The ASJA Weekly
Feb. 13, 2015

Video for Writers
Scott Sowers, ASJA
I know what you're thinking. If this is another new skill I have to learn – please shoot me now. Before you click off, listen to the pitch. Writers are now expected to be marketers, promoters, social media experts and occasionally – video producers. Enrolling in film school may be cost prohibitive and not a practical use of your time.

Maybe you’ve thought about producing your own book trailer, recording interviews for a biographical ghost writing project or turning a non-fiction piece into a film. If you want to learn some of the basics, I'm hosting a hands-on session dedicated to Video for Writers at this year's ASJA Conference and here's a sneak peak at what we'll be covering. More

Editing Clauses in Publishing Contracts: How to Protect Yourself
Writer Beware
Editing clauses are one of those publishing contract areas where there should be a balance between the publisher's interests and the writer's. Publishers need a certain amount of latitude to edit a manuscript to prepare it for publication. They also need to have the right of final approval--they don't want to be forced to publish a manuscript that the author can't or won't revise to their satisfaction.More

Black History Month Increases Interest in Self-Publishing
ebruary is Black History Month, a time when Americans turn their thoughts to the impact African-Americans have had throughout history. Unfortunately, it is impossible to know how much of the African-American experience may have been lost over the ages, as the people who knew the most about it were many times the least able to preserve it. That is no longer the case, as advancements in self-publishing have made it possible for anyone to tell their story. All authors need to get published now are their stories and a plan, and most can get their stories published for very little expense.More

In Defense of Self-Publishing
PBS MediaShift
There are so many op-eds these days on when or if to self-publish, and even more so, features (albeit they're dwindling) on how inferior self-published works are — just by the very fact they are self-published. This premise is applied even if the self-publishing author has the budget, foresight and professionalism to engage all manner of expert editors, proofreaders, formatters, designers and thoroughly research the distribution and promotion of his or her work. More

At the Sentence Level
The Writer
In the February issue of The Writer, contributor Jack Hamann shared tips from author and former New York Times columnist Verlyn Klinkenborg. Klinkenborg’s advice was like nothing I’d ever heard before: Don’t take notes. Don’t outline. Compose each sentence in your head before you commit it to paper. Accept no draft sentences.More

When Characters Become People
Writer's Digest
Lisa Lieberman Doctor, author of the writing book, Accidental Poetry: Improve Your English Through Creative Writing, writes: "Create people, not characters. This was Hemingway's advice to authors, and I humbly concur. It's long been my belief that when writers connect to their characters through their own dark emotional colors of shame, fear and anger, they'll find not only a rich common ground, but also that which motivates their characters' behavior and therefore makes them understandable to readers."More

Move Quickly, Keep it Simple and Other Tips for debunking
Craig Silverman, an award-winning journalist and the founder of Regret the Error, writes: "I recently completed a research project that saw me spend several months studying how news organizations handle online rumors and unverified claims. I also examined best practices for debunking online misinformation. This work, which was the focus of my fellowship with the Tow Center for Digital Journalism at Columbia University, is collected in a report I published."More