WriterSpeaker.com: Internet Research and Marketing for Writers and Speakers, by Carmen Leal
Published: November 19, 2001
|A writer's guide to the Web|
Carmen Leal is no computer expert. In fact, she admits she never learned to type, and was banned from using any office equipment at her jobs. "There were even signs posted over the copier and paper shredder prohibiting me from touching them, since repairmen routinely earned a living wage by fixing what I broke."
When her husband was diagnosed with Huntington's Disease, however, she decided to learn how to use the Internet for research purposes. She finally overcame her computer illiteracy because she saw the Internet as a means of reaching her personal and career goals.
A speaker before she was a writer, Leal found that the two go hand in hand. She decided to write a book that "would be helpful for both endeavors, a book that would simplify the Internet for professional writers and speakers-and help them get the most out of their experience with it."
With this goal in mind, Leal presents a technology-packed reference that is as friendly as a phone call to a knowledgeable friend. Whether you are an Internet novice or a veteran, you will come away with something useful.
The book is divided into four sections. The first provides a quick and illuminating history of the Internet. This leads to the second section, where readers will glean tips on how to find pertinent Web sites. The third is a compilation of stories and ideas from writers and speakers who regularly use the Internet. In the final section, readers will get a brief education on how to create a personal Web site. The inclusion of extensive Internet resources is well worth the price of the book alone.
Realizing how quickly Web sites come and go, the author has established Living Links, a site that provides updated links to all of the book's resources. The site is well laid out and easy to navigate, and will save you much time as it lists sites essential to both writers and speakers. A variety of sites are listed, both in the book and at Living Links. While some sites are informational, others will lead to chat rooms and mailing lists.
Leal's reason for writing the book was twofold: to provide readers with both the know-how and the resources for using the Internet. "My intent is that WriterSpeaker.com be more than just a glorified list of bookmarks for Web sites relevant to writers and speakers."
Sharing personal stories and embellishing chapters with witty quotes as she provides the keys to mastering the complexities of the Internet, Leal is both entertaining and informative. The book combines humor with nuts-and-bolts explanations of how to make the best use of the Internet for writers and speakers. Hands-on and helpful, the information provided will increase your productivity, or will at least inspire you to use the Internet more effectively.
Pam D. Webb is a Sandpoint, Idaho, writer and book reviewer.