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"It is not pathetic passages that make us shed our best tears, but the miracle of a word in the right place."

-- Jean Cocteau 

T A B L E  O F  C O N T E N T S
  1. [Editor Notes; Dreamers are Doers; Doers are Dreamers]
  2. [Resource Notes]
  3. [Markets and Leads: Law Publications]
  4. [C/Oasis- new stories and poems]
  5. [New Forms of Publishing]
  6. [Community]
  7. [Etc/Etc/Etc]

Welcome back! Some changes have been made to Sunoasis. The premium and regular issues have been merged. Each issue will be dominated by one theme but will have plenty of resources to pick and choose from. Every issue will have up-to-date market information.

I'm not charging for subscriptions but will use the Amazon Honor System. I like to think I'm more like PBS than CBS.

E D I T O R  N O T E S

Times like these create dreamers from doers and doers from dreamers. The Net permits us to do and to dream all within the same box.

I think about my days as a young writer, working a variety of jobs to pay the bills. I have depressing memories of leaving my apartment with writings jumbled up on chairs and tables, catching the bus or train to enter an environment that was not pleasant, working with people who I didn't want to be with, pressured into political games I didn't want to play, feeling the pressure of bosses who I neither liked or respected. And at the end of the day I was wrung out of every good word I was capable of writing.

I would go back to my apartment and sift through my writings like they were some perishing soul I was trying to save. I do admit that I looked forward to the paycheck every two weeks.

Perhaps it is this sort of experience that hooked me into the internet. And I'm even thankful for all those jobs in offices and wharehouses that taught me to do things I didn't want to do.

So what might the future be like for writers?

It won't be easy but the incentive will be for the writer to do as much as he or she can do. That includes hiring freelance editors, doing a good deal of internet marketing, and enriching a website with a plenitude of resources.

We always like to say we are in the beginning stages of a "remaking of the literary system." It's true. It implicates education, publishing, culture, writers, and readers. It will be astonishingly thorough, gradual, and fascinating.

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Let's take a look at some things being done:

Here's a site that has the right intentions. Does it work? This is a site conceived by a programmer, a Craig Newmark type, ready to turn the publishing apple cart upside down. His intention is very good. It's about, "Resurrecting The Writer," by allowing manuscripts to be peer-reviewed and graded. Agents can then look over the results. Whatever happens to this site I like the spirit behind it.

Online writing is catching up to print for professional writers.

Yahoo recently hired a full-time journalist and here's a report on how he's doing.

We talked about blogs last month. This article in New York Magazine does a report on who is making money from blogging. It focuses on the fact that blogs operate like any other social group. One member of the group follows another and that tends to aggrandize a few successes at the top with the vast majority swimming poorly and obscurely at the bottom.

There is an irrational quality to the Net as we mentioned last month. People, especially when young, want to obliterate what exists and technology is less controversial than a bomb. It's exciting when young but a kind of tired joke as you get older. Besides, I keep asking myself, "if this is a revolutionary medium, where are the revolutionaries?" Ariana Huffington? Women who talk dirty? Gossip? Gadgets? Obnoxious and rather useless political opinion?

At any rate, some large newspapers have signed up for a new service that, essentially, syndicates bloggers. The company says it will find a way to compensate the bloggers that are used. Good for them.

LA Observed is a blog, apparently, the first to have its content licensed by NewsBank.

This long and valuable essay in the Financial Times says, "opinion is the new pornography on the internet." Subscription is needed.

"The inherent problem with blogging is that your brand resides in individuals. If they are fabulous writers, someone is likely to lure them away to a better salary and the opportunity for more meaningful work; if the writer tires and burns out, the brand may go down in flames with them." He has a point.

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Before long two large learning curves will reach completion. One comes from the writer and the ability to market her work through multiple channels. And the other is made up of internet users more and more sophisticated about how-to-do the Net. And as they do more than a few will leave off mass-produced newspapers, magazines, and books to cut their own path of interest through the new technologies. Your job, as a writer, is to cross their path.

This is an interesting and valuable blog by John Spivey on how he came to decide to self-publish his own book. Note his love and appreciation for the book as a superior technology to anything else that has come along.

It's not easy. Even the techno-hip have a hard time of it. But then they usually don't understand what publishing is about. Enter writers and editors.

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If you have time try and study all the models that exist in publishing today. Every piece of information you can glean about newspapers, magazines, newsletters, and book publishing will help you in figuring out how to move along the new system. Definitely look at the way print publishing establishes relations with readers.

That relation with the reader is a new dynamic. The shield that existed between the writer and reader has come down. The only thing between the writer and reader is a glass interface.

It's a crucial relationship now because the reader comes and goes as he wishes. The writer has to make a concerted effort to get the reader to his site, keep him there, make him a cohort of sorts. The new readers want what they want, when they want it, and where they want it.

John Morrish is a British editor who wrote a great volume called "Magazine Editing." In it he has a full chapter on the relationship of the publication to the reader. "The act of targeting and focusing on the reader is a creative act. In a real sense, you have to invent that reader." At the same time he recommends surveys, soliciting feedback, and more formal types of research to discover what your readers are thinking.

A  V i s i o n   F o r   W r i t e r s

Our vision starts with a writer who knows three subjects very well. She has written about them, attended conferences, talked to insiders, consulted with experts, and reads all she can about the three subjects.

She keeps detailed notes about story ideas and what the diverse people interested in the subject are curious about. But instead of submitting queries to magazines she will do these things:

  1. Shift her attention from finding editors and magazines to finding audiences that will support her.
  2. Outline a plan to include all possible audiences from the core out to the margins.
  3. Create a kind of tree of impact that details all possible spin-off ideas, ancillary products and services she can sell.
  4. Keep up with the competition

Publishing will mean a variety of ways to collect, produce, and distribute writing material in a way that offsets the cost. It will mean more than newspapers, magazines, books, and newsletters.

As she writes she contacts freelance editors to help in the development of the piece of writing. These freelance editors are a large army of talented, prickly people who have joined the ranks of the Free-Agent Nation.

She begins preparing her blog and website. Even though they contain a lot of the same material she realizes that each reach different audiences. The website is a wonderful archive and the blog is a great way to connect immediately with people who are interested in the same subject.

She is constantly looking at her resource base and figuring out ways these resources can leverage more material. She also realizes that her number one asset is credibility and doesn't allow anything to interfere with it. She is scrupulously objective and thorough.

She will sell highly developed content for $1 or more thanks to easy to use micropayment services. Over several years of constant exposure she will return thousands of dollars for the one article. When the article stales she upgrades it.

She will understand that "audiences" are global and they are evolving. A person who is playing in the sandbox today will be her reader tomorrow. And that person will appear and go online before she reads a magazine, newspaper, or book. She will prepare her site for all the segments of the market wanting her resources. And that includes the beginner through the expert.

She is not only a writer but a sherpa guiding interested people through subjects she is very knowledgeable about. She allows them to peek into the vast treasure trove of her resources but the deepest passage into them requires a fee.

She will earn income from affiliate ads and google ads specifically targeted to the audience she is writing for. At the end of each month a nice check will come in the mail. She will use these proceeds to pay for her online bills, marketing, and editors.

She understands the nature of customization. She will know that any given subject is made up of many types of people who have very different problems needing to be solved.

Occasionally she will collaborate with other writers to form instant magazines that will pull in a large audience and gain greater exposure for each member of the collaboration.

She is and she isn't competing with print publications. Certainly, she needs to pry audience loose from print pubs who are in her area of expertise but, then, the print pub is another market for her writing. In fact, she may develop a partnership with print magazines that will offer her premium material for free advertising in the magazine.

She will constantly be asking herself, "what do the people want to know? What do the people need to know? And how am I going to produce it for them?" She trains herself to anticipate their needs. Her advantage is being able to develop ideas on behalf of a group of people she "knows."

She will be, in fact, part of new cultural tribe of free agents and creatives who roam the internet looking for ways to serve a global marketplace. She will study trend books and listen to the voice of people who always contain a secret or two about the times we live in.

B u t   H o w   D o   W e   S u r v i v e ?

Ah yes, the dreamer must always wake up. Gravity and piss fill the body. She even gets angry at the weightless dream that seemed too good to be true. She was writing, making money, and napping when she wanted to.

Of course there are problems! What fun would it be if there weren't problems to overcome?

First though let us admit that writers are more valuable than what the market is currently paying them.

In fact, good writing is now being touted as a true path to success. Read this summary of the report from Review. It's for educators of every stripe. And no matter how horrific the low reading skills are in this "rich and powerful" nation, it does make good writing that much more valuable to those who do it.

The College Board publication website.

Over the past four or five years I've come across a lot of schemes to get payment to writers. One was the pay-for-view model by aggregators of content like Themeville. Another is micropayment. A third is subscription. A fourth is donation. And a fifth is advertising.

According to Greg Notess, "Professional researchers in corporate, scientific, and legal fields have long been willing to pay for must-have information, typically on a subscription or time-online basis. But consumers have not been willing to pay, for the simple reason that they don't have to. They've been spoiled by the availability of so much free information on the Web. But as the freebies become history, and online purchasing of individual articles becomes easy and inexpensive, consumers will have little choice but to accept the new order."

Too much free information becomes useless and clogged with inefficiency. Writers should take the responsibility to make what they have written a cut-above the free information rumbling through the Net. It will be much more valuable in the long run.

Of course, the classic publishing model is to provide interesting content, attract a group of people and then sell their eyeballs to advertisers. This model still works and, however repellent it is for writers to solicit ads, if they attract an audience the advertisers will be there.

Sunoasis works this way. I write a great deal on it, bring in a good crowd, advertisers pay me (sometimes). And I'm the least business like of people. I can see markets in the consumer and business-to-business sector that are ripe for development by writers and those who know how to communicate.

This fellow had an elaborate idea of selling subscriptions.

"Web sites and online communities are also replacing corporate publicity machines to create buzz around new talent." from Newsweek article in highbeam saved articles

C o n c l u s i o n s

The challenge is this. The writer must become the publisher and think in terms of acquiring readers, get reader loyalty, and get the model going that will permit you to make money. Content that changes on a blog or website, retains readers and makes it much more likely that the reader will buy a premium service or an in-depth article. Know who the audience is, provide them with a large amount of material, put that material in a context that adds value for the reader, and move that content around every platform you can find.

It's not an improbable future but it's not an easy one either. The writer has to work very hard to get the research and marketing skills to use the medium to her advantage. For many, the adrenaline of getting some control over the work you do is enough to push on through. Others will get discouraged too quickly.

Remember this, the print publishing system is not going away anytime soon. It has a nice barrel of cash and contains many great markets for the modern writer. Always look at this market and your relation with the print system in terms of how you can reach the market itself. The print system has no loyalty to you and see's you as a convenient outsource for content they bring to their audience. View them as an alternative market for your own efforts.

The writer should not believe in pie-in-the-sky but she should not ignore her self-interest either. Don't choose one medium over the other but understand both and what each can do for your profession.

* * * * * * * *

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For Freelancers Only:

A story about new magazine launches for 2005.
How to get fired if you are a freelance writer for the Washington Post.
This report from the UK says that writers shy away from self-publishing because of costs.
A review of three authors making a living as travel writers.

B u s i n e s s o f W r i t i n g :

What newspapers must start doing to survive.
W r i t e r O r g a n i z a t i o n s :

Association of Young Journalists
Association of Capitol Reporters and Editors
The Regional Reporters Association
Online News Association
The Association for Women in Sports Media
American Society of Business Publication Editors

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M A R K E T S  A N D  L E A D S
LAW MAGAZINES: Make sure you locate the editor of a magazine, contact her and request a sample copy and writer guidelines. If you think you have a story for her, send an excellent query. Search back issues and try to understand the type of articles the editor looks for. We provide the guidelines or mail addresses and phone number of the publications when available.

ABA Journal

Pays: $400-$2,000 for assigned articles

California Lawyer

Pays: $50- $2,000 for articles

Corporate Legal Times

Pays: $500- $2,000 for articles

Law Office Computing


Legal Assistant Today


Student Lawyer

Pays: $500- $1,200 for articles

Don't hesitate to tell us what you are looking for.

Here is an index of writer guidelines.


Valley Forge, PA

Vanguard, one of the world's leading investment management companies, has an opening for an experienced copy editor to edit print and electronic communications generated by the Participant Education department within Vanguard.

You'll evaluate copy for Vanguard's ''voice'' and style, accuracy, flow, organization and format, and mark corrections using standard editing/proofreading symbols. You'll review the history of each project by reviewing the appropriate reference materials and check to make sure that all appropriate regulatory hedge clauses, copyrights, and trademarks appear on each piece. You'll compare companion pieces, if any, for consistency and apply style preferences of individual clients. You'll also suggest ways to improve copy via written and verbal communication with writers.

For Full Ad go here.

TAPS PARA MAGAZINE seeks paranormal stories, news reports, features and interesting well written stories from any and all locations on the planet. It is a National magazine founded by members of the TAPS (The Atlantic Paranormal Society) and news reporters in SE Mass and Rhode Island. Stories should be in AP style, less than 750 words, well attributed, and sourced. Send inqueries to doctorbluestroke@aol.com Posted: February 9, 2006; closes March 24, 2006

Executive Speech Writer
Location: Pittsburgh, PA

Highmark Inc. is the largest Pennsylvania-based insurer in the state, with over six decades experience in health care delivery and financing. We are seeking the following position to be based in Pittsburgh, PA:

Executive Speech Writer
This highly visible position, part of the Corporate Communications & Public Relations unit, will be responsible for the most high-level writing assignments, primarily speeches and presentations for the senior leadership within the company.

A Bachelor's degree in Journalism/English and a minimum of 7-10 years speechwriting and senior executive presentation experience required. Strong skills in performing senior writing and editing functions, including research, analysis of medical information and data and presentation of information is required.

For Full Ad go here.

News Editor
Location, Madison, WI

WISC-TV is aggressively seeking a News Editor for its online partner, Channel3000.com. The News Editor is responsible for gathering and compiling news from a variety of outlets for publishing on the Web site, with an emphasis on delivering breaking news quickly and accurately.

Our ideal candidate must show an innovative and proactive approach to building audience, collaborating with the TV newsroom and maintaining dominant local news coverage. Working with Channel 3000's Managing Editor, the News Editor must be devoted to hands-on Web journalism and enhancing stories from WISC-TV and writing original articles, producing video clips and interactive elements.

For Full Ad go here.

Falls Church, VA
Tax Analysts, a multimedia legal tax publisher, has an opening for a reporter to cover tax and accounting-related issues. Beat includes coverage of the Securities and Exchange Commission, the Financial Accounting Standards Board, the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board, Congress, the IRS, Treasury, the courts, and publicly-held companies. We strive to stir up great tax policy debate -- and fuel it with the best news and commentary around. Because our publication has no advertising, no holds are barred in the aggressive pursuit of all angles of a given story -- an advantage that few other periodicals can offer.

For Full Ad go here.

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Job Links for new leads!

If you have any suggestions about markets you want guidelines for, just drop a line

A T    C/ O A S I S

Adyna and her Notebooks
By Kathryn Magendie
"Adyna did not like people, dogs, cats, the sun, moon, and she especially did not like surprises. Adyna just did not like. She kept her condominium clean, organized, and free of imagination. She distrusted self-reflection, so there were no mirrors in her six rooms, the counters were never shined, and fixtures were scrubbed to a matte finish..."

Strange Lands and Peoples, Chapter 7
by Martha Nemes Fried
"It was our custom to listen to the news on the radio before we had breakfast. On the morning of November 24, 1963, Mort and I were in a hurry and could not spare the time..."

Three Poems by Lamont Palmer
Reflections on Possible Waywardness
A Tilghman Island Tale

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Hey, we even have a new literary newsletter and you can get it free if you click here!

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University of North Dakota Writers Conference
"Border Crossings"
Grand Forks, ND
21-25 March 2006

Virginia Festival of the Book

Charlottesville, VA
22-26 March 2006

Sunday Times Oxford Literary Festival

Oxford, UK
24-29 March 2006

Eighth National Black Writers Conference

"Black Literature: Expanding Conversations on Race,
Identity, History and Genre"
Brooklyn, NY
30 March-2 April 2006

Blue Metropolis International Literary Festival

Montreal, Canada
5-9 April 2006

Festival of Faith and Writing

Calvin College
Grand Rapids, MI
20-22 April 2006

Austin International Poetry Festival

Austin, TX
20-23 April 2006


Want to keep Sunoasis going? Donate through the Amazon Honor System and wonderful things will happen!

Thanks to Steven Evans for his generous contribution. Thanks Steven! He is an editor and has a splendid web site here: www.the-freelance-editor.com

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Put an ad in Sunoasis 2006 and reach its 4,400 subscribers. Just $25 a month! Contact mailto:eide491@earthlink.net

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E T C/ E T C/ E T C

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David Eide
Copyright 2006


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David Eide
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