Saturday, June 04, 2005

The Writer's Gold Mine

Pssst. It’s a secret—not that I want it to be. This week I made a rough calculation of the number of pages in Right Writing News which is loaded with how-to write material.  I’ve produced 19 issues and most of them average around 20 pages for a total of at least 380 pages

The newsletter is free but only to subscribers. Except for only a few exceptions, these newsletters contain articles that do not appear anywhere else on the website. You have to subscribe to have access to these articles.

This week I looked into the circulation of a couple of print magazines targeted to writers. The Writer is one of the oldest publications and it’s circulation is about 40,000 copies. Then I looked into Writer’s Digest and saw its circulation is about 150,000.  Admittedly these print magazines are a different type of publication than my newsletter—but in other ways they are similar in containing quality how-to write information. My circulation for the Right Writing News is less than 3,000 but I’d love for it to grow. 

Here’s my idea: if each of you reading this entry about the Writing Life could encourage others to subscribe, then the list would grow. Maybe you participate in an online forum or write for a printed publication or just have a bunch of writer friends. Please tell them about this writer’s gold mine. Encourage them to go to this little link: http://snipurl.com/rwnews  My advance appreciation for anything you do in this area.

I’m going to take a moment in this entry and tell you about two free Internet tools and why I use them on a regular basis. The first is called TinyURL. In an instant, you can take a long Internet address and change it into a short one. For example, I took this URL: http://www.right-writing.com/newsletter.html and changed it into http://tinyurl.com/d5h5g (if you check, each URL goes to exactly the same place). Why make this change? You have no idea what will happen to an address as it is sent in an email or newsletter. The shorter the URL, the greater the chance that it will be preserved (and not broken in the process). TinyURL took a name which was 44 characters and reduced it to 24 characters. It’s not a huge saving but it’s something. I recommend TinyURL as a great tool.

Another URL tool which I use more often is called SnipURL.com. If you register at this site (free), then when you return to Mysnipurl.com (the personalized section of the site), you can personalize the shorter URLs. As an example again using the same link (http://www.right-writing.com/newsletter.html), SnipURL.com changed it into two forms. First, they give a generic name to it: http://snipurl.com/fcpa with only four letters to remember (or at times, it’s a letters and number combination). SnipURL.com allows you to designate your own name (at least five letters and no more than 20 characters). Usually this personalized format is easier to remember (at least for me). For this example, I made this link: http://snipurl.com/rwnews 

Behind the scenes at Mysnipurl.com, I’ve learned to use the “Title” field in addition to the “nickname.” After I make a URL, I return to Mysnipurl.com and edit the newly created URL. I add a Title or an explanation about the specific URL (for example the book title and that it’s an Amazon.com link—which is normally a very long URL).

Why make this additional effort? I have hundreds of shortened URLs stored on this site.  At the bottom of the page, Snipurl.com has a search feature. If I need to return to a previously snipped URL, I can quickly find it with this search feature—usually through the “Title.”

OK. Now back to my writer’s gold mine or the Right Writing News.  I need help to let others know about the value of this free resource.  Paste this link somewhere you can remember it: http://snipurl.com/rwnews I’d love for as many people as possible to know about this gold mine for writers. 

1 Comment:

At 8:47 AM, Anonymous Anonymous Left a note...

Cool! I just signed up and will tell all the people on my loops!


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