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ChangingCourse.com, Find Your Life Mission and Live It

Issue 184

May 20, 2008

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ChangingCourse.com since 1995 dedicated to helping people like you to:

~Live Life on Purpose ~Work at What You Love ~Follow Your Own Road

Inside Today's Issue

Opportunity Knocks

Breaking Into Print: How to Get Paid to be a Freelance Writer 

Featured Resource

Get Your Book Published and Learn How to Market It 

Guest Article

Upcoming Workshops and Teleclasses

  • Opportunity Hour Teleclass

  • Fancy Food Show

  • The Ultimate Travel Writer's Workshop

  • Photographer's Workshop in Ecuador

The View From the Other Side

Resources for a Change

This ad-free bimonthly newsletter is brought to you compliments of ChangingCourse.com.

A dream becomes a goal when action is taken toward its achievement. ~ Bo Bennett

Opportunity Knocks: Creative Ways to Make a Living Without A Job

Breaking Into Print: How to Get Paid to be a Freelance Writer – Fiction or Non-Fiction

Valerie and her wonder dog,
"Cokie Roberts"

By Valerie Young

You’ve always been drawn to writing – and to the freedom and flexibility of a freelance writer – but you don’t know where to begin to turn a long-held interest into income. Fortunately I do.

When the developers of a course Breaking Into Print asked me to review their writing course, I was unprepared for the quality and depth of what they had to offer. First off, I have a background in marketing. They not only shipped me a huge box of course materials but samples of their marketing and informational packets as well.

Maybe it’s my marketing background. Or maybe, like most people, I’ve become cynical about advertisers with their grand promises and with the number of scams preying on people who desperately want to work for themselves from the comfort of their own home.

So you can imagine how impressed I was to read a sales letter that not only encouraged me to check the organization out with the Better Business Bureau, but actually provides step-by-step details on how to do it. More on that in a moment.

Far more impressive though is Long Ridge’s promise to students who pass the mandatory pre-registration writing test: “You will complete at least two manuscripts suitable for submission to an editor by the time you finish the program.”

How can they make such a bold promise? Simple, while most writing schools do not require any type of pre-qualification, Long Ridge is selective. Do you have to be a polished writer? No. But then people who want to go the next step to become paid writers tend to have a gift and an enjoyment for writing. They just need the guiding hand of a good teacher and editor to help them get to the next level. Because they aim higher, Long Ridge graduates superior students.

In this age of internet and other self-employment type scams, it’s wise to be skeptical. Chuck Mayer of Clatonia, Nebraska was. Chuck writes:

“Thanks for renewing my faith in the great American way. When I received your writing test, I figured it was just another scam and that no matter what I wrote, you would come back with a high-class sales pitch. So I tried to ‘flunk.’ (I have edited a weekly newspaper for over 20 years and thought I would test your test.)

 

“I must admit I was more than just a little surprised when I received your letter telling me that I did not qualify. I will long remember Long Ridge Writers Group as a school that can be trusted.”

This kind of don’t waste people’s money who don’t have a basic aptitude for writing is just one of the reasons I recommend this writing course to anyone who wants to break into writing – whether it’s a published book author or freelance magazine writer or both.

10 Reasons I Recommend the
Breaking Into Print Self-Study Writing Program

1) Credentials.

Long Ridge Writers Group out of West Redding, Connecticut has been teaching people how to write and sell what they’ve written to editors and publishers for over 15 years. (Per their sales letter’s advice, to receive a free Better Business Bureau report, you can call or fax the Connecticut Better Business Bureau at (203)269-2700, ext. 2.)

2) One-on-One Personal, Individual Instruction.

If you’re a fan of best-selling author Barbara Sher then you’ve no doubt heard her mantra: “Isolation is the dream killer.” If you love to write but find you just can’t seem to find the time or motivation to sit down and do it – you’re not alone. Even when we love to do something, it can be tough to get and stay on track!

You can take a college or other writing class, but then you’re often on your own to stay motivated enough to write on a regular basis. But, when you’re accepted into the Long Ridge program, you’ll be paired with a highly professional, published writer or editor who will give you personalized, specific, and immediately useable feedback and encouragement to help you achieve your goal of becoming a paid writer. Your instructor reads every word you submit, edits your manuscript line-for-line, and writes a detailed critique of your performance with specific advice on how to improve.

Of her experience, published writer Theresa Blesi Altmann of Roberts, Wisconsin writes:

“The most precious and priceless part of the course was my instructor. Her words of encouragement were like leaning on the shoulder of a trusted friend. Within days of finishing my course work, I earned my first published article. How do you thank someone who helps you turn a lifelong dream into a completed goal!”

Theresa is not alone in her praise of her instructor or the course:

Paul Lagasse of Silver Spring MD writes, "From a nervous neophyte to a full-time writer in just two years!  So much of this I owe to your help.  Your editorial criticism, and your encouragement and empathy helped me to find the courage and confidence I needed to take that leap to becoming a writer. I have literally never been happier."

"It is exciting to see your name in print,” says Paul Smeltzer from Bossier City, LA. “Having an article published in this particular magazine was especially gratifying because many of the readers are potential clients. Your writing course was helpful in two ways: First, by sharpening writing skills and building confidence. Second, by providing 'inside' information on how the system works, how to get in, and what to do once you get there."

Together, the instructors have written more than 20,000 stories and articles that have appeared in a wide range of magazines, newspapers, and on the Internet. And they have published more than 900 books.

Help is a phone call away. In addition to your personal writing mentor, counselors are available by phone five days a week to answer your questions about any aspect of the program including text and course materials, and your assignments.

3) Outstanding Training Materials.

At 464 pages, the course manual is worth its weight in gold. In keeping with their one-step-at-a-time approach, the manual arrives in three parts. Here’s how the folks at Long Ridge Writers Group describe what you can expect:

"Part 1 includes four assignments including worksheets to help you sketch out your story line. This is where you learn the basics of characterization, point of view, and dialogue. You’ll also learn how to find ideas, choose a slant, and write a dynamic lead. And you’ll understand how to build frameworks for your stories and articles and learn to put your work into proper assignment format, a skill that will give you a competitive edge when you begin to submit your work to busy magazine editors, who demand proper manuscript form.

"Part 2 is where you continue to put your new-found knowledge and discipline to use as you further sharpen your writing skills. You’ll delve deeper into techniques that you can use in fiction (such as developing a plot, creating secondary characters, and adding details of time and place) and non-fiction (conducting research and interviews, testing your ideas of marketability, and writing attention-getting, professional query letters). You’ll also learn how to revise the first draft of your story or article.

"Perhaps most importantly, you’ll expand your knowledge of the magazine market. Part 2 reviews the market for both fiction and non-fiction in great detail, and guides you in zeroing in on the magazines most likely to publish your work. You’ll learn why market research is the key to becoming a professional published writer.

"Part 3 is appropriately titled Launching Your Freelance Career.” The assignments in this section will show you how to look at your early work for new ideas and how to strike out in new areas if you want to. Armed with your instructor’s advice, your own knowledge of techniques, and market information, you’re ready to prepare your final assignment – and launch your freelance career!"

4) You Learn How to Market and Sell What You Write.

If you knew how to get your writing published, you would have done it by now. They don’t call it Breaking Into Print for nothing. The whole purpose of this program is to get you published. When you succeed, Long Ridge succeeds. As early as possible in the program you’ll get actual editorial assignments so that the manuscripts you write are “on target” and aimed directly at a sale.

Plus, along with your comprehensive training materials, you’ll receive a hefty (think large city phone book size here) directory of 1,694 publications that buy freelance material. Each listing describes the publication and the freelance potential. For example 75% of the articles in Western Horseman are written by freelancers with 100 such articles published yearly. You’ll also find out how to submit submissions, how to get a sample issue, and how much each pays.

The directory also contains feature articles like:

  • Insider tips on breaking into the red-hot science fiction and fantasy markets.

  • How writing about pets can offer a wealth of publishing opportunities.

  • Your personal experiences may be wanted in the nostalgia market

  • And more…

5) Everything You Need to Break Into Print.

When I agreed to review Breaking Into Print, I was taken aback by the depth and number of the materials. In addition to the huge course binder and the directory of magazine markets, you also get not one, not two, but five books essential to writing success.

You get books like:

  • William Zinsser’s On Writing Well (more than one million copies sold)

  • Jon Franklins, Writing for Story: Craft Secrets of Dramatic Nonfiction by a Two-Time Pulitzer Prize Winner, and

  • Self-Editing for Fiction Writers: How to Edit Yourself Into Print by Renni Browne and Dave King

6) Write What You Like.

You don’t have to choose between fiction and non-fiction. Breaking Into Print combines the two basic and most marketable forms of contemporary writing – fiction and non-fiction – to prepare you for virtually any kind of writing.

7) High Satisfaction Ratings.

Every year U.S. News & World Report magazine surveys 1,400 colleges and universities. The highest-ranking institution in terms of student satisfaction received a score of 73%. By comparison, 89.7% those completing Breaking Into Print report being “very satisfied”; a whopping 98% “would do it all over again”; and 97.7% would recommend it to a good friend. It doesn’t get much better than that!

8) Approved for College Credit.

The Connecticut Board for State Academic Awards recommends that students who complete the program be awarded seven college credits. No matter where you live, these credits may be obtained from Charter Oak State College, which functions under the degree-granting authority of the Connecticut Board. For a nominal fee, you can have these credits submitted on a Charter Oak transcript to any college or university. (If you are a teacher, your transcript will be sent to your school board at your request.)

9) Money Back Guarantee.

The Long Ridge Writing Program guarantee is simple. If you are not satisfied that you’ve become a better writer and learned how to market your writing to publishers by the time you’ve completed this program, you can obtain a full refund.

10) Affordable.

Because you can pay in low convenient monthly installments this course is affordable to anyone who aspires to become a paid writer.

I recommend this course wholeheartedly!

Learn more and to receive your free writing test at ChangingCourse.com/recommends/longridge

Add Your Two Cents

Want to comment on this article? Click here to hop over to the Changing Course Blog!

About the Author

"Profiting From Your Passions" expert Valerie Young abandoned her corporate cubicle to become the Dreamer in Residence at ChangingCourse.com offering resources to help you discover your life mission and live it. Her career change tips have been cited in Kiplinger's, The Wall Street Journal, USA Today Weekend, Woman's Day, and elsewhere and on-line at MSN, CareerBuilder, and iVillage.com. An expert on the Impostor Syndrome, Valerie has spoken on the topic of How to Feel as Bright and Capable as Everyone Seems to Think You Are to such diverse organizations as Daimler Chrysler, Bristol-Meyers Squibb, Harvard, and American Women in Radio and Television.

To read more articles about how to work at what you love without a job go to ChangingCourse.com/articles

All who have accomplished great things have had a great aim, have fixed their gaze on a goal which was high, one which sometimes seemed impossible. ~ Orison Swett Marden

Featured Resource

Get Your Book Published and Learn How to Market It

How would you like to go to one place and find your every book publishing question answered, from how to find anagent to how to get money for your project? Well, I foundthe place that can answer all of these questions.

Sophfronia Scott

Sophfronia Scott, “The Book Sistah,” has createda huge library of products and teleseminars featuring topnotch experts spilling all the beans about the publishing
world. She has used these materials to teach thousands ofwriters the ins and outs of the business and now she's making them all available to you!

You'll find everything from her groundbreaking system, “The 21-Step Guide to Writing, Publishing & MarketingYour Book” to her writer's block program for novelists,"Unleash the Bestseller Within". You'll also find seminarswith high-profile New York City agents, editors and authors.

Be sure to read Sophfronia's tips for marketing your book on the Internet below and visit her web site today atChangingCourse.com/recommends/booksistah and while you're there, don't forget to sign up for her report, “The 5 Biggest Mistakes MostWriters Make When Trying to Get Published."
 

Inspiration is wonderful when it happens, but the writer must develop an approach for the rest of the time…The wait is simply too long. ~ Leonard Bernstein

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The Changing Course Newsletter
Copyright 2008 
Lisa Tarrant, Editor
Valerie Young, Publisher [email protected] www.ChangingCourse.com 7 Ripley Road
Montague, MA 01351

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Never be bullied into silence. Never allow yourself to be made a victim. Accept no one's definition of your life; define yourself. ~ Harvey Fierstein

Guest Article

A Quick Guide to Marketing Your Book on the Internet

By Sophfronia Scott

Selling your book will be ten times easier as soon as you can accept this one, think-out-of-the-box strategy: your book doesn’t have to be inside a bricks-and-mortar store to sell copies. Too many self-published authors get caught up in trying to figure out how to get distribution which will get their book into big box stores such as Borders and Barnes & Noble. The process can be expensive and daunting. But these days the best grass-roots marketing that can sell tons of books happens on the internet. Using a few tricks of the trade you could reach a wider audience, sell more books and do it while spending less money!

Create a Website That Does More Than Look Good

Nearly every author has a website these days, but not every site helps sell a book. Yes, it’s great to have photos, calendar dates and an order button for your book. But a website can do a lot more. Put a sign up box on every page of your site and offer a free gift to people who fill it in. That will give you a great head start in building your mailing list. You can also use your site to showcase your talent: post clips, sample chapters, your resume and a way for editors looking for freelance writers to contact you. Give your readers reasons to come back to the site regularly. Some authors hold contests and showcase readers or book clubs that loved the author’s book. Have a speaker’s kit on your site as well for easy downloading so you can direct inquiries for appearances there. You can even feature periodic sales on your site (perhaps during holidays or your birthday!) where readers can buy your book in bulk for gifts.

Enlist Others to Assemble a Special Offer Package

Everyone knows you have to get your book on Amazon.com. It’s the easiest place for people to go to find your book. But how do you get them to go there and buy it? The key is to get other people (preferably with lists of their own) to help you put together a special offer package.

You ask people to donate services, a free download, or gift certificate (the idea is this helps them promote their businesses) and you bundle these goodies up into a bonus package that people receive when they buy your book. The offers should appeal to your target market. Then you set a launch day and everyone who contributed to the package sends an email blast to THEIR lists telling them of the great offer. So you not only have a great offer to entice people to buy, you also have the offer going out to A LOT more people!

I’ll give you an example so you can see how this works. I recently participated in a special offer for Christine Martinello to promote her book, The Momager Guide: Empowering Moms to Leave A Loving Legacy. This offer was only supposed to last a week, but it was so successful Christine allowed it to continue. She also went, in just a few days, from being ranked #2.4 million on the Amazon sales list to being ranked #13 on the parenting and families bestseller list and # 238 in overall book sales. A true bestseller!

You can check out a similar promotion at HappyForNoReason.com. This site promotes author Marci Shimoff’s new book. I received several emails from prominent names such as Jack Canfield encouraging me to go to the site and buy the book. Look at her site and see how clearly it’s set up. She tells you how to buy the book, how to leave your contact information and how to download your bonuses. It’s a great example to follow.

Use Many Tools

A great website is just a start. To maximize your exposure, use more than one of the many internet tools available. Use a blog to increase your search engine visibility. If you’re posting on a regular basis and on subject matter connected to current events, your blog could also become a source of free publicity. Just make sure your blog postings note you are “author of your book”. Podcasts are another way of establishing credibility and getting the word out. An aspiring author recently asked me about how to create buzz around a book he’s writing about a historic sports broadcaster. A podcast is a natural outlet for him. Not only can he produce shows about sports broadcasting that show off his expertise, he can also play old clips of his book’s subject and stir up interest in him as well.

E-newsletters, like this one, are a great way of establishing rapport with your readers and keeping them up to date on what’s coming next. I recently signed up for Stephen King’s newsletter so I can see how this mega-selling author continues to put himself out there. (Note: King and his publisher sent out text messages to random cell phones to promote his book Cell. A great use of a different marketing tool!)

Don’t overlook your email signature. I still get people interested in my book just because they saw it mentioned in my email signature. Keep it simple: mention the title, a great review and tell them where to get it. Since you can set your email up to put your signature on everything you send out, this is marketing you can just “set it and forget it”.

Show Up in Many Places

The internet is a big place and the people you’re targeting to buy your book visit many sites. Your best bet is to figure out where they go and show up there in a variety of ways. For instance, you can design a banner ad for your book and get it posted on targeted sites. In some cases you may have to pay for the advertising, but if you have a site that someone wants to show up on themselves, they may be open to swapping ad space with you for free. Same thing goes for newsletters. Write articles for other newsletters, swap articles with other authors. Or, better yet, post articles to sites such as isnare.com or EzineArticles.com, and your writing will be sent all over the internet. You never know where your article will show up. One of my articles recently led to me being interviewed by Investors Business Daily. The reporter simply found it while doing a search on the topic of her story.

One last note: Because the internet is practically limitless in its reach, it’s easy to get overwhelmed by all the marketing possibilities. Take a deep breath and map out your strategy. Not every tool will suit you, so don’t try to do everything. It’s better to choose two or three techniques and work those to success rather than do ten things, in a scattershot way, with poor results. Remember, technology is supposed to make life easier!

About the Author

Author and Writing Coach Sophfronia Scott is “The Book Sistah”TM. Get her FREE REPORT, “The 5 Big Mistakes Most Writers Make When Trying to Get Published” and her FREE online writing and book publishing tips atChangingCourse.com/recommends/booksistah

 

Have a bias toward action - let's see something happen now. You can break that big plan into small steps and take the first step right away. ~ Indira Gandhi

Upcoming Workshops and Teleclasses

Opportunity Hour Teleclass

A Teleseminar With Your Host, "Opportunity Analyst" Valerie Young

There really is no shortage of creative ways to get paid to do work you truly love. The problem is most people don’t know how to profit from their passions.

Viable and fascinating business ideas are literally all around you. You just need to know where to look!

Listen in as serial “Opportunity Analyst” Valerie Young delves into her vast Opportunity Files to reveal some fascinating ways that regular people – just like you – have turned their interests into income!

You don’t even need a lot of money. All it takes is a little creative thinking. Which is a good thing because Real Success Without a Real Job author Ernie Zelinski calls creative thinking "the poor man's wealth." Ernie was spot on when he said, “There is nothing quite as exhilarating as coming up with a brilliant idea, putting it to good use, and eventually being rewarded handsomely for my efforts by the marketplace."

So join a community of dreamers and dream doers for an exhilarating hour of creative thinking, opportunity angling, and possibility provoking fun! The rewards could be enormous!

P.S. Got an opportunity file of your own? Share a favorite creative business idea at the Opportunity Hour and you could win a free “Advice from the Dream Team” CD.

Thursday May 22, 2008

Morning Session
10:00-11:00 a.m. Eastern Time
Free for Fast Track Members*
$19.00 for Non Members**

Click Here to Register

Evening session
7:00-8:00 p.m. Eastern Time
Free for Fast Track Members*
$19.00 for Non Members**

Click Here to Register

*This series is free to current members of the Fast Track Your Dream Community.
**100 percent of Non-Members registration fees go to the non-profit micro-grant organization TrickleUp.org**

54th Summer Fancy Food Show

If you have an interest in creating a food line or having a food store, this is a great show to attend! Recent Fancy Food Shows have attracted 19,000 to 32,000 attendees from specialty food, wine, gift and department stores, supermarkets, restaurants, mail-order and other related businesses.

These attendees come to see more than a thousand exhibitors from around the world, presenting more than 100,000 specialty foods to discover and sample.

Business booms at these trade-only shows, in a unique decision-maker to decision-maker environment. An impressive 87% of all attendees either authorize or recommend purchasing decisions.

June 29 - July 1, 2008
Click Here to Learn More

The Ultimate Travel Writer’s Workshop

Over Three Power-Packed Days, you’ll... 

  • Learn the secrets of writing travel articles you can sell from a group of the best editors and writers in the business...

  • Discover little-known techniques travel writers use to land concert tickets... meals... vacations... and more... without paying a dime...

  • Walk away with a short publishable article in hand... and the contact information for editors we know who are happy to work with you, even if you've never sold a story before…

  • See for yourself how you can have the time, adventure, and freedom you’re looking for as a freelance travel writer…

The Ultimate Travel Writer's Workshop
San Francisco, CA

July 24 – 26, 2008

Go here ChangingCourse.com/recommends/travelconf and for more details about this event, or contact Terry Frank toll-free at (866)415-1425 or local at (202)370-6459 from 8:00am-5:00pm Eastern Standard Time.
 

Travel to Ecuador this Summer and Learn How Easy it Can Be to Turn Your Vacation Snapshots into Cash… Plus Master Spanish in Just a Week!

Join us and you’ll:

  • Learn how to take beautiful photographs in a dream setting with professional photographer, Rich Wagner as your guide...

  • Explore and photograph colorful leather and craft markets...

  • Try out a Spanish immersion + "Super Thinking" program, geared to teach you Spanish in just days...

  • Capture breathtaking views of the Andes and local villages...

  • Plus, enjoy a relaxing soak in a healing thermal spa...

Hotel, some meals, and all adventure included.
Get the details here:
ChangingCourse.com/recommends/ecuador

August 23-31, 2008
Cotacachi, Ecuador

 

It is the greatest of all mistakes to do nothing because you can only do a little. Do what you can. ~ Sydney Smith

Compass

The View From theOther Side

"Remember, there is no perfect time for anything. There is only now. We encourage you with all of our hearts to begin your journey to greater levels of fulfillment and productivity now."

~ Jack Canfield, co-creator of the Chicken Soup for the Soul book series

Compass

 

Resources for a Change

I have an assortment of resources this week to tempt, nurture, or jumpstart the writer (or humorist) in you... or in someone you know! 

Book Passage Mystery Writer's Conference
If you have an interest in mystery writing, this conference happening from June 26-29 offers a strong backing of authors and teachers. It covers everything from developing and writing your ideas to how to find a publisher. Learn more at
BookPassage.com/content.php?id=44

Mark Victor Hansen MegaBook University
You may recognize Mark as the co-creator of the Chicken Soup for the Soul series. Mark has turned his experience and knowledge into a series of live events, and for those who have not attended one of these amazing live events, Mark offers the audio from these experts in publishing and marketing. Check it out at ChangingCourse.com/recommends/bookuniversity

The Positive Power of Humor and Creativity is the topic for the 52nd International Humor Program being held June 20-22 in beautiful Lake George, New York. Attendees have registered from all over the world to attend this Humor Summit/Retreat. Over 21,000 people have attended these conferences from all 50 states and 6 continents. Learn more at HumorProject.com/conference

Host Your Own Seminars and Workshops
Some people like to share their expertise in writing, some prefer to share by teaching, and still others love the idea of doing both! But where do you begin? If you prefer to learn from other people’s successes as I do, I thought you’d like to know that Ali Brown has come out with a new “how to” program based on her own highly lucrative seminar marketing model. She’s included all of the tips, tools, and tricks she’s used to get several hundred people to part with several thousand dollars (including me!) at her sold-out workshops. I especially like that she’s included templates of pre-tested marketing copy for you to draw from. Keep in mind this is that not a get rich quick kind of thing and you’ll still need some marketing basics like growing a list. But you need to start somewhere and, from what I can see, this program will get you up and running a lot faster. If you are serious about offering seminars, in my opinion, this program is a highly worthwhile investment. (ChangingCourse.com/recommends/workshopmktg)

 

Note: Changing Course does not accept paid advertisements from any of the resources listed here. This list is provided to expand your thinking about just how many interesting ways there are to make a living without a job!