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T A B L E  O F  C O N T E N T S
  1. [Editor Notes]
  2. [Resources]
  3. [The Digital Writer]
  4. [Career Advice]
  5. [At C/Oasis]
  6. [My Virtual Space]
  7. [Markets]
  8. [Community]
  9. [Acknowledgments]

E D I T O R  N O T E S

Well, here we are again. I hope your Holidays were fun and meaningful.

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What did I do during the Holidays besides ride roller coasters? I thought about the distinctive systems being created in the print and digital publishing worlds. I think I was upside down on a loop when I thought about this.

A writer has flexibility now. She can publish in the print world and use the digital system to gain more market. I imagined that while whirling away in a teacup.

Or, she can publish in the digital system and then "repurpose" her material through the more mature print system. That came to me while helping Indiana Jones.

It's an exciting period for writers when they understand, a bit, what is going on and some of the technology that is providing the opportunity.

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I love it when writers send me copies of their books. For instance, Kathryn Blair's novel, "In the Shadow of the Angel" which is a panoramic history of Mexico. Or the novels of the saucy and talented, M.J. Rose. Or, the Argentinean professor who sent me two children books she wrote and received awards for. This publication has taught me that there are erotic women writers tucked into the most obscure, innocuous countryside's imaginable. And mystics, believe me, are flourishing in old Europe.

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I also spent time watching a discussion panel offered by the National Arts Journalism Program (NAJP) at Columbia University. It was a quality panel composed of editors and publishers and they said some illuminating things. However, only one mentioned the fact that in the coming years, publishers are going to have to deal with the new generations growing up expecting all their entertainment and information on the computer. It's already happening.

We've said as much. If we were on that panel we would have chimed in, "our ideal is to make the computer, itself, the publisher..."

The good and intelligent people on the panel would have laughed in nervous astonishment, I'm certain, and chastised me about the complexity of selling books. I would have laughed with them but explained that new forms of finding out about written material will come into play to make it much easier for people to find stuff on the Net, read it, print it out, pay the author directly and, later, order a hard copy the author has stored in a POD format. If we can think it, it will happen. Who benefits and how will be the unfolding story. Now, we hope that the quality people on that panel and other committed, good people in print publishing begin migrating to the digital world and help usher in the new system. There is no money, only devotion. But, before long there will be money.

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Some tidbits from that panel: The average first novelist sells 4,000 copies. There are over 150,000 books published in the U.S. per year. The most difficult challenge is taking the confusesd and dazed reader and exposing them to the choices before them. Word of mouth and hand-selling are still important.

A lot of the digital publishing is not working today, precisely because it's not solving the reader's problem: Too many titles, too little information about them, too little time to figure it all out. It's not wonder the book reviewing is getting a revival.

Writing is the honest person's tale of the time.

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Blogs are being credited with their first coup. The comments by Sen. Trent Lott, ex-majority leader, went unnoticed in the mainstream press. It was Blogs like talkingpointsmemo.com and instapundit.com that hoisted those comments high in the air and began to raise a stink about them.

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The excellent article in the November/December issue of The Columbia Journalism Review on magazines is very instructive for writers. Some points that are raised: While it's true that people have less time to read, people still rate reading over TV as a leisure-time activity, 28% to 20%. One of the chief problems for magazines is that the glut of new magazines has produced a consumer rather than a devoted and loyal reader. There is too much of everything and still the same limits on time and energy that have always existed.


"Of the estimated tens of thousands of independent publishers in the US, only about 900 are represented by three distribution companies who market their products to booksellers." From the persistance of independent self-publishing.

Sacking of editor angers authors
A writer is giving his e-text away so public will buy print.
Libraries are in the forefront of e-Book distribution.
Writers age-bias suit in Hollywood thrown out.
The compendium on reporter's privilege laws
Top 10 Online Journalism Stories of 2002
Steve Outing offers his predictions for the industry in 2003

The Best Reads This Month

Some Basic Writing Resource Sites
Rhymes, synonyms, etc.
Write 100 words/day
Pressi, Press Information World-wide

S U N O A S I S  2 0 0 3  Q and A

From Ed T

"First of all, let me say I look forward to the arrival of each new issue. It is a great help to those of us are full-time freelancers.

I am a freelance writer and journalist, and I have self-published two children's books. Web sales are picking up through Amazon.com, but I would like to get my book into book stores. The problem is that I don't have the slightest idea where to start."

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Well, Ed, there are a couple of things you can do. One is to contact them directly. Or, you can go to a book wholesaler and let them do it.

A few people I know have taken their POD books to local bookstores and report a wide-range of attitudes. Some will stock the book on consignment, some will allow people to order it through them but won't keep any in stock. Some big-chain store managers will tell you that "we don't make those decisions," but others will listen to your pitch.

The Ross book on self-publishing suggests you make up a purchase order form and take it with you when you present the case that your books should be put in the bookstore. Treat it professionally. Bring any publicity that you've received from the book. Make it easy for the store manager or owner to accept the book. Do some of the work for him. Keep records of any purchase and view it all as a business relationship. That is, stay in touch.

If they order any it will be 1 to 5 copies and they usually reserve the right to return unsold copies. Plus, you need to bring them a discount schedule that usually runs 40% for a few books and 50% for larger orders. The problem is bookstores, along with everyone else in the publishing chain, don't seem anxious to pay the writer.

You should think of a book return policy as well for any bookstore or wholesaler you talk with. Most return periods are for less than one year. Permission must be granted first, the returned books must be undamaged, and they must be shipped postpaid.

I do recommend the Ross book, "The Complete Guide to Self-Publishing," and treat it all as an adventure. Learn from both the good and the bad.

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Sally T writes:
"I have an idea for an article but am not sure how I approach editors. Can you help me?"

Traditionally, the writer will draft a query and send it to one editor, discussing the idea. However, editors are now used to these queries and you need to demonstrate a bit more to them. Write a query with the totality of the project in mind and take as much responsibility for the article as you can. Editors like that! In other words, provide information about the photos you'll run, a title suggestion, sidebars that could be run. And submit your queries to more than one editor. Here are some useful links to writing the query.


The freelancer troll told me, swearing me to utter secrecry, that if you want to break into freelance writing offer an idea to an editor she can't get from staff writers or other freelancers. In other words, pay attention to your own one-in-a-kind experiences and extract interesting tales from them.

Do you have an eBook? Here are some tips to try and make some money with it.

  • Charge a cheap price for half the book. If they like what they read, have them pay full-price.
  • Offer reprint rights to the eBook. Publishers like to bundle reprints to create new types of publications.
  • Try to find as many purposes to your eBook as you can. Then find the niches who will buy the re-purposed material.

10 Do's and Don'ts of Self-Publishing

T H E  D I G I T A L  W R I T E R

What has The Digital Writer learned? The new publishing system is a reality and will get better as the years go on. That Muses are Real and need to be obeyed, almost to the point of humiliation. That love is Real and connects us, differ as we may about the particulars. That there is nothing to be afraid of. That art can experience everything and come away with a few laughs and insights. That life emerges from a frozen experiment into the light of the sun and rejoices at the fact.

Click for full column!

C A R E E R  A D V I C E

How will 2003 stack up? From the reports I read and trust, the economy will slowly recover through this year. The advertising recession will recover in the 2nd half of 2003; recover somewhat.

As writers we are faced with a dilemma. There are many more writers than space that will pay for our words. It's a buyer's market and that will keep salaries and freelance rates down. Theortically, as that sort of deflation occurs, the writing crowd gets shaken out and some balance is achieved. In this environment, the writer needs an edge or two. One of those is increased knowledge and, even, expertise. Another is an increased devotion to making the writing more interesting and viewing it as an art, as well as a skill.

Don't forget the art of making yourself an indispensable employee. Some ideas: Collect any feedback you get for your writing and show it to your editor or boss. Pay attention to what readers are interested in and suggest stories that will bring more readers for the publication you work for. Always be professional.

It is apparent that, in the coming years, journalism schools are going to redesign their curriculum to get a solid knowledge base in the students.

A T    C/ O A S I S

2003 has seen some excellent submissions to C/Oasis. We are happy for that fact.

The reminiscence of Mike McGrath is long and fruitful A man tells his story. Memories move through him. He tries to make sense of it. It makes us human, it makes us free. Likewise, William Delman reminds us that walking is sometimes more than a stroll in the woods.

There's a political satire by Joe Giambrone

And an excellent short story set in Mexico by Norma Sadler, "The Shadows of Children."

The Poetry Editor has an essay on change, money, filled with wise quotes and good photographs. There's always an assortment of surprises so look around and enjoy yourself.

M Y   V I R T U A L   S P A C E 

For some odd reason the hypothetical citizen was reading Out of My Life and Thought by Albert Schweitzer. He recognized, immediately, that Schweitzer was in the kind of dilemma that attacks many people. After a person has accumulated knowledge what decision do you make? And that was especially true if ones desires went beyond what was apparent and flourishing around one. Read on

M A R K E T S  A N D  L E A D S
Associate editor needed for new general-interest monthly magazine covering Greater Hartford. At least three years of editing/writing experience required. Send resume, cover letter, three writing samples and salary requirements to: MRC 44 Capitol Ave. Suite 301 Hartford, CT 06106 or E-mail: kvasquez@mrcworld.com Posted 12/31/02 runs through 2/15/03

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Writers needed for new general-interest monthly magazine covering Greater Hartford. Familiarity with region and at least three years of writing experience preferred. Send resume, cover letter and three writing samples to:MRC 44 Capitol Ave. Suite 301 Hartford, CT 06106 or E-mail: kvasquez@mrcworld.com Posted 12/31/02 runs through 2/15/03

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Job Links for new leads!

New Magazine Launches:
HistoricTraveler.com MAGAZINE

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


Shaw Guide for Writing Conferences in February.


Over the past several months subscribers have asked if they can donate anything to keep the publication going. I've resisted going this route, but now that Amazon has set up its "Honor System," those interested can donate to the maintenance of Sunoasis 2002.


Put an ad in Sunoasis 2002 and reach its 4,400 subscribers. Just $25 a month! Contact mailto:eide491@earthlink.net

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Master speech writer and trainer: Make your speeches inspire and motivate your audience. With years of training and experience in speech writing and delivery, I can help you develop the perfect speech for any occasion. Coaching for delivery is also available. call 306-546-5717 or email jhillyer@devry.com

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Freelance Success Mini-Workshops by Writer's Digest columnist Amanda Lynch Dec. 7, 9a-12:30p in Pittsburgh (interviewing/article writing focus) Jan. 4, 9a-12:30p in Orlando (general freelance focus) Register by Dec. 4 for either www.amandawriter.com or email freelancesuccess@yahoo.com

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Castle Walls Editing provides copy editing for novels, screenplays, and other documents. Correct spelling, grammar, punctuation, usage, and consistency are signs of professionalism in the eyes of agents and publishers. Visit our site for more information about protecting your work from embarrassing errors.

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Senior Writer with 20 years of experience in all media is ready to work her writing magic for you! Susan Gaide has written feature and bylined articles, white papers, news releases, sell sheets, executive biographies, brochures, catalogs and radio advertising copy for a wide array of companies, including Sony Electronics Inc., SRS Labs Inc., AKG Acoustics, and Planet Electronics. She has developed content for several websites, (e.g. - www.bellringersupply.com) and has contributed editorial content to Defensive Eating, a new book on healthy weight loss (website soon to be launched). Susan has expertise in a wide range of genres and industries and is currently interested in both short- and long-term projects. Please visit her website at to view samples of her work. No project is too big or too small! Reasonable rates. Contact:
Voice mail: (917) 875-2043

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Team of experienced professionals, which includes a Pulitzer Prize nominee and several published authors, will edit your fiction or non-fiction manuscript for today's tough market. Reputable firm. References. First-time writers our specialty. See us at http://www.a1editing.com

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Sunoasis--You're amazing! A mere five hours after I sent in the text for my classified ad I got a call for a writing project, and within two days, the project was mine. Thanks so much for your invaluable services! Debbie Lerman, freelance writer

E T C/ E T C/ E T C

Editor/Publisher: David Eide
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Sunoasis 2003 is fully protected by copyright. Sunoasis 2003 can be distributed in any way deemed intelligent by the reader as long as it is distributed in full for non-commercial uses. Reprint rights belong to the authors. Contact them if you wish to use their material. Unauthorized use of any material is strictly forbidden.

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Let's all meet again in February 2003!


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