|Johnson O'Connor Research Foundation
( I am told this is the place to go for aptitude testing and counseling. "It's expensive, but it is worth every penny, because you end up doing work you love," says a friend who got the counseling first for herself, during a midlife transition at 40, and then for her kids, just graduating from college)
How Much Should I Charge
(Writers and Editors, Pricing Strategies, How to Set Rates, and Other Survival Basics)
"Writing is the only profession where no one considers you ridiculous if you earn no money."
~ Jules Renard, French writer (1864-1910)
"It is a funny thing about life; if you refuse to accept anything but the best, you very often get it." ~ W. Somerset Maugham
Seven Tips for Freelancers: Looking for Work Online
(Cynthia Haggard, 11-12-08, reprinted at QuinnCreative)
“When I say 'work' I only mean writing. Everything else is just odd jobs.”
"A writer's inspiration is not just to create. He must eat three times a day."
~ Pierre Beaumarchais
“A few years ago, a fellow professor stopped at my door and said, 'You're here in your office more than my full-time colleagues,' and I replied, 'Writers don't retire, they just go out of print.' With electronic publication, even that doesn't have to happen.”
(pat at patmcnees dot com)
Dying: A Book of Comfort
This site built to support the book expanded into Illness and Recovery
Writers on Writing
(complete archive of the NY Times series, writers exploring literary themes. Requires free membership.)
Letters of Note
(fascinating letters, postcards, telegrams, faxes, and memos--that you were never expected to see)
(from the brilliant Mutual of Omaha campaign to record people's stories about moments of clarity, defining moments when they gained the wisdom to change their life)
TED: Ideas worth sharing
Riveting talks by remarkable people, free to the world
Freelance National Anthem
(Bill Dyszel, 4 minutes)
(addicted to a website? bookmark this page and it will remind you to get back to work!)
Today's Front Pages
(check out Newseum's U.S. map -- move your cursor across the map and see the front pages change)
Online Education Database
150 resources to help you write better, faster, or more persuasively
Help a reporter out (HARO)
(useful for reporters and for sources)
Paris Review "Writers at Work" Interviews
(selections from 1953 on, a gift to the world, and with a single click you can view a manuscript page with the writer's edits)
(if the news is making you sick, try this approach)
Where to find writing and editing jobs, gigs, clients, marketplaces
Many organizations for writers, editors, journalists, indexers, and other service providers have their own job banks and referral services, generally for use only by members and potential employers, service purchasers, or licensees of rights. Remember that when you are looking to hire someone, and check out relevant listings for specialty organizations.
As for figuring out how much to charge, remember the all-important questions (and this doesn't generally apply to writing magazine articles, for which the pay these days is totally inadequate):
How long will a writing job take (the hardest thing to learn how to estimate realistically)?
How much is your time worth?
How high a fee or price will the market for that product bear (in a local market or an industry market)?
How eager are you for the work--or how willing to walk away from a job or project?
For other resources, check Local and Regional Organizations. Networking with a local group may be one of the best ways to find jobs and outlets for your writing and editing.
The following sites and the listings they post have NOT been vetted for quality, reliability, etc. If you have reason to believe any of these sites should not be listed, please let us know -- and tell us why. Is any useful site missing?
Academic budget cuts, rising tuition, and the decline in professorships
(for those considering academia as your base, from which you will write)
The closing of American academia
(Sarah Kendzior, Aljazeera, 8-20-12) The plight of adjunct professors highlights the end of higher education as a means to prosperity.
• Gap Widens for Faculty at Colleges, Report Finds
(Tamar Lewin, NY Times, 4-8-13). “Public colleges and universities, reeling from immediate and long-term cutbacks in their state funding, have sought to reduce spending on the back of their students, increasingly substituting lower-paid contingent faculty members for more fairly paid tenure-track faculty members,” reports the American Association of University Professors.
• Academia's indentured servants
(Sarah Kendzior, Aljazeera, 4-11-13). Outspoken academics are rare: most tenured faculty have stayed silent about the adjunct crisis.
• Adjuncting Mystery
(Steve Saideman's Semi-Spew, 4-9-13)
• The PhD's Job Crisis: Why Professorships Are Dwindling and Adjuncts and Postdocs Are on the Rise
(Online PhD.org). Budget cuts and the higher education crisis.
• The Future of the MLA Job List
• Is Graduate School a Cult?
(Thomas H. Benton, The Chronicle of Higher Education, 6-28-04)
Aptitude Testing Resources
• Johnson O'Connor Research Foundation
(an expensive, top-notch facility for testing aptitude and personal strengths and providing career counseling). This firm's site has some interesting articles
and links to other resources
, such as
• Myers-Briggs Type Indicator personality inventory
• Keirsey Temperament Sorter
• Self-Directed Search
, a creative staffing agency that places talent of many kinds (after screening for actual talent): writers, coders, designers (print and graphic design, Web, broadcast design, production, UI interaction, etc.), social media strategist, Drupal theme developers, and many other freelance specialties. See Open Jobs list
ASBPE Job Bank
(exclusive listing of employment opportunities) and ASBPE Job Links
(American Society of Business Publications Editors, but the links are open to everyone)
The Best-Paid Moonlighting Jobs in America
(Kimberly Palmer, U.S. News & World Report, 8-23-12)
Boxers, Briefs and Books
. John Grisham's op-ed piece on what hard work writing is, one theme of the forthcoming collection Don’t Quit Your Day Job: Acclaimed Authors and the Day Jobs They Quit
, ed. by Sonny Brewer (with stories by Grisham, Pat Conroy, Rick Bragg, and many other authors).
Content mills (sweat shops for writers)
This is a mere sampling of negative things you'll hear about content mills.
• Master Content Mill List
• The Answer Factory: Demand Media and the Fast, Disposable, and Profitable as Hell Media Model
(Daniel Roth, Wired Magaine, 10-19-09). "Plenty of other companies — About.com, Mahalo, Answers.com — have tried to corner the market in arcane online advice. But none has gone about it as aggressively, scientifically, and single-mindedly as Demand. Pieces are not dreamed up by trained editors nor commissioned based on submitted questions. Instead they are assigned by an algorithm, which mines nearly a terabyte of search data, Internet traffic patterns, and keyword rates to determine what users want to know and how much advertisers will pay to appear next to the answers."
• Content Mill Demand Media Expands Its Reach -- To More Newspapers!
(Erik Sherman, CBS MoneyWatch, 5-21-10) "For its normal web pieces, a typical Demand Media rate for an article of a few hundred words is $7.50, with copy editing paying about $3.50 an article, according to many freelancers I've communicated with who work for Demand."
• Erik Sherman's pieces on Demand Studios
• Content farm
(Wikipedia-- firms that use freelancers to generate "large amounts of textual content which is specifically designed to satisfy algorithms for maximal retrieval by automated search engines"
• Writers Explain What It's Like Toiling on the Content Farm
(Corbin Hiar, MediaShift, 7-21-10)
• How Much Are Examiner.com Writers Really Earning?
(Writers Weekly, 5-13-09)
• Are Content Mills the Future of Online Publishing?
(Aaron Wall, author of SEOBook--read his blog
• 3 Ways to Escape the Content Mills and Earn More as a Freelance Writer
(Linda Formichelli, The Renegade Writer, 5-21-12)
• Here’s the Escape Hatch for Writers Who Want to Leave the Low-Pay Grind
(Carol Rice, Make a Living Writing...practical help for hungry writers). See also In Which I Confront Content Mill Owners About Their Rates…In Person
(powering the next generation of publishing). Described by Columbia Journalism Review as a new platform to connect journalists and publishers
. "Contently aims to help journalists to build their brand online and connect them with publishers looking for writers." The Contently platform
is said to "streamline your editorial calendar and add efficiency to content creation--for agencies and high-volume publishers." The Content Network
"empowers professional journalists and bloggers to build careers doing what they love." Through that network, Contently publishers can "scale up freelance talent for projects and ongoing work with our vetted Network of magazine-quality writing talent." We'll see how it all works out later. Report on your experiences!
Editor & Publisher
(jobs page for E&P, which publishes newspaper industry news)
44 Resume Writing Tips
(Daniel Scocco, DailyWritingTips 5-19-08)
and Freelancedaily.net FAQ
. Subscription $97 a year, but there is a free one-week trial to see if it suits your needs. Posts job leads 5 days a week. compiled listings from craigslist and other job boards.
Many writers and journalists organizations have begun offering freelance directories, so for publishers and clients looking for an independent writer, journalist, editor, etc. make sure you're listed in the directory of organizations to which you belong -- and join the ones whose directories are likely to be searched. I'll list more as you make me aware of them:
• Association of Health Care Journalists
(AHCJ's list of independent journalists)
• Editorial Freelancers Association
(search by state, skill, specialty, hardware, software)
• Find a personal historian
(Association of Personal Historians, to help Mom and Pop write their memoirs)
• Publishers Marketplace
(not an organization but a place to announce your availability!)
• Society of Professional Journalists (SPJ)
(freelance jobs, resources page)
("an inside look at jobs & companies). If you are job-hunting, you may appreciate this free inside look at jobs and companies (with salary info, company reviews, and interview questions — all posted anonymously by employees. Here, for example, are employee reviews of Author Solutions
. The HR Capitalists writes, Is Glassdoor Going the Way of Yelp?
(allowing negatively reviewed companies to change the review). The "pros" and "cons" formats of the reviews offers helpful insights into companies. You can search under a category, such as reviews of book publishing companies
How Much Should I Charge?
(Writers and Editors, Pricing Strategies, How to Set Rates and Fees, and Other Survival Basics)
'Huffington Post' Employee Sucked Into Aggregation Turbine
. Horrified Workers Watch As Colleague Torn Apart By Powerful Content-Gathering Engine (The Onion's delightful take on Huffington Post as a Content Mill 2-2-12)
, as reviewed on this interesting review site (Viewpoints)
: PROS:easy to use interface (7), pulls job postings from all websites (6), minimal advertising (5), good overview of jobs in a location(3), one stop job shopping (1). CONS: sometimes unreliable results (5), inconvenient (2), repeat job postings even if job is filled (2), jobs lie about salary (1).
Job Hunters Bible
, online job search resource hosted by Dick Bolles, author of What Color is Your Parachute?
• Miscellaneous journalism job sites
(Berkeley Graduate School of Journalism, University of California at Berkeley)
• The Journalism Shop
(former L.A. Times staffers for hire), an example of how to market one's services
• News Nerd Jobs
(Code Out Loud). The news business needs people who can code in the public interest and build the digital news products of tomorrow
• Media Job Pod
(job search advice for multimedia journalists and production majors)
Lessons Learned in Auditioning for Job
(Alina Tugend, NY Times, 12-3-10, on how to handle prospective employers' requests to produce creative samples or give business advice -- when to do it and how to protect your work).
, this social-networking-for-business site can be a good place to find gigs IF you join and PARTICIPATE in specific social networks. People who like what you say when you join a conversation may check out your profile. And you can build a network of your own by connecting with connections of your connections!
Mashable's Job Bank
(digital and tech jobs)
Media Bistro job listings
. Galley Cat also offers Scoop Jobs
("let your next job find you"), jobs and recruiting for media professionals in journalism, online content, book publishing, TV, radio, PR, graphic design, photography, and advertising.
Media Job Pod
(job search advice for multimedia journalists and production majors)
(recruiting for science jobs--search on "writer" or "editor," etc.)
Nonprofit Jobs Cooperative
(a one-stop source for job seekers searching for nonprofit jobs, and for employers to easily publish job opportunities within specific regions)
Occupational Outlook Handbook
(useful guide from the U.S. Department of Labor, about the most common career fields, job trends, educational requirements etc.)
100 best places to live and launch
A one-minute story may be key to a storied career
(Penelope Trunk, Seattle Post-Intelligencer 7-6-03)
. Online work teams, particularly popular in Silicon Valley. Remote staffing for long-term work -- employers hire, manage, and pay a distributed team as if everyone were in their office.
(detailed descriptions of the world of work for use by job seekers, workforce development and HR professionals, students, researchers, and more--conceived by U.S. Department of Labor as a definitive resource for counselors, educators, human resource specialists, and the public to learn more about occupations)
Online Job Search Resources
(Johnson O'Connor Research Foundation, an expensive, top-notch facility for testing aptitude and personal strengths and providing career counseling)
(free) and Publishers Lunch Deluxe
($20 a month). Lunch Deluxe gets you daily e-mails listing new deals in book publishing and news about sales, reviews, agents, editors, and the industry, as well as access to Who Represents (database of authors and their agents). You needn't subscribe to Lunch Deluxe for access to the Publishers Lunch Job Board
, and Publishers Marketplace is a good place to advertise your services (e.g., as a ghostwriter).
. Find a job, find a company, post a job ($300 for 30 days).
DIRECTORIES OF MAGAZINES, NEWSPAPERS, AND OTHER PUBLICATIONS
You won't find mastheads on all of these, but you can check out the publications.
The Practicing Writer
. On this website, Erika Dreifus sells three e-books for writers, including the "Guide to No-Cost Literary Contests and Competitions," "Directory of Paying Essay Markets," and "Directory of Paying Markets for Book Reviewers." For $6.95 I decided to check out the directory of paying essay markets. Strangely, it did not include The New Yorker, Atlantic Monthly, Newsweek ("My Turn"), the New York Times Magazine, Salon, or any of the women's magazines, all of which pay much better than most of the publications listed. Perhaps this is because she listed only publications that posted writers guidelines, with pay rates, on their websites--but this excludes most of the best and best-paying essay markets. Save your money.
A GREAT READ
and communities of book lovers
Best reads and most "discussable"
Fact-finding, fact-checking, conversion tables, and news and info resources
long-form journalism, e-singles, online aggregators
BOOK AND MAGAZINE PUBLISHING
New, used, and rare books, Amazon.com and elsewhere
Blogs, social media, podcasts, ezines, survey tools and online games
How much to charge and so on (for creative entrepreneurs)
And finding freelance gigs
Blogs, video promotion, intelligent radio programs
Indie publishing, digital publishing, POD, how-to sources
Includes original text by Sarah Wernick
WRITERS AND CREATORS
Plus contests, other sources of funds for creators
Copywriting, speechwriting, marketing, training, and the like
Literary and commercial (including genre)
Writing, reporting, multimedia, equipment, software
Translators, indexers, designers, photographers, artists, illustrators, animators, cartoonists, image professionals, composers
including academic writing
Groups for writers who specialize in animals, children's books, food, gardens, family history, resumes, sports, travel, Webwriting, and wine (etc.)
ETHICS, RIGHTS, AND OTHER ISSUES
Contracts, reversion of rights, Google Books settlement
Plus media watchdogs, FOIA
EDITORS AND EDITING
And views on the author-editor relationship