“Breaking In” to Hollywood as a Screenwriter Outside the System

 Join Janice and Mitchell Peck on The Freelance Life broadcast, Wednesday
May 28, 2014 at 3:30 EST. 
Mitchell will shed some light on the often mysterious/opaque process of breaking in to Hollywood as a screenwriter outside the system by using real-life case studies of nine screenwriters who Mitchell has personally helped get represented by agents, sell their scripts to movie studios, and/or get their scripts produced by major movie studios.
Mitchell Peck

Be part of this broadcast at
The Freelance Life
hosted at TalkShoe.

Mitchell Peck, founder of Hollywood Embassy, is a Producer of three studio movies (and numerous studio script development deals) — all based on screenplays he developed with first-time, unrepresented writers.  For 20 years in Hollywood as a producer, he’s specialized in working with aspiring writers outside the Hollywood system – developing their scripts, and successfully guiding them into top literary agency representation, studio deals, and produced movies (click here to view Mitchell’s IMDB page)
Mitchell recently decided to open a boutique screenplay consultancy, Hollywood Embassy – to help serious, aspiring screenwriters improve their scripts professionally.
Please CLICK HERE for a link to the “About” page on Mitchell’s Hollywood Embassy website; if you scroll a quarter of the way down the page, you’ll see a piece written by Mitchell titled, “How Hollywood Embassy Began.”
For more information about Producer Mitchell Peck and his boutique screenplay consultancy, please visit HollywoodEmbassy.com.
NOTE: NAIWE members can be featured on The Freelance Life sharing ideas, success stories, book chats and more.  Contact editor@naiwe.com if you’d like to get on the list.
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A Guide for the Freelance Indexer: Book Chat with April Michelle Davis

A Guide for the Freelance Indexer by April Michelle Davis, NAIWE Expert
Have you considered becoming an indexer or adding indexing to your list of freelance skills? NAIWE Social Media Marketing Expert April Michelle Davis has just written a guide on this highly specialized and much needed professional skill, and she joined us for a Book Chat on The Freelance Life on Wednesday, January 30, 2013, at 3:30 p.m. EST. We discussed April’s new book, the business of freelance indexing, book marketing, and the process of becoming a successful freelance editor and indexer.

Here is the recording for the show:

A Guide for the Freelance Indexer

Here is a look at what will you learn in this helpful guide:

  • Writing and organizing the index
  • Setting up an index entry
  • Editing the index
  • Dealing with content
  • Working with electronic tools
  • Professional standards and best practices for your freelance business

A Guide for the Freelance Indexer is based on many years of study, indexing, and teaching. Author April Michelle Davis holds a master’s of professional studies degree in publishing from George Washington University as well as certificates in editing, book publishing, and professional editing. She has also completed the “Basic Indexing” course at the USDA Graduate School and “Indexing: Theory and Application” at the University of California, Berkeley. A member of the American Society for Indexing, April is chair-elect for the Mid-South Atlantic chapter of ASI.

A Guide for the Freelance Indexer is not only an important book for anyone embarking on an indexing career, or considering such a move, but also for editors and writers who work with indexers or need to evaluate the quality of an index.

NAIWE members: If you would like to schedule a Book Chat or Success Story interview, please contact us at support@NAIWE.com.


How to Be an Almost-Instant Author: Paulette Ensign on the Freelance Life

How to Be an Almost-Instant Author: Expand Your Reach and Your Bottom Line a Tip at a Time

Paulette Ensign, NAIWE Tips Booklet Expert, on How to Be an Almost-Instant Author

Join us on The Freelance Life for an inspiring one hour idea fest with NAIWE Tips Booklet Expert, Paulette Ensign.

  • 7 November 2012
  • 3:30 p.m. EST

The Freelance Life is hosted at TalkShoe.

Here’s the recording from today’s episode of The Freelance Life. Enjoy!

You have lots of great tips about your expertise to share with the world, information that may seem like basic common sense to you that is nothing short of life changing for other people. And you keep hearing that social media for business is the way to go. Yet there are so many social media tools you’re not sure where to start.

Plus people keep telling you that writing a book is a must, leaving you weary just thinking about doing that. After all, you run a small business. Who has time? You may not even feel comfortable writing. You want and need to re-purpose everything you do to make the best use of your time, energy, and resources. Learn how to develop a painless and fun strategy that’s perfect for you, with big results both online and offline.

Paulette Ensign, founder and owner of Tips Products International, will have you popping with ideas as we chat about how she took the tips she shared with her clients and prospects and created a simple product that not only sold over a million copies in several languages and formats, but still sells today, over 20 years later.


Paulette Ensign, Founder and Owner of Tips Products International, had no idea she would sell well over a million copies of her 16-page tips booklet, 110 Ideas for Organizing Your Business Life, when she wrote it in 1991. Or that she would do so in four languages and various formats without spending a penny on advertising. Nothing in her background prepared her for that. Yet her can-do attitude triggered and supported those results. She has made a handsome living and a cross-country move from New York to San Diego by recycling the same 3500 words since 1991.

Paulette has two degrees in music education preparing for her original career teaching string instruments in public elementary schools for more than a decade.

Between teaching strings and developing the wonderful team at www.tipsbooklets.com, Paulette was actively involved in the then-emerging industry of Professional Organizing. She owned an organizing company and was a major contributor of time and talent to the National Association of Professional Organizers (NAPO), consistently serving in leadership roles, ultimately as national president.

Paulette added collaborative co-authored tips booklets to the learning tools and services she sells, providing an instant product and an instant marketing tool as a supplement or substitute to a person’s solo-authored booklet.

She now has more than forty years’ experience with small business owners, corporations, and professional associations in numerous industries, worldwide. She and her cat happily live a mile from the beach in San Diego. Of course it doesn’t snow at the beach, keeping them both young at heart.

NOTE: NAIWE members can be featured on The Freelance Life sharing great ideas, success stories, book chats, and more. Contact editor @ naiwe.com if you’d like to get on the list.

Jim Sutton: NAIWE Member of the Month, April 2012

Our Member of the Month for April is Jim Sutton of Creative Solutions. Listen in to the recording below as we interview Jim on The Freelance Life. He shares some of the online networking skills he teaches others to help improve their online networking for profitability.

A self-described onion networker, who is passionate about networking and helping others master the skill, Jim built his LinkedIn network to 3600 direct connections in 6 years.  He has successfully managed complex learning management systems and led the creation of performance-based qualification programs.  To help improve the skills of job seekers he is currently facilitating a weekly interview preparation session.  He lives in Venetia, PA, is married and has a degree in computer systems and a masters in Training and Performance Improvement.

How to Tweet Tips to Create a Product with Paulette Ensign

Paulette Ensign, NAIWE Tips Booklet Expert

On a special episode of The Freelance Life, NAIWE Expert Paulette Ensign shared how to Tweet Your Tips to Create a New Product While Marketing Your Expertise. You may listen to the recording below.

As a freelancer, you have lots of great business tips to share with the world. And you keep hearing that social media for business is the way to go. Yet there are so many social media tools you’re not sure where to start. Plus you’re running a small home business or a micro business. You want to create products from those tips marketing your business at the same time, on what little time you have. Maybe you’re thinking of a tweet book and don’t know how to do it.

This session shows you how to do that and more, a minute at a time in very short order, a tip at a time, doing double time as you market your freelance business and create a money-making product simultaneously. You’ll develop a social media strategy that is painless, with big results both online and offline.

What you’ll learn in this session not only gives you a way to create a product for your business, it gives you another service to offer your clients and prospects.

Paulette Ensign has successfully been in the tips business for more than twenty years, selling well over a million copies of her tips booklet online and offline. She has clients worldwide who have surpassed her results. You can be the next one!

The Freelance Life is hosted at TalkShoe.

Book Chat: Susan Bowman, Author of Lady Father

Join us on The Freelance Life as we talk with NAIWE member Susan Bowman, author of the memoir, Lady Father. We’ll talk about the book and its unique title and the writing process and how it impacted Susan’s life. We’ll also touch on marketing tips she’s has found helpful, and maybe even a few tips for other writers who are planning to write a memoir.

We interviewed Susan at 3:30 p.m. EDT on The Freelance Life, Wednesday, 7 December 2011. She has a great story, and shared a number of helpful writing and marketing tips. Here’s the recording:

Lady Father by Susan Bowman

Susan writes, “Lady Father” is a narrative account of my journey through the ordination process in the Episcopal Diocese of Southern Virginia of the 1980’s and the subsequent years of ordained ministry.  As the first female admitted to the ordination process by the Rt. Rev. C. Charles Vaché, seventh Bishop of Southern Virginia, who was then a strong and vocal opponent of the ordination of women, I was a “reluctant pioneer.” Read more . . .

NAIWE members: Have you recently published a book? The Book Chat is an informal interview about your book, your writing process, and your publishing story. Once it’s complete, you may download it and post it on your website and/or blog for the enjoyment of potential readers. It’s a benefit for members only.

Create a Rough Draft in 30 Days During NaNoWriMo

Join us on The Freelance Life as we talk with Sarah MackeyWrite a rough draft in 30 days during National Novel Writing Month in November from The Office of Letters and Light about National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo), which is coming up in November.

You’ll learn about the origins of the event, writers whose NaNoWriMo books have been published, and how to use the month of November to create a complete 50,000+ word rough draft in just 30 days. Imagine what that can do for your productivity!

Here’s the recording:

Recorded Wednesday, 10/26/11 at 02:00 PM EDT at  The Freelance Life Online Radio Show.

Benefit Chat with Bowker Manuscript Submissions

Bowker Manuscript Submissions (BMS) offers a valuable benefit for writers.We’re looking forward to talking with Charlie Friscia and Natalie Piccotti of Bowker Manuscript Submissions (BMS) at 3:30 p.m. EDT on The Freelance Life, Wednesday, 3 August 2011. Bowker is our newest benefit partner, and we are looking forward to learning more about them and all they can do for writers.

Being a member of NAIWE means that you have discounted access to BMS services. It’s an online tool that connects authors with publishers to streamline the publishing process like never before.

Currently, Bowker Manuscript Submissions has over 300 publishers actively using the site, searching for good work to publish. BMS has also partnered with the Independent Book Publishers Association (IBPA), which
means that there are over 3000 publishers with access to your manuscript proposal, and BMS is working to expand its reach to even more publishers to give you a better chance of getting published!
Later: Natalie and Charlie had some great information, plus a few tips for writers and editors. Enjoy!
Here’s the recording:

What to Charge: Pricing Strategies for Freelancers and Consultants

What to Charge by NAIWE Expert Laurie LewisKnowing what to charge is one of the biggest challenges of the freelance life.

Join us at 3:30 p.m. EDT on The Freelance Life as we interview Laurie Lewis, the NAIWE Pricing Expert about her book, What to Charge: Pricing Strategies for Freelancers and Consultants. If you missed the live show, here’s the recording:

You may purchase the book at our new NAIWE Bookstore. If you’re a member, be sure to take advantage of the member discount!

June Member of the Month: April Michelle Davis

April Michelle Davis of Editorial InspirationsOur Member of the Month for June is April Michelle Davis of Editorial Inspirations. April has recently celebrated her tenth year of editorial freelancing. She has a strategic approach to her career that any freelancer would benefit from studying. She shares many tips in this interview, and even more in the audio version that aired on The Freelance Life. Here’s the recording:

Q: Please share a little of your professional history with our readers.

I have been a freelance editor, indexer, and proofreader for 10 years. I have a master’s degree in publishing from The George Washington University, a bachelor’s degree in English from Messiah College, a certificate in editing and a certificate in book publishing from the University of Virginia, and a certificate in professional editing from EEI Communications. My clients are both authors and publishers, and I work in a variety of genres.

Q: How and when did you make this business a reality?

I officially began my business in May 2001, but at that time I had little experience. I was literally working on books for food. I would edit books for authors, and they would buy me breakfast while we discussed ways to improve their manuscripts. From that, I worked in-house for a few years while obtaining my certificates and then my master’s degree. And at the same time, I worked to build my freelance business. In 2007, I had enough clients to quit my day job and freelance full time, and that is what I have been doing since.

Q: What’s the most important lesson you’ve learned so far in your career?

To be successful at freelancing, I have had to learn to be very determined. I am a stubborn person, so this does come easier for me, but sometimes I just get tired and want to give up. However, after an hour of feeling that—not even an entire evening—I know that I can’t. I love what I do, and it is my passion.

When I teach high school students, I ask them what they love to do. After they respond, I ask them how they can do what they love and make money. I have always loved books, and I have found a way doing what I love while supporting my family. That is key to not having just a job. Editing, indexing, and proofreading is not a job or even a career for me—it is my life. I live and breathe it.

Q: Are you working on any special projects you’d like to tell us about?

I just finished up a year-long project revising a volume of ten books. During this past year, I edited the books, made corrections in InDesign, corrected any layout errors, input proofreader changes, indexed the books, laid out the indexes, and wrote and laid out a compilation index. This volume is in its seventh edition, and I worked on a few of the older editions as well, so it has been great seeing this volume progress through the years.

I have also begun teaching a lot more. I host Editing 101 and Editing 102 classes, which are specialized classes designed for those who are in the editing industry (or who want to become freelance editors). Editors who have been in the field for more than twenty years have told me that they are great refresher courses, and people thinking about entering the publishing industry have been able to make educated decisions about their future. More details about these classes are on my website: www.editorialinpspirations.com/services/classes.

Q: What are some of the teachers, books, or authors who have influenced your professional life in a positive way?

Barbara Hart was my first editing teacher at the University of Virginia. She was very tough, and it was tougher for me because most of the students in my class were seasoned people in the publishing field, whereas I was just getting into it. I learned a lot from her, and I still have all of my class materials that I periodically review.

Q: As a seasoned professional, what advice would you offer an independent writer or editor who is just beginning a career?

People don’t always want to be mentors, and even when people find mentors they don’t always know what to do with them. However, I found it greatly valuable to take many classes both related to my degrees and certificates and other classes not related to them. From those classes, I did more than just learn the content. I critiqued the professors. I examined their qualities to see if I wanted to pick up any of them. I examined the way they edited, managed their business, or marketed, and I decided whether I wanted that to become something that I do. Therefore, I recommend finding mentors in everyone—even those people who don’t want to be your mentor.

Also, the publishing industry is incredibly difficult to enter. You need to stay determined. You will fail multiple times; learn from these failures and continue your efforts.

Q: What inspires you?

I love when authors and publishers send me packages. I still get excited to see a package at my front door step. I grab it as soon as I see it and run to the kitchen to grab the razor blade. I have to open it right away. And there, sitting in that brown cardboard box is a beautiful, shiny, new book that I helped to create. In the foyer of my home, immediately outside my office, I have a bookshelf that everyone must pass when entering my home. This bookshelf is only for books that I have worked on. I don’t brag about them and show them to everyone, but if someone asks about those books, I light up and begin showing them my work. If someone asks what I have worked on, I take them to my special bookcase.

Q: How has your membership in NAIWE benefited you professionally?

I have been a member only since the beginning of the year, so this is a difficult question to answer. However, I do have Google analytics on my website, and in those six months that I have been a member, several people have gone to my website from my NAIWE web page. I think that’s pretty good considering that I am still working on my NAIWE blog to get more content up on it. Also, when I Google my name, my NAIWE web page is listed six, bumping another April Davis to the second page and making a Google search for “April Michelle Davis” include on the first page nine of ten web pages about me.

Q: Is there anything else you’d like to share?

Whether you are new to the publishing industry or have been in it for years, you can always learn new things and can grow professionally. Remember to stay current with the industry by taking classes and networking. With the publishing industry changing so rapidly with technology, those who don’t will be left behind.

April’s member website is AprilMichelleDavis.NAIWE.com.