The ASJA Weekly
Aug. 29, 2014

ASJA Mourns the Loss of Fellow Freelancer James Foley, Urges United States' Allies to Stop Paying Ransoms
As an organization of freelance writers, we of ASJA, the American Society of Journalists and Authors, mourn the brutal murder of fellow freelancer James Foley by ISIS terrorists on the 636th day of his captivity in Syria. When kidnaped, Foley was on assignment for the online outlet Global Post to tell the stories of civilians under siege in Aleppo.More

Using a Book to Build a Brand
4 Strategies to Consider Before Writing Your Book

Sandra Poirier Smith, president of Smith Publicity, Inc.
I was fortunate to be part of ASJA's Annual Writer's Conference in April and brainstorm with authors and aspiring authors on the topic of using a book to build their platform. The most common questions revolved around when to write a book. Related to this, authors also wanted advice on how to launch a book when the goal is to use a book to attract opportunities including speaking engagements, consulting projects, new publishing deals, social media followers, book sales, etc.More

Writing a Children's Book? Make It Predictable.
Susan Shafer, ASJA
If you're like many ASJA members, you probably write for adults. But have you ever considered writing for kids?

As a former teacher, and then, as a children's book editor, I've read hundreds of books for young kids, from wordless books to early chapter books.

Of all those, my favorite kind is the predictable book, which helps young kids learn to read, and find joy in reading. If you've ever thought of writing a book for children ages 3-5, I suggest you build in a predictable structure.More

Research Before You Send a Query Letter
Writer's Digest
Writer's Digest editor Chuck Sambuchino, writes: "Now, there are really two different types of rejection letters. The first one I don't have a big problem with. These are the letters for projects that might not be quite right for what I am looking for, or for stories that might not be ready for publishing yet. With stories like this, we can often take the time to provide a few suggestions for improvement, or to discuss why the story is not right for us. Yes, writing the letters takes time, but when I hit 'send' I feel as if this author might be one step closer to publishing.More

Self-Publishing More Lucrative for Authors
Tahlequah Daily Press
Tahlequah is home to dozens of published authors. But any one of them will likely say the process of moving a finished work to a published tome is complicated, at best. Finding a publisher often proves difficult.More

Publishers Weekly: Publishing Salaries Up 2.8 Percent in 2013
Publishing salaries increased 2.8 percent in 2013, according to a new study from Publishers Weekly. The increase in salary is consistent with the rise in salaries between 2012 and 2013, which also rose 2.8 percent on average.More

3 Mindful Writing Tips to Move Beyond Writer's Block
The Huffington Post
Here are three writing prompts to help you find your creative juice or kick you out of writer's block thanks to some good old friends like Jack Kerouac. You can also use these writing techniques to identify your passion and purpose because all of these writing strategies are meta-cognitive in nature, which is a big fancy word that means you call attention to your thoughts and think about your own thinking.More

Journalism Under Attack
10,000 Words
Most journalists can agree that the profession has for years now been under financial attack by way of newsroom layoffs, the decline of newspapers/ad revenues and media consolidation, among other factors. But now, both around the world and across the nation, journalists have been coming under increasing physical attack from a combination of hostile governments, overly militarized police forces and international terror organizations.More

Facebook Takes Steps Against 'Click Bait' Articles
The New York Times
Facebook announced that it had adjusted the way users see articles on its site to reduce what it called "click bait" — items that tempt readers with a beguiling headline, but don't deliver much more. The move, announced on Facebook's news blog, is the latest development in a battle between the company, which can drive an enormous amount of traffic to news sites, and those sites, which try to use the Facebook algorithm that ranks articles to their advantage.More