The Author's Life: 14 Hints on Creating a Career Plan

1. Remember publication is a business; writing is an art. Get those confused at your peril. Treat publication as you would any enterprise – as a professional. Meet deadlines, learn about the industry, and grow in your craft.

2. Know your market. You would not sell meat to vegetarians, would you? Yet so many new writers do not know where to send their work. If you write mysteries, find a market that buys mysteries. It takes time but saves you the aggravation in the end. Check the recent Writers Market or similar books. Or look at your bookshelves. Which companies published authors you like or have similar stories to yours?

3. Know what you want. Do you want to be published in hardcover or paperback? Do you want an agent or literary lawyer? Do you want to work full-time or part-time? Knowing this will help you develop a roadmap to your chosen destination. You have to know what you want to get it. Remember to write it down. This will prevent you from going off track.

4. Set concrete goals. That means goals that are measurable. "I want to make the best-sellers list" is not a concrete goal. "I will write five pages a day / one new query letter week / an article a month" is.

5. Be realistic. Lower your expectation of making $ 800,000 on your first book. Build up to that. So what if some fifteen years old got a million-dollar deal? In all likelihood that will not happen to you, so do not be disappointed. Keep writing.

6. Learn the rules then make them work for you. Follow or fudge them. You can pitch a novel you have not finished, just be prepared to write like a lunatic when they want to see the book right away.

7. Keep submitting. Every salesperson hears the word 'no'. You're selling your work so you will hear it too. Every no gets you closer to yes.

8. Think about quality control. Use a trusted reader, agent, critique partner, friend or spouse to go over your work. They'll help you keep your work in top form.

9. Forget the market sometimes. Between moneymaking projects write what excites you. It may ever come into fashion. Aside from that it keeps your brain active.

10. Recognize frustration. You'll get frustrated and that's okay, it's part of the industry. A story that was corrected for being "too hard to sell" makes the bestseller's list for a new author. Your agent has stopped returning your calls, your editor leaves, your book sells poorly, or gets a nasty review or letter. Your writing friends are getting better deals than you. It is a competitive market fraught with obstacles, and there will be times you'll want to give up. Do not. Frustration will be a part of your career but it will not last forever.

11. Believe that you will succeed. Half asserted efforts will show. You do not need to be super confidence. You …

Equal Opportunity Career Resources for HBCU Students

The information boom has been nonstop for years. The Internet is a veritable Wild West of information. Off line, information is typically more managed and manageable. There is even an international organization, International Standards Organization (ISO), to help corporate America and others lasso knowledge and information into some form of uniformity. Because it can be a tough road to sift quality information from the rest that clogs the Internet, many people rely on information wranglers to steer them to a good cut of info. Quality information available in a timely manner with low fat content can be beneficial to college students embarking on a career. The Internet has you more than covered. Whether targeting Career Resources for HBCU students or not, the following offer equal opportunity access:


Social networks have sprung up all over the internet like crabgrass. Everyone is familiar with MySpace, Facebook and a few others, but LinkedIn and Mashable rise to the top for different reasons.

*LinkedIn provides a network of people from around the world who have professional goals in mind. While it has social elements, these benefits are secondary. It effectively pivots the fun of Facebook to capture practical business needs. Anyone can apply to join a network or set up their own network. Special interest networks are present, as well as employment vacancy notices. According to research, nearly 40% of human resources staff and other hiring bodies surf the Internet to inform their applicant selection process. Why not set up your personal branding scheme and represent your own interests in the best light?

*Mashable is a social and digital media, technology and web aggregation portal. It conveniently funnels blogs, videos, Twitter, Facebook, MySpace, LinkedIn, business and specialty pop review sites like Technorati, Crunchbase, Techcrunch and CNET, among other forms of social media. Users can stay up on what’s going on in social media through this site. Users can sign up for alerts or notices. Users can find tons of critical info like “70+ Tools for Job Hunting 2.0”.

*JobRadio.FM career advice is a 24 hour internet radio stream of all things about jobs. Topics run the gamut and include topics such as how to handle a job offer, stressful occupations, and using LinkedIn for job hunting.

* takes social media to a higher level by fostering social networking beyond virtual connections. Users can meet online and meet off line in a variety of social, niche, or business groups. Anyone can form a group, and anyone can apply for inclusion in a group.


* is the U.S. federal government job board. It can be used to target classes and training, as well as find summer employment or Stay in School positions. Its guides users with a variety of topics. Users can plan their education, pay for education, get online study help, locate internships, fellowship, and jobs. Users can find out about study abroad and graduate education.

*U.S. Department of Labor.

Its site map can direct users to a …

Literacy in the United States of America – Do You Know How Many Are Illiterate?

An additional 29 percent of American adults can read at only the most basic level. They function in society and the workplace, but not without difficulty. When added together, these two groups account for a staggering 43 percent of American adults who have basic to almost no reading skills.

Adult literacy is an urgent topic of research at the national level. The national focus on literacy resolved in the passage of the National Literacy Act (NLA) in 1991. The US Congress then established the National Institute for Literacy. The NLA and the Institute have become champions of literacy. The Institute's staff works with the US Department of Education, and conducts research and analysis of literacy issues. The Institute's publications serve as a resource for reading programs throughout the country.

In 2003, the US Department of Education's National Center for Educational Statistics (NCES) sponsored the National Assessment of Adult Literacy survey. The NCES designed and conducted a national reading assessment, and reported some sobering facts about jurisdiction in the United States. The key findings are:

– 43 percent of the adult population aged 16 and older could read at basic to below basic levels.

– 44 percent of the adult population can read at the intermediate level, enough to handle day-to-day reading.

– Only 13 percent of adults in the population held "proficient" reading skills. This means that only 13 percent of adults can do research and understand complex documents.

Achieving greater adult literacy is a national challenge, and you can help. If you are interested in teaching someone to read, there are several reading programs and literacy centers across the country in need of volunteers.

America's Literacy Directory provides a comprehensive database of reading programs that need qualified instructors. Most literacy centers and programs provide training training designed for teaching the adult learner. You can access this database by entering your location information for the reading programs and literacy centers near you.

For more information about America's Literacy Directory, visit . …

Graphic Design Classes: Myth Vs Reality

Graphic designers are responsible for the visual presentation and design of products. They use a variety of tools to achieve this goal such as computer and typography, or the visual imagery of words. With the growing demand for online marketing and web design, it’s no surprise that more students are interested in this dynamic field of study. But before you delve into the world of design, you should get the facts on the myths and realities of the industry.

Myth: Graphic design is based solely on creativity.

Reality: The business market is a major component of graphic design.

A large part of design classes is creativity, but many people are under the misconception that a creative edge is all you need to flourish in the business. However, there are many others fields that are essential to the field of design and these include finance and production, business management and marketing. In addition to these sectors, you’ll also need to have an understanding of computer software programs such as Photoshop and Adobe Illustrator.

Myth: All graphic design classes offer the same learning opportunities.

Reality: Graphic design programs are different across universities, with some being more respected than others.

With the growing demand for design programs, more schools are offering them. It’s important to evaluate the program in full however, as not all schools offer the same caliber programs. For starters, stick to colleges that are accredited, as this will make it easier to transfer credits if you choose to further pursue your career in design.

Also look for programs that utilize the latest technology in design such as digital imagery and 3D graphics. Programs should also offer a well-balanced curriculum that includes computer work and beyond. For example, CBT College has its design students working on state-of-the-art Mac computers, as well as Bamboo Fun Pen and Touch Tablets.

Myth: Many full-time graphic design jobs are available.

Reality: Graphic design positions are often part-time and freelanced.

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, over half of all design students are self-employed. Although many full-time positions exist for design students, many hold part-time positions or do freelance work on the side. Many students enjoy the flexibility that the career can offer, as freelance and part-time work can be just as lucrative as full-time positions. However, not having a full-time position means you’ll have to be more assertive in finding work and confident working independently.

Myth: A degree in design is necessary for a graphic design job.

Reality: There are several ways to achieve the necessary experience for design.

Although you will need a four year degree to be considered for a design job, there are many ways to go about your career path. You don’t have to attend a university, but instead can start your design career at a community college and have your credits transferred. You can also major in other fields such as art or art history, while still having the necessary credentials for design jobs. The most important factor …