Mid-April found me in Powell River, BC, presenting at the 8th Festival of Writers - a small gathering of seriously aspiring and published authors. Daniel Wood, the award-winning freelance writer, was the other speaker. I was privileged to hear his two hour session, "The Art of Facts: Non-Fiction Storytelling in the 21st Century," and will deliver some of his wisdom over the next few months in Beacon Flashes.
Here is the first pearl:
Daniel urged the attendees, whether they were writing books or articles, "to get modern." He made everyone realize that non-fiction is changing due to the influence of the Internet and interactive websites. Writers should no longer submit mss that are solely text. Daniel said that articles and books need a multi-media feel today to interest editors. Writers need to offer magazine publishers a couple of side-bars, illustrations, maybe a video, pull quotes, and/or a podcast, etc., along with the main story.
Why? Publishers like to buy stories that work on the web, as well as in print. Stories on the web need more, much more, than dense text to captivate readers. Daniel cautioned everyone to make sure the contract covers these eventualities. The publisher should pay more for additional features. For example, Daniel's half hour podcasts net him $500.00 on top of the article fee. He adds 10% for web rights (NOTE: not all e-rights) in a "step-up" clause, and photos that you take are always extra too.
Writers must think beyond the written word today and offer editors material that is Web 2.0 friendly. Are you offering more?
(For more articles about the business of writing, please visit: www.beaconlit.com/freearticles.htm)