Shop Talk: Hunting Down Good Sources to Interview

shoptalk copyFinding the right people to talk to for your articles can be a challenge at times, but getting the right sources can make a world of difference in how your final piece comes together. Thankfully, it’s a hurdle that’s easily overcome with some detective work and a little creative thinking. The process begins with the type of article you’re writing, the topic, and your specific angle. Nailing down those three elements makes figuring out the rest a lot easier. Then it’s time to rally the troops and get brainstorming to generate a list of potential sources. Here are some of the more common places to find prime candidates for generating the interview material you’re looking for.

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Shop Talk: 9 Twitter Tips for Freelance Game Journos

shoptalk copyNetworking is one of the most valuable skills you can develop as part of your freelance tool kit. Well-connected writers have a much easier time scoring gigs and drumming steady up work, and when it comes to socializing, making connections, and gathering the latest video game industry scuttlebutt, Twitter is where the action is at. Tons of editors, writers, and freelancers in the game journo world use Twitter daily, which is why it should be one of your top social networks of choice if you’re interested in landing writing gigs in the industry – freelance or otherwise. The more professional contacts you can make, the better off you’ll be. So whether you’ve just started out in the industry or have already gained some ground, here are some tips for using Twitter to boost your freelance career.

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Shop Talk: BOOM! The Bookpocalypse Is HERE!

shoptalk copyThis is it. Zero hour. My first book Up Up Down Down Left WRITE: The Freelance Guide to Video Game Journalism is finally out in the wilds, available in print and on the Kindle (and assorted e-devices via the free Kindle Reader app)! It’s been a crazy launch day, and I’ve been really encouraged by the response so far. Creating a book from the ground up has been an amazing and intense experience, and it’s awesome to have it finally out! Rather than ramble on and on about it, I figure I’ll cap off a long day with a few bits of what other folks have been saying about the book online and through social networks! Oh yeah, and you’ll also find links to where you can buy the thing!

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Up Up Down Down Left WRITE Book Launch Date Announced!

bowkerscoverHUMANS OF THE EARTH! I’m stoked to announce that my upcoming book, Up Up Down Down Left WRITE: The Freelance Guide to Video Game Journalism, will officially launch on August 5th in print ($14.99) and on Kindle ($8.99)! It’s been a long, crazy trip, but this beast is ready to birth. Huge thanks and shoutouts are in order to my freelance colleague and Mac|Life editor Andrew Hayward for pouring a tremendous amount of time and energy into working with me to edit this book in its various incarnations. Also to @GAMER magazine EIC and industry vet Andy Eddy for writing a stellar foreword and offering additional editorial feedback. Last but not least to the mazillion (ok, a few hundred) Kickstarter backers who helped make the creation of this book possible.

So anyhow, for those of you who haven’t been paying attention the past six months, here’s the skinny on what this book is all about and why you should totally buy it!

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Back Cover for the Book (Work-in-Progress Shot)

imageJust had to share this. You’re looking at a quick and dirty photo of the work-in-progress painting for the back cover of my upcoming book Up Up Down Down Left WRITE: The Freelance Guide to Video Game Journalism. I am consistently blown away with the amazing work cover artist Blake Wheeler comes up with – particularly since I usually provide him with a crappy Photoshop doodled and hand-scribbled mess with vague notes. This is what he comes up with. Amazing! He’s also been a really stellar guy to work with.

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Freelance Game Journo Guide Book Update

mockupcover copySo once upon a time some freelance writer dude who makes a living writing about video games for lots of awesome magazines and websites across the universe had an idea: to write a book and jam-pack it full of in-depth, useful advice for aspiring game journos and established writers looking to carve out a career freelancing in the game industry. Oh hey, that’s me! And the book? Up Up Down Down Left WRITE: The Freelance Guide to Video Game Journalism. It’s coming out in just a few more months! Here’s an update on the project, where it’s at, and how you can help (if you feel so inclined) to spread the word as we gear up for this launch, DIY style. Continue reading

8 Apps for Starting Your Own Blog (@MacLife)

“It’s easier than ever to put your ideas online and in front of an eager audience these days. There are a ton of different reasons why you might want to start your own blog. Perhaps you want a space to share your writing. Maybe you like posting comics or pictures of your friends. You might even want to share your disgruntled rants at the end of a particularly crappy work week. Whatever the case, options for blogging right from your iOS device are plentiful. Grab these apps to give your blogging life a big boost.”

Check out the full article here at Mac|Life.

Less Than 4 Days Left: An Ominous Kickstarter Infographic (and Chuck Norris)

See that up there? That’s what impending doom for my book Kickstarter looks like. Maybe. We need to raise $4,000 in under four days. Actually…three days, seven hours, and about 15 minutes at the time I write this. Yeah. Slow and steady may win the race for some, but in this case we need this thing to spread faster than a zombie plague in the next few days if it’s going to make hit the necessary $7,000 mark by 5pm EST on Sat. Sept 8th.

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Book Kickstarter Update: The Big Push (We Need One)

First off, a huge thanks to everyone who’s been pitching in to help spread the word and contribute to the Kickstarter campaign for my book: Up Up Down Down Left WRITE – The Freelance Guide To Video Game  Journalism. It’s been a wild ride so far, with lots of ups and downs, and we’re nearing the end – for better or worse. I’ve added a lot of awesome bonus rewards and incentives in the past week, and we still have a LOT to raise in the remaining 8 days before the funding deadline, so I figured a big update was in order.  Please read on, because I super need your help.

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Kickstarter Mentioned on Wired / GeekDad

Poking around the internet this weekend, I discovered that Wired’s GeekDad blog did a nice news blurb about Up Up Down Down Left WRITE and the Kickstarter. Super psyched! With only 12 days left to the Kickstarter and approx $5,200 left to raise, this is a nice little boost! Getting close to the home stretch, which is when I’ll really need any interested folks who’ve been considering backing it to step up to the plate and kick out the backer jams – uh yeah, mixed metaphors.

Anyway! You can read the Wired piece here on GeekDad.