December 13, 2006
Letters To The Editor For December 13th
Just Trying To Set An Example For Other Publishers...
What a pleasure doing business with you. Thanks. Have never sold a piece so fast, and received a check so fast. Much appreciated. Nice dealing with a TRUE professional. Sent my e-mail query to you on Nov. 26, sold the piece Nov. 28, and received your $30 check, Dec. 5. Fantastic! From query to check...ten days.
Keep up the good work. Always enjoy your WritersWeekly.com, and you articles, information on markets, etc.
May you have a Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays, and a great New Year.
I just wanted to thank you for promoting the anysoldier.com website. I had come across it one day while doing an Internet search for an article I was writing. Since learning about it about three months ago, our family sent several letters and packages and then my 12-year-old son started a project called "Samples for Soldiers" and has been collecting sample and trial-sized toiletries. The the collection is at the Lansing Public Library, Indiana Avenue and School Street, Lansing, IL 60438. Through his collection, we've sent 18 packages so far to military personnel from our home state, Illinois. I've written about the site in a couple of columns, as well, and have seen the number of Illinois soldiers on the site almost triple. I'd like to think my columns and your mentioning of the site has helped get more soldiers listed and helped more soldiers receive mail to let them know how much their service is appreciated. Writing about servicemen and servicewomen and veterans is one of my favorite topics! Thanks for helping to spread the word about the site allowing these brave men and women to get more of the support and appreication they so greatly deserve!
We're still getting donations and the big challenge is finding ways to pay for the postage. I've been lucky that one organization and another individual looking to spend some grant money paid for some of the shipping. If someone wants to help who lives in the area, they could drop it off (see address above). However, for anyone living too far to deliver it, it's probably better for them to go on to anysoldier.com and select a soldier to send it to. If they send it to me and then I ship it, we're paying double postage. You could let readers know that the post office offers flat rate shipping boxes for $8.10 regardless of weight - so you could throw in a can of ravioli and some magazines, which can get pretty heavy, and you don't have to spend a lot on postage.
You might also want to mention the site, http://www.letssaythanks.com. You can go onto the site and write a postcard to go to a serviceman or servicewoman in the Middle East and Xerox sends it for free. Also, if you click on "From the Troops" on the side menu, you can view an awesome video for a song written by a U.S. Marine.
Thanks for everything!
Prima Donnas Need Not Apply
Sincerely, Jane - who is novelist in training and who will always make mistakes!
I really laughed out loud at the Prima Donna item.
Sometimes you make yourself out to be such a teeth-gnashing tigress. I have met you, corresponded with you, and published through you over the years and I want to go on record about what a sweet and caring person lurks behind the righteous (and justified) tirades.
Martin A. David Shtetl In My Mind
Just finished reading about the "prima donna"! I don't think I would ever be interested in her ability as an attorney or as a writer. I spent years in a professional capacity which put me in contact with all types of people, and I've met this type person many times. Instead of the respect and adulation they appear to be striving for they receive disrespect and contempt. Prestige comes more with character is earned...not demanded.
You are quite a lady, and I'm so glad to see you stick by your guns!!
I had to laugh when I saw your article on prima donnas, especially at one glaring mistake in one of your wannabe author's responses.
I've been a professional editor for 25 years and a published writer for more than 30. I've dealt with more than a few prima donnas, and they are NOT worth the effort, no matter how lovely and "artistic" their book. In fact, when I freelanced for five years, I had to stop working with all individual writers because of the actions of a few. No amount of money, even when I was flat broke, could make up for the pain caused by one ego-driven author.
Now that I'm working in-house again, I still avoid them if at all possible, and mistakes such as you mentioned are usually my first clue that the author might be difficult to work with. The reason is simple: Glaring mistakes reveal a lack of professionalism and - potentially - a belief that the work will transcend such mistakes.
And this comes from an author who recently had a manuscript rejected by an agent in part because it needed a good line edit. Mea culpa; I let my ego get ahead of my work, even knowing I'm not the best proofer of my own work.
Editors at all levels pay attention to such things. I truly encourage all writers to hire an editor or get more than one great critique partner. It can make the difference in getting published or remaining a slush pile hopper.
I chuckled when I read "Prima Donnas Need Not Apply." Your reaction was great! I fear that English teachers, both high school and college, are partially responsible--and I say this as a retired college English professor.
A pendulum seems to swing between "all" or "nothing" in educational theory. Years ago, we emphasized correctness far more than creativity. This emphasis "turned off" a lot of students in the large group who tell me they hated their English classes. Then the pendulum swung too far the other way: just express yourself. Be creative. Don't worry about correctness. Of course the original idea was to create first and edit later, but since editing was the harder part for many students and teachers alike, many were happy to give it up.
I'm out of the teaching profession now, but my reading indicates that we have helped to create a generation of would-be writers who just don't know or care. Their writing has received high praise for imagination and creativity despite misspelled words and convoluted sentence structure. I insulted an acquaintance when I dared to tell her that her self-published book was full of serious writing errors. She didn't seem to believe me, and told me that she'd had an editor!
The answer is obviously the middle course: create and then edit--or find a good editor. I hope that publishers and readers will sort the good from the bad, but I'm not sure that enough people really care, or even recognize writing errors when they see them. I'm glad you reacted as you did. It's a battle worth fighting.
Marlys Marshall Styne Author of Reinventing Myself: Memoirs of a Retired Professor and "Never too Late!" at http://www.seniorwriter.blogspot.com
Your professionalism and ability to put folks in their place nicely is a trait I admire. You are successful because you are indeed polite and professional. My best to you and yours for a wonderful holiday and a great 2007!!
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