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My Journey to Publishing

Updated on July 11, 2017
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Jack is currently a volunteer at the Westchester County Archives. Jack has worked at IBM for over 28 years on museums and libraries.

Introduction

In my writing workshop, we recently spent a session on sharing our own experiences in getting things published. I wanted to tell my story and hope it can help others who just love to write and wish to get published.

- April 2016

Time Cover August 1, 2005

Background

I've always love to read and also loved writing. In my career, I have co-written papers for technical journals and have shared my various trips to customer sites with colleagues. It was only about 10 years ago, out of the blue, that I decided to write a letter to the editor of Time magazine in reaction to an article I've read. It was on the selection of a Supreme Court justice. I felt so strongly on this topic that I had to write something. It was a surprise to me that I was contacted by one of the editors at Time and she informed me that my piece was selected to be published in the following week issue. I was delighted and felt validated that my views and words were good enough to be published. This was the first time in my life that any thing I wrote would appear in a mass market print medium.

A few years later, in 2006 or so, I discovered a new website called Squidoo. It was a free application for online publishing and it offered the option to funnel my earnings to help a list of charities of my choosing. It was a win-win for me. Over the next few years, I wrote over 100 lens on Squidoo mainly on "How to" and also some of my strongly felt opinions on various subjects. I didn't make a lot of money for my charity which was a Veterans organization but it averaged about $100 per year for the next 6 years.

In 2009, I contacted my alumni organization at CCNY and inquired about a possible submission to their quarterly magazine. I had been on the Varsity Fencing team at CCNY and have been in touch with some of my former teammates. I decided to write an article honoring our coach who had past away years earlier. He had such an impact on all of our lives that I felt it would be a great tribute to him and his family to share our stories. The result article was printed in the Winter issue 2009 Alumnus Magazine. It was a joint effort by our teammates and I took the lead and made the final editing and chose the photos.

In 2014, Squidoo was sold to Hubpages. This was a shock for me since I was so familiar with Squidoo's mode of operations and this migration from lens to hubs was not so seamless. Never the less, after about 3 months and hours of work, I was able to migrate many of my lens into hubs. There was definitely a learning curve and it took me a while to learn the ropes. Now, after a year, I am fully engaged in Hubpages and found it to be an easy platform for the type of writing that I do. Here is a look at my home pages. Currently, I have published 175 hubs of which 160 are "featured." Being featured on Hubpages means that the article passed a quality assessment process and that the result hub will be seen by Google search engine. It would make the article easy to be found on the web. It also give it an advantage of showing up high on google page rank. Some of my hubs appear on the first few pages of google search. Check out some statistics below.

My Letter to Time (hi-lighted in yellow)

My Motivation to Publish

Unlike most, I am not trying to make a career out of writing. I treat my writing almost like a hobby. I want to communicate some of my personal believes and opinions. I also like to share some of my knowledge gained over my 60+ years of living.

I decided to group my hubs by topic into something called a hubbook. Currently, I have about 7 hubbooks completed and more in the works. My topics vary but some of them include Religion and Faith, Simple Recipes, Politics, Technologies, Climate Change and How to fix things...

My most recent hubbook is my autobiography. You can learn about who I am and what I'm passionate about in this book.

I want to spend a few moments promoting the concept of online publishing under the Web 2.0 environment. This is the idea of integrating words and pictures and video and links to present a rich medium of communications. In addition, it involves the reader in providing a feedback section where a dialog can be started between the reader and the author. In many of my hubs, I learn from these feedback and thus modify my writing going forward. It helps to understand the audience and what they are passionate about.

Summary

This is my story and my path to publishing. I am continuing on this path for my own enjoyment. So far, I have received over 15,000 views on Hubpages and over 1800 comments. I also have about 50 followers. Overall, Hubpages claim to have over 47,000 hubbers and 740,000 published hubs. It is growing by the day. Thanks for reading.

© 2016 Jack Lee

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