Copyrights and Scholarly Writing

An interesting article by librarian Bryn Geffert outlines the many issues and absurdities of copyright laws as they apply to academic writing. The article begins by outlining the ludicrous amount of tedious record-keeping that must be done in order to comply with these laws; Geffert is in the midst of writing a book and requires excerpts of various copyrighted works to be included. The author notes how little many of the copyright holders even care about their works begin used and how even the missing and dead copyright holders must be accounted for. The absurdity of the situation is amplified by the cost to perform all this work, which comes out to be more than the cost to produce the book itself. Geffert suggests a multitude of solutions to this problem, a promising one being that universities will agree under a Creative Commons license to make published works accessible to other universities.

I think that the trent that Geffert describes will begin to take more shape in the years to come. As people realize that copyright laws are getting ridiculous, and as the cost is realized as well, it seems likely that adjustments will be made. Still, since many of these laws are long incorporated into the system, it’s hard to say how soon changes will take place. The first changes to occur will probably be the ones by the universities in which they each publish work under this Creative Commons license to make it more readily available. It seems that universities are realizing the need to amend copyright laws more immediately that other organizations, and this will likely prompt them to be the first to act.


How Much Are You Worth?

Do your fingers race across the keyboard in fervent excitement to share new and innovative news to the masses? Do people come to you for your opinion and insight on current events and ask for your predictions on future trends? If you answered yes to either of those questions, then you may have the beginnings of a blog that has potential to make you a large amount of money. How? By telling your story! Well, sort of. It’s the traffic of unique visitors to your blog that will generate that large amount of money through Ad Sales. Companies are lining up and reaching out more than ever to advertise on such blogs that will in turn generate traffic to their own sites or products and make them money. Individuals are making six figure incomes annually and some even monthly! Expert bloggers and analysts strongly believe that people of the general public are able to make a living from blogging but that it won’t be cake walk nor happen overnight. Listed in the link are some noteworthy bloggers that turned their point of view writing into multimillion dollar businesses. This lucrative business is fairly new but on a steady rise as more publishing content is turned digital. So for anyone that has a strong passion in the field of blogging and looking to strike it big, how much are you worth?

Facebook, Instagram, Twitter

Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter are the key ways to get your blog heard.  It may seem simple, but it is actually a more lengthy process than just posting your work.  I don’t really consider myself a blogger or anything, but my sister on the other hand is very good at getting her posts shared through social media.  When originally asking her about how she gets so many people to read her posts, I was astounded.  She told me that self-promotion is only half the battle because, quite frankly, nobody really cares about what you have to say if it isn’t something that is crazy exciting to them.  You need to give them a reason to want to share your work.  I think my sister has found out a pretty good ten step formula here on how to get that done.  It is very indirect, and many people don’t notice that they’re even helping you out.

Step 1: Be on social media a few times a day (I’m sure many of us are already on it too much!)

Step 2: Add as many friends (that you know, not random people) as possible.

Step 3: Check your birthday list of Facebook daily, and wish your friends a happy birthday! They will remember this.

Step 4: Check their other social media accounts, like Instagram, and comment a happy birthday if they’ve posted.

Step 5: Like and comment on anything they post that is semi-interesting. The more they see you, the more they notice you.

Step 6: Share or ReTweet any interesting posts they have.

Step 7: Make a comment about, and tag them in any posts that you think they would find interesting.

Step 8: Post at least every couple of days, not just about what you want people to follow but about everything.

Step 9: Share what you want promoted.

Step 10: Let the friends do the promoting for you.

The biggest point that she made was that you don’t want your friends to follow your few important blog posts every now and then, you want them to follow your life. They will remember you, they will feel closer to you, and they will have the motive, exigence, prompting them to share your hard work!

Blogging Trends for 2015

This article is intended to help anybody who publishes their writing online, but is particularly suited for bloggers of all interests. I maintain a beauty blog, primarily as a hobby and also with the goal of improving my writing skills and social media presence. I am also in the early stages of developing a travel blog, so I am always trying to find new ways to improve my content and increase my readership.

The two tips which I find most important here are “Go Mobile or Go Home,” and “Respond – But Stay Positive or Stay Silent.” It’s no secret that any online community or social platform comes with its share of nasty comments. A stranger recently commented on a post on my beauty blog, “advertising” his own Christ-centric blog by blasting the vain contents of my post. After leaving his nasty comments, he even left a link for me to share his blog with other readers! That’s a real-life lesson in how not to grow your blog! He certainly didn’t win me over with his remarks, therefore stunting his own traffic. As for me, I swallowed the urge to call him out on his unkind (and frankly, un-Christlike) comments and deleted the comment without acknowledging it. I preferred to let my own post take center stage.

This article is worth checking out for anyone who frequently shares their writing online. It has plenty of great advice and tips on how to make your blog (or other platforms!) successful and well-liked. These trends should carry on well beyond 2015!

Self-Promotion is Key to Publishing Success

I’ve read the truth in countless articles: 90% of becoming a successfully published author is dependent upon your ability to market yourself. Sure, your teacher might have said your short story would launch your career, but how do you even get to that point? More importantly, how can you maintain that momentum?

This article offers a brief glance at the most popular forms of social media, for businesses and individuals alike. These are the platforms with the best proven success rates, and which are most likely to grow and offer continued benefits. Twitter, blogs and even podcasts are all recommended to help spread the word and alert new readers of your work. We all know that it’s more than the content of your work. It’s equally, if not much more important to represent yourself well and amass a following. Click to find out more about which platforms are likely to play a key role in your development as a published writer.

The invasion of e-books

With the internet and the switch to digital media over the past few years, life has changed. Instead of reading a newspaper we read it online or as an e-book. Instead of buying a book at the bookstore, you download it on your iPad or Kindle. Rather than buy a textbook for your class, you get the e-textbook version instead. Everything is online, including our literature but what is that doing to us? Unfortunately e-books seem to have put a decline on reading in general.

A study done by the Pew Internet Research Center, although the readership of e-books rose 7% between 2011-2013, the readership of print 5%, and reading in general dropped 3%. What will this mean for readers and writers? Although the amount of reading dropped it is anticipated that the e-book revenue will be around 7 billion dollars, so it is doubtful researchers believe it will drop much more. Will e-books take over the industry?

Will Children’s Books be all E-books in the Future?

I was lucky enough to come across this NPR  talking about “The Future of Children’s Books”. The two guests that were speaking, Dan Poynter a consultant and publisher for Para Publishing and Roxie Munro a children’s author and illustrator. The host asked both Dan and Roxie where they thought the future of children’s books were heading. Much to my chagrin, both Dan and Roxie felt that ultimately, e-books would become the future. So when asked what she thought the future, even a bleak one, for old-fashioned printed kid’s books was, Roxie responded, ” Well I don’t think they’re dead. But frankly, I think within one generation- maybe 30 years- very few households will have bookshelves and few people will have libraries just like thy collect art or stamps or fine prints… but I don’t think, sadly, that the average house will have a bookshelf in 30 years.” Dan seemed less optimistic about the future of printed books and is all for e-books. Dan Poynter even wrote “The Self- Publishing Manual”. According to Dan, “11 million parents have purchased an e-book, and 19.6 million parents plan to buy and e-book. So the numbers are huge.”

While these two, Dan and Roxie, might feel that the only direction is e-books for the future, I think there are plenty of people who would still enjoy reading a hard copy books and would like their children to do so as well. What do you think?


We’ve Come to a Standstill

According to statistics on USAToday, E-books account for only 20% of the total book sales market. As of 2013 there was no increase in the e-book sales, it remained the same accounting for 43%.  Many of the publishing companies find this to be a slowdown, as nothing has risen and will likely not rise for the time being. In the article, Mike Shatzkin who is a publishing consultant say, “We’ve just reached a point of natural resistance- there are people who really prefer to read on paper even if it is cheaper, faster, and easier to read on a device.” I know that personally, I am one of those people who prefer paper. I have only read two books on my mobile device and it really isn’t the same feeling as reading a paper book.

These statistics can change by the end of the year, however, for those who do prefer paper books, we need to make sure we are out there supporting those sales. I know that books and e-books can be higher than we would like to pay but there are so many different places where books are sold and if you find the right sales, even Barnes and Noble will sell some books for $3-$5.

While I am all for new technology, I don’t want it to completely erase or take over my preference of reading paper books.


Magazines and digital media

With everything going digital in today’s technological age it seems only fitting that digital magazines would become the future, but it seems that may not be the case. Out of all print gone digital magazines were left behind. An article in Forbes says the digitization of magazines will most likely have similar results to the podcast, meaning they will not last long with the audiences.

Digital magazines may be a thing of the future but as of right now they are hardly a thing of the present. Forbes writer Ewan Spence says this is because the opportunity was missed, he says, “the vision of a shelf full of digital magazines in a single application is over, and the content is going to be spread out, diffuse, and hard to find. Just as podcasting will never be as cohesive as it once was, the moment when there could have been a universal solution that satisfied publishers, readers, and distributors of digital magazines appears to have been missed.” If it is anything like Spence predicts then magazines will remain mainly a print publication, staying away from the digital world.

Are Travel Journalists Turning into Travel Bloggers?

Travel journalism has always been a very lucrative job. Most people think that travel journalists get to travel around the world, all expenses paid and all they have to do is write about their experiences but that is false. Travel journalism is a very competitive market and it is hard to make your work stand out from all the others.

It is currently becoming even harder to be a travel journalist because print publications are failing; there are less places for journalists to publish their work. Some travel journalist have turned to blogs because it is the only place where they can publish their work. Blogging is a new phenomenon that has taken over the 21st century.

Because of the recent decline of jobs for journalists, most journalists are freelancing or publishing their work onto blogs, or some other online website. Newspapers and magazines are slowly going under, which is putting a lot of people out of work. Even though print is becoming extinct, this introduces a whole new world for online publications.

If you can land a solid job with an online publication- wonderful- but a lot of journalists are left struggling with nowhere to publish their work. If you do blogging the right way, you can eventually make a lot of money but this will take a lot of time, experience and patience. In order to be a successful blogger, you must make your blog stand out from all of the other hundreds of blogs on the internet.

Travel writers who work for a publication usually have a larger audience because that publication probably has a large audience. Travel bloggers audience may be a little smaller but the people who are reading your travel blog is because they like YOU. They are on your blog because they like what you are offering.

Your blog should completely represent your personality. Everything about it should be dripping with you and screaming your name. It takes a long time, to create a successful blog but if you work hard enough you could eventually make hundreds and thousands of dollars from your work on your blog. Doesn’t that sound exciting?

No matter who are where you decide to work in the journalism industry, it is always going to require a lot of hard work and dedication. Nothing for a journalist comes easy and we spend most of our time trying to find the perfect fact and source for our stories but it is all worth it in the end, when what we write impacts someone, somewhere.