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Here are some of our favorite links for writers. Some are for sites that can help freelancers and contractors set up shop, some are for such mundane but necessary items as office supplies or web hosting, and some are just plain resources for writers.
Below you'll find links to:
"What work I have done I have done because it has been play. If it had been work I shouldn't have done it." - Mark Twain
Hopefully, your work is like play for you. Or perhaps a new writing job will be. Mind, hopping from job to job won't make you happy, but finding work that lets you do what you do well, and enjoy doing, is nothing less than a blessing. This applies both to employees in jobs and freelancers, so here are some links for both.
Firstwriter - Need a publisher for your book? Start with an agent first. Firstwriter has a searchable database of more than 500 literary agents.
PACE - if you're a contractor and need an agency, we recommend PACE. It's a good deal if you can find your own clients but need to go through an agency; PACE handles the paperwork for a low percentage of your billing, and you keep the profits. That's pretty much unique as far as we know - most agencies pay you a fixed rate, and keep the profits themselves.
Monster.com - Post your resume for free on what is probably the biggest job site on the net. In our experience, more recruiters look at resumes on Monster than anywhere else. You can also create automatic agents that will alert you of jobs that match your criteria.
Vault.com - Another job site, where you can post resumes, but also offers career information on lots of jobs and background information on specific companies.
ResumeEdge.com - certified professional resume writers edit and write your resumes and cover letters.
Especially for freelance writers, insurance is a big, big deal. Here are some insurance sites that you can check out.
eHealthInsurance offers what it says is the largest selection of health plans and the best prices. You can compare plans from different insurers, get free instant quotes, get live help if you need it, and buy online.
Dentalplans.com - Dental insurance, with 210,000 participating dentists in various networks.
Insurecom - get a free auto, health, home or life insurance quote.
Writers read books, don't they? Actually, writers tend to be vociferous readers. If you're looking for just about any book, one of these will likely have it.
Amazon - The standard online source for new books. The link here will take you straight to books on Writing.
Abebooks - a great online source for used and out-of-print books - it's a network of 12,000 independent booksellers. The link takes you to a search screen.
Alibris - another great source for both new and used books, with over 25 million titles. We've used Alibris and been happy with the service.
If you want to write for magazines, you need to read magazines; also, if you want to alleviate the solitude of being a lone writer, you might want to read magazines for writers.
Amazon has a large selection of magazines. The link here takes you to what they call their Literary category. Close enough for most practical purposes, though no doubt you'll find some of the titles, uh, not exactly literary.
Magazines.com offers 1,300 magazine titles in 50 categories.
If your business involves business, there's no better source of information than the WSJ. Subscribe to The Wall Street Journal and get 4 weeks free.
Do movies still portray writers as hunched over manual typewriters? Probably not (though, truth be told, we don't see many movies). Writers use computers, and need software for writing and, if they're freelancers, software for handling all the business stuff is a good idea, too.
Dell Computers - Want to get a solid PC or laptop from a solid company (with good service!) at a competitive price? Make life easy, and order direct from Dell (as we do). Dell also sells networking, peripherals (that is, printers, monitors, etc.), and software.
CompUSA.com - A longstanding general vendor of computer hardware, software, and all the accessories.
Amazon - In addition to books, Amazon is also a good source for writing software; that is, software for writing.
Babylon Pro - translation software. Click on a word, phrase or number in any Windows application and get an instant translation or description of the term
Trendmicro - PC-cillin anti-virus, anti-spam software.
"Training is everything. The peach was once a bitter almond; cauliflower is nothing but cabbage with a college education." - Mark Twain
Online Courses - if you need training on standard PC applications, do it online with TrainingCenter. It's much more cost-efficient than going to a physical course.
Transcender - online preparation for IT certifications with realistic exam simulations.
Brainbench IT certifications. They can test and certify you not only in software knowledge, but also business knowledge, so you can market yourself better. Also good for employers who want to screen candidates or develop employees.
We never got past the stick-figure stage in art class, but thanks to modern technology, many a presentation and document have been enhanced by clip art (either as-is or with modifications to suit the specific purpose) and stock photos (you know, the three people looking over the computer user's shoulder, where they look like they're really impressed with what's on the screen). Anyway, it works.
Clipart.com - need to spruce up that presentation in a hurry? Add art.
Corbis BizPresenter - stock photos for your presentation, web site, or brochure. You can save up to 60% with Value Packs.
Fonts.com - over 30,000 fonts, including technical fonts.
Here we've assembled some links to help you with the mundane stuff of organizing yourself as a writer, especially if you have your own office or a home office.
FranklinCovey - planners (paper and electronic), and other organizing aids.
Stretch your dollars! Inkjet cartridges at HALF price! 123inkjets - very inexpensive ink and laser toner cartridges for printers. We use their products and are happy with them. They're much, much cheaper than the name-brand, and perform without a hitch.
With MyFax, you can send and receive faxes over the Net without a fax machine. Get a MyFax Number
Talk America - save up to 30% on your local phone bill.
Here are some of the writers' associations we know of; there are more out there. If you're a veteran in your field, associations tend to be less important. But if you're starting out, you can learn a lot from your peers.
TECHWR-L - if you're a tech writer, subscribe to this list. You'll learn quickly from the discussions, which do sometimes get opinionated, and be part of a large (virtual) community. It also has searchable archives going back for several years. A goldmine of information.
About.com - As the site says, "Discover is technical writing is right for you, and if it is, find out how to learn what you need to know."
Pubsnet - an outfit that offers training and placement for tech writers. Oops, we mean technical communicators.
STC - good information, and some people find STC a great resource for networking. Others find STC to be a bit stuffy, but you know what? You can have a look and see if it works for you. Some services are available only to members. Also, STC has local chapters in most places where there are tech writers - including several outside the US - and the chapters are where you'll find contacts with local colleagues.
WinWriters - "Training and Information for User Assistance Professionals." User assistance is a term referring to all the various ways in which the people behind a product (like a software system, for example) can help the user of the product. Could be a user guide or help file, or training, or wizards, or an improved user interface, or whatever.
ASTD - a training organization, helpful to those writers who also do technical (or other) training. If you're a trainer, they have a good job board, especially for senior positions.
If you're reading these lines, you are a writer and you have Internet access. But maybe you need a better setup, especially if you're opening (or in) a home office. Here are some good ISP, web hosting, and general e-commerce deals.
Netzero Platinum - Internet access for only $9.95 per month.
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Want to chat about books for writers, make recommendations, your own top ten lists of
writers' books, whatever?
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