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Aneya Fernando

How to Stop the Online Harassment of Female Journalists

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“Happy to say we live in the same state. Im looking you up, and when I find you, im going to rape you and remove your head.” That’s a tweet Slate writer Amanda Hess received from her stalker. Unfortunately, Hess’ situation is not uncommon. In fact, female journalists being harassed and threatened online has become an epidemic.

Hess recently wrote a lengthy piece on the subject for the Pacific Standard. She discovered that of all the people who reported being stalked and harassed online from 2000 to 2012, 72.5 percent were female. “No matter how hard we attempt to ignore it, this type of gendered harassment — and the sheer volume of it — has severe implications for women’s status on the Internet,” Hess argued.

How can we change this situation? Read more

How Starting a Blog Can Help Market Your Book

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As part of Mediabistro’s Profit From Your Passion series, we gave you advice on creating your book proposal (whether it be nonfiction or a novel). The next step in getting your work into the hands of millions is marketing. Although it may seem daunting at first (thoughts of hitting up every Barnes & Noble in the country spring to mind), it’s not as intimidating as it sounds.

We got the lowdown from agents, authors and publishers on the key ingredients to an effective, mostly-DIY marketing campaign. One great revelation is that starting a blog is a great way to sell your book — and keep interest in your writing alive:

As an author who may also be a full-time writer chasing deadlines all day, regularly maintaining a blog may be the last thing you want to do with those precious free moments off the clock. But, says Sherrie Wilkolaski, founder and president of Author’s Boutique and PubSmart, a blog is actually the best way to build a platform that ultimately generates book sales. “Obviously, the search engines love it, it keeps the author’s website active and it gets [the author] out there building more content.” Not sure what to blog about? For nonfiction writers, Wilkolaski recommends providing daily content and tips that position you as an expert in your subject area. And for novelists, she’s had a lot of success having her authors blog as one of their characters to keep readers interested and engaged between releases.

For more marketing tips, including advice on hiring professional help, read: 6 Ways to Effectively Market Your Book.

The full version of this article is exclusively available to Mediabistro AvantGuild subscribers. If you’re not a member yet, register now for as little as $55 a year for access to hundreds of articles like this one, discounts on Mediabistro seminars and workshops, and all sorts of other bonuses.

Kierna Mayo, Editorial Director of Ebony.com, on How She Handles Internet Trolls

kierna-mayo_articleKierna Mayo began her formidable career in magazines, helping to create one of the most memorable pubs of the ’90s for the hip-hop generation, Honey. After working at Essence Girl and CosmoGirl, Mayo dipped her toes in the digital pool while working for Tyra Banks’ Tyra.com, and she was hooked.

Mayo is currently the editorial director of Ebony.com, which recently received a major makeover. In the “Digital Media” week of Mediabistro’s Profit From Your Passion series, Mayo talks about reinventing websites, the keys to boosting traffic and how she deals with Internet trolls:

Trolls are a drag. They, first of all, and probably most importantly, divert the healthy conversation, dialogue and constructive criticism. The potential for people to be heard gets eclipsed by trolls and that, of course, is their intention. You just kind of have to exist in the world with them, keep your content above the fray and encourage your audience not to be intimidated because the brilliant ideas and thoughts that come out in community often inform editorial decisions. But I would be remiss if I wasn’t truthful about the fact that you think about how people respond to things as you create. I try not to let that kind of negative energy or intention take us off our path. There have been personal attacks on virtually all of us on the site. It’s part of the job. The democracy that digital media offers all of us comes with some really damning qualities.

To hear more from Mayo, including how The Daily Beast influenced her redesign, read: So What Do You Do, Kierna Mayo, Editorial Director of Ebony.com.

Details.com is on the Hunt for Writers With a Stylish Sensibility

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Details.com isn’t just an extension of Details the print magazine, it’s solidly its own entirely. Admittedly, the site does share the mag’s editorial mission and its commitment to sophisticated style.

The men’s site, which is on the lookout for new freelancers, is unabashedly about the luxe life and focuses on topics such as fashion, grooming, health, fitness, celebrities, entertainment and more. The few topics that are off-limits to writers and editors may surprise you:

…There are a couple of subjects that are not covered on Details.com at all — namely, sports and politics. And scantily clad women. “They can be a great traffic driver for some sites, but we don’t really do that at Details,” [online director James Cury] says. “The idea comes from our editor-in-chief that we have a particular identity and a particular reader who’s coming to us for certain things. He can go to those other sources for those other needs, but we’re going to really try to own luxury lifestyle content.”

To hear about what kind of writing the site is looking for, as well as editors’ contact info, read: How To Pitch: Details.com.

The full version of this article is exclusively available to Mediabistro AvantGuild subscribers. If you’re not a member yet, register now for as little as $55 a year for access to hundreds of articles like this one, discounts on Mediabistro seminars and workshops, and all sorts of other bonuses.

The Magazine Turns to Kickstarter to Fund A Collection of Stories


We’ve already discussed how the media is increasingly turning to crowdfunding as a source of financing.  The Magazine, an all-digital pub focused on non-fiction reporting and essays (about a variety of geeky topics), is the latest outlet to hop on the crowdfunding bandwagon.

The editors decided to start a Kickstarter campaign to raise money for a print and eBook featuring a selection of writing from their first year. As of this writing, the campaign has earned $31,015 and they have nine days to go to reach their goal of $48,000.

10,000 Words spoke with executive editor Glenn Fleishman (via email) about his reasons for using Kickstarter: ”We had a lot of options at our disposal, including soliciting pre-orders directly over whatever period of time we chose until we reached a set amount,” Fleishman said. “Without a call to action, however, it’s hard to get people to pull the trigger unless you’re very popular and have something timely as well as compelling. We felt that crowdfunding would let us show our cards: We need to raise this much to pay everyone involved and produce a good-looking book.” Read more

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