The ASJA Weekly
Apr. 17, 2015

A Little Sleuthing = Big results
Wendy Helfenbaum, ASJA
It's the bane of every freelance writer's existence: tracking down the correct section editor/marketing manager/hiring person, figuring out the ever-changing email format, and then having your LOIs and pitches go to That Big Black Hole. You know the one – that elusive place where your finely crafted query lingers, likely never to be read or replied to.

And for those of us who have been trying to branch out into other writing opportunities – custom content, brand storytelling, content marketing, corporate work – this process can be even more daunting. That's because many of the folks who hire writers to do this kind of work fly way under the radar. Often, they do not even appear on their company's website. They're like ghosts, and it can be very challenging to find them.More

ASJA2015: It's almost here!
Can you believe ASJA2015: Connect for Success is less than two weeks away? If you're looking to advance your writing career, register for this premier event for freelance writers, April 30 – May 2 at the Roosevelt Hotel in New York City.
On top of an incredible keynote address from Jennifer Finney Boylan, author of Stuck in the Middle With You and She’s Not There: A Life in Two Genders, plus informative panels, mentoring opportunities, pitch slams and more, ASJA2015: Connect for Success also offers an incredible social aspect.
Hear from last year's attendees in this short video, and register to gain these experiences yourself!More

How to Choose a Genre When Writing (Sometimes the Genre Chooses You)
Writer's Digest
Catherine Ryan Hyde, bestselling author of 27 published and forthcoming books, writes: "I should probably start by saying that the question of target audience is never in my mind as I write a novel. I make sure it's not. If I let it creep in, it will do nothing but trip me up."More

Want to Succeed in Self-Publishing? Do Your Research: Tips from an Indie Author
Publishers Weekly
When Kensington Books didn't renew Anthea Lawson's contract, she was at a loss. But the RITA-Award finalist and author of the traditionally published romances All He Desires and Passionate didn't let this dissuade her. Instead, she "took the plunge" into self-publishing, and her most recent effort, Mistress of Melody, received a starred, boxed review with Publishers Weekly calling it “entertaining and satisfying,” as well as a "well-paced, humorous love story will delight fans of daring Victorian cross-class romances.'More

Amazon Takes On Fake Review Services
Writer Beware
The actual impact of four- and five-star reviews on Amazon and other retailers' websites is a matter of ongoing debate, but their perceived importance is not. Which explains why, if those reviews aren't accumulating on their own, there's a quick fix — as long as you're willing to hold your nose and open your wallet. More

Tips to Make You a Better Storyteller
One of the few regrets I have in my life is taking up golf without first taking lessons, writes Butch Ward. Lugging my dad's rusty clubs to the nine-hole course at Carroll Park, I simply started swinging exactly as Arnold Palmer did on TV. Or so I thought. Decades of hooks, slices and bad habits followed.More

Getting Self-Published Books into Public Libraries
Publishers Weekly
How would you like to get your self-published book into your local library? It's often not easy, but it can be done. There are several ways to do it — but first and foremost it's essential your book has the look, and feel of a professionally published title. To that end, purchase an ISBN. Hire an experienced editor, copyeditor, and jacket designer. And then create an inviting website and start spreading the word about your book — before it is published.More

Should Young Writers 'Wait Their Turn'? This Famous Old Writer Thinks So.
New Republic
In what might be the most highbrow get-off-my-lawn ever written (19 literary names dropped; references to typewriter brands; a dig at the new New Republic, and some untranslated, Kant-referencing German for good measure), fiction writer and essayist Cynthia Ozick complains in The New York Times that today's young writers aren't content to wait their turn. More