E D I T O R N O T E S
In the heat of the unbearable days several things occurred
Writers must use the new and old with equal skill.
New markets appear, old markets die in the bits and bytes
of the new era.
All kinds of original writing can be put on the Net to
find audience, increase credibility, gain confidence on a
new and not-going-away medium in a variety of ways. Blogs,
for instance. If not blogs, then columns as I write
on Sunoasis.com. And, by the way, a writer can offer
to readers a print-on-demand copy in real space/time for
those who like the security of holding a tangible object
in their hands.
And the mainstream publishing system with all its magazines,
book publishers, newspapers, and newsletters chugs along
despite all the taunting they are subject to.
They are, happily, not toast and the writer is advantaged
as a result. In fact, the writer becomes a crucial actor
in the remaking of the literary system.
At the peak of the hottest day in July I remembered an old
trick from childhood. You simply strip to your underwear, turn
on a hose, and squirt it skyward right above you and let the
fiery cold water fall down on you. I thought, as the water
plucked down on my closed eyes, "if you aren't going to be a
Stephen King or Tom Clancy why would you even enter into the
mainstream publishing system?" I didn't answer my own question
feeling goosey and cool in the burning heat of a bad California
Well, there are career advantages to publishing in the mainstream.
We are fast on the "long tail" as explained by Chris Anderson. The marketplace is moving from
the head down into this long, sleek, wonderful tail filled with niches,
mini-niches, sub-sub-niches all the way down to the one guy who
does what he wants on the internet and gets nice notes from women
in Istanbul. In other words, when the poet becomes a millionaire
know that the pyramid has been turned upside down and we are in
a new era.
This head is rather dizzy and perplexed by the sudden power of
We are on that tail dancing like drunken bees who have smelled
the nectar from some heavenly bloom.
Enjoy this month's issue. It's organized a bit differently but
its usual resourceful self.
Table of Contents
T R E N D S I N T H E M A R K E T P L A C E
One of the hottest items in magazine titles is "parenting."
And some of the coolest are business publications.
Baby-boomers and those who write for that demographic might be
interested to know that, as a group, they carry $2 trillion
in annual spending power. Ergo, new magazines like GeezerJock
that target a bit of this largesse.
A new travel web site is coming on line. It's targeted for affluent
travelers. The founder is the former editor in chief of Yahoo!
Internet Life magazine. He says, "All of us print guys who have
found perches in the online world are happy, because that is where
the future is." Did new car owners yell out in derision as they
passed men on horseback?
Who are the most influential women? Those who read the Wall
Street Journal. And the WSJ is reorganizing its fashion and style
reporters as it lays the groundwork for a new fashion and design
We mentioned "The Long Tail," and this is a review of it.
It's a dangerous time to be a passive writer. She needs to actually
pursue and, in some cases, help create new markets.
"The self-publishing success of Lulu.com is another cited
by Anderson to make the point the Long Tail equates to
infinite choice. Our interests, says a media analyst
quoted in the book, have always been fragmented. But those
scattered desires have not, in the past, been met. We
have been told what we like."
P R I N T F I G H T S F O R S U R V I V A L
It will survive. But it will be marginalized and may end up,
ironically, a status symbol in the future since print will be
expensive and produced for the elite's. It could, who knows?
One thing is certain: the churn in writing markets is going to be
like the white-water of the Rogue River.
All published reports tell me that print has money, is still
supporting large staffs, pays out to contract writers, and
doesn't intend to leave the scene without a fight.
The young are instructive. Students who have questions here
ask a lot about working for magazines. None ask about
newspaper jobs. The young avoid the dying it seems.
The newspaper may end up serving very localized markets
just as trains serve markets inaccessible for air traffic.
I mentioned to someone recently that the key to power is to capture
the 14-year old girl market. Go ask the Beatles, Michael Jackson,
and Stephen King about that. Lord help us if a Hitler comes around
and the 14-year old girls are screaming nuttily for his presence.
Anyway the 14-year old girls are not reading magazines like they
used to but are reading web sites.
Real-time gossip is quite popular on the blogosphere and perhaps
ends the run of weekly print rags. And what will we read at the
Newspapers are starting to adapt to the internet. The buzz phrase
now is, "Journalism is a conversation." Of course, there is a
difference between baby-talk, teen-babble, techie-arrogance,
hate-talk, screamie-jeebies, stupid mumbling and other types of
But, yes, it is a conversation.
Many media execs can't admit that they will have to explore the possibility
that there are more reader-friendly and cost-efficient ways to produce their
content than in print, writes Scott Donaton. "The day will come when a
print-to-digital conversion is feasible. Could be two years, could be 10."
The head of the snake is always the last to know.
W H I L E T E C H L A Y S D O W N A F L A T - L I N E
Writers have every right to be fascinated and involved in
the internet since it's the first new major technical innovation
that directly impacts writing and publishing. Cars, TV, movies,
among other items of interest either had no, little, or negative
impacts on writing and publishing. But, the internet is shaking
the old pumpkin with wicked ease. And we all live inside an old
This paper by Gregory Rawlins of the University of Indiana is over
fifteen years old but is one of the best surveys of the future of
publishing technology. It is a long survey but useful for anyone
interested in getting a full background on some of the impacts he
forecast in the early-90's.
An "Espresso Book Machine" is being tested at a bookstore in
Washington D.C. It can print and bind whole books in under
five minutes. Cost=one penny per page. However, the book machine
itself costs $100,000 so don't go looking for it anytime soon.
Apple is rumored to be developing an iPod with a reader-friendly
screen. We know how sensitive Apple is with secrets. An "iPod for
reading" would be "a huge advantage for us," says Slate editor
Futurologist Ian Pearson says, "The magazine --
a few pieces of paper glued together -- isn't going to be what
you're doing in a few years time." He recommends for
publishers to personify content and surrender to the
Have you ever heard of Digg?
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There are terrific writing resource sites online: Here is the
Sunoasis.com top five writing resource sites.
BellaOnline Writing Site
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E V E R Y M A N I S A J O U R N A L I S T
No, everyman is a potential journalist, actualized by
someone who devotes herself to the task and is paid
for the effort.
Wide-spread interest continues about "citizen
journalists." At first I thought it was a cynical attempt
on the part of editors and publishers to get a lot of very
That is a shadow of the effort.
There are some very devoted, professional, conscientious
editors and writers who want to ply their trade away
from the pressures of commercial publishing.
That is the potential light of the effort. Time will tell.
New York University journalism professor Jay Rosen explains
his new venture NewAssignment.net that aims to produce "great
journalism," as well as "new ways for journalists to earn a living."
This article from Corante delves into the same subject. There
is something intriguing about professional journalists running
the show, sans the corporation always fearful of bad reactions
by stockholders and advertisers. It's worth the try.
Some of the most aggressive celebrity reporting is now done
on the Internet, writes Jeannette Walls. Bloggers make "dingy
newsprint" seem "so last millennium."
S t o r i e s W i t h A M e s s a g e
This is a powerful story by Spoon Jackson, a lifer in the California
Penal System about the significance of words. And isn't it interesting
that a convict, whose freedom has been lost, is more in touch with
and aware of the necessity to know words than the ignorant, illiterate
people who run around like they are owed freedom. Very instructive.
[ CODA ]
Enlightened teachers I had in grade school made the kids study
the newspaper. We were assigned one story either in features, front
page, editorial, local, sports, or business. The students had to
clip the story out, research it, and take the clipping to class and
explain its meaning.
The newspaper is the last vestige of something good and
excellent in the life of a democracy. The function of the
newspaper was to make sure everyone reading it got a little
bit of what was going on in the community, whether they
cared or not.
If that is passing then something great and crucial is
passing and it is the responsibility of the new media to
figure out how to get readers/watchers to think as though they belong
to a large, diverse, complex community.
So much depends on the news. Here are the best places to get
a variety of news:
The World Press
Real Clear Politics
R E S O U R C E N
O T E S
If you are a beginning writer or thinking you want to get involved
in the writing life please use the articles here.
There are many useful tips, links, and features that can set you
on your way.
There is also a rich array of links for every type of writing
Sunoasis.com was developed with the writer and editor in mind.
Enjoy your stay!
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B u s i n e s s o f W r i t i n g :
Looking for books that answer marketing and publishing
Book coaches, consultants and packagers.
These are software package reviews of programs available
to writers to help organize projects. I can't recommend
any of them except as a stimulus to use the tools you
already have to develop effective ways to organize
your writing life.
W r i t e r O r g a n i z a t i o
n s :
Broadcast Education Association
FACSNET: "Better journalism through education."
International Communication Association
JourNet: Global Network for Professional Education in Journalism
Media Bloggers Association
National Association of Hispanic Journalists
Student Press Law Center
Table of Contents
M A R K E T S A N D L E A D S
Air & Space Magazine
Pays $1500 - $3000 per article
Air Line Pilot
Pays $100 - $600 per assigned article
Pays $300 for articles
General Aviation News
Pays up to $500 per article
Plane and Pilot
Pays $200 - $500 for articles
Pays $200 - $1000 per article
Here is an index of writer
Valley Forge, PA