Monday, January 26, 2009

Research is KEY. Other than Google, where can a Writer Go to Find Information?





I just finished my monthly Chocolate Pages Network PR Coaching call. The authors are off to a great start. Those who show up, go up!

After I got off the call, I realized that a lot of what makes an author successful is getting the right resources they need and knowing where to find information.

One of my favorite scriptures is Hosea 4:6"...My people are destroy for lack of knowledge..." Well, I don't want to see Christian authors destroy, so it is my mission and assignment to help feed them with knowledge. If I can't answer the question, I make it my business to know who to ask or where to go to get the information.

So here is a list I got from the Christian Writer's Market Guide (my favorite tool, available on my website. The 2008 edition is 1/2 off - only $20 bucks):

Where to find INFORMATION:


ABOUT.COM. When you don’t know anything about a topic, search: www.about.com for hundreds of information links.

AREA CODES. For a numerical listing of telephone area codes, go to: http://bennetyee.org/ucsd-pages/area.html.

ASK-AN-EXPERT SITES. (1) Website: www.K12Science.org/askanexpert.html. (2) www.askanexpert.com; (3) www.askjeeves.com. (4) The Yearbook of Experts, Authorities, and Spokespersons: www.yearbook.com.

BIOGRAPHICAL INFORMATION. (1) Website: www.biography.com. Short biographies on 25,000+ personalities. (2) This biographical dictionary covers more than 28,000 notable men and women who have shaped our world from ancient times to the present day: http://s9.com/biography.

+BRITANNICA. Website: www.britannica.com. The Encyclopedia Britannica’s Website. Includes the Britannica blog, all of the articles in the Encyclopedia Britannica, a newsletter, and more.

COUNTRIES. These sites give information on various countries of the world: (1) CIA’s World Factbook: www.cia.gov/cia/publications/factbook; (2) Library of Congress’s Portals to the World: www.loc.gov/rr/international/portals.html; (3) Country Reports: www.countryreports.org; (4) www.economist.com/countries.

EXPERTS. (1) Website: www.experts.com. A diverse source of experts, academic and otherwise. (2) Directory that lists expertise of more than 1,000 University of Southern California scientists/scholars/administrators/physicians as a service to editors/reporters/
producers can be found at www.usc.edu/uscnews/newsroom/. (3) Also, check out: www.profnet.com. Site contains 14,000 expert profiles.

FACT PORTAL. Colin Powell’s favorite site links to sources of information on a multitude of topics. Website: www.refdesk.com.

FEDERAL CITIZEN INFORMATION CENTER SITE
S. (1) www.info.gov. Brochures on just about any subject. News, links, topics, resources, fun stuff, and more; (2) www.pueblo.gsa.gov. Information about anything and everything one could need. Free and low-cost booklets.

HOLIDAYS/FESTIVALS. (1) To find information on holidays/festivals worldwide, visit: www.holidays.net, or (2)www.wilstar.com/holidays.

HOW STUFF WORKS. (1) Website: www.howstuffworks.com. Explains how things work from vacuum cleaners to earthquakes, using text/pictures/animation. (2) See also: www.ehow.com.

INFORMATION PLEASE. Website: www.InfoPlease.com. This 50-year-old print resource now available on the Internet.

LOOKUPS. Amazing site with 30 databases for the demographic seeker: www.melissadata.com/Lookups.

MAG PORTAL. Website: www.MagPortal.com. Lets you search for articles online simultaneously, without having to visit each magazine’s Website individually.

PHONE BOOK SEARCH USA.
Websites: (1) www.switchboard.com; (2) www.infobel.com/teldir.

PUBLIC RECORDS.
(1) To find public records online, go to: www.oatis.com. (2) To find financial information/background checks/birthdays/occupations of people, go to: www.pretrieve.com.

REFERENCE SITES.
List of free reference sites useful to writers and anyone looking for free information: www.writers-free-reference.com.

+STINK LIT. Find books that reveal in graphic detail the underbelly of a particular locale, time period, or culture, such as poverty/dyspepsia/general squalor. (1) A Journal of the Plague Year by Daniel Defoe; (2) The Jungle by Upton Sinclair; (3) Down and Out in Paris and London by George Orwell.

WRITERS’ KNOWLEDGE SWAP. Website: http://groups.yahoo
.com/group/writerswap. An information-exchange mailing list for writers doing research.


See www.PamPerryPRCoach.com too and www.ChocolatePagesNetwork.com!

2 comments:

Ty said...

Great post Pam! I will be referring back to your post when I start research for my next WIP.

Dana said...

I agree with Ty. I would add the public library. You'll find access to great content. And many have answer questions through their reference librarians via email.

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