The ASJA Weekly
May. 9, 2014

Free Session Recordings from ASJA2014
The ASJA Educational Foundation, which runs the annual ASJA conference, serves the interests of all independent writers. As a public service reflecting the Foundation's mission, we're releasing free recordings of two of ASJA2014's most important sessions.

The first session is titled "Our Work, Our (Copy) Rights: What's at Stake Now," exploring the ongoing American court battles over writers’ rights.

The second session, offered in conjunction with the Dart Center for Journalism & Trauma, is titled "The Aftermath: How to Tell the Stories of Trauma Survivors with Humanity & Grace." It focuses on how journalists can sensitively deal with the survivors of traumas like disaster, violence, and illness, and how to manage their own emotional reactions.


ASJA offers Personal Mentoring for Freelance Writers
We all need expert help sometimes. If you're a freelance writer in need of expert advice, ASJA members are here to help you. Can't break into the magazine market? Need help with a specific query or LOI? Want to know the steps toward getting a nonfiction book published? Do you need some organizational help with your freelance business? If you need career advice and don't know where to turn, or simply want a chance to connect with a professional writer who can answer your questions, sign up for the personal mentor program.More

I Found My Agent on Twitter
By Amy Rogers Nazarov
When in 2011 I was on the hunt for a literary agent to represent my memoir, I clicked on too many agency websites to tally, scanned the AAR (Association of Authors' Representatives) site every week, and asked friends who'd authored books how they'd met their agents.

I pored over ASJA's agent-penned questions-and-answers, sifting through many back issues of ASJA Monthly. At the 2012 conference, I pitched three agents in person, all of whom listened politely but then told me that memoir was too hard a sell for them to take me on. More

The 5 C's of Writing a Great Thriller Novel
Writer's Digest
Remember when Tommy Lee Jones holds up the empty shackles in The Fugitive and says, "You know, we're always fascinated when we find leg irons with no legs in 'em"? It makes me think of readers who pick up thrillers and find no thrills in them. Or at least not as many as there could be.More

My Self-Publishing Journey: Putting Together My ATeam
Publishers Weekly
If deciding to self-publish felt like jumping off a cliff, entering the professionally-polish-the-book phase has been like learning to fly … without wings or a net. Because while you don’t have to hire editors or use beta readers or have a professional do copy edits on your manuscript before you self-publish it, a book without all that hard work feels, to me, a bit like a novel without a cover — incomplete and still in development.More

3 Things to Remember When You Correct a Story
10,000 Words
While it may be true that when you talk about trust and journalism, we're talking about protecting sources and being brave enough to publish things that challenge the powers that be. But it's also just about being trustworthy as a news source. And that means correcting your mistakes. As I notice poorly worded, or not even acknowledged, corrections floating around the Internet on a daily basis, it might be time for some refreshers, says Karen Fratti, a media and technology writer based in New York City. .More

Want to Write a Book? Consider These 3 Self-Publishing Options
Self-publishing is no longer for fringe projects. With the mega-success of self-published books such as James Altucher's Choose Yourself and even the Fifty Shades Of Grey series, self-publishing has gained support and respect worldwide. This is also because of the advances in the self-publishing world over the last few years. Now all you need to self-publish is the time it takes to write and set up your project.More

How to Make Your Editor's Job Easier
10,000 Words
Freelancers are always looking for ways to score recurring gigs. Creating a lasting relationship with your editor is a great way to keep the assignments rolling in. There are a few basic things you can do right off the bat: be timely, courteous and professional. Be honest and open if you can’t make a deadline. More

Why Major Publishers Missed the Boat on Self-Publishing
Good E-Reader
When it comes to self-publishing an eBook there are only a few companies out there that are worth an authors time. Amazon has Kindle Direct Publishing which dominates the marketplace and accounts for 75 percent of all digital book sales in North America. Barnes and Noble and Kobo are two other companies that offer indies the ability to market their books domestically and internationally. Wattpad is one of the largest to publish in the serialized format and has some authors with over 190 million reads.More

Why the Smart Reading Device of the Future May Be — Paper
Paper books were supposed to be dead by now. For years, information theorists, marketers, and early adopters have told us their demise was imminent. Ikea even redesigned a bookshelf to hold something other than books. Yet in a world of screen ubiquity, many people still prefer to do their serious reading on paper.More