Dana Cassell from North Stratford, NH is visiting us today at Writers In Business. Dana is a freelance writer, author, editor as well as the founder and executive director of Florida Freelance Writers Association and Cassell Network of Writers (a.k.a The Writers-Editors Network). She began her career in 1971 and has a wealth of information to share.
On a recent afternoon, I sat down at my computer to gather information for this interview and was blown away by all Dana has to offer for writers and editors. The resources available on her site are comprehensive and include marketing tips, conferences & event listings, articles on getting an agent and syndication, and a bookstore geared toward the writing world.
Her site also offer 4 levels of paid membership with even more substantial benefits such as a monthly newsletter Freelance Writer's Report (which I’ve had the pleasure of reading and highly recommend!), and access to the private Members section of writers-editors.com where you will find postings of freelance jobs, new magazines, publications to avoid, and a listing of average payments for various kinds of writing-related work to help you set your fees. Members can also be listed in the Writer Data Bank, receive a Press ID card and access a toll free number for questions related to writing. This network is amazing!
~Dana, you have been linking professional writers and editors with those who need content and editorial services since 1982. Can you tell us how the process works?
Our process works in both directions. When clients or editors need something written or editorial help (e.g., proofreading, copyediting, revision), we can (a) send them contact information on those CNW members who meet their criteria, (b) post what they need on our private Member Bulletin Board (so their info is not out there on the Web for all to see), and/or (c) allow them to peruse our Member Bios posted on our Meet Writers Web pages or in our downloadable "Guide to CNW/FFWA Writers." Then from the other direction, our members can contact editors through our "Latest Markets" listings (new magazines with contact information posted almost daily in our Members section and republished each month in FWR), and by checking in our Bulletin Board page for job listings that come in through our site or that I find and link to by perusing dozens of job sites for writers (thereby saving our members much time). The
Bulletin Board is updated a couple times a day on most days.
~Can you share with us two of the most common questions you receive on the Member’s Hotline?
Most often, questions deal with how much to charge, which is often a bugaboo for freelancers. We do have a lengthy "Average Payments" page in our Members section, providing lowest, highest, and average payments our members have reported for various types of work and magazine genres. However, that "different" type of job will come along that's completely new to even the most established writer, and he or she will not be sure how to establish a job quote.
After that, I'd say they run the gamut -- from copyright issues to collecting from a slow- or non-paying publisher; the typical questions and issues that independent business people run into.
~What are some recent topics covered in Freelance Writer’s Report?
Because of the economic downturn, we've had a number of articles and tips this year on how to survive and even take advantage of it. (With both publishers and corporations cutting back on staff, many will turn to freelancers to take up the slack more than they did when they had full staffs to keep busy.) We've also had articles on staying organized with a submissions database, tips for maximizing book signings, successful speaking gigs, self-publishing, book promotion, and cutting costs in recent months.
~In addition to operating the Writers-Editors Network, you are a prolific writer contributing to retail trade magazines and moving on to pharmaceutical and medical topics. Can you tell us about your most recent book? What are you working on next?
My most recently published book is the Encyclopedia of Obesity and Eating Disorders - Third Edition (Facts On File). I am currently wrapping up the Encyclopedia of Pharmaceutical Drugs, and working on the Encyclopedia of Autoimmune Diseases - Second Edition (both for Facts On File).
If you are looking for information on how to improve the success of your business, be sure to stop by Writers-Editors.com. Dana knows her members and her old-fashioned personal attention is something no other network can provide!