An Interview With Dana Cassell
Dennis:  You are the editor of the Writers-Editors newsletter.  How does this experience help you as an author?

Dana: Actually, I'm editor of both our monthly newsletter, Freelance
Writer's Report (FWR), and our irregular Writers-Editors eZine. Most
"help" from an author's point of view would be as editor of FWR,
because I am daily researching market information, publishing industry news, and writing tips for that newsletter. The market and job news gets posted in our members section of daily, then printed monthly in the newsletter.

Dennis:  You have been writing full time since 1976 and have written both fiction and non-fiction articles for children and business clients which amounts to over 2,000 articles.  What two articles stand out that would be of interest for other authors and readers?

Dana:  I'm not sure I can pull out any single article or even two that would
be of interest to writers. Perhaps the article I wrote for "The
Writer" on writing for trade journals, which has been reprinted in
"The Writer's Handbook" several times. And then a number of years
ago, I wrote an article on going full time as a writer.

Dennis:  You created the Writers-Editors Network.  Could you explain the scope and purpose of this organization and how it helps authors who are a part of it and how it would benefit new and upcoming writers?

Dana:  Our Writers-Editors Network is geared to the established writer and
the serious beginner. We provide contact information on several dozen new magazines every month, plus post almost daily job postings for freelance writers and editors. Because most of our members are established writers -- many have been writing full-time for years -- our tips are geared toward building and managing a profitable editorial business. Many of our members have written books, so we also offer many tips and news on getting a book published and especially on promoting book sales.

Dennis:  What advice can you give new writers to help them promote their work and gain exposure and recognition?

Dana:  By "promote their work," do you mean promote their books? If so, then
viral marketing -- having a blog and getting your book mentioned on
others' blogs with links back to your blog appears to be the most
effective means of promoting books today.

If you mean, promote your editorial capabilities to area businesses
in order to obtain corporate assignments, then it helps to attend the
meetings that your target prospects are attending, and get to know
them and spread your business cards around.

Freelance article writers promote their expertise via their query
letters -- by submitting the proper idea to the right publication,
and then selling it well and succinctly in your query. Although
editors often ask for clips, they say that they can tell more about a
writer's ability to write by his or her query letter than by a stack
of edited clips.

Dennis:  Your articles have appeared in over 200 publications?  Would you >give some examples of how you gained this exposure?

Dana:  Sure - by sending out queries every day; with ideas the readers of
those magazines want or need, not with ideas I simply wanted to sell.
Eventually, when you show you can write to a publication's style and that you can do the necessary research, the editor will come back with assignments.

Dennis:  Do you currently have any books in process of being published?

Dana:  I am currently writing the Encyclopedia of Pharmaceutical Drugs for
Facts On File, and just this past month, my editor there contacted me about revising my Encyclopedia of Autoimmune Diseases.

Dennis: Do you belong to any network sites?

Dana:  Only our own Writers-Editors Network at

Dana: While marketing activities must be tailored to individual needs what
marketing activities do you do that may help other writers in the process of becoming recognized?

Again, I'm a bit confused about the term "becoming recognized" -- that sounds like promoting books, which I've already discussed. If you're talking about marketing ideas to magazines, it's, again, critical to think of the readers of those magazines. When you have an idea, think about what groups of people would want or need to know that information. Then which magazines reach those groups of people. Then query that magazine or those magazines.

Dennis:  Do you have other topics you wish to cover?

Dana:  Freelance writing or book authoring is a business. It can takes
months to become established, as it does with any business. And as
with any business, one must market/promote daily, write daily, and
keep studying one's craft.

This page was last updated: August 25, 2013
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