approach an editorUnless you have a hot news story that has to be published today or tomorrow, it can pay to think about the editor’s schedule before you submit a query or an over the transom article.

This is true for both print and web editors, and includes book editors as well.

Editors live and die by deadlines

An editor’s life is driven by the deadline she must meet. Those deadlines, of course, depend on the nature of the publication. For example, the editor of the daily newspaper has a much more hectic schedule than the editor who is responsible for say six books a year. A weekly publication, online or off, has a much faster pace than in monthly.

No matter how frequently or infrequently something is published, however, as the deadline approaches the editor gets busier and busier until finally it is done.

There are also seasonal considerations that editors have. If you are writing stories about year-end holidays and it’s mid-November, you’re already passed deadlines for all but local newspapers if you hurry. Monthly print magazines often plan their end of your issues six months in advance; 90 days ahead of time is probably the minimum a magazine might consider a freelance submission.

Trade book publishers sometimes key the pub date of a book to a holiday. As a general rule trade publishers take up to a year to prepare a book for publication. If you’ve got the greatest new book for the turning of the new year, now would be about the right time to submit it for 2016. [click to continue…]


freelance writing business education costsI’ve been trying to figure out how freelance writers learn the business side of writing. I did a bunch of googling and came up with not much. Here’s what I found:

  • According to, an online business degree could cost you between $15,000 and $60,000 depending on where you take it – but you don’t need an online business degree to manage the business side of your writing.
  •  The University of Toronto offers The Freelance Writing Business over a 3 month period with these outcomes: Appreciation of the freelance writing craft, including story development, research, writing and self-editing; Understanding of the basic steps to setting up a successful freelance writing business, including marketing, queries, relationships with publications and the editing and production process; Understanding of the professional associations that support freelance writers; Understanding of the tax incentives and tax consequences of freelance writing.

Their cost is $625-649 with no college credit offered. It seems like an odd mix and the tax info would only work, I assume, for Canadians only.

  • Christie Aschwanden held a 3 day workshop this year that covered most of the business basics for writers – in Colorado. Cost was $750 for everything except the transportation to Colorado. No indication if it will be offered again.

There are many many online and offline courses and classes that will teach you about all sorts of writing, from romance to article writing and everything in between. These range from no-cost to, well thousands if you go for college/university credits.

Roughly in the middle is,  Copybloger’s now-closed certification course about writing copy – it did cost $389 and required a year’s commitment. A wonderful course, but not, apparently, about the business side of writing. I’m not sure because I haven’t taken it.

AWAI both offers and reviews copywriting and other writing courses with a variety of price points

Not much business acumen offered it seems.

Business knowledge is key to profit

I was surprised by the poor results to my search – and I’m sure I missed a few. Maybe I shouldn’t have been amazed. I certainly had to struggle to figure the business side out, and I wasn’t really profitable until I did.

As I’ve written articles and ebooks on the subject of what freelance writers really need to know about business I’ve gotten a ton of positive feedback. Maybe the day will come when solid and appropriate business information will come right along with a Masters in Fine Arts with a focus on writing. Maybe others will begin to fill in the gap and someday we’ll see offerings at our local community college for the business side of freelance writing.

However it happens in the future, today freelance writer business education costs seem to be trial and error.

There’s still time sign up for early notice about the Freelance Writing Business Solutions CourseYou might be pleasantly surprised.

Write well and often,







Sometimes You Simply Can’t Educate a Freelance Writing Client

November 11, 2014

You’ve heard me explain that part of our job it’s freelance writers is to educate our clients. I suppose I shouldn’t be surprised at how few people who hire freelancers have any idea what actually has to happen to get the right words on paper. On the other hand don’t know how to run a paper mill, [...]

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How To Make Your Writing Proposal Work

November 6, 2014

The words, writing proposal, can seem intimidating to a until you consider how broadly that term can be interpreted. Everything from a multipage document, complete with table of contents, to a brief email describing how you might get some work done along with your qualifications, can fall under the rubric of a writing proposal. The [...]

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Why (Some) Freelance Writing Projects Fail

November 4, 2014

I was reminded recently that often writing projects fail not because of freelance writer doesn’t complete or otherwise screws up, but because of the client. Never getting started Here’s roughly what happened that triggered that thought: A potential client contacted me saying he wanted to write a book. After several email exchanges we set a [...]

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How Freelance Writers Should Charge – By the Hour, Word, or Flat Fee

October 30, 2014

We spend a lot of time talking about how much freelance writers should charge and how they should set their rates, but we rarely the merits and problems about how we charge – by the hour, by the word, or by the project. Not surprisingly there are advantages and disadvantages to each. A look at convention [...]

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Official Language Change – Synonymizing “More Than” and “Over”

October 28, 2014

By Allison VanNest of During the American Copy Editors Society’s annual conference in March of 2014, the Associated Press announced a change in one of the rules of the AP Stylebook by removing the distinction between “more than” and “over” (and, by extension, between “less than” and “under”) when referring to numerical quantity. The organization cited [...]

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Freelance Writing Income Forecasting

October 23, 2014

For much of my freelance writing career I figured there was no way to forecast my income. Money was either coming in or it wasn’t; it either arrived or it didn’t. Truth be told, I felt pretty helpless about money for a long time. Then I learned how to get some control without going crazy or [...]

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The Fourth Secret of Freelance Writing

October 16, 2014

For years I said there are three secrets to successful freelance writing. I was wrong. There are four secrets to being a successful freelance writer. The initial three secrets were and still are: Write Rewrite Market What I have left out all these years is the secret that I’m calling the business of freelance writing. [...]

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Inequality and Freelance Writing

October 15, 2014

This post is part of Blog Action Day 2014 – the discussion this year is about inequality. One of the things I like about freelance writing is there is no real discrimination – if I produce writing that people are willing to pay for the fact that I’m a white woman of a ‘certain age’ [...]

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