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Upcoming business booklet

owaa_logowide3By Kevin Rhoades  Executive Director Members who have affiliated with Outdoor Writers Association of America spanning a couple of decades might recall a 1994 OWAA publication titled “Business Guidelines Handbook.” This gem of a booklet was compiled by former Executive Director Sylvia Bashline and crew, and the handbook was sort of an outdoor-communications bible covering general business practices such as setting income goals, establishing an office environment, how to get paid, legalities and rights purchased. The handbook also covered specialized business practices for magazine writers, newspaper columnists, photographers, artists and broadcasters.  More than 60 generous member-volunteers contributed content for the old “Business Guidelines Handbook.” This aged gem is long out of print, and I think it’s high time we update and distribute another. I’m pleased to announce that the wheel is turning to publish a fresh copy in time for our June conference in Grand Rapids, Mich.  Although all details are not set in stone, the new booklet will be retitled “OWAA Freelancers Guide to Business Practices.” The new “Freelancers Guide” will become the outdoor communicator’s handbook that will provide tips for breaking the ice with prospective buyers, closing the sale and getting paid.  Also, a section each will target outdoors communicator specialties. A couple of examples: “How to Write Outdoors Books” and “How to Start a Television Career.”  Chapters will target those new to the specialty and be written from a craft-improvement perspective. Also planned is OWAA Legal Counsel Bill Powell’s comprehensive Legal Issues section covering copyright, defamation, estate planning and more; see an excerpt of this section on Page 9 of this issue of Outdoors Unlimited.  Proposed Table of Contents: 1. Introduction 2. General Business Practices

  • For New Members
  • Making the contact
  • Negotiating
  • Closing the sale
  • How to get paid (including no/slow-pay markets)
  • Business Conduct Guidelines

3. Specialized Business Practices

  • How to Work With Magazines
  • Emerging Technologies
  • A Radio Career
  • Becoming a Travel Writer
  • Writing a Book About the Outdoors
  • Working with (and for) State and Federal Agencies
  • Becoming an Outdoor Photographer
  • A Television Career
  • Breaking into the Newspaper Outdoor Business
  • Lectures
  • Artists/Illustrators

4. Legal Issues

  • Choice of Business Entity
  • Copyright
  • Defamation
  • Privacy Rights
  • Federal Law Protections for Electronic Communications
  • Contracts
  • Estate Planning
  • The Role of OWAA

To pull this new publication together, headquarters is perusing hundreds of previously published craft improvement pieces, particularly those covering topics listed above. We do not plan to reinvent the wheel with this project because many of you have written on these topics and have selflessly shared your expertise. We plan to repack and update the previously published handbook with fresh, applicable content.  As always, we thank all of you who have contributed and continue to contribute your time and expertise, and we look forward to completing another project that should prove useful to many, particularly those carving out a full-time career in outdoors communications. [print_link]

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