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Make Money Writing available on Kindle – Interview with Janice Thompson

Non-Fiction Writing CourseWelcome, Janice. Can you tell us about your latest venture?

Thanks for having me. I’m thrilled to share about my latest book, MAKE MONEY WRITING, which is now available from amazon for kindle users. The book, which is loaded with helpful hints for freelancers, is free from March 12th – March 17th. After that, it will sell for $4.49.

Can you tell us a little about yourself and your writing experience?

Sure! I write under the names “Janice Thompson” and “Janice Hanna.” I just signed contract #79 (For QUEEN OF THE WAVES) and have written in a variety of genres, including romance, historical, contemporary, cozy mystery, juvenile fiction, non-fiction and more. I’m best known for my light-hearted contemporary novels and for my quirky characters. I’m pretty passionate about writing, and even more passionate about helping others discover their writing talents and abilities. For the past seven years I’ve worked as a full-time freelancer, earning my living with my books, teachings, articles, and write-for-hire work.

Why did you decide to write this book?

For several years now I’ve divided my time between freelance writing and teaching. So many aspiring writers discover that I’ve published several books and they come to me to ask the inevitable, “How do I get published?” question, usually followed by, “Is there really money to be made in publishing?” Over the past couple years I’ve put together several freelance writing courses to answer their questions, but I felt the need to do more, so I compiled all of my mini-teachings into one book.

Will readers get all of the same materials they would get in one of your courses?

No, the courses are very specific to their individual topics. MAKE MONEY WRITING covers a variety of areas of interest to the freelance writer, including: earning top dollar, magazine article writing, write-for-hire work, writing the novel and/or non-fiction book, the submission process, succeeding as a freelancer, and more. The book is not a textbook. Instead, it is motivational in tone and focuses on offering encouragement to freelancers and giving them basic tips for success in each of the areas listed above.

Can you tell us a little more about the book? 

Sure! It might make more sense to share some of the chapter titles because they will give you an idea of some of the topics readers will find in the book.

Earning Top Dollar

Jumping the Hurdles

In the Beginning. . .the Writer Set Goals

What Industry Pros are Saying about Goal-Setting

Write. . .for Hire!

Revolutionize Your Writing

Girls Just Wanta Have Funds

Double Your Word Count in Two Weeks

Cash in on Magazine Articles

Sync Up

Freelance Lingo

Stop, Drop and Roll (Adding the Crisis Scene)

From Mii to Wii (learning how to incorporate the “we” factor)

Make ‘Em Laugh

Elevating Your Elevator Pitch

Seven Days to Better Writing

Five Things a Writer can Learn from American Idol

Got Moxie?

Becoming a Public Speaker

Writers are from Mars, Readers are from Venus

. . .and much, much more!

What other projects are you working on?

I’m currently writing QUEEN OF THE WAVES, a novel set aboard the Titanic. Very compelling story, I must say! And I’m tickled about my upcoming release, Wedding Belles.

You mentioned your courses. Can you tell us what’s going on in that world?

Yes, thanks for asking. I’m tickled about the recent release of my Non-Fiction Writing Course. I recorded this course in the studio several months ago and had a blast doing it. I’m convinced this is the most comprehensive package I’ve ever put together. Non-Fiction writers should be able to take this course and find some degree of success building their platform, writing short pieces and fully developing a non-fiction book. There’s even information on how to pitch (and ultimately market) the non-fiction book.

Here are the ten topics within the course:

From Magazines to Books: Building Your Platform

Understanding Non-Fiction Book Types

Best Selling Topics

Compiling Your Information (Braiding the Book)

33 Tips to Strengthen Your Writing

Incorporating Fiction Techniques in Your Non-Fiction

The Submission Process

Making the Sale (Includes all aspects of the contract/sale/edits/production)

Marketing Your Book

How to Stay in the Game

As with all of my courses, this one is available online at www.freelancewritingcourses.com.

How can readers get the free kindle book?

They can follow this link to amazon: http://amzn.to/yBeVBh. The book will be free from March 12th – March 17th and will revert to is usual $4.49 price after that.

Janice, how can readers reach you?

I love to chat with my readers! To learn more about my books, visit:

www.janicehannathompson.com
To learn more about my writing courses, including my new non-fiction course, visit:

www.freelancewritingcourses.com

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Freelance Writing: Overcoming Problems

Writers are From Mars, Readers are from Venus

Likely you’ve heard the old expression, “Women are from Mars, men are from Venus.” It’s so true, isn’t it? While we may have common goals, our methods of getting there are quite different. Add the various personalities/temperaments to the mix and you will see the potential for both hilarity and adventure.

As writers, we must remember that we’re from Mars. Well, maybe not really from Mars, but we’re unusual people. We think differently. Story ideas pop into our heads at the drop of a hat. Our characters talk to us. We’re always plotting.

Readers aren’t like us. They’re from Venus. They’re not thinking up stories or writing, writing, writing their ideas. Likely they’re overwhelmed with a heavy workload or changing diapers. They’re on the run, headed to soccer practice or taking a loved one to the doctor’s office. They’re facing health challenges, wondering how they’re going to put the next meal on the table or grieving the death of a loved one. When these dear readers find an opportunity to sit and relax, they reach for a book to take them away from their troubles, and to offer excitement. We are their “Calgon, take me away!” opportunity.

So, if writers are from Mars and readers are from Venus, how do we write the stories, non-fiction books and articles that truly jive with their life experiences? Simple. We’ve got to pay attention to the very real struggles they’re facing and write about those. Our stories don’t have to be morose or even intense. It’s possible to write a light-hearted comedy and still touch on relevant life issues.

If we set out to write stories to captivate readers, our characters will seem so real they practically jump off the page. Our settings will sizzle. The reader will feel transported. Our plotlines will move up, down, then back up again, plummeting at just the right moment. In short, we will take our reader on a journey.

Sometimes we get it wrong. We’re so interested in writing what we want to write…so interested in getting our own way…that our writing doesn’t ring true to the reader. She feels left out. And because she feels left out, she closes the book on page thirty-two, tosses it aside, and mutters, “Well, that was a waste of time.”

Learn to Become a Successful Freelance Writer with our Online Writing Courses

Don’t waste her time. Get to know her. Understand what makes her tick. Then invest in characters, plots, settings, and themes that will not only draw her in, but will give her hope. Our ultimate goal is to encourage, to uplift. (Of course, we want to take the reader on the ride of her life, too!)

You can do it, writer. Even though you’re from Mars. You can travel to the reader’s world and give her what she really longs for. And in the process, you’ll learn a great many lessons about what life on Venus is really like.

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Marketing and Promotion: Got Moxie?

Got Moxie?

Remember the story of the cowardly lion from The Wizard of Oz? He couldn’t summon up the courage to do the very thing he’d been called to do: be the King of the Forest. His fear held him bound. Dorothy did her best to give him the tools he needed to overcome, but he still run like a scared rabbit when spooked.

Many of us take on the persona of the cowardly lion when it comes time to promote our book. We shiver and quake at the idea of send out promotional materials or singing our book’s praises. Our knees knock when we’re called on to stand before a crowd to deliver a speech. We feel faint at the idea of being a guest on a radio program. And the idea of appearing on television terrifies us. We’re writers, after all. Our place is behind the computer. Right?

Yes. And no. Part of the task of being a writer is to promote what we’ve written. If we don’t champion our own work, who will? And who better to get the word out? We have a passion for our book that even the best PR guru does not possess. So, we have no choice. We must get busy. And we’ve got to overcome our fear to do the best possible job.

Marketing takes moxie. What’s moxie, you ask? It is a combination of courage, aggression, vigor and verve, skill and know-how. Having moxie means you’ve got guts. Determination. Backbone. It’s that “oomph” that energizes us (and emboldens us) to get the word out.

Oh, I know…not everyone comes into this world with this kind of courage. Most of us really do have the cowardly lion syndrome, particularly when it comes to our books. We write them in secret, submit them out of obligation and fret over their eventual release, knowing we’ll be called upon to promote them.

The time has come to “moxify” yourself, writer! Here are some ABC’s to help you summon up the necessary courage:

A: Acknowledge your fear. If you don’t acknowledge it, you won’t do anything about it.

B: Battle your way through. Don’t give in. Fight to overcome the feelings that are assaulting you.

C: Challenge yourself to new heights. If you’ve conquered the art of putting together an interview for a blog tour, give thought to a public speaking engagement. If you’ve conquered your first few speaking gigs, try a radio interview. If you’ve settled your nerves in the radio venue, work your way up to television.

In the end, the cowardly lion received the medal of valor/courage from the Wizard of Oz. You, too, will receive validation, though it won’t come in the form of a physical medal. It will come with the satisfaction that you’ve overcome your fear and stepped out of your comfort zone.

Soon enough, when someone asks, “Got moxie?” you can answer with a resounding, “You betcha!”

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Magazine Article Writing: Going From Mii to Wii

From Mii to Wii

So, you want to write magazine articles to earn extra money? Great! Freelance writing is a great way to earn cash. Let’s assume you’ve already taken the time to learn the various article types and know how to slant a great piece to fit an editor’s needs. Your writing is strong, your topic compelling, your deadline looming.

What’s missing?

I’d like to suggest one thing you might have overlooked: the Wii factor. Oh, not the Nintendo version. I’m referring to the “we” factor: universal appeal.

Many twenty-first century articles are focused on the writer, not the reader. We need to reverse that. Any piece you write—personal experience, how-to, informative, inspirational—must ultimately be about the reader, not the writer. Engage him. Uplift him. Sweep him into your story with you. Remind him of something that happened in his childhood. Evoke a strong memory. How? You’ve got to shift from the “Mii” mentality to the “Wii” mentality.

So much of this comes down to captivating the reader. You can win him over with a great story that has a compelling takeaway. Make sure the “tiny nugget of truth” is something he can relate to. If you’re writing about a fishing experience you had as a child, for example, drive home the point that your grandfather taught you how to reel in that first fish. His hand tenderly wrapped yours on the pole as that tiny catfish lifted out of the water. Grandpa celebrated alongside you, and taught you by example that quality time spent with a child far exceeds any other gift you could give. (See the takeaway? It’s clear, isn’t it? And it probably reminds you of someone who poured into your life as a child. That’s the point, after all. It’s the nugget of truth that you, the reader, carry away.)

Think about your work in progress. What sort of article is it? How can you take that piece to the next level? Pause to really think about your reader. Who is he/she? Why will this person care about your story? What’s in it for him? What emotions are you trying to tap into? Will he walk away from your article feeling uplifted? Does your story hit the mark or will the reader toss the magazine down on the coffee table, feeling like he’s been left out?

It’s not about “Mii,” even in a personal experience piece. It’s always about “Wii” (us/the human race/the reader specific).

Here’s a fun suggestion, in closing: Cut a picture of a man or woman out of a magazine and tape it to the wall above your desk. Write for him. Write for her. Write for “Wii.”

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How To Begin Writing: Practical Steps to Getting Started

Girls Just Wanta Have Funds

When it comes to the financial, I could probably divide most of the women I know into two categories. About half are financially secure, thanks to a great paying job or a husband with an awesome career. The other half are struggling to make ends meet. Among those who are struggling, some are stay-at-home moms. Others are single moms, working like crazy to pay the bills. Some are caregivers for aging parents, wondering if they’ll ever catch a break. And some are in their golden years, wondering if they’ll ever be able to afford to retire.

Most girls would—as the Madonna song alludes to—rather be having fun. However, with their current job schedules, laundry, diaper changes, and countless hours spent driving to soccer practice, ballet class, PTA meetings and the like, they simply don’t have the time. Nor do most have the energy to think about taking on more work, particularly outside the home. That’s why freelancing is perfect for women, particularly those in need of earning extra money on the side.

So, what’s a weary woman to do? How does she get started writing for pay? I would recommend a couple of great online writing courses on how to be a freelance writer. It’s never too late to start learning, even if you’ve already got a college degree. Freelancing is a competitive game and you’ve got to have an edge.

From there, begin to write what you know. For most women, that will include relationship issues, parenting, empty nest, stay-at-home mom, job-related issues, care-giving, marital issues, home improvement and the like. Your topics should be an honest reflection of who you are. There’s no “fake it until you make it” in writing. If you’re not genuine, readers will pick up on it. (And let’s face it…women are very discerning. They will know if you’re pandering to them.)

Next, write a one thousand word article. Be sure to include a great hook, something that will reel in other women. You want them to relate to you.

Have a good friend—someone you trust—read over the piece to make sure it hits the mark. Ask her these questions: “Does the article leave you feeling better about life?” “Did you grasp the takeaway (nugget of truth) at the end?” “Is my writing style engaging?” If she offers suggestions, take them.

When you’re sure the article is strong enough, visit www.writersmarket.com online and research the various magazine publishers. Query the editor, letting him know about your piece (and your platform, if applicable). If it’s a good fit, he will ask to see it.

From there, you never know what will happen! The next article might get picked up for a larger price, and the next might make a good foundation for a book. A year from now, you could be bringing in more money than you ever imagined.

Yep. Girls just wanta have funds. And they want to have fun bringing them in! So, what’s stopping you? Get busy writing, ladies!

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How To Be A Freelance Writer: Write for Hire Work

How To Be A Freelance Writer: Write…For Hire! by Janice Thompson

Writing is my time machine, takes me to the precise time and place I belong.
—Jeb Dickerson

Be a freelance writer doing write for hire work

What do you think of when you hear the term write-for-hire? Do you envision yourself going door-to-door, trying to drum up work from your neighbors? (“Hello, my name is Janice, and I’ll be happy to write that Christmas letter for you!”) Or do you see yourself standing on a street corner, wearing a placard that reads, WILL WRITE FOR FOOD? The concept is similar. The term write-for-hire basically means that you get hired by a publishing company to do a temporary, assigned project. In some ways it’s like working on assignment for a magazine or newspaper. When that particular project is over, it’s over.

I love write-for-hire projects. Believe it or not, I use them to rest my brain between novels. About a third of my freelancing income comes from these quick projects. They are varied and enjoyable, so I recommend this avenue if you’re serious about writing for money. (And, hey, who isn’t interested in earning extra money while you’re waiting on that next book contract?)

Over the next few months we’re going to address some questions related to write-for-hire work. We’ll figure out where to find these projects and how to maintain good, healthy relationships with editors. We’ll also address a variety of topics related to contracts, rights, payments, the editing process, and more. I hope to stir you up so that you will consider write-for-hire work as another fabulous way to use your writing gift to earn top dollar.

Let’s start by talking about the various types of write-for-hire work:

Compilation projects: devotionals and short-story collections: Many publishing houses put out a steady stream of compilation books (devotionals, in particular). Most of these books are written by more than one author. For example, over the past couple years I contributed devotionals to compilation projects for caregivers, stepmoms, dog lovers, and so on. If the book contained 100+ devotionals, ten might have been mine. Or twenty, even. My assignment usually came with detailed instructions and a clear deadline. Over the next few months we’ll talk about compilation projects in depth.

Books: Surprisingly, a handful of the novels you see on bookstore shelves, particularly those for kids, are actually write-for-hire projects. Some time ago, I was hired to write a complete book of mini-devotionals titled Everyday Joy. I didn’t have to share the project with anyone else. I had so much fun (and was tickled to see the book on the ECPA best-seller list not long after it came out). My name is on the cover of the book, but I received a flat payment, not royalties.

Book packaging: Book packaging is a bit different from compilations. In this scenario, a series of books is put out under one name. (For example, the Nancy Drew books were supposedly written by Carolyn Keene. In reality, they were written by a host of unnamed authors who were given a formula and an outline for the book they were to write.) One thing that sets book packaging apart from other write-for-hire projects is that the author does not receive credit for his or her work.

Ghostwriting: Initially, the term ghostwriter was used because the writer would never be disclosed to the public. Thankfully, the process has morphed over time. These days, the name of the ghostwriter usually appears along with the owner of the story. I’ve done some ghostwriting and have been acknowledged as the writer. Perhaps this holds some appeal for you, as well.

Business writing: Think for a moment about the following: advertising materials; catalog copy; technical, medical, and marketing materials; newsletters; Website copy; brochures; etc. Who writes all of that stuff? You . . . if you’d like! There is money to be made in business/technical writing. We’ll discuss this in detail over the next few months.

Potential write-for-hire markets: The first is the Sunday school curriculum market. Someone has to write those lessons! There’s also write-for-hire work available through school and library publishers. Finally, you might consider writing press releases for authors or businesses. The potential for income is unlimited!

Closing thoughts: If you’re already published but need more work, consider asking your current editor if he or she has any write-for-hire projects coming up. If you’re a fiction writer, you might ask your fiction editor to give you the name and contact information for the nonfiction editor at your publishing house. Also, don’t forget about your agent (if you have one). When I first signed with my agent, I told him up front that I was a freelance author, not just a novelist. In our first phone call, I said, “If you hear of a publishing house looking for an author to write a book on a specific topic (be it fiction or nonfiction), think of me. I’m fast, flexible, and willing to learn and research.” He has since come to me with “special projects” from two different houses. In most cases, though, I’ve drummed up the work myself, or have garnered work as a direct result of previous relationships with editors.

The primary thing is to see yourself as more than a novelist, particularly if you need the additional income. If you’re like me, you will see these short-term projects as a welcome change from the day-to-day novel writing experience.

What do you think, writers? Do you have what it takes to handle the pressures associated with write-for-hire work? If you’re motivated, disciplined, and willing to think outside the box, you’ll do great! Stick with me over the next few months as I take you on a journey inside the write-for-hire world.

You can also take a look at Janice’s Online Writing Lesson about Write-for-Hire Work by clicking here.

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Writing Course Gift Certificates

Don’t forget to tell your family and friends about what you’d really like this Holiday Season, a gift certificate from FreelanceWritingCourses.com.

Get a head start on honing your skills and learning to market yourself as a freelance writer.  Gift certificates can be redeemed for any of our online courses or instructor led courses. They can even be redeemed for our upcoming 2011 Writer’s Retreat.

To learn more about the FreelanceWritingCourses.com Gift Certificate Program, CLICK HERE.

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