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Value of Diversifying Carries into All Industries

Over the five years leading up to 2020, the book publishing industry has experienced decreasing revenue as its products are increasingly replaced by digital substitutes. Although education and scholarly markets have achieved healthy growth, that growth has been largely offset by losses in the sales of trade books.

As the rest of the economy recovers from the coronavirus, industry operators are expected to continue to struggle with the digital challenges that have beset other conventional media over the past decade. This was further accelerated by the need for schools to adapt to remote learning due to social-distancing requirements. E-book sales are expected to rebound from their slump, which will sustain industry profit, but will continue to generate less per-unit revenue.

While this may seem disheartening, how has the coronavirus affected industry professionals, not all of whom work with book publishers? Chasidy Rae Sisk, a NAIWE member and business writer, said:

“2020 made me realize I had not been treating my writing as a business. With my primary client cutting back drastically, it forced me to start marketing and diversify my client base a bit.”

We have heard these kinds of statements from numerous NAIWE members. 2020 forced industry professionals to take their businesses more seriously and increase their marketing efforts.

To read the rest of the article, please visit the NAIWE blog.

April Michelle Davis
Executive Director

Words Matter Week 2021

Words Matter Week, which is in its 13th year, is a holiday that is celebrated annually the first full week in March by the National Association of Independent Writers and Editors.

Words are the basis for communication, no matter the language spoken. Babies make sounds, which eventually are formed into words. Here at NAIWE, we know the importance of words, and we want to celebrate it!

We may only celebrate it for a week, but we believe in the importance of words all year long!

Be sure to check out the available sponsor opportunities. Co-sponsoring a national event such as Words Matter Week is a great way to promote your business or your book, while supporting a good cause.

We look forward to celebrating with you in March!

February Webinar: The Top 21 Questions for 2021

We wanted to get to know Kajli Prince (NAIWE's Tax Expert) better, so last month we sat down with him. Here are some thoughts he shared with us.

We hear that freelancers may be eligible for the Payment Protection Program (PPP). What are the qualifications that freelancers need to meet?

The main qualification for the PPP is that the business has less than 500 employees (i.e., small businesses). These loans can be forgiven if the borrower spends a minimum percentage of proceeds on payroll costs within a specified time frame called the “covered period.”

2020 was a year full of dramatic stimulus efforts intended to relieve huge financial stresses felt by most Americans. It seems that everyone is hopeful for 2021, but huge questions still loom large as to what happens next, especially with a new administration on the horizon. Kajli Prince will share the 21 questions he is asked most frequently about what to expect in 2021. The topics range from small business loans (and loan forgiveness), to retirement contributions/distributions/deductions, child & dependent care expenses, working virtually, etc. These 21 answers are intended to enlighten viewers as well as provoke further Q&A.

You can join in this conversation on February 25, at 7 pm eastern, when NAIWE will host a webinar on small business taxes and more! The cost for NAIWE members is $10 and $30 for non-members.

To register for this webinar, please visit the NAIWE website.

On-Demand Training: Copyright 101

Guest: NAIWE’s Copyright Expert MJ Courchesne

As a writer, you know the value of your work, and have a keen interest in protecting it. You also may know that your work is copyrighted as soon as you put thoughts into a fixed medium, so why should you bother registering your copyright with the U.S. Copyright Office? Using case studies and scenarios, this webinar will review the basics of copyright law in the United States, why you should register your work, how to go about registration, and some common misconceptions of copyright, permissions, and fair use.

Here’s what you can expect to learn in this class:

  • What copyright is
  • What is (and is not) copyrightable
  • What copyright does
  • When something becomes copyrighted (and for how long)
  • Myths about copyright


Mary Jo (“MJ”) Courchesne is the owner and principal consultant of Gryphon Publishing Consulting. A publishing veteran with more than 20 years of experience in trade, academic, and direct-response publishing, she has spent nearly two decades specializing in licensing, subsidiary rights, and permissions. MJ is a frequent and polished presenter on licensing and copyright. When it comes to intellectual property, she firmly believes that everyone from authors to publishers to corporations should know their rights when it comes to intellectual property. To that end, MJ instructed in the George Washington University’s Masters in Publishing program for 13 years, first for 11 years as adjunct professor for a course titled Editorial Content, Rights, and Permissions and subsequently as lecturer in a course on copyright. She currently serves on the Board of Experts for the National Association of Independent Writers and Editors and is a member of the Independent Book Publishers Association and the Society of Children’s Books Writers and Illustrators. MJ has also held memberships with other publishing organizations such as the American Society of Picture Professionals and Washington Publishers.

Slow Days . . . What Do You Do?

I am presently going through a kind of slump in my business. One of my dear friends was going to give me an 80-page paper to edit for her work, but her personal circumstances have prevented her from doing so at this time. I don’t dare pester her for the paper at such a difficult time in her life, so I must say to myself regarding this, “It will come when it comes.” Other work has been scarce as well (other than the editing of the church videos, about which I wrote last week).

So, you are probably wondering, what do I do in such times?

To read the rest of this article, please visit NAIWE member Suzelle Fiedler's blog.

March Webinar: Beyond the Rate Sheet: Pricing Yourself for Freelance Success

In March, we will be chatting with Jake Poinier, NAIWE's Freelance Expert, on the very important topic of money.

As a freelancer, pricing and estimating your services properly is the foundation of your long-term financial prosperity and day-to-day psychological well-being. In this webinar, Jake “Dr. Freelance” Poinier offers a strategic, value-focused approach to setting your fee structure, taking into account the numerous factors that can’t be found on an industry rate sheet or association survey. Topics include formulating your basic pricing, creating persuasive estimates, dealing with challenging negotiations, raising your prices, and much more.



Jake Poinier made the leap into freelance writing and editing in 1999 after a decade of positions in the publishing industry, giving him key insights from both sides of the desk. As the founder and owner of Boomvang Creative Group, he has worked with a diverse array of Fortune 500 and small businesses, consumer and trade magazines, and independent authors. Jake is committed to helping freelancers improve their businesses and shares his knowledge and experiences frequently as a speaker at industry conferences, through webinars, and on his blog.

The cost for NAIWE members is $10 and $30 for non-members. To register for this webinar, which will be held on March 30 at 3 pm eastern, please visit the NAIWE website.

January's New & Renewing NAIWE Members

Jacob Arfwedson (Brussels, Belgium); Jennifer Della'Zanna (Woodbine, MD); Karen Engle (Bellingham, WA); Sheryl Holmberg (Utica, MI); Elizabeth McPhillips (Tydavnet, Ireland); Claudia Riess (New York, NY); Diana DeSpain Schramer (Sun Prairie, WI); Michael Searson (Omaha, NE); Laura Wackwitz (Carlisle, PA); Sandra Wendel (Waterloo, NE).

Be sure to post on your NAIWE website, and we will link to it when you renew!

From CMOS Shop Talk

Q. Can you clarify when commas should be used with an “or” phrase? For example, should it be “Table salt, also known as sodium chloride or NaCl” or “Table salt, also known as sodium chloride, or NaCl”?

A. When “or” is used to introduce an equivalent rather than an alternative, a comma is strictly correct. Compare the following examples:

To get to the stadium, you can take a train or a bus.

To get to the stadium, you can take the elevated train, or el.

In the first example, “a bus” is an alternative to “a train”; it is not another way of writing “a train.” A comma is therefore unnecessary. In the second example, “el” is equivalent to “elevated train,” so the comma is correct. Still, such a comma may be omitted in certain cases, provided the meaning remains clear. You may want to do this, for example, to avoid comma clutter in text that mentions more than a few such equivalents. In an example like yours, which presents not two equivalent terms but three—all in a single sentence—the comma before “or” remains strictly correct. But it’s a little fussy and could be omitted if done so consistently.


Your ad could be here!

For details on how to advertise in The Edge, NAIWE's monthly newsletter, please visit our advertising web page.

Member Benefit

Discount on Spoken Word Transcription Services

Spoken Word Transcription Services allows authors the freedom to escape sitting behind their keyboards. Spend your energies on the creative process and let Spoken Word handle the typing. Whether still in the notes-taking and brainstorming phase or ready to get your entire book typed out, record your content in audio or video format and let them transcribe it to text. NAIWE members receive 20% off transcription services.

Visit the NAIWE website to see all of the member benefits.

Why Should You Join an Association?

You have a partner who is committed to helping you build your career.


"People often say that motivation doesn't last. Well, neither does bathing—that's why we recommend it daily."

—Zig Ziglar

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