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422Latinidad 1/13: 10th Anniversary - Money

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  • Marcela Landres
    Jan 8, 2013
      Latinidad 1/13: 10th Anniversary - Money

      1. Saludos
      2. Q&A: Nancy Trejos
      3. Resources: Self-Publishing in a Nutshell
      1. Saludos

      This year is the tenth anniversary of Latinidad, and to celebrate I am
      highlighting authors, books, and resources from past issues that offer
      the best advice to those who want to graduate from "aspiring" to
      "published" author.

      The very first step towards launching a writing career is to get your
      financial house in order. Most writers put the cart in front of the horse,
      assuming the manuscript comes before the money. Not so. In truth, the
      more you invest in your craft pre-publication, the more income your
      published book(s) will likely produce.

      To learn more, read this month's Q&A with Nancy Trejos, author of
      Hot (Broke) Messes.

      Helping Latinos get published,
      Marcela Landres

      2. Q&A

      Nancy Trejos is a staff writer for USA Today covering the business of
      travel. Prior to that, she was a staff writer for The Washington Post for
      12 years and has written for Latina magazine and the Los Angeles Times.
      A graduate of Georgetown University, she grew up in Queens, N.Y., and
      travels extensively, including to her parents' homelands of Colombia and
      Ecuador. She lives in Washington, D.C. Hot (Broke) Messes is her first book.
      For more information, visit http://tinyurl.com/armdwml

      Q: What top three tips can you offer to folks who want to get rid of debt but
      don't know where to start?

      A: First, sit down and go through all of your bank accounts, your credit
      card statements, your student loan statements, and any other financial
      statements you have and make a list of how much money you have and how
      much money you owe. You must be very clear about what your assets and
      liabilities are. How are you going to fix the problem if you don't know the
      extent of the problem?

      Come up with a budget. You can do this alone or you can enlist the help of
      a financial advisor or credit counselor. But you have to come up with a plan
      for paying off your debt, paying your bills on time, and eventually starting to
      save money. You must learn to live within your means.

      Be honest with yourself, your family, and your friends. Often we get into the
      habit of living above our means because we want to "keep up with the
      Joneses." Realize that you have a problem and let your loved ones know. If a
      friend tries to urge you to go out to a restaurant you can't afford, tell him or
      her the truth. You simply can't afford it. If he or she is a true friend, he or
      she will still love you regardless of your finances.

      Q: Could you share some financial tips specific to writers and writing?

      A: Keep all of your receipts, for everything even if you are not sure you can
      write it off. That means your Internet bill, receipts for any books or magazines
      you used for research, paper for your printer, postage, drinks or meals with
      interview subjects, anything that contributed to your book. You can even
      probably write off part of your rent if your home office was the place where
      you wrote your book.

      Q: You describe in detail in your wonderful book, Hot (Broke) Messes, how
      you worked with a financial planner to overcome your debt. Would you
      recommend that others work with financial planners? If yes, how does one
      go about finding a financial planner?

      A: It really depends on the extent of your problem and the type of person you
      are. Plenty of people can do their own research to fix their finances on their
      own, if they have the will to do it. I happen to be the type who likes to get
      help when I have a problem. When I'm sick, I go to the doctor. When I got
      into debt, I went to a professional. If you're the type who needs someone
      to push you to make changes, by all means, hire a planner. If your finances
      are really in trouble, you might want to go to a credit counselor who can go
      as far as negotiating with your creditors.

      If you decide to go the planner route, think of it as hiring a therapist. You're
      going to have to reveal a lot to this person, so take the hiring seriously. Get
      referrals from friends or other confidantes. Meet with the planner in person
      and interview him or her. Find out how he or she will be paid. By
      commission or a set fee? (I would lean towards someone who charges a
      fee and not someone getting a commission for selling you a product.) Find
      out if he or she is licensed by your state or the Financial Industry
      Regulatory Authority in Securities or Insurance. Check on his or her
      background with FINRA, the Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards
      Inc., or other relevant professional organizations. Find out if he or she has
      ever been disciplined by any of those organizations.

      Q: In addition to Hot (Broke) Messes, what resources do you recommend to
      people who want to learn more about financial planning?

      A: There are plenty of resources on the Internet. For help budgeting, https://www.mint.com/ is great. For help improving your credit, go to https://www.credit.com/. To find a better paying savings account, go to https://www.billshrink.com/. To increase your real estate knowledge, go
      to http://www.trulia.com/. For Wall Street information, go to
      http://www.quote.com/. To save money on everyday stuff, go to
      http://www.coupons.com/. http://www.kiplinger.com/ is a great overall
      personal finance resource.

      Q: Who is your agent and how did you meet him/her? If you don't have an
      agent, how did you come to be published by Grand Central Publishing?

      A: Robert Guinsler is my agent. He is at Sterling Lord Literistic, Inc. in New
      York, and he is awesome. I wrote a book proposal, which he shopped around
      to several publishers. We decided on Grand Central Publishing because of
      its wonderful reputation. We were also excited to work with Tracy Martin, an
      enthusiastic, very skillful editor. I was very lucky to end up working with
      some wonderful people. It was a great experience all around.

      Q: You've had a successful career as a journalist and now as a book author.
      What advice do you have for aspiring writers—particularly Latinos—who
      dream of quitting their day job and writing for a living?

      A: Writing is an amazing profession. I can't believe I get paid to think and
      put my thoughts into words. Writing Hot (Broke) Messes was the best
      experience of my career. I actually couldn't wait to wake up each morning
      and start writing. On a practical note, however, I would urge you to
      become financially secure before you quit your job and take on
      book-writing for a living. Make sure you have money saved up. That said,
      don't give up on your dream. Your book might not sell right away but if
      you have a good agent and a good product, someone will eventually
      recognize its worth.

      3. Resources

      "I read How Editors Think in one sitting and was engaged from beginning to
      end. It is well written, highly informative, and humorous—I found myself
      laughing out-loud in a few spots! Thanks for sharing the secrets of the trade."
      —Mayra Lazara Dole, author of Down to the Bone

      Inspired by my experience as a former Simon & Schuster editor, How Editors
      Think: The Real Reason They Rejected You reveals what it really takes to get
      published. For more information, visit:
      Registration Opens: January 15
      Early Registration Discount Deadline: February 15
      Booksellers, publishers, authors, and literary organizations are welcome
      to submit vendor applications for 2013. Last year's Festival drew over
      40,000 attendees. Don't wait to apply, as spaces tend to go quickly. For
      more information, visit http://www.brooklynbookfestival.org/
      Deadline: March 1
      Does your significant other consider your writing a mere hobby? Does
      s/he believe you should be doing something more constructive? Does
      s/he make demands that cut into your writing time? Seeking 2,500-3,000
      word (or longer) honest, poignant first-person accounts in the style of the
      Chicken Soup for the Soul series. The essays will be compiled into an
      anthology. Send submissions and/or questions to mayra.calvani@...
      Deadline: March 1
      Kweli is an online literary journal created by and for writers of color. Unlike
      other journals, they pay their writers. Past contributors include Angie Cruz,
      Victor LaValle, and Aaron Michael Morales. For more information, visit
      Deadline: March 1
      Each resident receives a $100 stipend per week, free housing, and a
      separate studio. Residencies are available for 2 to 8 weeks stays. The Center
      does not discriminate based on disability, sex, age, race, religion, or national
      origin. For more information, visit http://www.khncenterforthearts.org/
      Dates: March 15-17
      The Wild Mountain Memoir Retreat will offer an opportunity for established
      and emerging memoirists to acquire new skills, build a writing community,
      and renew their vision as writers. Classes will focus on the craft of literary
      memoir writing, the genre's ethical and logistical challenges, and strategies
      for overcoming memoir's most common obstacles. For more information,
      visit http://wildmountainmemoir.wordpress.com/
      Deadline: April 1
      The Sherwood Anderson Foundation offers $15,000 to an emerging fiction
      writer who has published up to two books of fiction or a number of stories
      in literary journals. For more information, visit
      Application Deadline: April 1
      The Community of Writers at Squaw Valley offers workshops in poetry,
      fiction, and creative nonfiction. Past faculty includes Dagoberto Gilb and
      Alex Espinoza, among others. For more information, visit
      The online journal Northern Liberties Review seeks work that surprises them.
      They're especially fond of flash fiction, unconventional narratives, and
      distinctive writing, but will accept whatever is fresh and nicely crafted. For
      more information, visit http://northernlibertiesreview.com/
      Bestselling author Karen E. Quinones Miller self-published her first novel,
      Satin Doll, sold over 20,000 copies, then landed an agent and a book deal
      at Simon & Schuster. In her e-book, Self-Publishing in a Nutshell, Karen
      generously shares hard-earned advice so you, too, can successfully
      self-publish. For more information, visit http://tinyurl.com/bhw5xa8
      Conceptual photographer Maria DeGuzman creates photo-based images
      for book covers. To see samples of her work, visit http://www.femininemoments.dk/blog/book-covers-by-maria-deguzman/
      To contact Maria DeGuzman, visit
      Please forward Latinidad® widely.
      For more resources, visit http://www.marcelalandres.com/resources.html
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      your postings to marcelalandres@...
      You are welcome to reprint part or all of this e-zine; please credit
      Latinidad® and include a link to http://www.marcelalandres.com/
      Visit http://groups.yahoo.com/group/marcelalandres/

      "Money is like a sixth sense—and you can't make use of the other
      five without it."
      —William Somerset Maugham

      Latinidad® © 2003 by Marcela Landres

      Marcela Landres
      Author of the e-book "How Editors Think: The Real Reason They Rejected You"