Category Archive: Projects

Mar 10

Defamation: Libel or Slander?

Writing It Right For You - English Grammar Usage Tips

“Defamation” is the legal term for publishing disparaging information about a person in verbal or written form with the intent to damage the reputation of that person. Whether the defamation attempt is considered “libel” or “slander” depends on how the defamation attempt is published.

Libel is a defamatory remark that is published in writing, on the radio, or in audio or video form.

Slander is a defamatory remark that is published orally via a gesture or verbal communication that is not recorded.

The person who is the target of defamation by either libel or slander can file suit against the defamer by with court action to prove:

1) that a defamatory statement was made;

2) that the statement was published (as outlined above) to a 3rd party;

3) that the defamer knew or should have known that the statement was false;

4) that injury was caused to the target of the defamation.

Unlike the usual court cases where someone is “innocent until proven guilty”, in defamation court cases, the burden of proof is on the plaintiff or the person who is the subject of the defamatory publication.

That is why it is imperative for creative freelancers and other business owners who provide services to clients to ensure that they are protected with detailed and legally binding contracts and that they have complete documentation of any and all communications–just in case.

The person who intends to defame, even “casually”, should also be prepared to defend their claim as they can very easily be counter-sued by the original plaintiff.


Disclaimer: I am not an attorney, nor do I play one on TV. Please consult your own legal professional for detailed information on libel and slander.



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Feb 06

Collaborating on a Manuscript with Basecamp and Scrivener

Image representing Basecamp as depicted in Cru...

Image via CrunchBase

Scrivener (software)

Scrivener (software) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

As you may know, Writing It Right For You has a related company, Detroit Ink Publishing, where we work with authors providing ghostwriting, manuscript preparation, editing, and book formatting and publishing services. We also publish our own books through the Detroit Ink Publishing imprint.

We are presently working with four authors who are in various stages of book completion. One of our clients has a very large and complex manuscript that she had been writing in bits and pieces for several years. Once she started working with Detroit Ink Publishing, we were able to get all of those disparate files together and get focused on producing a completed manuscript ready for publishing.

As my client’s editor, I am using two of my favorite apps to accomplish this large task: Basecamp and Scrivener:

Basecamp is a project management app that allows me to include my client , my assistant, and anyone else involved in the project to become a part of the “project community” and share files, schedules, messages, discussions, progress reports, etc. Instead of endless email threads, everything is kept in Basecamp and can be accessed as needed by all who have been given permission. My client and the cover designer she chose for her book live on opposite sides of the country, yet through Basecamp they collaborated on several revisions of the cover until the client got exactly what she wanted for her book. I was able to follow the entire process in Basecamp without having to be directly involved in this part of the project.

I recently wrote a post about how I am learning to use Scrivener for virtually all of my writing now (including this post). For this large project with my client, using Scrivener has helped immensely with organizing, re-organizing, editing, formatting, and compiling all of the chapters, front and back matter, photos, and other parts of the book that will be included in the final draft. I can work with two versions of a file side-by-side, easily move chapters around or in a different order, keep all coordinating research and additional files in the Scrivener project for this book, and track changes and leave and respond to comments in the manuscript as the editing process proceeds. So much easier than trying to juggle all of those files and ongoing changes within a word processing application. Scrivener works the way writers work. It is not a “word processor”, it is a writing tool.

My client and I have been working for several months on this manuscript, and it is almost finished and ready for publication. Working together in conjunction with Basecamp and Scrivener, we are very pleased with how things are progressing. As always, having the right tools for the job make all the difference.

If are an author and you would like to find out more about how Writing It Right For You and Detroit Ink Publishing can assist you with your manuscript, contact us! We’ll be glad to talk to you!



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Jan 27

Scrivener is the #1 App for All of my Writing Projects


I am a writer. I am an editor. I am a manuscript preparer and an eBook publisher. I am a social media marketing and branding consultant. For all of those roles that I manage for my three businesses, I do a lot of writing. I write on my MacBook Air from my home office and my MacBook Pro from my Midtown Detroit office. Away from my offices, I write my iPad2 and iPad Mini.

When I write short, often internal documents, I use Google Docs and Google Drive. Most of my clients send me documents in Word, Excel, and PowerPoint, the global gold standard contained in the Microsoft Office Suite; I use those programs in Office for Mac 2011, which integrates (almost) perfectly with the PC/Windows version. Sometimes I use Pages, Keynote, and Numbers in the Apple iWorks Office Suite, mostly because the apps are fun to use (and now free in iOS). For now however, for the majority of my original writing and editing I do for myself and for my clients, I use Scrivener, the popular application designed especially for writers.

Scrivener is not a “word processor”, it is a writing tool. What is the difference? Scrivener was designed just for writers, who are, for the most part, right-brained “creatives”. Scrivener includes several features that allow writers to plan, organize, view, edit, and write in whatever structure they are most comfortable. Completed Scrivener projects can be exported in many formats, including for eBooks.

MacBook Pro Available in 15.4- and 17-inch dia...

MacBook Pro (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I use Scrivener to write my blog posts, my articles, my eBooks and books, my courses, my marketing materials, and my podcast scripts.

In a future post of my “Apps I Use” series, I will give you a more complete narrative of the app and how I use it for my businesses, but right now I have several client projects to finish. All of them have been uploaded to my Scrivener account, which I can access on both of my MacBooks.

This is going to be fun. If you need the assistance of the professional writers and editors at Writing It Right For You, contact us and we’ll get right back to you!

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Dec 27

The Top 10 Year-End Financial Questions for Freelancers


Updated for 2013:

Yes, it’s almost here—the end of the calendar year! While most people are asking themselves what is the best way to celebrate New Year’s Eve, freelancers and small business owners should first be asking themselves important financial questions about their business finances. Before the clock strikes midnight on December 31, here are some questions you should ask yourself and your bookkeeper or accountant:

1)            Are my general ledger balances reconciled with my bank statement balances?

2)            Are there any accounts receivables or bad debts that can or should be written off?

3)            Are the inventory balances correct—do they include inventory items that should be written down to match their actual market value?

4)            Are the listed fixed assets still owned and properly depreciated?

5)            Have all adjustments been made for any prepaid items such as insurance and fees?

6)            Have all payables been accurately recorded?

7)            Have all payroll tax liabilities been reconciled with the quarterly reports?

8)            Are all of the notes payable accounts (loans) reconciled with the bank statements?

9)            Are all debts included in the year-end financial statement?

10)         Are all accounts receivables been reviewed and correctly aged?

As you prepare to answer these questions and check your financial records, are you even sure that those records are in good order? Can you and your financial advisors easily access all of your documents? Are all of your invoices, receipts, and business documents entered and indexed? Do you have a comprehensive way to keep track of all of the relevant conversations and emails with your clients and customers? Have you sent out your final invoices and collected those last payments?

Those of you who follow our Writing It Right For You Blog know that we periodically highlight the great apps we use to run our company. We actually use the apps we recommend—after we’ve tried several similar apps. All of the apps we recommend are especially designed for people and companies like ours: freelancers, SOHO (Small Office/Home Office) business owners, and solo practitioners—they are not scaled down versions of larger applications meant for large businesses.

You know that if you treat your business as a business, taking good care of the administrative tasks are just as important as completing the actual client work. If you are a freelancer or a small business owner with 1-10 employees, check out the apps that we have found to be very helpful to keep our business records in order, to manage our clients and our projects, to do our bookkeeping and accounting, and to invoice our clients.

All of these apps are online and are SaaS, which stands for “Software as a Service”. Instead of plunking down hundreds of dollars for shrinkwrapped software SaaS applications are delivered and supported directly to your computer online for a monthly subscription fee. Besides the ease of use, one of the things we most like about our apps is that they are interrelated and work together so that we don’t have to enter the same information repeatedly.

The data is secure and can be accessed from any computer (and mobile devices in most cases) with an Internet connection. A good group of apps to start with if you are considering using cloud-based apps and keeping of your client and financial data in the cloud:

  • HIghrise by 37Signals for our CRM (Customer Relationship Management) application to keep track of all of our prospects and clients.
  • Freshbooks for time tracking and invoicing for your clients.
  • GoDaddy Bookkeeping (formerly Outright) for small business bookkeeping and accounting.

Happy New Year—here’s to greater success and a more organized business for you and your company!


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Aug 26

Tribute to Pulitzer Prize Winning Playwright August Wilson


Tonight, August 26, 2013, renowned Broadway actors will perform the 1st live recording of all ten plays of the Pittsburgh Cycle of plays by August Wilson. Each play will be read and recorded in order over the next few weeks.

For more details about this great tribute and the full schedule click here.

August Wilson was born as Frederick August Kittel, Jr. in Pittsburgh in 1945. In 1965, after his father died, he decided to change his name to August Wilson to honor his mother. During his life Wilson had many jobs, including: chef for the Little Brothers of the Poor, writing educational scripts for the Science Museum of Minnesota, even as a porter and and a gardener when money was tight.

Wilson was an American playwright and his crowning achievement The Pittsburgh Cycle (that includes a series of ten plays) was awarded two Pulitzer Prizes for Drama. This 10-play cycle depicts 100 years of African-American life. Divided into each of the decades, these plays explore African-American life throughout the 20th century:

august_wilsonGem of the Ocean (2003) – 1900s

Joe Turner’s Come and Gone (1988) – 1910s

Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom (1984) – 1920s

The Piano Lesson (1990) – 1930s

Seven Guitars (1995) – 1940s

Fences (1987) – 1950s

Two Trains Running (1991) – 1960s

Jitney (1982) – 1970s

King Hedley II (1999) – 1980s

Radio Golf (2005) – 1990s

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