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The Business of Being a Writer

The Business of Being a Writer

Published in 1982, before the widespread use of personal computers, the Internet, and electronic publishing, this book concentrated on writing and selling to the print media--books and magazines. Updated excerpts are now being reprinted electronically on various topics--still focused on those primary areas, but still applicable to the current-day writer.

Theodore Sturgeon called The Business of Being a Writer "the second best reference book a writer can have, after the dictionary."

Harlan Ellison said, "It may not make you a better writer, but it will keep you from being a poorer one."

Isaac Asimov said, "Thank goodness! I am constantly being asked an infinity of questions about the writing business and can never answer coherently. Now I will stamp cards with a stamp that says: READ THE BUSINESS OF BEING A WRITER. IT WILL TELL YOU EVERYTHING, CLEARLY AND INTERESTINGLY. Why on Earth didn't he write the book forty years ago when it would have done me some good?"


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The excerpts currently available for purchase are:

A Career in Writing: This excerpt discusses finances, work habits, pen names, and other points an author should seriously consider before starting a career in writing.


The Mechanics of Submission: This excerpt discusses proper manuscript format, and how to submit your writing to an editor/publisher.


Marketing Your Work: This excerpt discusses how an author should narrow the field of potential markets, and the criteria to use when making his submission list for each work.


Dealing with Editors: This excerpt discusses the jobs of magazine and book editors, how to maintain good author-editor relations, and how to go about negotiating the terms of sales to your publisher.


Rights and Copyrights: This excerpt discusses the different kinds of rights an author can license, as well as the basic ins and outs of copyright law in the United States.


Legal Matteers: This excerpt discusses fair use and permissions for quotes, navigating the pitfalls of obscenity law, libel and invasion of privacy, writers' wills and estates, and public lending rights.


Magazine Contracts and Permissions: This excerpt discusses the terms you're likely to encounter in magazine contracts, and how to write permission letters when your work is reprinted in new markets.


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