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Following Up on Fallacies about Getting Free Stuff ?Free stuff? ? the mere whisper of the words is often enough to make many people throw common sense out the window and head for the free goods like a missile to a target. And then there are those people whose eyes glaze over when they hear those words, because they can?t believe anything worth having can actually be free. The truth about free stuff is really somewhere in the middle. Yes, you can really and truly cash in on many freebie deals for things that you want to have, but a healthy sense of cynicism about free gear is also useful. Here are some of the important things to keep in mind about free stuff. The first myth you should throw out the window is that nothing good comes for free. The fact of the matter is that the price tag on a good doesn?t always match up to the quality, and there are many great free things out there. Case in point: music. Sure, everyone has heard the scare stories about file sharing online, and maybe some big record labels will come after you if you focus on their artists. Dig a little below the surface, however, and you can find a whole new world of really great bands that are more than happy for you to listen to their music over and over again. The same goes for free software. People on the cutting edge of technology who have a passion for creating new and efficient applications often develop open source code software. They?re doing it for the love of it, and they often have more talent than any ten suit-and-tie tech guys trying to hock their latest product for a mega profit margin. Here is where the reality part comes in, however. Yes, you can find wonderful things that are completely free ? but yes, you can also find a lot of free things that aren?t worth your time at all and in some cases can cause you a lot of trouble. The net is a great place to fall victim to a ?free stuff? scam, but you can also sometimes come across these scams in the mail as well. If something is free, but requires you to give your credit card number or bank details, run the other way. Another myth people have about free stuff, especially free stuff on the internet, is that when you try to cash in, the only free stuff you will be getting is an inbox full of more spam than you can handle. The truth about this is, well, that is can certainly be true. Many companies give away free things in exchange for your email address, so they can try to hit you up to purchase things in the future. What makes this a myth, however, is that it can be avoided. If you don?t want to choke on an inbox of spam, and who could blame you, set up a special (free) email account that you will use exclusively for freebie hunting. You?ll have the best of both worlds. The last myth about free stuff involves the ?catch? people are always looking for. Often, for free stuff, the catch is a bit of junk mail or email or the fact that you have to submit to a time consuming survey. Sometimes, the catch is that if you get free stuff through a trial offer, if you don?t cancel it, it keeps coming, and this time you have to pay. The truth about these catches is, however, that the catch is in the eye of the beholder. These things don?t make products any less free; so don?t write off every free offer offhand. You might just find a catch you can live with to get a great free product you really want.

The Ins and Outs of Free Writing Contests (free writing contests) Free writing contests are available by the thousands. They are virtually a dime a dozen on the Internet. No matter what your niche is in the writing community there is a free writing contests out there for you. How do you know which ones to enter and which ones are legitimate? That?s simple. You do what you do best-- research. While providing the story for the free writing contest will probably be the easy part, researching the thousands of available contests will be a daunting task. If this is un-chartered water for you, you have the start at the beginning. Finding what free writing contests are available. Grab a notebook or start a word document and list the contests that are available. Beside each contest name you will want to put what kind of writing they are looking for and when it needs to be done by. By doing this first you will be able to eliminate any that do not coincide with your writing niche or with your schedule. Now the free writing contest research begins. Finding out if a contest is worthwhile and legitimate is comparable to running a background check on a person. First check the contest website. Do they have all contact information available? Do they tell you what company is hosting the contest? If they are not, you will have likely found warning number one that it is a scam. So scratch those off your list or at least move them to the bottom until you can find out more information on them. Start asking around to colleagues and writers groups. Search the writing forums and the Internet scam sites. The Better Business Bureau is also a good place to look. Once you narrowed the free writing contests down to the legitimate ones, read the contest rules and regulations. Some contests require you signing over all rights to a story even if you don?t win. Are you willing to do this? Giving up rights to you writing is a lot easier to do when you are getting something in return. After you enter there is no going back, so make sure this is what you want to do. The final thing you need to look for is if the contest is just a cover up to get you to buy services or products. This does not necessarily mean they are a scam or don?t actually award winners. It simply means that they will try to entice you to use their critiquing services or offer you a book at a reduced fee that your work will be published in. Being published sounds like a great deal but is it a book that carries prestige that people are going to see? Many authors think that writing contests will launch their career into a successful endeavor. This is not the case, especially for free writing contests. Even winning the grand prize of a smaller known contest is not going to affect your literary journey. Even though they may not springboard your career, there are good reasons to join writing contests. You will get unbiased opinions and valuable feedback from the judges. If you make it into the higher rounds, editors could also see your writing. Ultimately whether you enter a free writing contest the choice is yours. Just ask you self if the time spent writing and researching the piece you choose to enter is worth writing for free in most cases. The critique and feedback may be the most worthwhile thing you receive from the contest. But then again the judges opinions are a dime a dozen just like the contests.

Pertinent Advice for Negotiating Salary Your salary is a huge factor when it comes to job satisfaction and overall quality of life. That is why negotiating salary is something that you should never overlook. While many employers like to state that starting salary as if it were etched in stone, there is usually some leeway in how much you will make. Remember, what you make is going to affect your entire life. Negotiating your salary is something that you should take very seriously. There are a few things to consider before you start throwing out figures. You don?t want to lose the job you have just gotten. First of all, leave the salary negotiating for the end of the hiring process. This is important because if you agree to a lower salary earlier on in the hiring process, you will be locked into that salary. Also, as the hiring process goes on and you become more of an employee, opposed to an interview, your worth increases. If you have gone through several interviews and met a few different managers, you have been able to make an impression on a number of people. That means that several different people have measured your worth to the company. When salary negotiating comes around, you can ask for more money. With several different people discussing your salary there is a chance that your state price may win out. Before you begin negotiating salary, you should know how much you are worth. One of the most important aspects of job hunting is finding out how much your skills and talents are worth in the job market. Armed with this knowledge, you will be able to market yourself better and know whether or not the employer is bluffing you. If you know that the salary they are offering you is much less than other companies offering the same position are offering, start the negotiating. Employers are always looking for a bargain. They never shoot out the high end of salary numbers. Employers start out at the bottom of the salary barrel. That means you can work to boost the salary offer. Of course, you do not want to sabotage yourself by acting too cocky but do not crumble under pressure. Be savvy in your negotiating and recognize that if the company is hiring, they need you. Yes, you may need a job, but the need is mutual. They would not be going through the interview process if there were no need of your services. Also, they obviously were impressed with your credentials. Be sure that they appreciate you will a decent salary. Know when to start salary negotiation. When the employer is explaining the job description to you, if they state a salary that is lower than you would like, let that pass. Until you have been offered the position, you do not need to worry about the salary. The first thing is to get the job. Once the offer is made and you are filling out paper work, you can start the negotiating part of the deal. It is important to know when salary negotiating is not an option. There are certain jobs that offer a set salary for certain position. If you are interviewing for a job that has a stated, set salary, you do not want to negotiate. The stated salary is the one that you will be getting if you take the job. In these cases, whether or not you are willing to settle for less is the question at hand. If the salary is too low for you to handle, get out there and find an employer that appreciates your talents.

Publishing a Book is the Final Frontier (book publishing) Many authors begin their careers intending to publish a book. Book publishing is a difficult task to accomplish. It takes many months of work and extensive preparation. A book involves intricately woven ideas. A book is a project. In that project is contained many other projects. Most people are not prepared for the intensive process that is involved in creating a full, coherent book. If book publishing is something that you are interested in trying, there are a few things you should keep in mind. First, writing a book is like nothing you have ever done before. It will take extensive and intensive work and development. It will also probably include much of everything you know, and more. Read on for more clarity. Uncharted Territory Book publishing is like a new land that has never been explored before. Of course, there are several book authors out there. They have been around for centuries. Unlike other areas of expertise though, book writing is not something that will be the same process for several different people. As you set out to write a book, you will be able to follow some basic guidelines, but getting your ideas from your head to the page will be an invention of your very own. Not only will you have to get the information onto the page, but you will have to write in a way that thousands or even millions of readers will be able to relate to and understand. Again, that will be a process that will take experimentation and trials. As you begin the process of writing your first book, as well as subsequent books, expect to work and rework. One Idea Is Not Enough Part of the reworking process is the changing of direction within the writing. Many beginning writers aspire to book publishing. They have an idea and vague plan to turn the idea into book. Picture your first grader telling you that she wants to write a book about horses. There is certainly enough information that people want to know about horses to fill several books, but the vague idea is not enough for an adult writer to create publishable work. To write a book, you will need to start with a topic. You may or may not be an expert on the subject. After you have the first vague ideas, you will need to start asking yourself questions. Answering those questions will hopefully lead you to more questions, and so on. Even if your original idea is completely unique and will lead you to write new information that the world does not yet have access to, you will need to add to that original idea for an intriguing finished product. If you are not an expert, or if you do not already know any new information, it will take even more time and effort in order to produce a unique piece of writing. Fiction is the same as non-fiction. Many stories have been told before. If you want to publish, you will need to come up with an engaging and new journey for your readers to take. Using Previously Published Work Now that we have covered the requirement for intricate and new ideas, there is also room in a book for old ideas. Your readers will need a starting place within your writing that is familiar and known. As you are putting together your ideas for a complete book, you will probably publish smaller pieces of work in magazines and newspapers. It is ok, as long as you cite yourself, to reuse some of that work. In that way, you can be publishing as you go along while still making progress towards your end goal in book publishing. After several months or even years, you will have poured out your effort and knowledge into a finally completed and whole book.