A lot of aspiring authors don’t give any immediate consideration to what happens next beyond completion of that first magical book they’ve always dreamed of writing. I understand why. If you’re just starting out, the process of simply hunkering down to complete one traditional length book can feel like climbing a mountain. When you’re at the base looking up at the steep challenges ahead, it can be tough to imagine yourself making it to your goal intact.
Now you can see why so many would-be authors always seem to be caught in perpetual stasis. “I’m still working on my book” syndrome is a hard affliction to beat. Those who do make it and persevere to see their book through to launch, however, soon learn that having that first book out in the world feels amazing, but it’s not enough.
You might have noticed it’s been a little quiet around these parts lately. That’s because I’ve been hard at work wrapping up my second (and third books) over the holiday months! With the launch of UUDDLW in 2013 wrapping up a wild and diverse year, I’m excited to forge ahead into 2014 with a lot of new book projects in the works. I may have mentioned it here and there in passing to a few people, but I wanted to take a moment to formally announce the new Game Journo Guides Series, talk about my new book Interview Fu coming out later this month, and give a quick update on other bookish things coming down the pike from me this year!
Oh, man. It’s that holiday season thing again, isn’t it? What? Gahhh! That means there’s so much crazy holiday shopping to look forward to in the months ahead. Awesome?! If you’re looking for that special gift (or massive pile of gifts) for that special game journo or writerly-type person in your life, never fear! Here’s the first installment of my multi-part series on killer gift picks for writers, game journalists, and nerd-folks. First up? BOOKS. BOOKS. BOOKS. BOOKS!
The publishing landscape is changing dramatically. When it comes to writing and launching a new book, DIY is increasingly becoming the way to go these days. The reasons are numerous. You have more control over the end product and more freedom to experiment. Also, it’s faster, there’s less risk involved, and you can get a disgustingly better royalty rate than with traditional publishers. Self-publishing isn’t what it was a decade ago. It’s way better, though you still have to do most of the heavy lifting yourself. Sadly, that’s often becoming the case with a lot of traditionally published authors too. So why not take control and put together your book on your own terms?
Having a little fun. Made a silly little book trailer for my new book Up Up Down Down Left WRITE: The Freelance Guide to Video Game Journalism – out now on Kindle and in Print! You can check it out here!
Pitching a steady stream of articles is one of the most important recurring tasks you need to stay on top of as a freelancer. Whether you’re trying to break into a new outlet or are simply feeding fresh ideas to editors you already work with, it can be a real challenge to track the status of the many queries you’re constantly sending out into the editorial world. Many fall by the wayside, but you shouldn’t let them grow cold for too long. Undead pitches can sometimes make the best pitches.
Even when you have a decent amount of work on your plate, hunting down fresh gig leads is an important part of any freelancer’s regular routine. I spend a lot of time researching new publications to pitch, scoping out potential opportunities, and gathering resources to keep my freelance ship afloat during the inevitable slow spells and rough patches that pop-up along the way on this thrilling writing adventure. Here’s a rundown of some great hotspots around the web for sleuthing out paying gig leads. Read on for the goods!
It’s possible to write elegantly without weaving an overabundance of flowery words throughout your prose. Just because a big word looks and sounds cool in the thesaurus doesn’t mean it belongs in your game review or feature article. Instead of writing to make yourself sound intellectually stimulating, try writing in a conversational tone that’s more digestible and easier to read. Your readers shouldn’t have to pull out a dictionary to decode what you’re trying to say.
Yesterday, I joined former game journo editor and Critical Path author Dan Amrich for a video interview on Google Hangout with the rad folks at GameZone. We had a fun time chatting about how we got our start as freelancers in the game industry and tackled a range of questions related to writing, freelancing, and game journalism. It was a great time and a fun way to promote our books. If you’re interested in writing about games at all, check out my new book Up Up Down Down Left WRITE: The Freelance Guide to Video Game Journalismwhich is heavily focused on the freelance end of things. Dan also has a great book that’s been out for a while now called Critical Path: How to Review Videogames for a Living, which is more of a general tome focused on the art of reviewing games and working on staff at game publications.