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 September, 2007


What Writers Must Know about Internet Commerce
 by: Jo Ann LeQuang

Let's assume you're a writer and you want to make money by writing. In the olden days (last year, maybe) you would think up an article idea, hammer a few paragraphs out, and then check with some editors if they were interested in buying a finished product. (continued below...)

Soliciting Articles for our new Author-India.com write


Published Christian Author Seeking Joint Authors for New Works


By Ian Johnson

I am the co-author, with Lauston Stephens, of Our Oneness in Christ (ISBN 1-4241-6035-9) (see Reserve Books' review of our book). I am seeking joint authors to participate in the completion of three other projects on the general subject of Christian unity, starting from some seed material already written (but likely to be substantially revised) and including a good deal of new material that remains to be written.   I am seeking others to join me in writing these works for several reasons, including:  1) the scriptural pattern, in which God's messengers were usually sent in pairs or groups to do their work (the solitary prophet is the exception to the rule); 2) the need to make the process by which the new works are created an example of the unified effort they will teach; 3) the need for mentoring in my own gift; 4) the great advantage of having more than one listening for what God is saying, that everything may be established in the mouth of two or three witnesses; 5) the need for others to be involved in the work to keep it "on course" both doctrinally and stylistically; and 6) the advantage, if possible, of having a joint author or even a coordinating lead author who possesses recognized academic and/or ministerial credentials (without which the organized Church, unfortunately, tends to ignore the message presented).
For more than twelve years, I have been writing material, most of it on the general subject of the unity of the Body of Christ, the reasons we should be demonstrating unity, and the ways to overcome obstacles to that unity. I have been doing most of this work by myself, and posting it on the Internet. Initially, I was singing a unity solo.  Then, about nine years ago, Lauston Stephens started contributing pieces for one of my websites.  I was no longer soloing, though I remained the author of most of the material on the websites.  Finally, about two years ago, a third person (who later withdrew from the project), suggested that we jointly write a book.  This was the beginning of Our Oneness in Christ.
I am now proposing three new books, starting from "seed" material already posted on my websites.  The first proposed book, Behold the Glory, would revise and complete the first three sections of a systematic theology I've already started on my website.  In this theology, I have attempted to make clear what God's Word says on each subject, carefully avoiding any group's denominational interpretations of Scripture and also carefully avoiding theological terminology not found in the Bible itself. My vision for this document was and is that it will promote reconciliation within the Church, the Body of Christ, by providing a basis for reconciliation of doctrinal differences that have been used for centuries to justify warfare within the Church.
The second proposed book, Reconciling Some Issues that Divide the Church (this title is negotiable!), as I see it now, would be divided into three topics, though I am open to addressing more topics than this.  The first section will cover the concept that, although poor logic, faulty reasoning and bad assumptions are not the underlying cause of most divisions, most divisions would die with their founders if they did not become institutionalized through organized insistence on the fuzzy reasoning justifying them.  The second section will discuss the role of Church entanglements with worldly political divisions in perpetuating division. Just as fuzzy reasoning is necessary to perpetuate and institutionalize divisions in the Church, entanglement with worldly political divisions is often the deciding factor that forces these divisions to become irreconcilable at the institutional level. The third section will approach a moderate alternative position to the divisive issue of speaking in tongues:, namely, recognition of the validity of speaking in tongues and the possibility that it may function as a demonstration of the Spirit's activity in the lives of some, joined with the recognition that it is not the only, or even necessarily the usual, evidence of the Spirit's work..
The third proposed book, How God Brings Reconciliation Through Us, as I presently envision it, will cover three ways in which God uses us to bring reconciliation to each other and to the world: our worship, our life together in community, and our evangelism.   The first section, entitled "Worship," will set forth the fundamental principle that God brings reconciliation to His Body, and through us, in our unity, to the world, through our worship. However, true "worship"—that "worship" that brings reconciliation—is NOT a musical genre. Rather, "worship" is the sacrifice of our lives to God, which shows in everything we do. This section will discuss various aspects of worship, that is, the ways true worship is revealed in various parts of our lives and attitudes.   The second section will develop the community aspect of oneness which my first book Our Oneness in Christ did not address in detail (although possible points of departure are found in Chapters 3, 4, 7-9 and 12 of that book).  The third section will address the subjects of what "evangelism" is (or is meant to be), who should do it, and how God brings reconciliation to the world through it. 
For a more detailed presentation of my proposals, including links to "seed" pieces that have already been written, see my web page seeking joint authors.
To learn more about me, see my author bio on ReserveBooks.com
Please prayerfully consider joining me in this work.
Ian Johnson



What Writers Must Know (continued)

If you were lucky, you sold it. If you were not exactly unlucky, the editor rejected your idea but paid you to go out and write something else. And the most common response was a great big bunch of nothing. No response. No answer. No sale.

You have probably heard that a writer can make money on the Internet, but you're probably thinking, "How on earth is that possible?" After all, just about every job offer that comes to writers for Internet type stuff pays less than even a skinflint magazine editor would have paid ten years ago for the same material. The big difference is that the Internet publishers seeking writing support want their content virtually overnight and the old-fashioned editors did not mind giving you a few weeks.

There are two ways to make money on the Internet and they mirror the ways people make money in the brick-and-mortar business world. First, you can sell something. Whether it's ceiling fans or candles or airline tickets, you can make money if you have a product that you can trade to people for cash.

The other way you can make money online is by selling advertising. The best models for this include TV programs, magazines, and newspapers. Take a TV program; it's content that is offered for free to people who want to see it. A newspaper isn't exactly free, but it contains a lot of high-value content from around the world and it's offered at a very nominal fee (less than it costs to print it, I bet) to just about anyone who wants it. They'll even bring it to your house every morning! Who else will deliver for a product that does not even cost a dollar-for no extra shipping and handling fee?

Then there are magazines. They cost more but they're still a great buy considering the content you get, the articles, the pictures, and the sheer volume of printed pages.

So how do these enterprises make money? They do it by offering content that people want and then selling advertisement. TV shows make money because they sell some of their viewing time to advertisers who offer commercials. Newspapers and magazines do take in some subscription money, but the thing that keeps them in business is ad revenue.

And how do advertisers manage to survive? Smart businesses know the best opportunities for their particular type of advertisements. There's a whole science to that. If a well-placed smart commercial on a certain TV show increases sales, then everybody wins. The company earns money because the ad draws customers; the TV show earns money because it sells time (and eyeballs) to the advertiser.

You can build a website that features lots of top-quality content and then sell advertising on that site.

Now you can't just throw up any old site (and the operative word here is "throw up") and figure that advertising will work. You need a quality product. You also have to offer something of value.

That's where the good news comes in: you're a writer.

You can create your own online magazine of sorts. The goal is to attract people interested in the same subject to look at your site. There's a whole science to that, too. But if you do it right, people on your site may be interested in ads on related subjects.

The Internet is all about niches. Let's say you want to write about dogs. Bad idea. It's too broad for the Internet. With the Internet you have to think narrow. You could write about dog training. Or adopting poodles from the pound. Or photographing dogs.

The idea is that your highly targeted information will resonate with a particular subset of readers. With billions of Internet search a year, you don't need to have broad appeal to get a big audience.

Then you sell advertising. Now in the traditional business model, that meant pounding the pavement, talking to potential advertisers, and often working with them to get an ad finalized. Then you had to hound them for payment.

On the Internet, you can sign up with search providers to put ads on your site. These ads (offered by the big search engines) use electronic algorithms to automatically match ads by content to your site so that your dog training site won't offer ads for gastric bypass surgery. You don't sell a single ad: you merely clear some room for Google or Yahoo to put ads on your site. They match the ads to your content.

In the print world of our ancient ancestors, an advertiser paid if his ad ran, regardless of whether anyone responded. Internat ads work on a different model; they run for free and the advertiser pays only when somebody clicks on them. This is what is meant when they say advertisers pay for clicks.

The good news is that you can find qualified advertisers and start generating ad revenues from a website pretty quickly without ever having direct contact with your advertisers.

You can also get advertisers the old-fashioned way by selling space on your site to individual vendors. Those arrangements are worked out individually.

Savvy Internet entrepreneurs can make money either selling products (including electronic products like e-books or online courses and now even online audios) or selling advertising or a bit of both. There are strategies for what to use and how, but those are the basics.

So what exactly does this mean for us writers? Writers need to start thinking about what they write not just in terms of how to tell the story, but how to best position the content in the marketplace.

If you can set up a wholesale arrangement with local or even international vendors, you can sell products using a "shopping cart" type website, lots of photos, and some cool product descriptions.

If you have the expertise (or can get it) and can write about how to beat a speeding ticket, land a job working on a cruise ship, or sell your home without a real estate agent, you can write electronic content (e-book, e-course, other materials that are delivered online including audios and videos) and sell that.

First, of course, you have to understand how these kinds of enterprises actually function. Even some off-the-wall business angles are good to study, because the same principles always apply. You target a specific niche market, develop content to attract visitors, and then sell either advertising, products, or both.

About The Author
Jo Ann LeQuang writes for a living. If you would like to write for a living or write for a better living, find out more of what she has to say at http://www.workingonlinewriter.com .



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Publishing New Writers,

September, 2007 (no. 809)


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