IN THIS ISSUE
- From the Editor’s Desk: The best deal I’ve ever offered
- On The Wordling: New resources for writers
- News & Views: Positive trends that will boost your career
FROM THE EDITOR’S DESK
Happy 2024, friends!
It’s been an incredible start to the new year, I’m in an excellent mood, and I’m feeling particularly generous, so here’s what I’m doing:
In February, I’ll be taking a group of 4 writers with me through a live coaching session of 30 Days, 30 Queries. In addition to the course, you’ll get daily accountability, a weekly group coaching call, personalized help with your pitches and unlimited 1:1 Slack support for 30 days. The course sells for $499 and my six-week coaching package is typically $2,000, but as I said, I’m feeling happy and positive at the start of this new year, so here’s the deal:
Sign up for an annual membership of Wordling Plus ($499) and I’ll give you 30 Days, 30 Queries, the feedback, and the coaching, as well as everything else you get in Wordling Plus.
That includes 20+ of my courses (including Content Marketing for Journalists, Finish That Damn Book, Higher-Paying Freelance Clients, and Fix That Broken Novel), as well as recorded trainings and live workshops with partner instructors (which I’ll be announcing soon).
I don’t think I’ve ever done a deal that offers so much for such a low price. So if you want to break into top publications this year and would like a step-by-step plan to follow, with 1:1 feedback on your pitches and coaching to help you through the areas you struggle with, get in touch and let’s get you signed up.
Please note: I only have four open spots and I expect them to go quickly, so hit reply on this email if you’re interested and we can have a conversation about whether it’s the right fit for you. If so, I’ll send you a special purchase link.
There are a lot of things I’m good at (she says modestly), but one of my core strengths is simplifying complex processes into simple, actionable steps that help my students achieve results—and fast. The hundreds of testimonials we’ve received for 30 Days, 30 Queries are proof of that. Such as this one:
I’m incredibly excited about this new year, and I’m looking forward to being a part of your writerly journey and helping, in whatever way I can.
Thanks for being here, for reading this newsletter, and for the beautiful emails you send me every week. I’m grateful for each and every single one of you.
Enjoy the issue!
Natasha Khullar Relph
Editor, The Wordling
RESOURCES FOR WRITERS
Over the holidays, I decided to redo our “Resources for Writers” page to make it even more useful. I’ve added a bunch of new (free) resources and made it easier to navigate. Here’s what you’ll find on the page:
- Break into Top Publications: 5 Case Studies
- 29 Ways to Get New Freelance Clients
- Secrets of Six-Figure Freelancers
- Sample Content Marketing Letters of Introduction
- A list of 1,500+ US and UK literary agents with links to their recent sales
- And more!
NEWS & VIEWS:
How your career can get a boost in 2024
Let’s start 2024 on a positive note by taking a look at some of the shifts that are happening in the industry that could be great for your career, especially if you’re entrepreneurial and open to change.
Poetry sales are the highest on record
The Bookseller reports: “Through the first 48 weeks in 2023, £11.09m has been sold through Nielsen Bookscan’s Poetry Texts & Poetry Anthologies, tracking 5% ahead at this stage on 2022’s previous record (a full-year £13.6 m); with a push, the category might crack the £15m mark for the first time by 2023’s end.”
Translation: Poetry sales are higher than they’ve ever been in history. They’re still not as high as, say, children’s books or even literary fiction, but the genre has changed, with social media being the key driver, and new, younger poets taking center stage.
Content creators are surging past legacy media
According to the 2023 Digital News Report by the Reuters Institute, one in every five adults under 24 relies on TikTok as a news source. Additionally, Britain’s Office of Communications has revealed that young adults in the UK spend more time watching TikTok than broadcast television. This shift has been driven in part by a desire for “more accessible, informal, and entertaining news formats, often delivered by influencers rather than journalists.”
In the Washington Post, Taylor Lorenz writes, “Well-known news outlets have seen a decline in the amount of traffic flowing to them from social media sites, and some of the money that advertisers previously might have spent with them is now flowing to creators. Even some outlets that began life on the internet have struggled, with BuzzFeed News shuttering in April, Vice entering into bankruptcy and Gawker shutting down for a second time in February.”
Translation: If I were interesting in being a full-time journalist today, I’d absolutely still pitch media publications for the credibility, experience, and audience building, but I’d launch my own YouTube channel or Substack on the side in order to carve out a niche covering subjects I cared about while making (a lot) more money.
It’s more important than ever to own equity in your work
Last year in his ConvertKit newsletter, founder Nathan Barry talked about the importance of creators owning equity in their work. The three examples he gives sums up what I talk about every week in this newsletter and what smart business for creatives looks like:
- Josh Kaufman: The author of The Personal MBA signed a standard book deal, but when his publisher sold the audio rights to a third party who didn’t use them, Kaufman bought them back. As the audio market has grown, he’s sometimes made $50,000 in a single month from audiobooks alone.
- Tim Ferriss: When it came to audiobooks, Ferriss saw the writing on the wall earlier than most and so he went one step further by purchasing “the rights to half a dozen of his favorite books from authors such as Ryan Holiday.” Can you say cha-ching?
- Taylor Swift: There are so many examples of Swift’s exceptional business acumen, but Barry shares the latest: The Eras Tour went direct to theatres. Swift has the audience, the funds, and the negotiating power. So Swift, who is the producer of the film, cut out the distributor and went to theatres directly. (In publishing, this would look like an author selling directly to bookstores and retailers.)
Translation: It’s not enough to just be a writer or creative anymore. There’s a reason this is a business newsletter for writers.
There was a time when authors could hand over the business side of things to agents, publishers, and PR firms, but those systems are increasingly broken.
The only creatives who will have profitable long-term careers in today’s world are those who make smart business decisions and learn how to manage their intellectual property, not sell it without thought to the first publisher who offers.
A look at how TikTok stars are using their fame and audience numbers to hit bestseller lists with cookbooks.
The American comics industry did not look after its creators. So creatives are banding together and looking after each other.
And here’s an interesting peek at the translation process that brought the BTS memoir to English-speaking fans.
MEXICO: “What happens when a capital city of 22 million people and 16 boroughs doesn’t have enough local news sources to cover its massiveness? Welcome to Mexico City, Mexico, where this is a reality that a new radio station is trying to address.”
GHANA: “The media landscape in Ghana has been experiencing a significant growth in numbers, but journalists and news organizations committed to quality journalism continue to dwindle. This trend started when frequencies of radio, which is the most popular mass medium in Ghana, became part of the political spoils at the disposal of winning parties.”
SOUTH AFRICA: “The number of South African internet users has nearly doubled in the past decade. One 2023 study of 45 developed countries suggests that South Africans even lead the world when it comes to the amount of time spent in front of screens, at 58.2% of the day. This digital transformation has significant implications for the country’s media. Particularly for newsrooms that want to engage online audiences in a time when news production has evolved towards greater participation of citizens and civil society. More and more, listeners are contributing to media processes.”
QUOTE OF THE WEEK
“I’m very lucky in that I don’t understand the world yet. If I understood the world, it would be harder for me to write these books.”
– Mo Willems
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