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The Road to Riches ? Or at Least Success - In writing (how to become a published author) Getting published is the first step on the road to becoming a writer. It?s an exciting day when you receive your first paycheck for something you wrote. It?s a stamp of approval on your ability to write the meaning of the everyday for the general public. If you want to know how to become a published author, read on. It can be a difficult and frustrating road, but the destination is well worth the journey. Starting Small The first thing to remember when wondering how to become a published author is that beginning should look like a beginning. Don?t expect instant recognition or huge payment for your first efforts in the writing world. You will learn as you continue to write and get feedback. Don?t always expect feedback either. You will have to become your own critic to some extent. The following list includes great opportunities for publication as you improve your writing skills. Newsletters As you learn how to become a published author, your first lesson may be that you won?t always get paid. When you are first starting out, your best opportunities may be with free publications that only accept donated work. Many newsletters are created by non-profit organizations. They need donated time from several sources in order to keep the public informed about their work. You could start your practice there. You can also start the process towards name recognition. Newspapers Newspapers are also a good place to begin your publications. Reporting jobs are difficult to land and may not be worth the time and effort that they require, but you can start with letters to the editor for great practice. You?ll see your name in print if you can write a clear letter addressing relevant topics. That could lead you to a relationship with the editor so that you can move into a few freelance jobs. Magazines As you query magazines for possible publication opportunities, you will do well to include some of your already published work. Whether you?ve been compensated or not, your name in print along with some representative writing will help you get an interview with a magazine editor. Now we can talk about how to become a published author for money. Magazines start writers at low wages with the opportunity to increase. Online Publications Online publications work in much the same way. You will probably find job postings on job boards. If you can demonstrate that you have been published somewhere before your chances of landing a paid job will increase. Anthologies As your skills improve, you will be able to step into jobs with books. Anthologies are filled with skillfully written pieces along some subject line. You will need to use all of your capabilities you have learned so far as in writing for an audience and creating a tone acceptable to the publication. If you can do that, you will start to enter into the world of books. You may want to stop there, or you may want to take your work further. Books Writing your own book will take time and work. As you think about how to become a published author, remember that you do not necessarily have to become a book author. Writers work in all fields, and some are limited to one or two. If you have enough motivation and capability, book writing can be a lucrative field to enter into. If you?d rather stick to short term projects though, stick with the magazines and other similar publications. If you need more information about how to become a published author, check out specific information about any of the above genres. The internet is a great source, but you can also support other writers monetarily by visiting your local book store.

Big Time Experience with Small Time Publications (writing newsletter articles) When you start writing, you may have ambitions of getting your name on the front page of newspapers and on feature stories in magazines, but you will soon find out that it takes time to get there. Even the best writers have to make their way through the ranks before making it to headline status. Don?t be discouraged though. Even though you may have been rejected more times than you could have ever imagined, there are still many places that will be accepting. Even if you feel like you?ve exhausted all of your creative power, there are publications that are ready to help you develop even further. The buildup is not leading towards riches or fame, but writing newsletter articles can be a great step in that direction. The first thing that any writer should realize is that there is more to learn. Even knowing all of the grammar and all of the clarity rules will not make you a good writer. Only experience can bring you to that place. Newsletters are a great place to start getting cleaning up your writing and to start learning to write for different audiences. Who Prints Newsletters? Why are newsletters such a great place to start earning publications? There are plenty of organizations and groups that print them. The printing money and the circulation are already in place. The other great thing about writing newsletter articles is that there is almost always a high demand for newsletter writers. The pay is not great and is most often non-existent, but the newsletters must go out all the same. Hit up any organization in town that you know prints a newsletter. Some of the printing is done nationally for the larger organizations, but many will be done locally. Try volunteer and non-profit organizations as well as university and church groups. These organizations will all have news that they need to get to the public. Many of them survive based on public donations. What that means for you is that there is plenty of demand for talented and interesting writers. The Expert in Print If you have any sort of claim to expertise along with your writing skills, you will be a fantastic candidate for writing newsletter articles. One great draw for a reader is the pull of a well researched and authoritative article. Imagine the thrilled group of environmentalists when you approach them with evidence that the developmental process for non-stick pan coating is connected to the decreasing population of Asian tortoises. You?d have a job in no time. Regardless of whether or not you got paid for your work, you can expect that you?d get repeated assignments, growing experience and bylines galore for your next step of job applications. Being knowledgeable about a certain subject will give you many writing opportunities. If you have any experience in a subject area, be sure to add it to your resume. As you write newsletter articles, you?ll only add to you?re your expertise. Other Newsletter Articles If you don?t necessarily believe that you have an area of expertise that is not a problem. There are many other ways to get into writing newsletter articles. A big part of newsletter content is just content. Newsletters need to be made up of interesting and varied articles. There are usually volunteers that head up the projects and they in turn hire various writers to fill in the titles that they choose. If you can be flexible in your writing and if you can find a newsletter that works with a topic you care about, you will be well on your way to building your resume with bylines and great circulation. Writing newsletter articles will probably not be a career in itself because of the low pay scale, but it will take you closer to a lucrative writing career. Think of writing newsletter articles as a type of community service. Even after you have added paying pieces to your repertoire you may continue to write for the newsletters that you care about.

Web Hosting - Changing Web Hosts, Pitfalls and Planning At some point, nearly everyone finds it necessary to change web hosts. It may be just a migration to another server, or it may be changing web hosting companies entirely. Either way, the process is fraught with potential dangers. But there are ways to minimize the odds of problems and maximize your changes of a smooth migration. Plan, plan, plan. Make a very detailed list of everything that is on your current system. Review what is static and what changes frequently. Note any tailoring done to software and files. Be prepared to remake them if the systems aren't transferred properly or can't be restored. Keep careful track of all old and new names, IP addresses and other information needed to make the migration. Backup and Test Backup everything on your system yourself, whenever possible. Web hosting companies typically offer that as a service, but the staff and/or software are often less than par. Often backups appear to go well, but they're rarely tested by restoring to a spare server. When the time comes that they're needed, they sometimes don't work. Do a dry run, if you can. Restore the system to its new location and make any needed changes. If you have the host name and or IP address buried in files, make sure it gets changed. This is often true of databases. SQL Server on Windows, for example, picks up the host name during installation. Moving a single database, or even multiple ones, to a new server is straightforward using in-built utilities or commercial backup/restore software. But moving certain system-related information may require changing the host name stored inside the master database. Similar considerations apply to web servers and other components. Accept Some Downtime Be prepared for some downtime. Very few systems can be picked up, moved to another place, then brought online with zero downtime. Doing so is possible, in fact it's common. But in such scenarios high-powered professionals use state-of-the-art tools to make the transition seamless. Most staff at web hosting companies don't have the skills or the resources to pull it off. Prepare for Name Changes One aspect of moving to a new host can bedevil the most skilled professionals: changing domain names and or domain name/IP address combinations. When you type a URL into your browser, or click on one, that name is used because it's easier for people to remember. www.yahoo.com is a lot easier to remember than 209.131.36.158. Yet the name and or name/IP address combination can (and does) change. Still, specialized servers called DNS (Domain Name System) servers have to keep track of them. And there are a lot of them. There may be only two (rarely) or there may be a dozen or more DNS servers between your visitors' browsers/computers and your web host. Every system along the chain has to keep track of who is who. When a name/IP address changes, that pair has to be communicated to everyone along the chain, and that takes time. In the meantime, it's possible for one visitor to find you at the new place, while another will be pointing to the old one. Some amount of downtime will usually occur while everything gets back in sync. The Little Gotchas But even apart from name and IP address changes, there are a hundred little things that can, and often do, go wrong. That's not a disaster. It's just the normal hurdles that arise when changing something as complicated as a web site and the associated systems that underlie it. Gather Tools and Support Having an FTP program that you're familiar with will help facilitate the change. That will allow you to quickly move files from one place to the next to do your part to get the system ready to go or make repairs. Making the effort to get to know, and become friendly with, support staff at the new site can be a huge benefit. They may be more willing to address your problem before the dozen others they have to deal with at any given moment. Ok. On your mark. Get ready. Go.