"Money and Making It E-zier" – by Georgia I. Hesse

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Georgia Hesse, photo ©Jules Older
Georgia Hesse, photo ©Jules Older

“Money and Making It E-zier

 By Georgia I. Hesse
Unlike auto mechanics or cosmetic surgeons, people who call themselves professional travel writers very often are willing to practice their craft for very little cash. “Why?” BATW members Jules and Effin Older often ask themselves. You are a professional, you practice your craft, you do it well. You want to get paid for it. “What a concept!” they say, unabashed.
On Oct. 18, the Olders joined with BATW vice president/secretary Karen Misuraca to tackle this elusive concept, enlisting the expert assistance of author, journalist, new media consultant, and E-ditor Kim Grant.
Following Kim’s keynote address, extremely helpful roundtable discussions were held, each headed by a BATW member and E-xpert; to whit, Lee Foster (E-books), Kristine Carber (print), Christine Loomis (Internet, i.e. websites), Dick Jordan (video), Karen Misuraca (blog), David Sanger (photography), and Kim herself. Together we stepped into the gaudy garden of the E-age.
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Lee Foster, photo ©Jules Older
Lee Foster, photo ©Jules Older

After introductions, Kim seized upon success in travel writing and photography, focusing on what one needs to achieve it in the 21st century: entrepreneurial drive, determination and single-mindedness, specialization, a clear brand and messaging, plus use of the pragmatic and practical arts of an uber-professional, not to mention passion for achievement of one’s goals.
Fueled by E-xcitement and Kim’s E-xpertise, I settled at Lee’s seminar for a short but sturdy study of E-books.
I thought I spoke English; I discovered I don’t speak E-nglish. What, for example, are “fixed layout books?” I looked it up. “A fixed layout book, sometimes called an ‘illustrated book’, has a pixel-specific page size that you can use to precisely control the layout of the objects on the pages. You can embed fonts, choose particular text sizes, and precisely position images.” Etc., etc. Who knew? More, more. “There are two main types of ebook — standard formats and fixed-layout formats, and it is important to understand both before deciding which format you would like for your book.”
We discussed E-publishers: bookbaby, smashwords, ingram; all that crowd. Several pages in my old-fashioned reporter’s notebook became strewn with scribbles. Some helpful websites can be deciphered: wiki.mobileread.com, www.ebookpartnership.com, www.digitalbookworld.com among them.
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BATW Event, photo ©Jules Older
BATW Event, photo ©Jules Older

From Kim, we garnered other strategic sites: travelfish.org, japan-guide.com, writerswebsiteplanner.com (optimized hypertext, just so you know), worldofwanderlust.com, nomadicmatt.com, gonomad.com, theexpeditioner.com/the-top-50-travelblogs/. Kim herself is at home at www.kimgrant.com.
Imagine. I’d learned from only two “presenters” — Kim and Lee — with five more waiting to teach me things, and already the morning was over and it was time to dive into the delights of the deYoung. (Kim had closed her remarks with a question: “What/who is a writer’s best partner?” Her answer, not yet outmoded: “Honesty.”)
And then we split. But not before I had come to two conclusions: 1– BATW needs more programs like this, and 2– I can’t afford to miss a single one of them.[/fusion_builder_column][/fusion_builder_row][/fusion_builder_container]

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