1,272 reputation
1614
bio website dori.com
location Healdsburg, CA
age 53
visits member for 3 years, 11 months
seen Dec 2 '11 at 5:58

Current status: looking for employment. Got something? Let's talk.

Dori Smith is the best-selling co-author of JavaScript: Visual QuickStart Guide, 9th edition; Dreamweaver: Visual QuickStart Guide; Styling Web Pages with CSS: Visual QuickProject Guide; and Mac OS X Unwired. She also created the videos JavaScript Essential Training and Ajax Essential Training for Lynda.com, wrote Java 2: Visual QuickStart Guide and contributes to numerous online and print computer industry magazines. A frequent speaker at industry conferences, she was a founding member of the Web Standards Project and is Publisher and ListMom for the Wise-Women's Web community. She co-founded and contributes to the long-running Backup Brain weblog.

She can also be found at:

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Jan
19
comment How do you meet a writing quota?
@sjohnston - I was thinking of Dragon Dictation (free) when I wrote that. Yes, it has a time limit on each recording, but I expect that a paid version will be coming along without that limit. It's from the same company that sells Dragon NaturallySpeaking, so they know their stuff when it comes to speech rec.
Jan
18
comment How do you meet a writing quota?
Even better, there are iPhone apps that will both record and transcribe your notes for you. Just think: you could write a book during your daily commute, without ever touching a keyboard! ;-)
Jan
17
comment What are the advantages of incorporation for a writer?
@Charles - if the contractor provides their own tools and sets their own schedule, then it's entirely likely—and can be for several years running, as well.
Jan
17
comment What are the advantages of incorporation for a writer?
@Charles - (sorry, forgot to add this yesterday) Here's the official US gov't wording: Independent Contractor (Self-Employed) or Employee?. Their rules only care about the freelancer's "degree of control and independence," split into behavioral, financial, and type of relationship categories.
Jan
17
comment What are the advantages of incorporation for a writer?
While LLCs are not officially corporations, in practice they're functionally equivalent. For instance, the IRS doesn't have LLC-specific forms; instead, most LLCs just file as corporations. Also, sole proprietors don't need EINs, as they can just use their SSN.
Jan
17
comment What are the advantages of incorporation for a writer?
@Charles - My husband and I have been professional writers for a combined 38 years. In that time, we've discussed this topic with corporations, publishers, editors, agents, a lot of writers, and numerous tax professionals. This is, for better or worse, how the tech writing biz works in the US in 2011.
Jan
17
comment What are the advantages of incorporation for a writer?
@Charles - the OP asked for the US so that's what he got. The IRS doesn't care about income %s, just about how much control the company has. That is, if I'm told I have to work on X project using a computer they provide from 9-5 M-F at a desk at corporate HQ, they're more likely to be my "employer" than if I can work on my own computer in my own office on my own schedule. Some tech companies tried to bend the rules to save on taxes & benefits and got caught, so now the IRS keeps an eye on companies with a lot of freelancers.
Jan
17
comment What are the advantages of incorporation for a writer?
@Charles - you wrote In most countries, the social insurance advantages run the other way — me, I would have phrased that as "In all civilized countries, the social insurance advantages run the other way" (sigh). Don't get me started…
Jan
15
answered What are the advantages of incorporation for a writer?
Jan
13
comment Will e-books prevent books from going out of print (and rights from reverting)?
@Ralph - fiction publishers are required to keep books in print for some years after they tank? Yuck. What do they do, print them a dozen or so at a time, just so that three years later the two people who might want to can still purchase them? Double yuck. (Note: this assumes the initial print run went to bookstores, didn't sell, and just the covers were sent back.)
Jan
13
comment Formatting for stage, television, and the silver screen
@sjohnston - Did you miss the link for the free demo version on the page? But otherwise: I assumed you were seeking professional results, so that's the answer I posted. If you just "want to goof around," then I recommend that you ignore formatting (after all, why bother?).
Jan
13
awarded  Commentator
Jan
13
comment Will e-books prevent books from going out of print (and rights from reverting)?
@Hedge - Actually, I brought up the O'Reilly contract for a number of reasons: the contract is publicly available, I've written for them, and they've got a high rep in their field. As I mentioned above, that's their "standard" book contract; speaking from experience, yes, they will modify it if the author can make a strong case why it should change.
Jan
13
comment Will e-books prevent books from going out of print (and rights from reverting)?
@Ralph - as I said: "I've never seen an expiration date on a tech book contract." Ever. Really. Books don't go out of print because the contract lapses; rather, the contract lapses when they go out of print. Books go out of print when it's no longer commercially viable to reprint them—so when the reprint cost goes down to zero, they never officially go out of print.
Jan
13
awarded  Enthusiast
Jan
12
answered If you get an advance do you ever have to give it back?
Jan
12
answered Formatting for stage, television, and the silver screen
Jan
12
answered Will e-books prevent books from going out of print (and rights from reverting)?
Jan
12
comment Will e-books prevent books from going out of print (and rights from reverting)?
Doesn't sound like any of the book contracts I've seen. What major publishers do this?
Jan
9
answered Should freelance writers keep their online business separate from offline?