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Writers and Editors (Pat McNees's blog) RSS feed

Writing and editing for Wikipedia

Experienced Wikipedia writers and editors: Let me know which important pages I should add here, for the benefit of people new to contributing to Wikipedia.

Who writes Wikipedia?
Frequently Asked Questions About Wikipedia
FAQs about editing for Wikipedia
Wikipedia Guidelines
How do I create a new page?
Article size
Featured content Featured content represents the best of Wikipedia, including articles, pictures, and other contributions that showcase excellent results of the collaborative efforts of Wikipedia. All featured content undergoes a thorough review process to ensure that it meets the highest standards in order to serve as the best example of our end goals. A small bronze star (The featured content star) in the top right corner of a desktop page indicates that the content is featured.
Citing sources Wikipedia's verifiability policy requires inline citations for any material challenged or likely to be challenged, and for all quotations, anywhere in article space.
Neutral point of view "Articles must not take sides, but should explain the sides, fairly and without editorial bias. This applies to both what you say and how you say it."
"Notability" guidelines
Researching and Writing Wikipedia Articles (How Wikipedia Works/Chapter 6, Wikibooks)
What Wikipedia is not
Are There Rules Against Paying Someone To Write A Wikipedia Article? (Michael Wood, Social Media Today, 11-24-14) Read the full article.

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Where to get science news

Let me know if any wonderful publications are left out of this informally assembled list.

Aeon ("a sanctuary online for serious thinking")
Cosmos (the science of everything)
Ag Insider (Food and Environment Reporting Network)
Massive Science (New science stories every week, written by scientists themselves)
National Geographic Magazine
Nature (an esteemed and heavily cited science journal)
Nautilus (each issue on a special topic, backed by Howard Hughes Medical Institute)
New Scientist (realistic news reporting, from UK)
Newswise
Politico
Pro Publica (Journalism in the Public Interest) Read More 

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What to do if you self-publish through both Amazon KDP and IngramSpark

by Melinda Clayton

If you want to use both KDP Print and IngramSpark for paperbacks, explained novelist Melinda Clayton recently on the Authors Guild forum, you must be careful to "un-check" Expanded Distribution through KDP Print. These are the steps you need to take:

1. Own your own ISBN (purchase at Bowker if you're in the U.S.)
2. Un-check Expanded Distribution on KDP Print, but don't un-publish your book. You want to leave it on KDP Print for distribution through Amazon; you just have to remove it from Expanded Distribution. This is because Expanded Distribution makes your book available in the Ingram catalog, and Ingram won't list the exact same book twice.
3. Send KDP Print an email asking them to remove your paperback from Expanded Distribution while leaving it with KDP for distribution on Amazon. Although you've unchecked it, emailing KDP Print speeds the process along.
4. Set up your account on IngramSpark .
5. Email IngramSpark a Title Transfer Addendum request. The link will take you to a page on Ingram that explains the process, and at the very bottom of that page is a link to click that will allow you to download and print the Title Transfer Addendum.
6. Once KDP Print and Ingram have transferred your titles from the KDP Print Ingram account to your own, you'll get an email from IngramSpark letting you know the transfer has taken place and asking you to approve your proofs. If you approve, you're all set. Your books will still be available through KDP Print for distribution to Amazon, and they'll also be available through Ingram for other stores and libraries.

 

Here are links to Melinda's novels and if you are thinking about self-publishing, check out her explanations on Indies Unlimited, See, for example, Do I Need Different ISBNs for CreateSpace and Ingram? (read the whole thing).

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Is it time for the United States to establish a Public Lending Right?

"Thirty-five countries—including the United Kingdom, every country in Europe, Canada, Israel, and Australia—support their authors with cash payments from the national government in compensation for the free library lending of their books. Over the past half-century, all these nations have established systems of Public Lending Right....PLR recognizes two fundamental principles: the need for society to provide free access to books, and the right of authors to be remunerated for their work. These principles should not be in conflict. The Authors Guild believes in both. We plan to work with the nation’s libraries to create a system that will benefit authors and libraries alike." -- James Gleick, Support of a Public Lending Right in the United States (PLR) (Authors Guild Bulletin, Winter 2018/Spring 2019)

 

"Paying authors for library loans is not a charity,” he said, “it’s a right: a payment for the service of borrowing an author’s work.” Robert Caro, Barbara Tuchman, and Anne Edwards were among the well-known authors who championed the cause. Preliminary bills were introduced in both houses of Congress. Eventually, in the Reagan era, the effort died.

 

"But overseas the evident justice and utility of PLR systems has persuaded country after country. Last year our counterparts in the U.K., the Society of Authors, led a successful effort to extend their program to include e-lending. Beginning July 1, authors became eligible for payments for library lending of their ebooks and audiobooks....


"The maximum payment to any one author would be capped: the idea is not to reward J. K. Rowling (no offense, Joanne) but to provide some much-needed help for midlist authors....

 

We never want to tell a library not to lend our books—love of libraries is at the core of who we are. At the same time, librarians themselves are recognizing that they need the professional author to survive... author income that once came from the use of books in classrooms has been evaporating. Expensive high-speed scanners are now standard equipment in university department offices, and university libraries increasingly believe it is their right to distribute digital copies of chapters and whole books throughout their communities. This turns authors into forced unpaid donors. A robust PLR system would restore some fairness."

The Authors Guild Calls for a “Public Lending Right” (Nate Hoffelder, The Digital Reader, 1-16-19) "The Authors Guild was somewhat correct when they said 22,000 authors in the UK were paid up to 6,600 pounds, but what they forgot to tell you was that almost as many authors were paid zilch.

"According to UK data from 2017 (the most recent I can find), a total of 41,750 authors were listed in the PLR system when the payments went out in February. Of that number, 19,548 received nothing at all because their share was less than one pound. Another 16.654 received under 100 pounds, while 3,232 received under 500 pounds (PDF).

"The numbers are almost as bad in Canada, where 59% of all registered authors were paid less than $253.80 CAD in June 2018 (this includes the authors who were paid nothing)."

 

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The practical aspects of publishing an anthology

THE LEGAL SIDE OF PUBLISHING AN ANTHOLOGY:
Understanding Copyrights for Anthologies (Susan Spann, Writers in the Storm, 11-13-15) Anthology contracts should contain at least two clear statements of copyright:
A declaration that copyright in the author's work remains the sole property of the contributing author; and
A declaration that the copyright in the anthology "as a collective work" belongs to the anthology publisher.
• NEVER grant or transfer your copyright in your work to an anthology publisher. Authors of individual works should always retain copyright on their own original Read More 

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FOR THE SPEECHWRITER’S REFERENCE SHELF

compiled by Joan Detz and Pat McNees
(originally posted by Washington Speechwriters Roundtable)

Let us know of resources you found helpful that aren't listed here.

General anthologies of quotations

Guides to pronunciation

Special-occasion resources 

Business and corporate life

Politics and government
Religious and inspirational quotations

Humor and irreverence

Proverbs, aphorisms, and regional quotation

Great speeches collections

How to give a speech

GENERAL COLLECTIONS OF QUOTATIONS


The New Beacon Book of Quotations by Women, ed. Rosalie Maggio.
The Speaker’s Sourcebook: Quotes, Stories, and Anecdotes for Every Occasion, ed. Glenn Van Ekeren
Bartlett's Familiar Quotations : A Collection of Passages, Phrases, and Proverbs Traced to Their Sources in Ancient and Modern Literature, ed. by John Bartlett
The Little, Brown Book of Anecdotes
Simpson's Contemporary Quotations: Most Notable Quotes From 1950 to the Present (ed. by James S. Simpson) boo
Webster’s New World Dictionary of Quotable Definitions, ed. Eugene E. Brussell.
New Dictionary of Quotations on Historical Principles from Ancient and Modern Sources, ed. H.L. Mencken.
Random House Webster’s Quotationary, ed. Leonard Roy Frank.
The International Thesaurus of Quotations, ed. Rhoda Thomas
Statistically Speaking, ed. C.C. Gaither and A.E. Cavozov-Gaither.
Speaker’s Treasury of Sports Anecdotes, Stories, and Humor, ed. Gerald Tomlinson.
The Military Quotation Book, ed. James Charlton (no index).

GUIDES TO PRONUNCIATION

NBC Handbook of Pronunciation by Eugene Ehrlich and Raymond Hand, Jr.
Is There a Cow in Moscow? by Charles Harrington Elster
There is no zoo in zoology: And other beastly mispronounciations : an opinionated guide for the well-spoken by Charles H. Elster <!--more-->
The Big Book of Beastly Mispronunciations by Charles H. Elster


SPECIAL-OCCASION RESOURCES



Farewell, Godspeed: The Greatest Eulogies of Our Time, ed. Cyrus M. Copeland
Toasts: Over 1,500 of the Best Toasts, Sentiments, Blessings, and Graces by Paul Dickson
Irish Blessings, Toasts & Curses, ed. Padraic O’Farrell
The Book of Ages ed. Desmond Morris
The Oxford Book of Ages chosen by Allan and Sally Sampson (clever quotes for special birthdays.
The Wisdom of Christmas, ed. Criswell Freeman (quotations and verses)
Witty Words: A Hilarious Collection of Outrageous Quotations for Every Day of the Year, ed. Eileen Mason
Timelines of Everything (Smithsonian) An illustrated history of the world through timelines for kids
Dying: A Book of Comfort, ed. Pat McNees (or buy the book directly from Pat and get an autographed version)
Can You Say a Few Words? by Joan Detz (How to Prepare and Deliver a Speech for Any Special Occasion--that is, how to make award presentations, dedications, eulogies, etc.)

BUSINESS AND CORPORATE LIFE


Quotable Business: Over 2,800 Funny, Irreverent, and Insightful Quotations About Corporate Life, ed. Louis E. Boone.
The Manager’s Book of Quotations, ed. Lewis Eigen and Jonathan Siegel.
Gene Perret's Funny Business: Speaker's Treasury of Business Humor for All Occasions

POLITICS AND GOVERNMENT


The Bully Pulpit: Quotations from America's Presidents ed. Elizabeth Frost
Congressional Anecdotes by Paul Boller, Jr. (Oxford)
Speaker’s Treasury of Political Stories, Anecdotes, & Humor , ed. Gerald Tomlinson.
Power Quotes, ed. Daniel B. Baker.
The Wit & Wisdom of Politics, ed. Charles Henning.
Presidential Wit and Wisdom ed. by Charlotte Lee Gross

RELIGIOUS AND INSPIRATIONAL QUOTATIONS


Treasury of Religious Quotations, ed. Gerald Tomlinson
Speakers Sourcebook ed. Eleanor Doan.
Pocket Positive--Faith & Belief, ed. John Cook.
C. S. Lewis' Little Book of Wisdom: Meditations on Faith, Life, Love, and Literature, ed. by Andrea Kirk Assaf and Kelly Anne Leahy
12,000 Inspirational Quotations, ed. Frank S. Mead.
The Routledge Dictionary of Religious and Spiritual Quotations, ed. Geoffrey Parringer
Book of Positive Quotations, ed. John Cook

HUMOR AND IRREVERENCE


The Penguin Dictionary of Modern Humorous Quotations ed. Fred Metcalf
The Oxford Dictionary of Humorous Quotations, ed Ned Sherrin.
Cassell's Humorous Quotations, ed. Nigel Rees.
The Complete Book of Zingers, ed. Croft M. Pentz
Dictionary of Outrageous Quotations, ed. C.R.S. Marsden.

PROVERBS, APHORISMS, AND REGIONAL QUOTATIONS


The Viking Book of Aphorisms, ed. W.H. Auden and Louis Kronenberger.
The Oxford Book of Aphorisms, ed. John Gross
The Penguin Dictionary of Proverbs, ed. Rosalind Fergusson

GREAT SPEECHES COLLECTIONS


Great Speeches of the Twentieth Century, collected by George Skene (four audio CDs or audiocassettes)
Lend Me Your Ears: Great Speeches in History, ed. by William Safire
The World's Great Speeches, ed. Lewis Copeland, Lawrence Lamm, and Stephen McKenna
Farewell, Godspeed: The Greatest Eulogies of Our Time, ed. Cyrus M. Copeland

HOW TO GIVE A SPEECH


How to Write and Give a Speech: A Practical Guide for Anyone Who Has to Make Every Word Count. by Joan Detz. A how-to classic.
I Can See You Naked: A Fearless Guide to Making Great Presentations by Ron Hoff (Andrews & McMeel)
Is There a Speech Inside You? by Don Aslett. Practical tips, lighthearted style.
The Power of Eloquence by Thomas Montalbo (Prentice-Hall). What makes a speech like “I Have a Dream” eloquent.
The Smile Connection: How to Use Humor in Dealing with People, by Esther Blumenfeld and Lynne Alpern.

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Things I wish I'd known before age 70

That your feet grow longer because the fat on the soles disappears.
That your body grows shorter, as the bones in your spine get thinner.
That older people call other people "darling" because they can't remember their names.
That remembering may be harder, but in many ways you're a lot smarter.
That your ears keep growing. ("My mom in her old age complained she looked like Lyndon Johnson.")
That you need more  Read More 
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Artificial intelligence (AI)--what the heck is it?

Admitting to myself that I had no idea what AI is was the first step. This is what I learned (from humans and AI):
What is AI? Everything you need to know about Artificial Intelligence (Nick Heaht, ZDNet, 2-2-18) An executive guide to artificial intelligence, from machine learning and general AI to neural networks.
Amazon Is Latest Tech Giant to Face Staff Backlash Over Government Work (Jamie Condliffe, NY times, 6-22-18) Tech "firms have built artificial intelligence and cloud computing systems that governments find attractive. But as these companies take on lucrative contracts to furnish state and federal agencies with these technologies, they’re facing increasing pushback  Read More 
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Code of Ethics of the Association of Personal Historians

The Association of Personal Historians declared bankruptcy in 2017, but its code of ethics is still useful. Personal historians still need to uphold professional standards that protect the integrity of the profession and safeguard the interests of individual clients and narrators. The Code of Ethics states the core values of those of us helping others tell their personal stories (whether as memoirs, autobiographies, family histories, video tributes, and so on). Those values are to
• Conduct business according to impeccable standards of fairness and integrity.
• Represent honestly their qualifications, background,  Read More 
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The Risk of Telling the Truth

by Pat McNees
Ken Ackerman (www.KennethAckerman.com) led a discussion of the Washington Biography Group (4-30-12) that was interesting enough for me to resurrect, update, and rearrange items in my original e-letter. Ken began by identifying several elements of risk in writing biographies:
• The risk of lawsuits, especially if what you write is not true  Read More 
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