer and publishing law attorney Daniel Steven take you into the murky waters of the publishing industry and fill a lifeboat full of safe firsthand instructions and advice about how to avoid being scammed by publishers, agents, and phony contests.

Whether you’re new to writing or have already painstakingly tested the oceans of the publishing world, The Street Smart Writer : Self-Defense Against Sharks and Scams in the Writing World needs to be on your bookshelf for quick and easy reference.

The title defines the content, and the information provided in this book is the best guide any writer could ask for.

The Street Smart Writer is loaded to the gills with advice for spotting the difference between good agents and those who try to fleece writers (chapter 1), spotting false credentials (chapter 15), and protecting yourself from threats and lawsuits (chapter 16).

This book is an excellent guide for learning the ins and outs of publishing from deciding if you need an agent, finding an agent, and signing the contract, to fulfilling your dream of publication. It includes tips on how to research agents and provides you with directories and databases to perform that research, lists what a writer should and should not pay for, tells you how to spot legitimate contests, and explains the differences between vanity and subsidy presses and self publishing.

The Street Smart Writer was written by Glatzer and Steven with a candid, upfront and to the point voice using their own experiences and the knowledge of reputable agents, editors, and authors they interviewed for the information.

If you are a writer looking to publish your work, you will find all the information you need to get your feet wet without being netted by those who could tarnish your career. A complete publication timeframe, from manuscript acceptance and edits, to payments and royalties, is laid out in easy to read, no nonsense laymen’s terms.

For those who have already run into sharks and scammers, Glatzer and Steven give pointers as to “how to sniff out a fishy agent or manager” and “what to do if you’ve been screwed” (chapter 4). If that doesn’t give you reason enough to buy this book, the crash course in copyright (chapter 9) should.

Along with the step-by-step warnings to avoid these slippery sharks, Glatzer and Steven include an Appendix of Forms with excellent samples of real literary agent agreements, publishing agreements, film option agreements, permissions, contributor, and trade publishing agreements.

Before treading the waters of the publishing industry and taking the chance of scammers or sharks fleecing you, purchase the tool that will help you float to your publishing dream. The Street Smart Writer is an absolute MUST for every writer’s bookshelf.


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Blogger Jeff said...

This looks like a good book. Thanks, Joanne :)

1/27/2006 7:42 PM  
Blogger Joanne D. Kiggins said...

It is, Jeff. Published just in time for me to learn all the ins and outs before I dive into submitting my novels. ;)

1/27/2006 10:43 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am just starting to write articles and try to find publishers. I have seen a couple of ads at freelancewriting.com requesting that you submit articles that they pay you for, but in return, you give up copyright and they treat the article as though they wrote it. Is this legitimate, do you think, or is this some kind of known scam I just haven't heard about?

1/28/2006 4:11 AM  
Blogger Joanne D. Kiggins said...

Anonymous, I much prefer responding to a poster who leaves a legitimate name, and comments pertaining to The Street Smart Writer, which this post is about.

To answer you question and help you, my suggestion is that you research every publication before submitting. Find out what they pay, how they pay, and what rights you are selling. You should also learn as much as you can about copyright in general.

There's a difference between selling "all rights" and selling "first rights" and retaining ownership and copyright of your material.

A publication buying all rights is legitimate. Once they pay you for the article, you lose the rights. With these type publications, it's the writer who has to make the decision as to whether the "pay" is worth giving up the copyright. That depends if you feel the article could be marketed successfully elsewhere.

My thoughts on this matter: Unless it's a small piece I won't be submitting elsewhere and it has a hefty pay attached to it, I'll keep my resell rights.

Good luck.

1/28/2006 10:20 AM