Member Benefit Highlight

GUEST POSTS

As a NAIWE member, you may guest post on the NAIWE blog. Articles should be between 500 and 1,250 words and of interest to our members. All guest posts will include a member byline and a link to the member’s active NAIWE website.

Visit the NAIWE website to see all of the member benefits.

John McIntyre, NAIWE’s Grammar Expert

We wanted to get to know John McIntyre (NAIWE’s Grammar Expert) better, so last month we sat down with him. Here are some thoughts he shared with us.

What is one thing that you learned about your craft (or grammar) the hard way, and what benefits have you received from it?

In an early post on my blog, “You Don’t Say” at Baltimoresun.com, I published a simplistic explanation of the that/which distinction and was smartly rapped on the knuckles by Geoffrey Pullum, the distinguished linguist. The discovery that having been a newsroom grammar expert did not make me a full-fledged expert was humbling, and it led me to a reexamination—continuing—of what I think and know about grammar and usage. I learn, and unlearn, something nearly every day.

 

What has been your most rewarding grammar experience (or correction), and how was it rewarding? Self? Monetary? Clients?

Blogging since 2005 has given me an audience across the United States and internationally of people who are interested in language and receptive to learning more. I’ve formed friendships with fellow editors, linguists, and lexicographers, some of the smartest and funniest people you could ever expect to encounter. (One of the people I’ve come to know is Professor Pullum, who has endorsed some of my better-informed posts.)

 

What do you associate with grammar expertise?

I call myself an informed presctiptivist. Editing is inherently prescriptive, because it involves making choices, often subjective ones, about what would be better in the text. But I have no truck with the stale pedantry of shibboleths, bogus rules, and superstitions about language retailed by some people who call themselves prescriptivists and embrace the false prescriptivist/descriptivist dichotomy.

Grammar expertise requires flexibility, attention to register, and awareness that the fundamental rule of grammar and usage is “generally, with exceptions.”

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We know that split infinitives are okay, sentences can begin with conjunctions, sentence-ending prepositions are perfectly good English, and it’s okay to use hopefully as a sentence adverb. We know this because grammarians and linguists have been gleefully exploding shibboleths and bogus rules. But what rules or usages are worth maintaining? In this webinar, John McIntyre of The Baltimore Sun will examine some defensibles. Should we maintain the imply/infer distinction? Is the traditional sense of “beg the question” in logic hopelessly lost? Is “whom” dead to us?

Sign up, take part, and work out where you want to stand your ground.

You can join in this conversation on November 19, at 2 pm eastern, when NAIWE will host a discussion on book marketing.

The cost for NAIWE members is only $10! Non-members can join for $30. To register, send an email with your name and telephone number.

Days to Celebrate in November

November: Family Stories Month. Record or listen to stories from relatives of all ages.

November: National Family Literacy Month. Enjoy some family readings.

November: National Life Writing Month. Write about yourself and your life as you have experiences it thus far.

November: National Novel Writing Month. Use this month to write the first draft draft of your novel.

November 1: National Author’s Day. Celebrate your favorite authors and the books they have written.

November 1: National Family Literacy Day. Read a book with your family today.

November 4: Job Action Day. Get the tools and resources to master a new job search and land the career of your dreams!

November 6: National Stress Awareness Day. Develop a routine to help you manage your stress.

November 11-16: National Young Readers Week.

November 29: Electronic Greetings Day. Send an electronic greeting to each of the clients you haven’t heard from in a while.

November 29: You’re Welcomegiving Day. Share a “You’re welcome” with at least one client today.

November 30: Computer Security Day. Help secure your computer by installing and running antivirus software

November 30: Small Business Saturday. Support at your local small businesses.

Carol Tice, NAIWE’s Content Marketing Expert

We wanted to get to know Carol Tice (NAIWE’s Content Marketing Expert) better, so last month we sat down with her. Here are some thoughts she shared with us.

What wins have you personally seen from LinkedIn marketing?

I’ve been hired by three Fortune 500 companies after they found me on LinkedIn—Costco, Alaska Airlines/Horizon, and Labor Ready (now TrueBlue)—among many other inbound leads I’ve received through my profile and the content I post.

Why bother with content marketing on LinkedIn—what’s the upside here?

LinkedIn is THE social platform for connecting with prospective clients all over the world—it’s the only place where you can overtly state you’re looking for clients without getting blocked or banned. It’s also an easy place to quickly build authority with posts on LinkedIn’s blog, a/k/a Pulse. In my mastermind program, I’ve coached students for several years on how to attract clients on LinkedIn, and they’ve seen reliable success in a fairly short time.

I’ve posted on LinkedIn, but nothing ever happens. Why?

There are a few fundamentals you need in order to attract attention on LinkedIn—your profile needs to be enticing and complete (including keyword phrases for your industries or types of writing, so LinkedIn knows who you’re looking for), you need to build up your connection count, and be active on the platform.

Once you complete your profile, you have to know what to post and how to write a STRONG headline to make your content on LinkedIn work for you. I see many writers posting about writing topics or their personal life, rather than on topics their target clients would be likely to click on and read. I’ll be discussing the differences there, and how to craft content that moves your marketing forward.

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So you’ve got your LinkedIn profile set up. Now what? What do you write in your status updates, or in LinkedIn’s articles section, to build your authority and attract the clients you want?

This example-filled presentation will show you multiple strategies and approaches for creating content for LinkedIn that builds your business — even if you don’t have much time to spare.

You can join in this conversation on October 23, at 2 pm eastern, when NAIWE will host a discussion on book marketing.

The cost for NAIWE members is only $10! Non-members can join for $30. To register, send an email with your name and telephone number.

Days to Celebrate in October

October: National Book Month. Curl up on the couch with a good book.

October: National Reading Group Month. Gather a group of friends, and meet weekly to discuss a great book!

October: National Work and Family Month. Focus on one way to improve your work/life balance. The Be a Better Freelancer conference can help with this: “Freelancing 101: Launching and Managing Your Freelance Business” with Meghan Pinson.

October: Self-Promotion Month. Promote your skills to gain some new clients. The Be a Better Freelancer conference can help with this: “You Oughta be in Visuals: Make Your Social Sizzle to Fire Up Your Freelancing” with Walt Jaschek.

October 1: National Fruit at Work Day. Take a break today to enjoy a piece of seasonal fruit at work.

October 5: National Do Something Nice Day. Do something nice for one of your clients today!

October 6-12: Mystery Series Week.

October 6-12: National Newspaper Week.

October 6-12: Customer Service Week.

October 9: National Bring Your Teddy Bear to Work Day. Spend a day with a cuddly friend to make you smile. 🙂

October 13-19: National Work at Home Week.

October 16: National Dictionary Day. Learn a new word today, and share it with a colleague!

October 16: National Boss’s Day. Show your appreciation and thankfulness to your boss.

October 17: Get to Know Your Customers Day. Get to know your customers, which will, in turn, help you know how to grow your business.

October 20-26: National Business Women’s Week.

October 20-26: National Friends of Libraries Week.

October 21: National Clean Your Virtual Desktop Day. Take some time to clean out some folders on your computer. The Be a Better Freelancer conference can help with this: “The Business of Being in Business” with April Michelle Davis.

October 26: National Make a Difference Day. Do something to make a difference in the life of someone else.

Tina Glasneck, NAIWE’s Book Promotions Expert

We wanted to get to know Tina Glasneck (NAIWE’s Book Promotions Expert) better, so last month we sat down with her. Here are some thoughts she shared with us.

What is one thing that you learned about your craft the hard way, and what benefits have you received from it? Can these benefits be broadened to include book promotions?

The most important thing to recognize for one’s craft is that of identifying the target audience, as a book is not written for everyone. It must have a specific audience in mind. Genres, of course, are there to assist readers in locating books that they like. Often, there are specific tropes that are used in the genre.

For example, romance requires a happy for now or happily-ever-after ending. If it does not meet that standard, then it cannot be classified as a romance. If it is advertised as a romance, the genre tropes and requirements are something to keep in mind when it comes to crafting a novel, as well as the later marketing of it.

 

What has been your most rewarding book promotions avenue, and how was it rewarding? Self? Monetary? Clients?

I believe that the best thing an author can do is grow their newsletter, and that growth is from where most of my success continues to come.

It is through my newsletter that I can create relationships with my readers, who frequently will then share news of my books with their circle of friends. All other promotion has its uses, but for long-term growth, the newsletter is the best way to continue to grow.

 

What do you associate with book promotions?

Book promotion is when the goal is to promote or make an audience aware of a particular book. This can include, but is not limited to:

  1. paid ads (like Facebook, Amazon and BookBub ads)
  2. paid newsletter ads (these are ads in book newsletters. Note, some are genre-specific, while others are not)
  3. newsletter swaps (when authors share the news of a different author’s book to their audience)
  4. free or cost-efficient promo (posting in Facebook groups, blogging, guest blogging, multi-author book fairs, tweeting, using social media to push the book without paying, creating a perma-free book to drive sales to other books in a series, creating a lead magnet to get new readers to sign up for your newsletter, etc.).

Paying for expensive book promotion only makes sense if one has more than one book in a series, or other books available that a reader can purchase. Book promotion is to advertise and to make readers aware of a product. It is best to use cheaper options, all within one’s author budget before one launches the more advanced ad campaigns.

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Are you struggling with what you can do to make your books a success? Are you overwhelmed with what you need to do to get eyes on your latest book-baby? Join USA Today bestselling author Tina Glasneck as she gives practical advice on what you can apply to your writing career to find readers and gain success. This webinar will dig into the basics and provide practical tips that you can implement right away to start you on your successful author journey.

You can join in this conversation on September 23, at 8 pm eastern, when NAIWE will host a discussion on book marketing.

The cost for NAIWE members is only $10! To register, send an email with your name and telephone number.

Kristen Fischer, NAIWE’s Journalism Expert

We wanted to get to know Kristen Fischer (NAIWE’s Journalism Expert) better, so last month we sat down with her. Here are some things she shared.

What is one thing that you learned about your craft the hard way, and what benefits have you received from it? Can these benefits be broadened to include marketing?

As a digital journalist, making connections was the hardest part. Finding editors to assign regular work can be so difficult because they move around so much. You have to keep putting yourself out there and continuously making new business relationships. The benefit is that you can write for a great publication, work with an editor who keeps you in mind throughout their career, secure references, and find a regular feed of work or a home for regular pitches. Those benefits can help you market yourself as a journalist and build your platform.

What has been your most rewarding marketing avenue, and how was it rewarding? Self? Monetary? Clients?

Letters of introduction. The direct connection you get from sending an email can be quite helpful in establishing a relationship–especially in the digital world.

What do you associate with marketing?

Creativity. Even if you’re not working in the marketing field, writers are creative people. Also, they have to find creative ways to market themselves. I hope more freelance journalists realize that staying in business for themselves isn’t so much about the writing; it’s about running your business. And staying in business demands marketing.

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Whether you write for digital or print avenues, being a freelance journalist can be tough. This webinar will explore how to target publications, how to secure editorial contacts, how to line up regular work, and how to overcome obstacles that arise when you’re not on staff. Participants will learn business tips to break into new publications as a freelancer and keep a steady flow of freelance work coming. Bring a list of questions and your best tip for securing work as a freelance journalist.

You can join in this conversation on August 22, at 3 pm eastern, when NAIWE will host a discussion on marketing as a freelance journalist.

The cost for NAIWE members is only $10! To register, send an email with your name and telephone number.

Days to Celebrate in August

National Wellness Month. This month focuses on self-care, managing stress, and promoting healthy routines.

August 1-7: Simplify Your Life Week. This week encourages you to refocus your life and declutter. Eliminate anything that causes stress or anxiety.

August 5: National Work Like a Dog Day. This is a day to pay attention to how hard you are working.

August 8: National Happiness Happens Day. Happiness is a choice. It is not a destination, but a life-long pursuit.

August 8: National Dollar Day. This day commemorates the day Congress established the U.S. monetary system in 1786.

August 9: National Book Lovers Day. A day to encourage those who love to read to find a favorite reading place, settling in with a good book.

August 10: National Lazy Day. Nearing the end of summer, we all need a day to be lazy and enjoy some of our favorite activities.

August 15: National Relaxation Day. It is time to slow down, unwind, and relax!

August 25-31: Be Kind to Humankind Week. This is a week of reflection and kind thoughts of others to make the world a better place.

August 27: National Just Because Day. This is a day to do something unexpected for another (or even for yourself) just because!

Mark Allen, NAIWE’s AP Stylebook Expert

We wanted to get to know Mark Allen (NAIWE’s AP Stylebook Expert) better, so last month we sat down with him. Here are some things he shared.

What is one thing that you learned about style manuals the hard way, and what benefits have you received from it?

Style manuals keep changing because language keeps changing. There was a time when I felt that I knew all the quirks of the Associated Press Stylebook, and then I found my convictions were no longer valid because they changed the book! There are plenty of shibboleths in the AP Stylebook—things that only AP adherents really care about but that cause consternation when AP makes a change. “More than” and “over” are now mostly interchangeable. The word “collide” no longer assumes that both things are in motion. These are minor things, but no one wants to be enforcing a usage guideline long after it’s dead.

What do you associate with style guide proficiency?

Proficiency with using a style guide is a bit like proficiency with editing in general. We can’t know everything, and we shouldn’t tell ourselves otherwise. Proficiency with a style guide means knowing what we need to look up and sometimes even looking up things we know we are right about. Proficiency is a bit of a false concept. There are many guidelines, many exceptions, and many gray areas where we need to look elsewhere for guidance and ultimately apply common sense. It’s possible to memorize most key points in a style guide, but our memories sometimes fail us, and guidelines do change.

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You can join in this conversation on July 24, at 7 pm eastern, when NAIWE will host a discussion some of the most important changes of 2019.

The Associated Press Stylebook, the essential guide to style and usage for news, PR, marketing, and corporate communication, is now updated for 2019 with its most substantive changes in years. NAIWE AP Stylebook Expert Mark Allen will discuss the important changes in a 90-minute webinar complete with humor and handouts.

The cost for NAIWE members is only $10! To register, send an email with your name and telephone number.

Mark Allen is an editor, writer, and teacher focused on helping people communicate with clarity and honesty. He has trained hundreds of editors and writers on a variety of topics, including the latest and most important elements in the Associated Press Stylebook and the Chicago Manual of Style. Mark has led conversations about copyediting and writing at conferences and workshops in Detroit, St. Louis, Las Vegas, New Orleans, Philadelphia, Portland, Columbus, Chicago, Pittsburgh, New York City, and York, England. He was the first freelancer elected to the executive board of ACES: The Society for Editing, and Mark currently teaches advanced copyediting for UC San Diego Extension’s copyediting certificate program.