I’m really psyched to announce that my new book, Interview Fu: The Game Journo Guide To Conducting Killer Interviews, is OUT NOW (Print + Kindle)! I’ve been hard at work since the launch of UUDDLW last year to crack open my brain and pour out a decade’s worth of interviewing advice from my years as both a newspaper reporter and a freelance game journalist onto the page. Interview Fu distills all of my knowhow and experience on this important subject into useful tips and intriguing tales of troubleshooting. Even better, I also interviewed other notable writing pros from the game industry and a handful of game developers to get their take on what makes a great interview, how to better engage interviewees, and much more. This small but useful tome is exploding with a one-two punch of intel designed to take your journalism skills to the next level – whether you’re a freelancer, newsie, feature writer, author, or aspiring game journo ninja!
Just 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.
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.
Hey humans of the Internet! Do you dig reading my Shop Talk and Ask The Freelance Dude columns here on the ye olde work blog? If so, then you’re going to (hopefully) love this. I’ve been working hard behind the scenes for the past year to write a full book covering the many ins and outs of how to freelance in the video game industry. The book, lovingly dubbed “Up Up Down Down Left WRITE: The Freelance Guide to Video Game Journalism,” is about two-thirds finished, and I’m getting everything together that I need to wrap-up the book and self-publish it. But I need your help to push this thing over the finish line and make it super awesome, so I’m launching a Kickstarter later this week! Here’s a little more detail about the project.
Getting to paid to write about video games is a damn fine thing to strive for. A lot of writers looking to break into game journalism hope to find a way to make a decent living slapping words together about their favorite hobby. It’s a reasonable goal — one that’s achievable with hard work and patience, but the adventure itself is often a long one fraught with pitfalls and perils. The key to weathering the stormy moments is to string together many small victories over time until you’ve got a sturdy enough raft to keep your freelance business sailing smoothly.
Alright. It’s time to explore the other side of the fence. This is not a black and white world where pious hoity-toity angels in glowing robes engage in epic battle with cloven-hoofed demons from the underworld who crap fireballs day in and day out. There are times when it makes a lot of sense to get your work out there even if you’re not getting paid for it yet – at least when you’re starting out. Doing a little freebie writing for a smaller gaming site can build clips, gain important contacts, and lead to paying work at bigger outlets down the road. But keep in mind: awesome paying freelance opportunities rarely fall out of the sky unless you’ve been launching barrages of cannon fire to the heavens.
There’s been some very interesting game journalism-related discussions flying around the internet lately. Amidst the doom and gloom and ensuing debate over whether being a freelance game journalist is a viable profession (in short: it is, if you work your ass off), I accidentally stumbled across a more productive and highly entertaining source of game freelancing-related discussion. The Freelancers is fast becoming a must-listen podcast series for anyone with even a passing interest in game journalism – whether you want to know how to get involved or are have already been in the game for years. Run by freelancers Xav de Matos and Kyle Horner, the regular bi-weekly show tackles a broad range of game journalism-related subjects and regularly features interview discussions with well-known writers and editors. Kudos for stepping up to the plate guys, now let’s all pay attention and get involved in the discussion.