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BOOK-REVIEWS


MAKE A REAL LIVING AS A FREELANCE WRITER,
How to Win Top Writing Assignments  by Jenna Glatzer,
Nomad Press, Independent Publishers Group,
814 N. Franklin St., Chicago, IL. 60610
Book Review by Maryanne Raphael, Writers World

MAKE A REAL LIVING AS A FREELANCE WRITER explains how to be successful “in today’s publishing climate where the Internet rules and stamps are nearly obsolete and the articles that earned front-page headlines last decade wouldn’t even get short blurbs today.” The book shows how to earn top dollars writing for magazines, how to write a marketable story, how to know what sections of a magazine welcome freelancers, how to market reprints, and how to become an expert in your chosen field.
Author Jenna Glatzer is the editor-in-chief of Absolute Write and author of Outwitting Writer’s Block. She is a full time writer from NYC who has published 9 books and hundreds of articles. Her style makes reading fun with her quick wit, vast experience, knowledge of her subject and her use of meaningful quotes, relevant anecdotes and helpful resources.
She says,”You’ll have to learn where to find writing markets and how to study them, write irresistible query letters, make editors fall in love with you, get regular assignments, negotiate, make deadbeats pay up and more.” She helps discover your strengths and how to use them.,, shows you how to set goals, see writing as a business and get started.
“You must find something worth telling to a mass audience,” she says, “and convince the ‘powers that be’ that you’re the right person to tell it.”
She even tells how to make the most of rejection slips, how to network, write a column, interview, write for the Internet, have a Web Site, and make your article timely. She shows how to become your editor’s favorite by being “reliable, accurate, nice, respectful of the editor’s time and by proposing plenty of new ideas with regularity.”
Author Glatzer helps readers learn from her mistakes as well as her achievements. After stating that big magazines do not want stories that have appeared elsewhere, she tells how she goofed once . “You shouldn’t be a dummy like me and actually emphasize this as a selling point in your query.”
The book tells everything you need to know about taxes once you start earning money from your writing. By the time you finish this book, according to the author, “You’ll have the insider knowledge you need to figure out what sells to whom and how to build up and sustain a lucrative career while wearing pajamas.”. I’d recommend the book to anyone who wants to try freelance writing.


Self-Promotion for the Creative Person
Get the Word Out About Who You Are and What You Do by Lee Silber,
Three Rivers Press, New York
Book Review by Maryanne Raphael, Writers World

Self-Promotion for the Creative Person teaches creative self-employed people how to promote their talents and services quickly and effectively. It shows artistic people how to tell the world about the benefits from their talents and services without wasting their time or money. It includes innovative ideas, cost-effective methods, and a wide variety of marketing approaches to build a business or develop a successful career in the arts.
As the author of a series of book for Creative People, the founder or five businesses and a well-known teacher, speaker and radio talk host, Lee Silber knows what he is talking about and knows how to get the information across to his readers. Using his own experiences, Lee explains how to use word of mouth, the Internet and various methods of networking.
The Author begins by helping readers clarify for themselves exactly what they do and shows them how to articulate it to others easily and quickly. He shows how to stand out from a crowd, to start a “buzz” about your work and to create marketing materials and methods that work. He suggests readers choose a few things to do right away so they can see the immediate results. I would advise any self-employed and/or creative artists to read this book, try the many exciting ideas and put it where you can find it because you’ll want to refer to it frequently.
Lee, would you prefer that I put this on Amazon.com or Barnes & Noble.com? Will let you know where it is published.


ALONG CAME A SPIDER,
A PERSONAL LOOK AT MADNESS
By Maryanne Raphael
Reviewed by Thelma Hayes

Another beautiful mind gives us a rare opportunity to experience the torments of hallucinations, delusions and anxieties a biochemical brain disorder can bring.
In her most recent book, ALONG CAME A SPIDER; A PERSONAL LOOK AT MADNESS, author Maryanne Raphael shares with us her intimate feelings, deepest pain and eventual recovery. Her words are not the usual definitions and descriptions found in mental health literature but those of a lifelong journal keeper as she endures hospitalizations and the periods in between. She shows the universality of mental illnesses as she keeps writing through her crises in Brazil, Morocco, New York, California and Hawaii.
And finally she gives us hope that those suffering from a mental illness can live a stable and productive life. From her home base in Carlsbad, CA Maryanne now travels the globe, continues her writing career and is an inspiration to all.


We Are the Romani People
by Ian Hancock
University of Hertfordshire Press, £9.99
Reviewed by Louise Doughty

On the day that Jeffrey Archer was sentenced, the BBC Ten O’Clock News reported with some glee that he had been driven off to prison in a van containing “a Gypsy accused of murder”. Consider the furore had the newscaster said “a Jew accused of murder” or “a black”. The scriptwriter would have been sacked.
The level of awareness of Romani issues in this country is 30 years behind that affecting other races. Many still fail to understand that “Gypsies”, or more accurately Roma or Romanies, are a race at all. New-age travellers have confused the issue, leading some to think that being a Gypsy is a matter of lifestyle. The recent immigration of refugees from central and eastern Europe and their demonisation by the tabloid press has only exacerbated the misunderstanding.
Ian Hancock’s book could not be more timely. Hancock is a British Rom who is now professor of Romani studies at the University of Texas. His book begins with a historical account of the origins of the Romanies, their flight from India around a thousand years ago, and gradual migration westward into Europe. It includes chapters on the significant historical moments in Romani history, including the mass killings of Romanies by the Nazis who, ironically, had no problem identifiying Romani people by race, and murdering them for it.
The Romani holocaust, or porajmos, is becoming better known, but few Europeans are aware that for five and a half centuries Romanies in eastern Europe were slaves. “In the 16th century, a Romani child could be purchased for 32p. By the 19th century, slaves were sold by weight, at the rate of one gold piece per pound.”
In the later chapters, Hancock includes a rough guide to present-day Romani life, language, cookery and customs. There is a fascinating list of notables of Romani descent (Yul Brynner, Rita Hayworth and Charlie Chaplin I knew about, but Bill Clinton was a new one on me).
More could have been said about the desperate economic circumstances of many Romanies in central and eastern Europe, where some are living under conditions comparable to apartheid-era South Africa. (Meanwhile, our Home Office pays for British immigration officers to stand at Prague airport stopping people from boarding aircraft if they look a bit “Gypsy”.) In a section on Romani organisations, Hancock touches briefly on the particular problems of Romani representation to non-Romanies, or gadje. Some Romani academics and politicians now talk of creating a “non-territorial nation” and have petitioned the United Nations asking that Romanies be given a seat and voting rights in the UN general asssembly. The problem is how such representatives could be elected among the huge and often competing diversity of Romani groups.
Some traditional Romanies, for instance, consider any contact with the gadje for purposes other than subsistence as polluting. Any Romanies who cooperate with gadje political structures automatically disbar themselves from representing Romani people. But without such representation, the ignorance of the gadje will persist. This seemingly insoluble conundrum is worthy of a book on its own.
The University of Hertfordshire Press also produces other books on different aspects of Romani life and culture, including two autobiographies by Romani women. Ultimately, it is through such personal testimony that gadje will come to a long-overdue understanding of the realities of Romani life. We can only hope it will not take another millennium for that understanding to come about.


SUMMER STORIES Tales From the Tropics Publishing Co., 11224 Camel Creek Road, San Diego, CA. 82130, USA
Good Reading for All Seasons by Lee Silber,
Reviewed by Maryanne Raphael

SUMMER STORIES is an exciting collection of short stories by award-winning author Lee Silber. Every story has interesting, three dimensional characters, beautiful believable settings, fascinating plots, scenes with just enough description to pull the readers into the action while forcing them to use their own imaginations. And every one of them would make a thrilling movie. There are romantic love stories, engrossing adventures with raptists, peeping toms, stalkers, murderers, drug traffickers and beachcombers.
Author Lee SIlber, who has already proven himself a master of nonfiction, now adds fiction to his achievements. SUMMER STORIES make excellent reading for lazy summer vacation days, but these stories will also make delightful reading for a cold winter night. In fact it is a book for all seasons and for men and women of all ages.
Its wide appeal makes it an excellent choice for a gift for many occasions.


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