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FAQs About the Business of Pet-Fishing Writing

Related Articles: Aquatic Writing Business, From Water to Words: Writing for the Ornamental Aquatics Interest By:  Steven Pro,

Related FAQs: 

The beginning portion of my paper 02/13/13
Bob,
<Bryce>
      I apologize if the paper is slightly rough, and want to extend to you my most sincere thankfulness for your willingness to read this. I probably will need greater depth added in certain areas, please let me know where those would be.
<Well; a bunch to return to you here. Suggested changes in brackets, in red... Bob Fenner>
Bryce

Submitting an article    11/11/12
Bob and crew,
<Ernest>
I am a hobbyist that has made the connection to Ocean Literacy and have found a new skill-set, writing.  I have embarked on a writing adventure creating a platform to transmit the message of Ocean Literacy to children from about fourth grade on up. During this process I have written a couple articles to summit for others to enjoy.  I have contacted and sent a copy of one to Mr. James Stewart
<Lawrence>
of Coral magazine.  I have not had any response from him, good or bad.  I have listened to many pod cast that reference WWM as a place to submit articles and information about the hobby and marine ecology.  I was wondering how one goes about submitting material to WWM for others to enjoy.  My Alternative motive is to have some type of writing published in a credible venue, so that when I am ready to publish my book on Ocean Literacy, I may have some type of writing credibility. Here are the titles of the articles that I have written so far. The first is, Ocean acidification and the reef aquarium.  The other is, Coral and their behavior, A hobbyist perspective.  I am trying to bridge the ecology of ocean concepts to the marine aquarist so that more aquarist may be more informed about the origin of the animals we keep.  They are written in a simple language so they are easy to digest.  If this type of material sounds like material that will fit your format, please let me know and I will send them to you, one at a time for submission.
Thank you,
Ernest Shipp   
330.281.9424
<Thank you for your interest. Am forwarding your message to our online 'zine editor, Neale Monks, for his response.
Bob Fenner>
Re: Submitting an article    11/11/12

Bob,
Thank you for the possible opportunity and yes, it is Mr. Lawrence.  I have a ton of new names I'm trying to keep straight.  Although When one hears the name Bob Fenner, no mistaking who it is. Looking forward hearing from Mr. Monks.
Ernest Shipp
<I see you have... and if you don't hear from James, do send him another email. BobF>

Website Contact   6/21/12
Hi; are you interested in a guest article for your site? I've pasted an article I wrote for the Huffington Post below so you know the level of quality I produce; I'll be glad to write for you as well.
<Mmm, not this; no. We are "all aquatics"... Bob Fenner>
Animals Are Not People

Today I read a study posted in The American Journal of Primatology; it was about mother gorillas engaging in a physical form of “baby talk” with their young. The article interested me, charmed me, and then disturbed me.
While I would love to believe that people will read that article and solely think, “Oh, that’s interesting,” I know far too well that people are much more likely to think “Oh, they’re just like us!” And that, my friends, is an all too common and dangerous idea.
No matter how much we may think they are or want them to be, animals are not human. They do share some of our physical characteristics (especially those in the ape family) and physiological responses (we all react to pain, fear, etc.), but they do not possess our cognitive abilities or our
cultural alertness.
Let’s revisit gorillas, but not those in the previously mentioned article.
<Hello Roland, Bob,   6/21/12

I read the piece with interest, and agree 100% with what you're saying. One of the things we do stress at WWM is that "love" isn't a substitute for proper care, and if you don't provide your pet fish with a healthy aquarium, it doesn't matter how much you might love that pet.
However, I do think you might want to spend a little time reading through the type of articles we publish (the "New on WWM" button will be useful here). We're a practical site rather than one about the philosophical or social aspects of fishkeeping. As/when I get time to work on the WWM Digital magazine some more (i.e., the summer break from school) I'd certainly be open to publishing hands-on, experience-based articles on better fishkeeping. Have a view of the magazine to see the stuff we buy and publish, and you'll see what we're after, and if you want to, drop me a line about any ideas you have!
Sincerely yours, Neale>

Re: Galveston Photos- Writing up Scott's experiences, reflections   10/10/11
Sure Bob,
I can try.
<Not to be overly concerned re editing issues... I can help, and then there are the actual editors! Cheers, and keep writing! BobF>
Scott McDonald

AFI    8/9/11
Hi Bob,
Signed the contract today with AFI for the BF article. My highest paid article to date, wow!
James
<Ahhh, congratulations. BobF>

Re: New moray eel, writing re  12/9/10
Marco,
<Pat>
I'd be more than happy to! I actually acquired a G. ypsilon recently, and may be getting a G. zonipectus and G. neglectus soon as well (please share any advice/experience you may have on these).
<G. zonipectis (I'm using the old spelling like Randall) is a smaller species quite adequate as an aquarium fish. It reaches about 50 cm and comes from the tropical Indo-Pacific (in some parts of Indonesia it occurs in remarkable numbers). It's possible to stumble over this species in the "assorted morays" section of wholesalers and it is found in trade from time to time with a proper ID (at least a few years ago, right now quite less).
I find it somewhat comparable to G. eurostus with different looks, of course. G. neglectus is a stout, massive species up to 4 feet (1,2 m), I have only seen it on Russian and Japanese stock lists and as dead specimen.
It reminded me somewhat of a smaller, yellowish version of the G. javanicus. It is mostly found in the rather sub-tropical waters of Okinawa and Taiwan. I'd keep it a few degrees colder than the average reef tank.>
Do you have any specific framework you feel would work?
<For a possible article? I'd suggest to go for the printed formats first (such as TFH), and after publishing there give it to an online format such as WWM. What would be needed are some good, printable pictures. Of course you can directly go to the online formats if having it printed is not important to you. In this case I'd suggest sending the article to WWM's Digital Magazine: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/ca/WWMDigPermanentRefPg.htm >
Thank you,
Pat Corcoran
<Cheers, Marco.>

New Marine Magazine - Article Contributors Wanted    9/17/10
FAO: Bob Fenner,
<Dave>
Ref: New Marine Magazine - Article Contributors Wanted
<Oh! Will share/post>
This is a brief email to introduce ourselves and our new dedicated marine fish keeping magazine.
Over recent years we have witnessed the introduction of better techniques, equipment improvements and an increase in the availability of marine livestock across the UK. These combined factors have helped expand the hobby, making it much more accessible to the less experienced. We feel the time has come to present hobbyists with a fresh new magazine. The aim is to encourage new entrants through useful start-up information while keeping the more seasoned enthusiasts suitably up-to-date.
Marine Habitat, published by Fish Junkies Ltd will be a bi-monthly dedicated marine magazine distributed across the UK. We will seek to deliver an interesting, useful and moreover trusted publication. While both Andy and myself (joint owners of Fish Junkies) are marine hobbyists, neither of us would place ourselves in the 'expert' category. We are very enthusiastic about bringing a new marine resource to the table but absolutely appreciate the need to ensure that its article content is from a credible source.
We are in the process of forming a team of regular contributors and are writing to enquire if this is something you would consider? You are recognized internationally by readers, fellow experts and ourselves alike as a true expert in the field and as such, we are very keen to get you on board. The first issue of the magazine is due to roll of the press in Dec and therefore time is of the essence.
We look forward to hearing from you in the near future, and obviously if you have any questions please let me know.
Regards
Dave Pitt
Director
Fish Junkies Ltd
07766 323276
<mailto:dave@fish-junkies.co.uk> dave@fish-junkies.co.uk
<http://www.fish-junkies.co.uk/> www.fish-junkies.co.uk
Address: Fish Junkies Ltd, PO BOX 4768, Sheffield, S8 2HL.
Fish Junkies Ltd are the publishers of the dedicated marine fish keeping magazine, Marine Habitat.
<Hey Dave! What is it (titles, subject wise) that you have in mind? Are you looking for ongoing column writing or independent submissions on any given topic? Might I ask re your payment policy? BobF>
Re: New Marine Magazine - Article Contributors Wanted   9/17/10

Hey Dave! What is it (titles, subject wise) that you have in mind? Are you looking for ongoing column writing or independent submissions on any given topic? Might I ask re your payment policy? BobF
Re: New Marine Magazine - Article Contributors Wanted
Bob,
<Dave>
Firstly, thanks very much for your response. Marine Habitat will be a bi-monthly publication, initially containing approx 48 content pages. We are initially looking for around 5 feature articles at this stage, plus a couple of other smaller sections that we may request input for e.g. Q&A type sections, profiles on particular fish/inverts/corals etc.
<I see>
What we are looking for is a number of experts to write all the above articles on a regular and basis. In most cases, I suspect the subject be open and therefore if you have articles pre-written then these may
suitably fit the bill. Alternatively, on occasion it may be that we request articles on particular subjects, in which case you could either take on the article or perhaps if it's not your thing you may suggest an alternative writer that has a specific focus in that area.
<Ok>
Obviously at this stage, I don't know how much time you have available for writing magazine articles or if you have any preference on the type of input you have (smaller sections, large features etc)... having said this, we acknowledge you as being a very credible and trusted source of information and would very much love to have you involved.
<Mmm, I am constantly (trying to be) productive... And don't have a "day job"... so other than managing my investments (generally a minimal time commitment), I travel, make images and write...>
Re the payment subject, this may require a little negotiation as I'm not sure how you prefer to charge - per article, per No of pages, do your submissions include photos and so on.
<Mmm, there are standards in the trade... I almost always supply graphics for editors to choose through. I already write for your likely competitor Ultramarine, and previously (for the Donlans) Marine World...>
I have any rough idea in mind of what we could feasible offer however if you could provide a little more info on this front I would be grateful.
Dave
Regards
<In recent times, other outfits in the UK have paid in the 240 pound range for articles of "average" length. BobF>
Dave Pitt
Fish Junkies Ltd
www.fish-junkies.co.uk
Re: New Marine Magazine - Article Contributors Wanted
Bob,
<Dave>
Obviously, I'm sure you will appreciate, this is a new magazine and as such to aid its interest and circulation we are launching with significantly reduced prices for both the cover price and the advertising rates.
While I appreciate the going rate is around the £200 - £250 mark in the UK and would be happy to pay within this range once our pricing structure returns to normal (issue 4), I would ask you to consider a reduced rate for issue 1 with a staggered rate increase through to issue 3 at which point the normal rate would be more feasible.
Would you consider the following, based on an 'average' size article which we would deem to be 4 - 6 A4 sides including images.
Issue 1 rate = XXXX per article
Issue 2 rate = XXXX per article
Issue 3 (and onwards) rate = XXXX per article
Thanks.
Regards
Dave Pitt
Fish Junkies Ltd
www.fish-junkies.co.uk
<Am happy enough with the pay offered, but don't have a notion that I have time, inclination sufficient to produce more content for the UK market. If you'd like, I'll send your offer out to other content providers I'm familiar with... To see if your new venture is a fit with them. BobF>
Re: New Marine Magazine - Article Contributors Wanted
Bob,
<Big D>
Ok, well it's a shame that you're not looking to do any further writing for the UK however thanks for your feedback on the proposed rate structure. If this changes in the future, please feel free to contact me.
<Not so much not wanting to help you. Please allow me to expand, try to be more clear. I think being a contributor/content provider to any given ONE outlet in a geographic area/market is sufficient... AND I really don't want to "clog the pipeline"... by taking up space that would be better used/served in having other writer/photographers present their efforts.
Hence my unclear offer to broadcast your request for content providers>
I would be grateful if you could inform any other writers you know about this opportunity and ask them to contact me should they be interested. I would however appreciate it if you would avoid providing rate details to your contacts as these are negotiated on an individual basis.
<Ahh, will do. Cheers, Bob Fenner>
Many thanks.
Regards
Dave Pitt
Fish Junkies Ltd
www.fish-junkies.co.uk

JamesL, NealeM, ChrisB... input on: Thesis on Centropyge potteri   9/14/10
Bob,
<Cody>
Here's my thesis on C. potteri for your reading pleasure. I'd really like to get all or some of it published one of these days, whether it be in a hobbyist magazine or elsewhere.
<Mmm, have read over... and for "pet fish" publication, your thesis will require shortening,
re-orienting for pulp and electronic publication... I can and will help you with placement if
you'd like. I do concur/agree that the salient points you make in this work are accurate,
significant and meaningful to aquarists... the target audience. Am cc'ing James Lawrence/Coral Mag. here
as the work should first appear in pulp... and Neale Monks/WWM Digital, as he and James are
sophisticated editors in the field and VERY likely have worthwhile input for you at this
junction>
I am highly interested in developing a creative approach to coral reef conservation from a marine aquarium hobbyist standpoint... a project that would supplement existing efforts by the MAC Council and other
NGOs / agencies.
<And also cc'ing Chris Buerner of Quality Marine and MAC for his input. He is of confluent goals, direction> I want to call it "AquariSource" and make a website and everything (building websites is my hidden talent). The ultimate goal would be to shift demand toward sustainable sources (or to increase sustainability) and to eventually achieve funding to expand the idea. I'd love to call and chat about it with you sometime. Let me know if you're interested.
<This is a very propitious email/meeting for all here. I look forward to our further sharing. BobF>
With Aloha,
-Cody Chapin
Re: The Thesis itself. JamesL, NealeM, ChrisB... input on: Thesis on Centropyge potteri
> Hello Cody, Bob,
> I'm not really sure what you're after from me. Looks like a thesis to me! Have written one myself, and currently use it to prop up a computer.
<Heeee!>
> Cody, I will offer some meta-advice. Firstly, everyone's PhD thesis is long-winded and filled with purple prose. Mine certainly was, and I'm sure yours is too. That's par for the course. What I'd recommend you do is cleave off a few papers for journals. Once you've done that, and in the process filleted down your argument to its key points, you'll be in a position to write an excellent review article for the general public. Whether you choose to do that via Scientific American, BBC Wildlife, Tropical Fish Hobbyist, or God help us Wet Web Media is up to you. But I would strongly urge you to get the scientific papers in press first. There's a discipline involved in publishing to a critical audience -- and dealing with the inevitable rejection that follows -- that makes us better writers.
> Writing for general audiences is different to writing for the scientific press, and the scientific press is different again from writing a thesis. Three different aims. Your thesis is all about convincing other academics you're a competent scientist. That's all. Scientific papers are about conveying observations and arguments to a critical audience of your peers. Popular press articles are about entertaining and informing people who operate outside your specific field. In the case of anything to do with conservation that's crucial, because you're trying to convince people who have influence -- e.g., businesses, lawmakers -- even though those people have no interest at all in learning about your methods or raw data.
> I can't pretend to be an expert on this particular subject, but I have no doubt that the work needs to be publicised and disseminated. Good luck.
> Cheers, Neale
<Thank you Neale. BobF>
Re: The Thesis itself. JamesL, NealeM, ChrisB... input on: Thesis on Centropyge potteri

Dear Cody,
I agree completely with Neale: you should aim for publication in a scientific journal first (there is always PLoS One). Publishing first in a hobbyist magazine could jeopardize your chances of getting accepted by a science journal.
CORAL might be interested in a piece when you are ready.
Good luck,
James
James M. Lawrence
Editor & Publisher
CORAL Magazine
Thank you James. B

Need an opinion, fluid mechanics paper/petfish?   6/3/10
Hey crew !!!! it's been a while :D I can't wait to finish my exams and go nuts with my tanks :)
Anyway, I have written a brief report as an assignment for my fluid mechanics course in college, I thought you guys could take a look at it and
tell me if it's suitable to be available online somewhere for other aquarists to benefit from. just tell me what you think and what I should add/remove to optimize its usefulness (if any :D )
Thank you in advance :))))
--
Abdelrahman El-Soueify
Recruitment team
OGX - LC AAST Alex.
AIESEC Egypt
<Am sending this paper to our online magazine editor, Neale Monks, and Scott Vallembois, friend, fellow WWM Crewmember and partner in Glass-holes.come for their input. Bob Fenner>
Re: Need an opinion
Thank you :))))))))))))))))
<Welcome Abdelrahman! BobF>

Re: Need an opinion, Article submission   6/3/10
Hello guys,
I have no idea at all what this article is about, but it is very nicely presented. I'm certainly happy to schedule it for publication in the online magazine if Scott and Bob think it's worthwhile.
Cheers, Neale
Should we help Ab shop it around in the pulps first Neale? B
Re: Need an opinion
Oh, I'm more than happy to help.
Cheers, Neale
<Abdelrahman, would you like us to submit your work about... for pay to
you, in the analog periodicals? BobF>
Re: Need an opinion
First of all THANK YOUU so much guys !!!
really :D
> am not totally sure what's gonna happen exactly, but still thank you so much !!!! just the idea is wow !!
I owe each & every one of u :))) any time ur in Egypt give me a call :D
<Heee, was just in Sharm and Cairo a couple weeks back! Be seeing you, BobF>
Re: Need an opinion
I'll take a closer look at it this eve when I am back at my computer, but at a quick glance the content looks great. I am sure several prints mag.s may be interested in this or a "dumbed down" version.
Scott V.
<Real good Scott. B>
Looks good, I enjoyed reading this. Thanks Abdelrahman. I know there are equations in some of the future engineering classes you will likely end up taking that account for the surface tension. Would likely come closer to real world with such a small weir, but heck if I know them! Hopefully I can catch up with you in Egypt with Bob sometime!
Scott V.
Re: Need an opinion
what a shame !! such a near miss :(
<Perhaps next time. B>

Re: Marine World magazine  3/26/10
Hello all,
I have not found that payment nor demand is low in the pulp print at all. Simply crap submissions. Many magazines are indeed struggling to stay in business, but articles do sell. Those that are there are all too willing to buy. As for months on getting paid, well this is the way it is. A contract has to be fulfilled. Sell it to an e-zine and get paid less, but faster if you wish. Judging from the first paragraph of this email, we do it for the money. I do hope it is to help other within the hobby. If one enjoys writing and photography, do this regardless of payment. Payment for articles worthy will happen. Fact is if you love to write, then write. If you want to sell, then write what sells. Bob, please do post this in the dailies, hopefully with the original email, even if anonymous.
Scott V.
Mmm, will have to think about posting to the Net. Iggy's email was not thus intended. B
Re: Marine World magazine  3/26/10

> Hi Bob, Scott,
> I read these e-mails with interest. If anything it underlines the need for a good online magazine where experienced writers can submit their articles confident that they'll get paid briskly.
<Yes... and for your/the record, I will state that "this" has happened before... Pulp 'zines falling behind on payments... zonking content contributors entirely when they fold>
And yet getting people to submit pieces for Conscientious Aquarist has been a bit like drawing blood from a stone. For some reason marine aquarists especially seem to find $200 for an article beneath them.
> As Scott accurately states: sometimes it's better to get paid less but paid promptly, especially if you know that online publisher will be buying pieces from you several times per year. Besides WWM, within the fishkeeping world I have two regular gigs writing for online publishers. Though neither pays huge amounts of money, they both pay me regularly and promptly, and across the year it all adds up to a tidy little sum. You just have to be careful how much time you spend on each piece, so that the dollars per hour spent makes sense. And you have to be willing to be adaptable, even if that means writing about bits of the hobby you aren't a particular expert on.
> Bob, I know we've said this before, but please do remind your friends in the marine world that CA is always keen to receive ideas for articles. The success of Reef Central demonstrates that it is possible for web sites to make money from this hobby, but a part of that has to be creating the content that draws in site visitors.
> Cheers, Neale
<Will do, do-do! BobF>

collaboration  9/25/09
Good afternoon!
Editor of magazine "AQUATERRA" offers to you a collaboration on the pages of magazine. In a magazine "AQUATERRA" the articles are published about aquariums, terrariumakh and their inhabitants, about trips, about the clubs of aquariums and events of zooindustrii.
Beforehand beholden for an answer.
With kind regards Tamara Kovalenko
<Is this a solicitation for articles for pay? Can/will you direct me, others to a site where information can be obtained re length, pay, images? Bob Fenner> 

Writing for foreign magazines 3-5-09 I was wondering if anyone can provide me with any information on authoring articles for foreign magazines. <Mmm, yes. Have done this for decades> I was told that articles written for magazines in the United States can also be submitted to other magazines without copyright violation as long as they are in a different language. Is this true? <Mmm, not really "true"... depending on ones agreement/contracts as a content provider, this may be okay or not... But generally, work (writing, images) can be re-sold to different media... "serially"... that is, after it has run in one place, it can be submitted to others. Some 'zines sell content to each other, some have transilterations into more than one language> If so, do you know of any foreign magazines to publish in? <All sorts... These can be found on the Net... written or emailed to... Queries made as to what sorts of work they might be interested in... You should send along some examples (of various lengths, with more/less image work), and a cover letter stating your general interest, your background... Bob Fenner> Thanks, Steve

Article submission question (Attn: Bob F./Neale)  12/3/08 Hi Bob, <Mike> I have recently submitted an article on marine tank setups that was published in the Winter 2008 edition of CA. It was a pleasure to contribute something to the site that I have gained so much knowledge from. <Ah, good> As an engineer, I spend a large part of my day writing technical specifications, so writing an article just for the fun of it was rather enjoyable. <A good exercise in arranging ones thoughts, and very helpful for others> I had a couple of ideas for another article if you thought there would be a need\interest. The first one is a "How it's Made" style. I live about 40 miles from Carib-Sea. I thought it would be interesting to show the end user how that bag of "live" sand or dry aragonite got to their LFS. <Oooh, I really like the serialized shows on TV of this nature... and ones to do with ornamental aquatics!? A winner for sure> The second article is more of an essay - The advantages of keeping a nutrient rich tank or in defense of less than perfect housekeeping. I've had some success keeping tropical west Atlantic orange and yellow branching sponges in my tank - to the point that they are actually growing rather than just surviving despite target feeding two to three times per week, while at the same time, keeping my nitrates and phosphates down to undetectable levels. <A point that does need to be made... much of "nature" is not so "pristine" in these ways> Bart B of the same article features part of the "secret to my success" if you will: I have five or six types of (visible) macroalgae - Coralline, Grape Caulerpa, Chaetomorpha, Halymenia, Halimeda (Goreaui and Macroloba), and one as yet unidentified green species that resembles a tree without leaves and is about 3.5 cm tall. I also have some hair algae and some red slime tucked away in the corners of my rocks. Essentially I have, for the lack of a better term, a "planted" marine tank. I, like most others I'm sure, tend to overfeed my fish. But what I have discovered is that overfeeding can be OK, provided you have enough life in the tank dedicated to extracting the byproducts. Hair Algae and some red slime algae can be useful, and even dare I say attractive if properly controlled. <We are in agreement> My Zebrasoma seems to like it in any case. The last article that i am kicking around is an essay on whether or not it is moral\ethical\conscientious to purchase "doomed" sponges\mollusks\corals, already in decline for the purpose of feeding fish that are otherwise difficult to keep in captivity. <A tough question... one that I "dodged" by not writing re, or even showing pix of these groups... for many years. But, in the final synthesis, each/everyone must decide for themselves... I am very "open handed" (laissez faire) re this choice/choosing... IF humans are denied outright access to the living world... we and it are doomed... people must decide (with knowledge, intelligence, caring/compassion) to preserve our planets resources including life, or no... This "learning" can only really come with direct experiences...> In any case, I'm sure I have taken enough of your time. If you feel that an\all of those would be of use\interest to the community, I would be more than happy to get to it. Thank you again for allowing me to contribute. Regards Mike <I do find your ideas viable, indeed invigorating... I will gladly help you in what ways I can/you'd like to see them realized... Perhaps lending you image work, helping you to make submissions (first to the pulp press, than electronic) here in the U.S. and abroad... Do please make it known how I may be of service, and thank you for sharing. Bob Fenner>

Thanks bob, Petfish writing   10/21/08 Bob, Thanks, I just got my copies of Marine and Reef, cover story woo hoo!! I just wanted to say thanks so much for your help in getting it out there. There is something special about seeing something you wrote in print like that. <Ahh!> Thank you again, and this was the impetus I needed to get through some writers block on the other articles I was working on. Your friend, Forrest <Welcome my friend. BobF>

special thanks to Bob 5/15/09
Bob,
Greetings to you, sorry to hear of your troubles as of late, most unfortunate. I hope you are able to resolve them quickly and cleanly though it seems the friendship is beyond repair at this point :(. Always a shame.
I did want to say thank you and to inform you that TFH has elected to run my travelogue from Akumal in August.
<Ahh!>
Thanks so very much for the help in making contacts in this field. At the same time I may have to curse you as we seem to have created a monster in the form of my father and underwater photography.
<Heee!>
As the water was clearer last November when they went back down he was able to get better photos for the article. I have informed TFH in all instances who created the photos, he or myself. As I recall they were there at the same time you were in Cozumel last November.
Thank you again, I genuinely appreciate it, both the help with the tanks over the years and the writing as well.
Forrest
<And you for sharing as well Forrest. Excelsior! BobF>  

Article submission   9/14/08 Hello Mr. Fenner, My name is Lonnie Lindberg, I had sent an email on Sept. 10 regarding an article I had written concerning Betta behavior and some research that I had done while in college. I was wondering if it had gone through and if you had a chance to review (the file attached was in .doc format). Thank you, Lonnie <Mmm, I know naught re... Am sending to our two editors for resp. Cheers, BobF>

Hello Lonnie, Your Betta article arrived a few days ago, but I hadn't got around to reading it until today. It looks sound, but I do have a few ideas that might improve the piece and so make it especially useful to our readership: 1. Try dividing the article up into sections with subheadings of their own. It's a fact that reading on screen is different to reading from books. Short paragraphs (3-4 lines) work best. Ideally put just a few paragraphs in each section, so that people can easily track where they are in the article as they scroll the page. 2. Images! These make a big difference to any article. How about a photo of a perfect Betta aquarium? We get messages from people with Bettas in pint pots with angle-poise lamps over them for heat. Obviously no way to keep any fish. So how about your ideas, plus some recommendations of what's essential and what's optional. 3. Since your piece is somewhat focused on behaviour, I'd suggest opening with an introduction to the species, a summary of how you maintain and feed your lab animals, and then a succession of sections describing clearly distinguished behaviours. (In this case, I think each of your experiments would qualify as a single, clearly titled section.) An additional section would describe the "further work" aspect you discuss; essentially the Discussion section of an academic paper. 4. Round off the article with a section on how your (academic) investigation of Betta behaviour helps the (practical) fishkeeper keep their livestock well. I think a table of "good" and "bad" tankmates would make sense here. Please do get in touch if you want to discuss any of this further. Cheers, Neale <Outstanding... and worth archiving for the edification of other submitters, writers. BobF>

LFS article, cons. stores, eval.   6/24/08 Hi, Bob! <Laurie> Would there be any issues with writing an article about things to look for/be aware of as a conscientious buyer at a local or online fish store? <No... tis an excellent idea, topic> Some of the points would be the following things I tend to look for: *No dead or dying fish or corals left in the tanks with healthy corals *No opportunistic algae on coral frags being sold to hobbyists- ie Valonia, Bryopsis, Cyano, etc *Performs water changes and tests own water regularly *Separate sump systems for at least a hospital tank from the reef tanks *Inappropriate fish or corals not taken care of properly- ie, mandarins in small tanks with out LR, or sun corals starving from not being target fed/ left in unshaded light and not enough flow... Especially in multiples at the same time... *Openmindedness with reefing styles (For every successful DSB reefer, there is also a beautiful BB tank or SSB) <Great!> *Able to learn from reefers who patronize as well as teach new hobbyists with patience *Respectful of others and courteous/polite *Clean store *Is upfront about coral sources when asked (Aquacultured versus wild caught, and if wild caught were chemicals used to catch the fish?) *Do they charge every reefer the same price for a coral? *Supports local reefing clubs *Will not sell out of a hospital tank *Will not pass off dying or dyed fish to consumers *Corals for sale that will hurt each other are not placed next to each other in a tank- such as a soft coral fallen over on an SPS, or another coral within sweeper distance of another coral *Guarantees their live stock with a tank water sample from the hobbyist's tank *Will let you test, or will let you see them test their store tank water *Does not cherry pick the best corals into a display tank that is not for sale. (This is my pet peeve- why should I buy all the stuff you didn't think was good enough for your display tank??? I'd rather just buy rare corals online at that point imo) Laurie <Good points... I would expand/explain each, give examples... and very importantly, try to take pix of what you are trying to show... I will gladly help you sell this piece into the pulp, and then the electronic pet-fish magazines. Bob Fenner> LFS article, Sara's input  06/23/08 Hi, Bob! <Hi, I'm Sara, not Bob. If you'll excuse me, I just wanted to comment a bit here too...> Would there be any issues with writing an article about things to look for/be aware of as a conscientious buyer at a local or online fish store? Some of the points would be the following things I tend to look for:*No dead or dying fish or corals left in the tanks with healthy corals*No opportunistic algae on coral frags being sold to hobbyists- ie Valonia, Bryopsis, Cyano, etc*Performs water changes and tests own water regularly*Separate sump systems for at least a hospital tank from the reef tanks*Inappropriate fish or corals not taken care of properly- ie, mandarins in small tanks with out LR, or sun corals starving from not being target fed/ left in unshaded light and not enough flow... Especially in multiples at the same time...*Openmindedness with reefing styles (For every successful DSB reefer, there is also a beautiful BB tank or SSB)*Able to learn from reefers who patronize as well as teach new hobbyists with patience*Respectful of others and courteous/polite*Clean store*Is upfront about coral sources when asked (Aquacultured versus wild caught, and if wild caught were chemicals used to catch the fish?)*Do they charge every reefer the same price for a coral?*Supports local reefing clubs*Will not sell out of a hospital tank*Will not pass off dying or dyed fish to consumers*Corals for sale that will hurt each other are not placed next to each other in a tank- such as a soft coral fallen over on an SPS, or another coral within sweeper distance of another coral*Guarantees their live stock with a tank water sample from the hobbyist's tank*Will let you test, or will let you see them test their store tank water*Does not cherry pick the best corals into a display tank that is not for sale. (This is my pet peeve- why should I buy all the stuff you didn't think was good enough for your display tank??? I'd rather just buy rare corals online at that point imo) Laurie <Interesting... it would be nice if stores achieved more of these goals/points (and I imagine they often do try to, actually). But currently, have you ever found a store which consistently satisfies all these points? I never have. Even my favorite stores will still sell carnation corals (and other animals inappropriate for aquariums), or occasionally get algae problems, or give regular customers a price break on a coral or fish from time to time. Ordering livestock from the internet is not much of a solution (imo). For one thing, if you think the walk-in stores look bad, how do you envision a facility that doesn't have to present itself to the public? How do you know they aren't even worse? I think the way to help your LFSs (just my opinion here) is 1) spend money at them, 2)be encouraging, point out the good things, but 3) also politely, diplomatically, sympathetically, but consistently, offer constructive criticism about things they could do to improve the store/care of the animals and customers, etc. If you're patronizing their store and flattering them, they'll tolerate some nagging (but constructive) criticism... and sometimes actually try to change (more likely especially if you focus on one or two points and explain to them why it will help business). At least, this has been my experience... as a customer and as someone who's worked at one of these places. Working at a LFS is just not as easy as you might think. It's physically and emotionally exhausting. Best, Sara M.>

Re: writing, travelogue article 5/29/08 Bob, I have reformatted it, from .rtf to .doc (copied and pasted which seems to have worked, sent it to my sister to ensure images came through). I hope they come through this time. Thanks again, Forrest <Ahh, even better with the photos. Do submit all you have and allow the editors to sort through. Bob Fenner>

Re: writing, travelogue article 5/29/08 Bob, <Forrest> I shall do so, but how do I do so? Should I just tack the whole slew of pics to the end of the article? In the way I addended the picture of the blue wrasse and parrot fish ? I assume I should skip and pics that came out poorly or blurry etc. and question two, who should I submit it to? <Yes, and to the editors themselves... If you'd like, I will help you send along this piece... with you to follow up with what is stated below> Thanks, and sorry for all the questions. Forrest <I send along all via the Post on a CD, or if VERY large, a DVD... with a cover letter to the editor/s saying that there are a number of alternate images for their perusal. Bob Fenner> Re: writing, travelogue article  05/30/08 Bob, I would be most grateful for the assistant of helping me send along.  If I understood correctly, keep the file as is, but send along in the post: a copy of the article, and images on a disc (type of disc determined by sizing requirements) and a cover letter,(physically printed out). Thank you, Forrest <Correct. I have sent your pc. along to Ultramarine in the UK... Let's see what they say... and if a no-sale there, we'll send it along elsewhere. BobF>

Re: writing, travelogue article... Pix  6/1/08 OK, cool Any specifics on "better"? The file sizes where cut way down I know, but if you have any input on what else is wrong/substandard with them let me know. I have about another 160 or so, some better than others. also waiting for Auto focus is horrible after you get used to manual focusing. Oh am in contact with Ikelite about resolving that whole situation. Thanks Bob, and feel free to be brutal on what needs improving. Forrest <Mmm, the photos need to be clearer, sharper... (more in focus, lit, better-resolved)... Take a look at the pet-fish magazines, travel 'zines... Bob Fenner>

ScottV, Aquarium Engineering tome  4/13/08 Hello Bob, <Scott!> How is everything? I had to return from Costa Mesa early last Sunday morning so I did not get the chance to see you speak. <Rats!> I have indeed been writing on Aquarium Engineering and some articles I hope you will want for WWM as well (waiting for my D80 to return from Nikon, probably should just go buy a point and shoot). <I have two D70 bodies... and a small, pocket-size point and shoot DSLR... and use both> I started on the tank building chapter since it is what I am actually the most familiar and comfortable with. I would estimate I am about 75% or so through it and just have a few questions. First, at this point I am assuming that all I should worry about is text? <Mmm...> About pictures, I have a series of pics from my ongoing construction project (that too will hopefully be done someday) and others from the past. I have planned on saving them for Aqua. En. since it will hopefully print and need illustrations someday. If I use a picture out of a series in an article does it taint the pics for use elsewhere? <No; can be used and re-used. IF we have others produce the book for you, they may well supply/re-shoot the graphics> Also, is there a guideline on length I should be aware of, or it is what it is? I am finding myself babbling on and on, constantly going back and shortening/tidying things up. <Best at this point to write and write... the editing part/s can/will be done later... Often I find that in the process, there is much splitting up and lumping done...> Last, I have covered acrylic construction, half way through glass, do you think I should also include plywood? <Yes, I do... though this construction material is not as popular as once, it is still viable... I might include it under "other const. mat.s" along with fiberglass, PVC sheet, concrete of various types...> I will get this first section finished hopefully this week and send along to see what you think (along with five or so articles). Thank you for forwarding me the customer review Friday night. That particular gentleman has been a pleasure to work with, he actually already knew how to join PVC, hooray! As always, thank you for your time and efforts aiding others and I along with these. Talk soon, Scott V. <Great to read of your ongoing growth, success... and THANK YOU very much for your ongoing help with others through WWM. Cheers, BobF>

Water quality article -04/11/08 Crew, esp. Bob, As per our correspondence some time ago (regarding the site improvements etc.), you had encouraged me to tackle water chemistry in an article, I decided to break it down into one on quality and biofiltration and one on the other aspects of water chemistry such as hardness, salinity etc. I hope this is helpful, if there is anything that would be better changed or if you have enough on these topics, just let me know. Thanks, Forrest <Ah, it's excellent! I encourage you to either add the second part, or to expand on what you have thus far... for length... to at least 1,400 words... with examples of situations... and the use of gear/tools, chemical filtrants, methods of improving and maintaining water quality. Further, I want to help you sell this work into the pulp magazine business... and after it runs there, into the electronic media. Bob Fenner>

Re: water quality article - 4-11-08 wow, OK, great! I will I think for the time being stick with the "quality" issues as I feel more comfortable discussing them, will get back to work on the other soon though. <Okay> as an aside, it seems the previous article on cardinal fish will appear in Marine Fish and Reef USA. <Ah! Congratulations!> Should I include pictures of gear/tools, testers, filters. I'll start thinking about examples etc. and try to write up some more tonight. Thanks again, Forrest <Yes... do so. BobF>

Re: water quality article - 4-11-08 So I have written some on the "tool box" for water quality issues. But in terms of pictures, one quick question. I intend to take pics of zeolite, AmQuel, a sponge filter, a bio wheel and live rock. what should I use as a "back drop" for the pictures? <Something dark, low/no reflectivity...> just the table? a sheet or towel behind? <Like dark cloth, velvet...> thanks. I'm not yet happy with what I wrote, need to revise and edit. Thanks Bob, Forrest <Welcome! BobF>

Re: water quality article  4/19/08 Bob, Attached is a draft which while I think is better, is not quite done yet. Any thoughts on fixes etc. are greatly appreciated, included those relating to the pictures. Thank you so much again, Forrest <Looks very good Forrest. I would submit this on its own or with the other piece in the series. Cheers, BobF>

Re: water quality article   4/20/08 Thanks, I will do that, <Do make it known when you'd like help with submitting> I am thinking of addressing pH and Hardness and how they interact and pertain to the well being of fish. Then in a following one dissolved oxygen and how it is used since it seems many people have trouble understanding it. Does this sound like a good idea to you? <Yes> Also do you think it better to submit this first and mention it as a possible part of a series or write up the subsequent ones then submit together? Thanks again for the advice and encouragement, Forrest <I would send two together... to acquaint editor/s with your work. A pleasure to share. BobF>

Selling pix... Hello, <Hi there> I am a member of ReefCentral.com and one of the members told me to get a hold of you and ask how I can make money with my Reef Photos? I was told that some of mine are very good and that magazines will snatch them up when they’re really good. Thanks! J Stacy Fralish < Well... the best approach (most sure of sale, acceptance) is to "write against them"... that is, include your image work with articles on related subjects... And make presentations of same together to hobby magazines, both pulp and on-line... Have you published your writing? I will gladly help you... to edit same, advise you on where you might send. Please do send all future correspondence to me by way of Crew@WetWebMedia.com; I nearly deleted your mail as one of many "junk" bits I get a day. Cheers, Bob Fenner>

Writing for the interest...
Re: regarding the site/ improvements/ inputs etc. 2/23/08 OK no rush, also I guess I can field some questions as a member of the crew, but really only some fresh and beginner saltwater questions. <Mmmm, possibly. But likely better for you to keep compiling/writing articles for now> I figure once done with Cardinals going to move on to another "group" not sure which yet. Probably still fish but maybe something else. <Up to you...> On a related note, am supposed to go with the family to the Cenotes of Mexico would be willing to write up something on that, will be in May barring the unforeseen. May also take a trip out to Cozumel to show my fianc?where I got dive certified, and do a dive or to there. Any recommendations for field guides for fish identification in the caves? <Unfortunately I do not. Don't know if the Humann/Deloach works cover their biota... But do make pix, keep notes, and write all up. I will help you sell for sure. BobF>

Re: regarding the site/ improvements/ inputs etc. OK that's what I'll keep doing then, will have to get a better camera I guess as current one is only so so maybe give to parents when get a better set up. I figure at worst can always save the pix and get IDs afterwards. gonna download those pics as soon as I finish typing here. I have finished taking notes from other articles I have on the subject so will get to writing, had to work later today than expected. Till then, Forrest <Ahh! I do look fwd to our chatting, re cameras, writing... perhaps diving in some locales... B> Re: regarding the site/ improvements/ inputs etc. OK that's what I'll keep doing then, will have to get a better camera I guess as current one is only so so maybe give to parents when get a better set up. I figure at worst can always save the pix and get IDs afterwards. gonna download those pics as soon as I finish typing here. I have finished taking notes from other articles I have on the subject so will get to writing, had to work later today than expected. Till then, Forrest <There is time. B>

Re: regarding the site/ improvements/ inputs etc. Hmmm...wonder if I can write of the camera as a business expense... <Certainly... I write off all> Of course now I have to worry about living up to my debut article ha ha. <Can be done by being very productive, organized/focused...> Look forward to further discussions, do hope these article help both you, the crew, and the users. <Ah, yes. Understand that there is a standard "process" to all this activity. The work, once "done", laid-out, needs to be submitted, serially, to print, THEN online media... after it runs it can be sold... to other markets... takes months... to even a year or more... When/where in doubt, keep writing, always making worthwhile images...> Yes will need much help in the camera corner as I have little to no experience with SLRs and am doubtful of point and shoot ability to get what I need. any input on that one would be great, <Posted... on WWM, many other places... see the nice short books by Norbert Wu... some reviewed on WWM> even best place to start looking, will reread the Photog articles in C the journal as that about all I have on the subject. Till then back to the grind. <Much to investigate, try out, enjoy, become familiar with. BobF> Re: regarding the site/ improvements/ inputs etc. hmm I thought it attached. should be there now. F <Mmm, need to add the dates/months to the citations, and the proposed layout... with re-sized graphics and captions... And then I'll help you make the submission. BobF>

Re: regarding the site/ improvements/ inputs etc. Content...  2/24/08 OK will do, is there a "standard" means of so doing? <Mmm, no... some Strunk and White bits... do you have the "Elements" book series?> I have just been typing them up using Word, is there a better program? <Not really> Should I use the insert picture command? <Is what I do> Will expand on the reference portion, I intend to use end notes where applicable and have found in some articles what seems to be a standard sort of citation Sorry about not having even a slight clue about all this stuff. Thanks for the help on yet another topic, Forrest <You're learning... admirably. B>

Re: regarding the site/ improvements/ inputs etc. 2/24/08 Do not have the "Elements" Book series to which you refer, and am confused by "Strunk and White bits" statement. <... see the Net re: http://www.google.com/search?q=strunk+and+white+books&rls=com.microsoft:en-us:IE-Address&ie=UTF-8&oe=UTF-8&sourceid=ie7&rlz=1I7PCTA> Sadly now I am at work, must do actual work ugh. <Curse of the drinking class...> Also it seems my typing may just be getting worse, chalk that one up to enthusiasm if you will. When using the insert picture command, and also the insert caption command, the caption always gives me a 1 at the end as in if default is "figure 1" and I wish the caption to read "Male brooding eggs" it comes up as "Male brooding eggs 1" I will play with this more when I get home but that will not be till late as I have to put in another 6 hours here and do not have access to my home computer and files at the moment, ah counting down the days till I can Telecommute. Humbly, Forrest <Take your time my friend... a lifetime of fun, enjoyment, exploration... awaits... all in good time. B>

Re: regarding the site/ improvements/ inputs etc.... Content  -02/25/08 OK will do. I believe it says how to do that on WWM. <Mmm, best to do with whatever pic software you have on your computer... right click, "open with"... Can download good software for free (e.g. Picasa...), and then put/place in your article> so I'll read up, wasn't sure if that was applicable in this instance. Should have that hammered out after work tonight. Also after this one is finished up, do you want me to "pen" some sort of Beginners article? Some sort of get a test kit. "good water parameters " is not descriptive enough we need numbers kind of thing? <Test kits, values to shoot for in common water chemistry, physics are great topics> Figure my camera should be able to do ok to show some filtration stuff and a test kite and what not. I see lots of good stuff in the "set up" pages but let me know if you think that would help. Thanks for your time, and knowledge etc. am enjoying working with you on this article F Oh and do you know if the 2nd ed. of CMA will be available in Hard cover? <I don't know... a good lesson perhaps in what little authors generally are aware of, are informed re> mine is paper back and getting a little beaten up, I see Hardcover first editions but they in the $150+ range online, though I might not be looking in all the right places, mainly Amazon. Well back to the grind for me. Thanks again <Thank you Forrest. After the first few articles, all gets much easier... and more fun. You'll see. BobF>

Re: regarding the site/ improvements/ inputs etc. -02/25/08 I have it down to 2.6 MB is that a good file size? <Better> I Appreciate the help. I have started taking notes on Grammas but might go for a chemistry/physics parameter type article first I don't know yet. <Either... I'd do the chemistry...> If that files size works I'll attach the file next email. Thanks again, Forrest <Real good. B>

Re: regarding the site/ improvements/ inputs etc. photo and content prov. Thanks again, also I believe I figured out the thumbnail thing, using a Gmail account with it made it pretty simple, thank goodness. OK then the 60mm it will be whoo, this stuff is expensive but as this is the last family trip I won't have to pay for gotta take advantage. Am ordering the housing for the Cool pix now, literally, do hope this all pays off in both enjoyment and financially. Learning is always good in and of itself of course but when put to use I feel is even better. OK so no big deal on motion that's a relief, am anything but steady even on land. I can't thank you enough, probably good on questions for the time being, still wrapping it up in my head. Be chatting in other regards though. Can't thank you enough. Your friend, Forrest Oh one other thing should I mention this to Clay? Or should I wait until I have it written up and the Cardinal thing all hammered out first? Thanks <?... You should proof your email before sending... Mention what? B>

Re: regarding the site/ improvements/ inputs etc. photo and content prov.  2/29/08 Apologies on the lack of proof reading on my part. Too much haste, will keep in mind, this is often a bad habit, which I am working to correct. For clarification, Should I mention my trip and resultant writings/pictures to Clay? <Ahh! Yes... better to not be "too chatty", but OTOH, to do what is reasonable to "chat up" ones works with editors> Thanks again, Will be returning to old corrective measure of "prewriting" my emails in Word or similar program to spell and grammar check/ read over to make sure I am saying what I intend to say. Will work on giving my email correspondence a better feel of professionalism as this will now be even more important. Your friend, Forrest. <Thank you Forrest. BobF>

Re: regarding the site/ improvements/ inputs etc. Content  3/1/08 Ok I will do that. I think some of my errors/omissions etc. in the email from last night were caused by my trying to do too much at the same time. I will mention it to him and ask if he has any preferred format etc. I know FAMA recently ran an article on the caves tetras and setting up a tank for them and also a "Conservation Corner" article about the caves not too long ago. What are the rules of good form in an instance such as this? <To make submissions none the less... there is such a lag-time between submission and publication... that what has recently been run often doesn't matter... And there are "thematic issues" the mag.s run... with pieces touching on similar, overlapping, even identical topics by different writers> Do I mention my plan, and ask if I would be stepping on any ones toes? <Mmm, no... just your plan> Do I from now on offer Clay a First Right of Refusal to such work? <This is implied in making submissions... But important to re/state that the work MUST first run in print/pulp, ahead of electronic publication... We (you and I, WWM) will try to sell your work to the online 'zines AFTER it has run in the pulp press> I want to appear professional in this regard. Thanks, Forrest <I want you to be so. BobF>

 

Re: Your pix, interest, Becoming a content provider in our interest   2-05-08 Bob, <Felicia> I can't tell you enough how much I would appreciate your help. I've never sold a photo or an article; I've just been giving them away! I always dreamed about being a Marine Biologist (a taxonomist, actually) <! We are of a very small, and diminishing group here... I intended to do my doctorate thesis... a series monograph... on Balistoids...> and joining the ranks of those like you, Anthony, and Eric B. Unfortunately, I live in Wisconsin, and it's taking a little longer than I had planned. <Mmm, they are no spring chickies either... Antoine is I think going on 37, EricB, 44... Errmmmm, I'm older still! But, as they say, no time like the present. The world's leading ichthyologist/systematist, Jack/John Randall... is even older than I (sorry Jack) and still a better diver and photographer... But I'm still practicing!> I really enjoy your website because it is so unbiased. Over the years, I did get a bit jaded in this profession selling certain products that I know are useless. (please don't post that on your website, my boss reads it, too!) <Mmm, have been careful to not have you identified with any outfit> I believe that advancing the hobby for posterity is much more important than making a few bucks off of people's ignorance. <Yes> While I'm not entirely sure what a content provider in your interest is, I am thrilled at the prospect of becoming one! Just getting my name out there in the aquarium world would be a big help to me (and my resume). So, what comes next? Thanks again! <Drafts! Or ideas for articles... their sending out/selling, collecting the big bongo bucks (right)... and collating these bits into tome length volumes. What do you feel needs writing on, what fields would you like to delve into further? BobF>

Aquarium Article Help  1/25/08 Hey Crew, What's new? (sorry I could not resist) I have seen Bob and Anthony in action at the MACNA events. You are awesome! I own and operate an upper end custom aquarium design, project management and service company. <Ahhh!> We are in our 6th year and we are growing gradually. <This is best> My wife and I have successfully resisted the constant temptation of opening up a cash and carry retail outlet. <Thank goodness... more time, trouble than it is worth. Definitely a "step in the wrong direction" I assure you> We have remained focused and strictly provide our services and sales for our contacted client?e. <Good... if anything, the "next" direction might be distribution of selected lines, perhaps imported... even perhaps the manufacture of certain tools, materials... We can talk re> Recently I have been asked to write a series of articles 600 to 800 words each for a local magazine. <Very good> The magazine's primary audience is real estate and business professionals. I was wondering if you could help me out with some topics and/or tips concerning writing for this potential "aquarium newbie" audience. <Certainly.> I was considering writing about the behind the scenes meetings and the importance of specialized proper project management along with the preparation needed for a successful large high end aquarium installation. Your time, experience and knowledge are greatly appreciated. <I would start with even more general pieces such as: http://wetwebmedia.com/AqBizSubWebIndex/ofcaqrelbiz.htm With pix of some of your installs... NOT too self-serving> -- Jeffrey Shane Sebern, President Aquatic Interiors Unlimited LLC. "South Texas' Source for Fine Custom Aquariums." Custom Aquarium Design, Installation, Maintenance. www.aquatic-interiors.com <Cheers, Bob Fenner> Question for Neale/Bob... Article multiple submissions  - 11/26/07 I have a quick question for Neale or perhaps even Bob. I had emailed before about my first article which ran in TFH magazine regarding Cherry Shrimp, my second article is slated to run in the Feb. 08 magazine. The subject of this article is about the benefits of plastic plants, I feel it's an interesting article on a common product. Anyway the reason I am writing is because I have noticed that Neale has the same article in both the Dec. TFH magazine and Practical Fishkeeping magazine about puffers, which by the way was a very interesting article. My question for Neale, is there any special issues with using the same article in these two magazines? Or does the fact that they are published in different countries make it a non issue? Just curious as I was thinking after seeing your articles in the different magazines that I might want to contact Practical Fishkeeping about my articles to see if they are interested. Is either magazine upset about the article running in the other one? Thank you for your time and all the best to everyone. Paul <Hello Paul. Thanks for the kind words. As for my 'Pufferfish' article being in both PFK and TFH simultaneously, that was definitely not my intention! Normally I send to just one magazine. If they don't get back to me a few months after submission, I assume they don't want it. That's what happened here. One magazine had had the piece for about a year when they decided to run the piece. By that time, the other had bought it from me. I have no idea if they're cross about this. I hope not; it was a genuine accident that followed on from one editor not telling me that my article was wanted. I don't think it's unreasonable for an editor to assume writers will re-cycle submissions that they didn't accept. If an editor wants something, it's up to them to tell the writer. In any case, I don't normally submit to two magazines simultaneously and don't know whether it is something approved of or not. I'd imagine all magazines want original content. But such competition that exists between PFK and TFH will be very slight. The cover price of PFK in the US is apparently very high (over $11 an issue even with a subscription) so it's hard to imagine my pufferfish article would have much impact on their sales either way! Anyway, I can't see any harm at all in submitting your cherry shrimp article to PFK if you wanted to, though you might want to tweak some of the language (British English spellings, metric measurements, etc.). I look forward to reading your article on plastic plants. I do hope some enterprising manufacturer will come up with a floating plant version of hornwort suitable for putting in livebearer tanks for protecting newborn fry from cannibalistic parents. That would be very useful! Cheers, Neale.>

Re: Question for Neale/Bob... PFK...    11/27/2007 Neale, Thanks for your response. I learned the hard way about a year ago just how much Practical Fishkeeping cost here in the states. I placed a subscription without bothering to check into how the currency would convert to U.S. money. Man was I surprised when I got that bill! Anyway thanks for explaining how it works, not sure if I will pursue using the same article in a different article. I work for Penn Plax, and I can certainly bring up your idea of floating plants. All the best. Paul <Hello Paul. PFK is a nice magazine but you are right, the cover price in the US market is very steep. It's a shame it can't be printed and distributed in the US. Luckily, Americans have access to any number of excellent fishkeeping magazines. So I guess it all works out in the end! Best of luck with whatever you choose to do! Neale.>

Re: Family/Congener Compatibility: Rabbits, Wrasses & Surgeons... becoming pet-fish content producer  10/29/07 Thanks Bob! This is all good news - love it when a plan comes together. My omission of "Labrids" is definitely negligence in my attentiveness. Regards, from David A. Bell - Wishing I was in the pet fish biz instead. <Life is indeed a series of compromises eh? Might cost you income... but gain much different satisfaction! Cheers, BobF>

Re: Family/Congener Compatibility: Rabbits, Wrasses & Surgeons 10/29/07 Bob, my true desire is still to write "something." I draw great satisfaction from that regardless of compensation. Regards, from David A. Bell <Mmm, what's the hold-up David? I will gladly give you free use of my pix if this will goose you on. BobF>

Re: Family/Congener Compatibility: Rabbits, Wrasses & Surgeons 10/29/07 Where to submit? What is the gap to be filled? <HUGE topics, groups of organisms to be visited, re-visited... Look in the current 'zines, print and online... What do you have as current gaps/interests in your own experience? Fill them! I'll help you with submissions... Get writing! BobF> Regards, from David A. Bell

Re: Becoming an ornamental aquatics content provider 10/30/07 Bob, If I prepare a list would you review for most viable topics? I have many ideas but I want start with the most timely/applicable ones for impact. Regards, from David A. Bell <Shore! BobF> Bob, Is it better to discuss direct? I noticed the discussion string is showing up in Q&A. Regards, from David A. Bell <Mmm, considered that this disc. would be of use to others. B> Sure and agreed. Regards, from David A. Bell <Ah, good. BobF>

Re: Submitting an article    5/16/07 Thank you very much for your response.  My article sits at just under 2500 words at the moment, is this an issue? <Ah, no... the "bigger the better"... If too large material, coverage, can be split up, but this subject will likely "stand on its own" here>   It is undergoing some editing so maybe this can be reduced if need be and once it has been edited by the Mods on the puffer forum I will pass it on to you. <Either way Stu>   As for pictures I have over 70 high quality images of my puffer and his tank, what size is suitable for you? <Wow! A few hundred Kbytes per... 92 dpi is fine (for Net presentation), of just a few please. Mmm, and I'll interject here/now to ask if you've considered selling this piece first to the print 'zines? I'll take a look and say more, but I do encourage you thinking this over as a possibility. Best to run in the "pulp" biz, then the e-zines... Bob Fenner> Concerning payment I have a PayPal account so assuming you like the article I shall let you know Many thanks Stu Morse

Re: Submitting an article   5/16/07 Cheers Bob, <Stu> I have sent an email to Practical Fish Keeping and one of the mods on the puffer forum suggested another that is in the USA but I forget it name, if you have any info I would greatly appreciate it. <I will gladly help you "shop this around"... Do so with friends on a regular basis... I will attach a small email and attach your piece and graphics, cc'ing you... and send serially to editors of the principal U.S. mag.s> So you think I should try them first and once, I mean IF, it gets printed then submit it to you. <Yes my friend. The print magazines have this as a requirement of publication generally> Any additional info on where else I could have the article would be greatly appreciated. Stu <There are numerous markets in quite a few countries... Sometimes the work needs to be of a certain focus... i.e. more scientific, but there are hobby zines of worth in most civilized countries/languages... Germany, Italy, France, Japan... and many more... Best to "keep writing" as I often say... and make serial/sequential offerings to editors as time goes by... Bob Fenner>

Remember me? I'm the guy writing a book about pufferfish - 05/16/2006 Hey, My name is John Jansen, remember me from IMAC? I was the kid who is friends with Jeni and Jager, and I am from the puffer forum. I was the guy writing a book about pufferfish, I showed you a few pages from the book while I was there. The book is coming along nicely, I've gotten quite a few nice photos to use from nice people. :) <I do remember you John, but don't think we ever got around to looking at your book efforts> I remember you saying that you might be able to get the book published for me? <I definitely will help you, as I consider this topic/subject of necessity> So, my question was, what exactly does the publishing process involve? <There are a few ways to go about this... with pros/cons to each. You should "shop this work around"... with TFH, perhaps Microcosm by itself... And take a go at detailing what it might cost to "go it your own" with printing, promotion, sales, fulfillment. Whatever route you go, you should retain universal rights, ask re royalties... I encourage you NOT to sell the work outright. That is, to hold out for a royalty situation, such that the project will pay you as long as this work remains in print> I will be able to send you the finished book,( except that page in the front of every book with the legal stuff etc in it.) when its ready, although I am not sure when. <It might be best to just send parts along... to myself, others whom you have confidence in have capacity with written English, some familiarity with the subject material. That way we can right suggested changes, return to you for your consideration, amalgamation> Will it cost me money to get the book published? <Mmm, yes... someone has to pay... for production, shipping... warehousing, fulfillment (filling orders, collecting and disbursing money... You can "sell" this/these parts of the work to others, and you'll skip out on possible lack of sales, but then you won't earn as much money as you would if you did more of it yourself> What photo resolution will you need for each pic? <Mmm, may I ask what software you intend to use to do the lay out here? I have used Adobe's products, but many folks like Quark, Quark-Express...> I've gotten a few really high res pics, but a lot of them are low res, so I may have to re-contact the people for the originals. and hopefully those will be the right resolution. <I would make, keep a list of these contributors handy... You may need to contact them for better scans or borrowing originals. In the meanwhile, keep taking/making pix yourself> well, I hope that I sent this message to the right place, and I had a lot of fun meeting and talking to you at IMAC! regards, -John <I do hope your work sees print... and I will continue to help you, Bob Fenner> Re: remember me? am the guy writing a book about pufferfish   5/17/06 Hi Bob! <John> Thanks for replying so fast! I've sent a few pages around to Jeni, Lisa brown, and some other people I know on TPF. I take non-credit art classes at a art college, and I know some of my teachers quite well, and one of them turns out to be a professional editor :) I am sure he will be able to help me edit this thing, because I am not good at English! <A learned trait... yours will become more proficient through applied interest> I am using Adobe Photoshop for the graphics/photo layout, and M. word for the text. I previously had been cutting and pasting the text from M. word to Pshop, but I ran into a problem: Text does not print at all well when resized and saved to a image. So I believe I am going to need Adobe illustrator to do the final layout, <Do see their "In Design" or the MAC "Quark" products for actual layout... am going to CC JasonC, LorenzoG and AnthonyC here re their input... as they're more familiar...> but unfortunately I do not have illustrator, although one of my teachers does, so I may have to spend a lot of time at his house or something.   Do you know what the minimum photo resolution will have to be? <I would scan all at a minimum of 300 dpi... I currently do what scans I do at 4k dpi... most all pix are going/coming the digital route...> hmmmmm, I could try self publishing first, although I doubt that I have the funds for it. The only reason I have Pshop is because my parents are very supportive. <We can/will talk re... If WWM/myself deem that this work will be a commercial success, we may well offer to produce it, help in its promotion, sale, distribution... and pay you a royalty per copy. As stated, all this rests upon the apparent "worthiness", potential sales that the work would generate> I will put together a few finished pages to send you, although the text may not look nice because it will be coming from Pshop. I have the entire outline done, quite a few roughs, and about 12 finished pages, other then the need for higher resolution photos! <Mmm, most important to see finished sections... for now, the foreword/introduction, and Table of Contents... and a working bibliography if you have this keyed> should I keep sending all my messages to this address? <Yes, this is fine, best> thanks for all your help! -John <A pleasure to share/live vicariously through your project. Bob Fenner>

Re: remember me? I'm the guy writing a book about pufferfish  - 05/17/2006 Hi, hmmmmm, I'm not sure about the photo resolution. The resolution coming from the photos from my camera aren't even worth mentioning, although I have taken a few with my brothers camera. the ones from my brothers camera I think are 180dpi, and the file size is 1.5 mb. <The file size is fine for many purposes, the resolution, not> I'm not sure if that will be good enough, otherwise every photo in the book may have to be request photos. Currently I'm working out quite a few photo requests, from various people/websites. <Good... do keep good notes re> oh, forgot to say this in the original message, I am also good friends with Lisa Brown! ( she actually threatened to send ninjas to abduct me if I didn't say this...J/K) <Heeeee!> I am not really sure what you meant in the last part, about the forward/introduction and working bibliography. you want me to send you those pages? most of them are not edited yet. <Yes... when they/these are edited> for photo credits, I am planning on putting a caption near each photo, with that persons requested credit. I am sure there will be a special thanks and bibliography section too. <Good> I included a reduced quality version of the cover, and I will finish putting together one of the sections to send to you too, although it will not be "fully" finished, because I still need the photo originals. -John <Yes. Bob Fenner>

Re: remember me? I'm the guy writing a book about pufferfish  - 05/17/2006 Attached is a nearly finished section. I it is the third section, called "the puffer confusion" detailing how to ID the most commonly confused puffers. coming before this section are "external anatomy" and before that, the introduction. I have not yet put together a table of contents, although I do have the outline, which I could type up and send, to give you a basic idea of what's in the book. <A good idea... this is a primarily important part of this and all printed works... Many folks read these sections... and decide (or not) to buy, read...> The only things I still have remaining for this section is to get the full-res versions of the BW/marine puffers, and I still have to contact the people about using the target puffer pics. hopefully I will be able to get high enough resolution pictures. <I will gladly allow you the use of my puffer pix... will send you a copy of all scans on my return to the mainland next month> The text portion of this section is finished and has been edited by me and a few other people. well, let me know what you think of this section, as well as the cover in my previous message. -John <Very nice thus far. Will send along my specific input on your work. BobF> Re: Publishing your info in book form   9/21/06 Dear Bob, <Andy> It was a pleasure speaking to you last weekend. Let's stay in touch, and please be on the look-out for authors who may want to co-author with you on various topics. We can also meet up for lunch after you return from your trip to chat. The link to our medical publishing site is: http://www.medrounds.org/ Here is an example online book: http://www.medrounds.org/protect-your-sight/ Our general publishing site will have several titles soon. There's one in the work now which you can view here: http://www.fepint.org/winning-helix/ Information for authors can be found here: http://www.fepint.org/2006/06/publishing-for-authors.html Also, examples of our streaming educational videos for surgery: http://www.medrounds.org/advanced-cataract-surgery/ Imagine we develop an archive of aquaria books with videos! It would be awesome. Best regards, Andy D. <Very nice... I congratulate you... a service as this is very timely, likely to be profitable for all involved, including writers/content providers and consumers alike. Will post, share with others. Cheers, Bob Fenner>

New Book Released   10/8/06 Hi Bob, Just wanted to send you a link to a new book we are releasing this month: http://www.fepint.org/ This gives you an idea how the electronic version of the books look like. People can order the printed books from us, Amazon.com, Barnes and Noble, and other retailers. Have you been able to stir any interested authors? <They'll contact you directly> I am free on Monday if you would like to meet for coffee. <Am out of the country then, but thank you> Best regards, Andy D. <Ah, thanks much for this update Andy. Will post/share. BobF>

Bob contacting you for that name of inexpensive self publishers  9-19-06 Bob, <Hi there!> Greetings, How are things since you and Diana got back from Negril? <Fine... though we both had colds... likely from the flight> It was great meeting and talking with you and her at Sandals.  We had such a nice time! I have written Sandals a quite lengthy letter about their diving operation, so we will see what becomes of that. <Good> Hey, you had mentioned to contact you about the name of an inexpensive self-publisher for books.  If you would supply me with the name, address and phone number---that would be super. <Yes... Try here first: Knepper's: http://www.knepperpress.com/index.html Nice folks, honest and hard-working. Have recently heard from a fellow who is associated with Ingram re "one at a time" ("Print on Demand") printing which seemed very reasonably priced as well... > We are curious to see how our 35 mm pics turned out from the trip.  Russell is taking them in today.  The wedding photos I took of Whitney and Matt, I think turned out very nice. Keep in contact Bob...hope to hear from you soon. Sheree and Russell from Missouri It's a Jelly! Article, biz  8/4/06 Good morning Bob, I had two telephone calls from Aquarium Fish Magazine / Bowtie this morning. One was Craig with the advertising who agreed that a published article would be very helpful. <Yes! As I've harped on incessantly with you...> He also indicated they were considering an article on jellyfish. <Very good indeed> Within 30 minutes of that conversation I received a telephone call from Patricia ( missed her last name ) but I believe she is the managing editor for AFM. She expressed interest in a jellyfish article, possibly a 3 part series. She indicated she would look at their 2007 season and determine when she had space so she could give me a deadline. She mentioned 2000 words and the need for 4x5 300 DPI pictures. <Great news!> I have 1500 words written so far and still need to polish it up before I send it to you. <Okay> Any thoughts or comments ? <Yes... get writing!!! Cheers, BobF> Jim Stime, jr. Midwater Systems www.jelliquarium.com Magazine Articles  6/29/06 Hi Bob,   <Keiran>   I'm happy to report that the magazine process is going really well i know have a team of individuals who are willing to work with me; and a large printing company who I have negotiated a price with for printing and distribution at a very reasonable rate. I sent an email a while back (not being rude, just know how busy you guys are!) and am now at the stage of asking what you personally charge for articles? <Yes, I recall. You did receive my response I hope> I have a couple of British writers on board and also Alf Jacob Nilsen who will write articles and supply a lot of the image work. <Ah, good. A fine person>   We are still about three months away from publishing the first copy and would really like to get the overheads calculated. If you could give me a fixed price i would be much appreciative. <Will gladly accept your standard rate. I am an old content provider (long since retired, though am only 53), and "don't do this for the money">   Also i know the WetWebMedia crew is large with many knowledgeable and talented writers and was wondering if there was anyone else that you know personally that would be willing to write for the publication. Which now has a name - UltraMarine!!!      Thank you for your Time   Keiran Hart <Please do send along the means/physical or e- address you'd like to have me, others make submissions. Cheers, Bob Fenner> Re: Magazine Articles  - 06/30/06 Hey Bob,    <Keiran>   I've sorted out this email address - ultramarine14@btinternet.com for submissions; once people have emailed me, i will get back in contact with them and chat about the ways they can contribute as i would like regular submissions from up to 10 more writers.    <Good plan>   Would you be interested in writing a continuous article that stretches from one article to another (Part 1, 2, 3 etc); i will give you the freedom to write about anything in the hobby; I just feel that a regular article could work really well.    <I will gladly make submissions, and will do so presently... Do you want images/scans snail-mailed to you? Or all just sent electronically? I and others may well send a bunch that would be better seen on a CD>   I have sorted out prices at $230 for a standard sized articles;    Thanks again for your quick response:   Keiran <Welcome. Bob Fenner> Re: Mmm, an FYI pursuant to ChuckR's phone call  - 04/25/06 Hi all, Thanks to all of you who have and are sending submissions to Scott and I for CA.  All of these end up being placed/linked in the relevant WWM topic areas, so they serve to benefit all who come to WWM seeking info. For those asking about length and subject matter.... please do follow the advice given and take a look at the magazine for some guidance, but don't be limited by what you see!  If it is too short (unlikely), we will help you develop it.  If it is too long, we will split it into more than one part.   As Bob stated, the subject matter can range to the very margins of the aquatic hobby. There is lots of inspiration to be found in the patterns of queries that we receive every day to the crew.  I wrote a marine filtration piece to address the constant stream of "I have a 65 gallon tank with a penguin filter and a Fluval canister and I can't seem to control my nitrates or algae".  If you find yourself addressing the same problems over and over, write an article about it and you will forever have a prefabricated answer! Thanks! Adam <Thanks Adam... am accumulating, posting. BobF> Re: Mmm, an FYI pursuant to ChuckR's phone call  - 04/25/06 So we get $$$ for using our articles at WWM & more $$$ if used for CA? <Mmm, nope... the same money for both/either> And even more $$$ for sending them to mag.s for print in the US & then more $$$ for international mag.s???  No problem there, I'll get writing!!!  (Just sent one in!) <Oh yes to these two... Is what I do and have done for decades...>    How about my articles on GSPs & trimming small FW puffer's teeth?  Lets go international w/those!    ~Jeni/PP <Good idea. Do you want to look up magazines, addresses? Get sending. BobF <Can you recommend any overseas mag.s?  ~J><<Many... RMF>>

Mmm, an FYI pursuant to ChuckR's phone call ... call for article content (for pay) on WWM   4/25/06 Any guidance as to how long articles should be? Should we write them and then email you copies or would you rather we discuss our outline with you first before writing? Gratefully, Tim <Tim, take a jaunt through most any of the articles on WWM....  For a slice of inspiration for you and anyone else, can you think of a question on a topic that you frequently answer on WWM, and wish you had an article to reference instead of writing a small novel every time you get that type of question?  Well, there ya go.  Make the article, and then you'll only have to type "Please read here:  (link)" when you get that kind of question again.  Or, is there a particular topic that tickles your fancy?  Tickle it out on paper, and you're all set.  Now if only I could find the time; goodness knows I've got plenty of inspiration....  -Sabrina> Info Re: FAMA, TFH, AFM - 01/03/2006 Hallo <Hello> Mr. Bob Fenner, <Actually Josh here to help.> Sarry <Sorry> about my bad English. <No worries. The corrections I've inserted are just to help you for future reference, not to insult.> I would like to know the meanings of FAMA <Freshwater And Marine Aquarium Magazine> TFH  <Tropical Fish Hobbyist> AFM  <Aquarium Fish Magazine> I am looking for literatura <literature> about Swallowtail Angelfishes<,> especially Genicanthus species. Can You help me? <Start here http://www.wetwebmedia.com/marine/fishes/angels/genicanthus/ and follow the links above.> With best regards Rolan Kiesinger <Hope that helps. - Josh> Why not just read the experts?   12/28/05 Hi guys, <Steve> My reading of most aquarists is the never ending trying this and that. <Human nature...> When it is all over seems like many leading aquarists come up with any number of conclusions and then they often decide maybe all the ways are somewhat good or even a mix.  When I read the marine biologists books on the reef hobby they say they know with out trying. <... don't know if I'm discerning your meaning here...> For instance just by knowing places a marine animal is most often found, they can  tell you what conditions are needed in the marine tank for that animal to survive and what part of its nature life span will be lost by not matching for instance a average temp from the places it is found. It seems like these guys have all the answers and most of them do not even have a reef tank. Are you guy's just rebels or is there more to it? Thanks, Steve   <It has been my experience that many folks with academic backgrounds in aquatic-related sciences have valid input, knowledge to share of husbandry matters... But the vast majority that have not actually been aquarists are often woefully, practically ignorant... not able to keep animals alive extent... Earnest aquarists in turn have much useful, applicable "scientific" knowledge re various chemical, physical, biological aspects. Science is more a way of knowing than a personal trait in my estimation... Bob Fenner, who is a bit of both>

Bob- Freshwater articles  12/17/05   Hi Bob   Although new to this hobby. I have learnt extensively from your website. After talking to a lot of persons I realize that there is a lot of misinformation/wrong information to general public.   I have now started to share my knowledge with other in my country. I have written two small articles which have been put up at an Indian aquarium website. <Very nice>   As I have learnt so much from you, I would definitely like to thank you. If you find time kindly go through following pages. Your comments would be greatly appreciated.    http://indianaquariumhobbyist.com/community/modules.php?name=News&file=article&sid=99&mode=&order=0&thold=0    http://indianaquariumhobbyist.com/community/modules.php?name=News&file=article&sid=97&mode=&order=0&thold=0      Regards   Sandeep Raghuvanshi <I do like your simplified (with explanations where needed) approach of detailing "what needs to be known". I encourage you to add a few graphics, photos and send these pieces to the "print mag.s" in our interest for review, consideration for publication. Bob Fenner>

AdamJ, TFH  12/16/05 Hello Bob, Today I was contacted by Mr. Bill Kolbenschlag of TFH magazine and they have decided to run the article I wrote (that you sent in on my behalf).  I just wanted to say thank you once again. The family and I are quite excited. Adam Jackson p.s. I plan to write a few more articles during winter break <Ahh, outstanding! A wonderful introduction to this part of our hobby/interest, and another way for you to share your insights, experiences. Am enjoying same on WWM. Cheers, BobF>

Re: SeaScope Bob, <James> See you have another fine article about maroon clowns in vol. 1, 05 of SeaScope. What does SeaScope pay for an article they publish?  <I think 150-200... plus something for pix... 20 per?> Thinking of sending my article to them as I've already sent three or four emails to David along with a hard copy of the article and a copy of your anemone scans without a response from him. <Mmm, take care here... "multiple submissions" are trouble... that is, making, having sent the same work to more than one place... might run in both... not good> Is Tom Frakes the man to contact at Aquarium Systems ? <Umm, no... long since gone... and now Tim Hovanec is gone as well... write them and ask who to make submissions to... or just send in c/o Editor... Cheers, BobF, who has hundreds (not an exaggeration) of pc.s out at any moment... Keep writing... and submitting>

Cephalopholis article... Hey Bob, Hope all is well with you. I have finished ( at long last) proofing the Ceph article, and need to place photos I THINK. How do I submit the article? Do I format how I think it should look, and place photos accordingly? What are the guidelines in this regard? Isn't web format different than the pages in Word? Also, do I just send to you? How does payment work? Will you submit or help me submit to a print mag as well? How does payment work in that regard? Sorry for all the questions - I'm new at this. Jim <Good to offer your layout ideas... so, Word or other processing program can be used... and to submit via mail if you don't know editors well-enough... with a short cover letter (please send all along and I'll gladly review)... The editor or such will make it known (within a few weeks, months) whether they'll accept or not. Some pay ahead of publication (TFH), most others after. Glad to help. Bob F>

Sea Scope Bob, Quite a few years back you wrote articles for Sea Scope.  I believe around 1997 or so.  You had a couple more after that and I must add enjoyed reading them.  Then, I don't remember seeing anymore till 2003.  Did you not like writing for Sea Scope? <Very much enjoyed doing so... they have a very large, wide printing... some 250k or so, in a few languages. The new editor, Tim Hovanec is an old friend, and runs my/our stuff from time to time still... and maybe yours if you submit it.> I believe the "Conscientious Marine Aquarist" title was born then, Hmm? <CMA was ostensibly written in 95, saw print in 98>   Anyway, I am honored to be associated with you and the wet web crew. Regards, James (Salty Dog) <And very glad to count you as friend and cohort. Bob F> Rare marine fish book possibility, esp. pomacanthids Bob, <Michael> It's been about 5 years since our last e-mail communication. <Tempus fugit> Nonetheless, much in the world has changed in the way of my fish collection.  Once again, I've been an avid hobbyist for 24 years now and an avid rare fish collector for 10 years.  I've had systems from 30 gallons to 4000 gallons. The purpose for my e-mail was to discuss the likelihood for market demand for a TRUE, NO-NONSENSE book - focused on rare and unusual species.  I've got all the angelfish books and while the pictures are great - the aquarium advice is garbage.  There is little truly usable information on the husbandry of rare specimens, cost of acquisition, realistic availability and photos from an aquarium.  Mr. Endoh's Japanese recent Angelfish book is the closest to such an endeavor - 90% of photos taken in captivity. <Very typical for Japanese aquarium books. Nonetheless, great pix.> I would be very interested in your opinion on the opportunity.  I'm currently considering beginning this endeavor.  I've had pretty much everything considered rare on the Angelfish and Butterfly side. Here's a current list of my inventory: 3         Holocanthus clarionensis 3         Holocanthus africanus 1         Holocanthus limbaughi 1         Holocanthus ciliaris - St. Paul's Rocks Specimen 1         Centropyge interrupta 2         Centropyge resplendens 2         Centropyge debelius 1         Centropyge joculator 1         Centropyge hotumatua 1         Centropyge aurantius 1    Centropyge boylei 1    Centropyge multicolor 2    Apolemichthys arcuatus 1    Apolemichthys xanthopunctatus 1    Apolemichthys griffiisi 2    Chaetodontoplus conspicillatus - 1 Specimen is a hybrid C. conspicillatus x C. meridithi 1    Chaetodontoplus septentrionalis - Solid blue face specimen 2    Pomacanthus chrysurus - 1 Specimen is a hybrid P. chrysurus x P. maculosus 1    Pomacanthus asfur - Xanthic color form - White bar and white caudal fin 2    Genicanthus personatus   Let me know your thought, angry retorts, etc. <Hee hee! That's a lot of marine angelfishes... and money invested. I'd bet they eat more money in food than myself.> Best regards, Michael Gonzales <Such a work has intriguing possibilities, though I must relate to you that print works in the aquarium interests rarely make any real money (we shoot for 15% cash against cash annual returns)... BUT I do encourage you to pursue the project "serially" at first, by writing your experiences, points of view in "article format"... and selling same (I'll help you) to print and Net pet-fish periodicals. Take a species, or genus, or aspect (selection, habitat, foods/feeding/nutrition...) if you'd like and "write it up"... and make, find pix to go along with it... and voila (!) you're on your way to book publication. Bob Fenner>

Sharing Hobby Experience! Dear WWM Crew, <Hi there! Scott F. here tonight!> I frequently visit your site in search of info and have expanded my knowledge in aquatic husbandry as a result. <Thank you for the kind words. Glad to hear that you find it helpful! We are thrilled to bring it to you!> The shared experiences of other aquarists can give one many practical tips in problem solving however I have noticed that most individuals write to you only when they have a problem/question and do not offer info about their successes (or if the info is there it is not easy to find).  May I suggest that you add FAQ categories that include success topics such as; success in keeping SPS's, success with treating a reef system infested with ick, success with lowering hair algae growth in a reef system, success with removing flatworms... etc.  I would be the first to contribute my observations if such a system was set up.   <A great idea. we do love to hear success stories! As co-editor of WWM's Conscientious Aquarist Online Magazine with Adam Cesnales, I speak for both of us when I encourage you to write of your success, and share it with your fellow hobbyists. The magazine is an excellent vehicle to share experiences!> These categories might be more helpful to those using the google search as well. When one is doing a search it is most likely to find answers to their question/problem. Instead of having to read through a million e-mails which detail other aquarists' problems the searcher can locate possible solutions and share their outcome. <Agreed, but there is an enormous amount of good information in the FAQs. Our library of articles is outstanding in its breadth, too.> I believe that each individual whom keeps fish/invertebrates is essentially conducting his/her own unique on-going experiment whether they set out to do it or not. Wouldn't it be more helpful to compare results/observations as well rather than just compare setups and problems? <Cannot argue with that! Sounds like you're a burgeoning author! Do submit some material for us to consider for publication in Conscientious Aquarist!> I am familiar with your book and appreciate all the knowledge that Bob Fenner etc. has introduced but I also think that there is a wealth of untapped info among your readers of this site. Laurie <Absolutely correct, Laurie! We strongly encourage you to share with fellow hobbyists, whether it's here in the Daily FAQs, in articles in Conscientious Aquarist, or on the WWM Chat Forum! Hope to hear from you soon! Regards, Scott F> FAMA, payment and articles Just read through your long string online about battling for payment ( http://www.wetwebmedia.com/WWMAdminSubWebIndex/famamag.htm ).  I submitted an article to them back in December and was happy that it was printed this last July, a review of 4 canister filters titled "Four-of-a-Kind."  After being ignored by their accounting department, Susan and now Kathy Rodriguez, I'm wondering if they printed the article simply because they're running out of writers who are willing to be mistreated. <Sigh... what bad P.R.... I strongly suspect you are correct. We have more readership on WWM everyday than FAMA has subscribers... It's only a matter of time before their advertisers "find out" what is going on and they tank virtually overnight. I had the same problem with a UK publication, got a couple hundred URLs from their zine, advertisers, other content providers... and sent them all a note re how I was treated... You might try this, very effective>   I'm glad that I ran across your little corner of the Internet.  I figured that I'd pissed off their advertisers, hence I became a non-entity.  Seems they're just bad about paying people.  I was debating sending another article, but I think I'll just hang onto this one until a better market pops up. <... It is amazing (to me) that the owner and her daughter (KathyR) think they can get away with this behavior. It's a shame that so many others (their staff has some excellent people) will suffer for their shenanigans> How long ago did your battle with them end?   Thanks! Steven Poor <About a year... finally told them to return (some dozens of pieces, hundreds of covers) my content... there are many other markets. I suggest you make submissions to others. Bob Fenner>

Re: FAMA, payment and articles Thanks for the quick note back.  Seems I need to add "fight with a magazine" to my mounting aquarium woes. Steve <A shame... I have sent the powers that be there a few notes from other disconcerted authors... Chins up as folks tell me! Bob F>

Arrowhead Article Hey there Bob, I'm curious, I noticed your name on the editors list in Tropical Fish Hobbyist magazine.  Do you think my arrowhead article is good enough for submission to them or would it need to be edited further? <Worth submitting (to David Boruchowitz) to see... if you have with photos... Perhaps a little "beefing up" (more examples, anecdotes of practical husbandry matters). Submit it and ask for David's input. Bob Fenner> Thanks for your input Heather Citing WWM for a Bibliography How would I cite your web page ( http://www.wetwebmedia.com/cnidaria.htm) for a school project? <List the authors name, the date of publication (not given here), the title/subject on the page and our URL: Fenner, Bob. Undated. Cnidaria: Stinging Celled Animals, http://www.wetwebmedia.com/cnidaria.htm Bob Fenner>

Article Submission Hello, I am interested in submitting my article for publication in the FAMA.  Before I do this I would like to know what the rules and regulations are on having it published on other web sites and in other magazines. Thanks for your help Heather Cooan <Mmm, well, FAMA and most other periodicals do have (published) guidelines... for format, length... et al. I'm cc'ing Sue Steele, Art Director and Editor of FAMA and asking for her input here. For other 'zines, I suggest writing to them directly and requesting a copy of their guidelines for submissions. Bob Fenner>

Re: Article Submission I am actually planning on writing other articles, is there need for an article on figure 8 puffers?  This should not be a problem, maybe I can shed some light on the freshwater/brackish water debate. <IMO there is a huge need for informational, inspirational material on brackish systems and livestock... most of these set-ups and their inhabitants are and have been "bumped off" through ignorance...> I have sent this article to Brian Scott at Tropical Fish  Hobbyist magazine. <Outstanding> Are there any other contacts for other hobbyist magazines I should try? <One at a time per any given article... "Multiple submissions" are a giant "no no" in the print biz. If you have other articles, and TFH can't run them (due to space, time, interest), I encourage you to try FAMA next... Sue Steele there is a delight to work with. Bob Fenner> Thank! Heather Cooan

Re: Permission to link to some of your articles Thanks Bob.  I appreciate that.  By the way, thanks for the info on your site.  After reading some of your pointers on writing articles, I have so far submitted two articles, one to AFM and one to FAMA and both have been accepted.  I am currently working on my third dealing with the future of transgenic fish in the aquarium hobby and will be submitting that to TFH in the near future.  I am really having fun with this so thanks for the wonderful site! <Outstanding. Congratulations on your burgeoning writing career. Bob Fenner> Duane D. Clark AquaServe Aquarium Publications

Citing the Wet Web Media's seastar page Greetings, Currently I am writing a magazine article for children called, "Can you See with your Arms and Breathe with your Feet?". I want to cite the Wet Web Media seastar pages in my bibliography, but I am having difficulty finding the version number of the webpage along with when the page was originally published online. Also many sponsors sponsor the webpage, and so I would like to find out the leading sponsor so I may list them in my bibliographical entry as well. Thank you for your time, Matthew S. Harvey <I would just list the URL and WetWebMedia, or you may add my name as the author. Bob Fenner>

Question about Publishing Hi, my name is Cory, I'm a member or WWM chat forum. <Yes. Hello Cory> Ananda had referred me to you about my question of publishing an article. Ananda and several others have informed me that there haven't been any documented spawnings of arrowhead pufferfish (Tetraodon suvatii) in captivity. I have successfully spawned them, and am in the process of raising the fry (which are now 3 weeks old, and doing great). I have written an article, which if need be, I can easily attach to an email and send. I was wondering what I do next though, in order to get it published. Thank you for your time! <Submit it, with a short cover letter, addressed to the publisher of whichever (just one at a time per any submission) magazine you'd like. Do you favor one periodical over another? I suggest including copies of any image work you have (these can be dupes or scans on CDs). If you'd like help identifying the mag.s, editors, please make this known. Bob Fenner> -Cory

Re: Bob - Question about Publishing <Submit it, with a short cover letter, addressed to the publisher of whichever (just one at a time per any submission) magazine you'd like. Do you favor one periodical over another? I suggest including copies of any image work you have (these can be dupes or scans on CDs). If you'd like help identifying the mag.s, editors, please make this known. Bob Fenner> I'd greatly appreciate help identifying magazines. I only know of one, Aquarium Fish Magazine, which I do subscribe to. This is the only magazine we get locally. Any others would  be greatly appreciated. <You can write Sue Steele at FAMA (Freshwater and Marine Aquarium) OR David Boruchowitz at TFH (Tropical Fish Hobbyist) here in the United States> And also, about the cover letter, I'm not familiar with what to put on a cover letter for publishing an article. Any quick tips on writing a cover letter for this 'event' would also be greatly appreciated. Once again, thank you for your time! <A short, to-the-point message about what the piece is about, some bio. material about yourself... this is about it. Magazines do have "writers guidelines" about how they want materials submitted, what sort of work they're looking for, what they pay... Some of this can be gleaned from the Internet (all have a presence under their names via search tools). I'll cc Sue and David here and ask for their response. Bob Fenner> -Cory

Aloha (looking for books to review) <And you> I'm the guy who does the book reviews for <A HREF="www.advancedaquarist.com">www.advancedaquarist.com</.  I did a review of your Conscientious Marine Aquarist (favorable of course) and would like a review copy of your Fishwatcher's Guide so that I can get that reviewed too. <Will forward your request> I've been in touch with Anthony Calfo about your collaboration on Reef Invertebrates and would like a copy of that also. <Not in print as of yet... should be out by end of this month> Terry Siegel said that you'd be moving here to the Big Island, and I'm pretty sure that Dana thinks you'll be in Holualoa, not too far from me.   <We did buy a place just mauka of the town: 75-5377 Mamalahoa Hwy http://www.wetwebmedia.com/holualoaproperty.htm but intend to just use this for a holiday property for ourselves and friends> I hope it's all true.  If you don't move here before then I hope to see you at MACNA in the fall. <I'll be out diving/traveling. Anthony will likely be there. Bob Fenner> Yours, Doug Robbins 79-7199 Mamalahoa Hwy. #351 Holualoa, HI 96725    

Re: proof reading WWM Hey, I just finished reading the "Sharks in my Living Room?" article. I found it quite interesting, but noticed quite a few little spelling/typo kinds of mistakes. Instead of whining about this, I'm interested in doing proof-reading and editing of the articles on the site. My aquarium-related knowledge is somewhat lacking, but I could certainly read through many of the articles and correct minor mistakes. I'm not sure if someone already does this, and I don't want to criticize my favourite site on the web. I just want to offer a bit of help with a task that need not occupy the time of the WWM experts. <Great! How to proceed...? Can you copy, correct, then resend the sections to us as attached files here? I'll gladly re-place the present ones. Bob Fenner> Thanks! Derek

Selling Articles Dear Bob,                 Phil Bozek here.  I thank you again for posting my shark paper.  The last few months have been crazy around my house and I'm truly sorry for not being able to thank you sooner.  I'd like to take you up on the offer of trying to submit my work to hobby magazines.  I would hopefully like to have a monthly column, but that maybe pushing it.  I've tried getting jobs in my area and all have failed.  The only place that would hire me was a restaurant, they fired me after 2 weeks.  They called me and told me I was "too smart".  That was it. <Not too smart of them> I feel bad, but I hope if I can write I can make a little money doing something I love.  I know that you can help me... And if your ever in Michigan well, how about dinner on me (I mean it!!) or a trip to the Belle Isle Aquarium, during the day of course!!! <Okay> If you need more info about me or more articles I'd be happy to send them to you.  If you could do this it would be wonderful!!  By the way, I was at the fish store the other day, I asked a question and they said to buy your book (I already have it...) I said its ok I'll just ask Bob himself!!  You should have seen their faces!!!  Best wishes!! <Do send along whatever drafts you have as you complete them and we'll e-submit them over the Internet. Bob Fenner>          Phil

Learning and loving the Hobby Anthony, I hope that all is well. <very well my friend> Holy Crap.  You are speaking at MACNA??  That is crazy.  I guess that I found the right person to talk to. <Awww, shucks. they'll let anybody speak at those things :) Actually our good friend and founder of this site has had several occasions to speak at MACNA. More importantly, he has been a mentor in the trade on more levels and venues than you and I can count in the last few decades. If you do not have Bob's book, Conscientious Marine Aquarist... it really is a must have> Well at any rate, the question thing. That was not a threat.   <heehee... I understood bud. Just kidding you> That was the truth.  There were a few people that I asked questions to, only the ones that truly were not answered in the books that I have read.  And it really really irritated them. <indeed, that is bogus if they had the time and wherewithal to answer> I am not sure why. One of them went around acting like she was God, just because she was one of the few privileged enough to have worked for someone that maintained saltwater aquariums long enough that she did not make the common mistakes. <look on the bright side... perhaps she chafes easily>   She was not a really nice person.  My viewpoint on it was that she was a holder of knowledge, and she was guarding a door that would not be unlocked. <understood... but do see the other side of that perspective too: there is much more pleasure/pride on the road to discovery/enlightenment which is not entirely a road of teachers reciting to us (and we as students merely memorizing). There needs to be a balance> I think perhaps that she was one of those people that would rather only a few elite to have some of the more "difficult" animals.   <hmmm... there is some legitimate concern about letting inexperienced people have any difficult species for random slaughter. To curb that we must have skilled merchants and mentors that guide aquarists voluntarily to species suitable for their present skill set> At any rate it does not matter, she would even lie to try and discourage me. On to other things.  When I asked about the documentation thing.  I did not simply mean how do I write it all down in HTML source, and post it on the net.  I am currently working on that now for a freshwater site.  When I succeed with the Centropyge loriculus, and Bispinosa groups, I will post that too.  What I meant was how do I Scientifically Document this without being a scientist.   <I have no idea my friend... I am not a scientist either. For such help, I go to conferences to mix with the scientists. Pitch your data to an empathetic academic who will kindly guide you or co-author your paper.> I thought that there might be a way to definitively prove this other than writing it on the web.   <hmmm.... you lost me on the web emphasis thing. I specifically referred to the written word in my last e-mail... writing a paper or article, taking pictures (include with data) and get it published in a magazine or journal> There is a lot of stuff out there, and a lot of it is false.  How do I prove that I am not making my results up?   <who do you want to prove it to? If it was me, I wouldn't care... simply do good work, be clear and lucid in your reports and photo-documentation... and let any interested party replicate your findings. There's all the proof you need> I am sorry I should have made this more clear to begin with.  I do not always phrase my sentences correctly.   <no worries at all> As far as the skimmer plans, I was going to give then to you with a report, so that you would be able to post them on the website for others. <Okey-dokey> I am sorry if I offended you in the last letter, that was certainly not my intention.   <no offense taken... I was just having fun with you and trying to illuminate some shared lessons in life> You are a really good person for putting up with people like me.   I know you all get tons of E-mail every single day, and it is really wonderful that you take time out of your schedule, to talk to people that you do not even know.  Everyone in the crew of WetWebMedia.com, are really good people.  Thank you for sharing your knowledge, and experience with me. I probably wouldn't have so many questions or write so much if I did not live right smack dab in the center of Guppysville USA. Thanks for all of your help Anthony, By the way, I have seen this a lot, and I am curious.  What does <G> stand for? -b- <ahhhh... yes, it is part of expressive 'Net lingo. Do look up some sites with data on popular symbols as such. In this case "<G>" simply means "grin"... a diffusive "smile" that you cannot see to portend the real (and usually joking or affable) meaning of a written sentence. <VBG> in turn is a "very big grin". Best regards, Anthony>

Life, the cosmos Thanks again Anthony,     I hope I am not causing a problem by writing every single day, but I have a problem.  If I find someone who knows the answers to my questions, I will ask and ask and ask, until I know as much as possible, or until I make that person so mad at me for asking questions, that they will not talk to me anymore.   <are you threatening me <G>?> I hope that you are doing well. <well... but cautious now :)  > My question this time is..... What is this MACNA of which you speak, and when is it?   <the biggest hobby conference in the nation with 3 days of speakers, lectures and product expositions... essentially, it is heaven for aquarists (hobby, zoo, etc). Occurs once yearly... this year by the Kentucky club. See here: http://www.lmas.org/macna_xv.htm  > If it is what you say it is then it is one of those few precious times in my life that sounds like a chance that only comes once.  I believe that I can make it.   <it is one of the best investments you can make in your education as a serious aquarist. This year should be inexpensive (hotel, conference price, etc)> Although  I need to know the common stuff, dates, times, places that sort of thing.  I have never heard of this before.  I definitely have the time to do it though.   Back to the thing about asking questions.  I was fired from my last job because of those pesky questions.   <you worked for the Government?!?> It would seem that I made some people  that were too high up on the food chain mad by asking them.   <asking questions is necessary and fine... but make time first and always to listen. Do read and research as well> At any rate, I would really love to go to this MACNA deal.  It seems like it would be a good thing.  I also replied to a person that wanted to know if anyone had any Ideas on how to get the Centropyge larvae past the eight day mark.  Now I am supposed to call the Waikiki Aquarium, and another person. (He figured it out, and they are willing to share.) <please share with us/all in kind and write us back here with info! Always give as freely as you take <G>> Also, if I were to successfully bring them past the 50 day mark, at which point they would be metamorphosed, how would I go about documenting that?   <OK... now here is where me/anybody answering a barrage of questions has to draw the line before it is called "enabling behavior". Help yourself (and your future job security!) by thinking about the questions you ask my friend and have respect for the people you ask (still smiling and good natured here <G>). I say this to help you, bud. You asked me how to document it? At face value- the question is remarkable from someone smart enough to navigate the Internet, read, research other people's documentations (the written word, e-mails, articles, photographs) but suddenly you are unsure of how to document you own? Please... throw me a frickin' bone here. Ha! You are now officially restricted to asking only questions that you not only do not know the answer to, but also ones that you cannot discover with a reasonable amount of diligence in discovery (research). :) > I talked to the person that began teaching me how to do aquariums, and she thinks that I am insane.   <really... that makes two of us> Doesn't believe that I am ready to take on something of this scale.   <on that point I disagree... you can do it. All can be revealed> True I have never owned a Marine System, but I think that I can handle it.   <hmmm...> I was able to cycle a freshwater system using just angelfish.  They said that I was crazy for that too, <not crazy... just irresponsible> but in a low pH, stuff just isn't as toxic or even the same thing sometimes.   <exploiting the ammonia/ammonium dynamic isn't absolute or even smart. Just more forgiving> Also, since the lighting is what you would call moderate, is there a way to augment to where I would be able to contain sps and clams,  WITHOUT, and I cannot stress this enough, MH lighting.   <natural sunlight... read about it in the Book of Coral Propagation by Calfo (Amazon.com <G>)> I cannot afford to have the electric company build a small substation in my  backyard.   <if you cannot afford MH lights then you cannot afford the marine angelfish breeding program either, I'm afraid> I am really kind of partial to VHO.  Also I asked about the downdraft not because I want to buy one, hehehhehe, I want to build one, but if it will not work then there is no point to building it you see.   <I never said it wouldn't work... in fact, I said that they are "as good or better" than most skimmers. They are IMO labor intensive and overpriced compared to better choices, though> If you would like the plans, I can send them to you along with a report on how well it worked.  After I build it. <I do appreciate the offer, I suspect our WWM readers would enjoy your report very much!> As always I appreciate your time and consideration,   -b- <best regards, Anthony>

Re: publishing Bob, <John> I bought your original Conscientious Marine Aquarist and have now preordered your new book. I am building a 75 gal reef tank and a 40 gal seahorse. Unfortunately I have had quadruple bypass surgery so I am in deep research mode until I can lift items of any weight. I am very happy with the Wetwebmedia as it provides me with all the information, background and help I need in building marine aquariums. You are one of the few groups that is using the internet in a novel and useful manner. I especially like the quick responses. <A pleasure to hear, realize your awareness> In real life I am an angel investor that provides funding for very early stage companies, usually one or two people in a garage. If you type in my name on Google you will get some background information. One of my companies is Xlibris, www.xlibris.com - a self publishing company. Going through your site it occurs to me that you have so much content generated that could be useful to people in an organized or book format. I went thru the refugium sections and will be building an extra large refugium in the hopes of being able to grow some mysis shrimp for the seahorses. I would be willing to buy a book on refugiums. I am now going thru the calcium reactor pages. And this is another topic that could warrant a book. Likewise there are maybe hundred’s of topics on the Wetwebmedia that could warrant books. <I believe you are correct. Mmm, as so often seems the case, what "is" in the world, and what might be are distanced by a lack of actionable opinion, skill and resources... We are as you state, in the process of "gearing up" to produce in-print books...> Xlibris fits into the picture where the market for a book is a fairly small number (in the hundreds or thousands). We print the book AFTER it is ordered (Print on Demand) one at a time. Hardcovers are roughly $26 which includes about $4 royalty and softcovers are about $17. We also do large format all color books. These books would be orderable through Amazon, Barnes and Noble and any bookstore. On Amazon any book you published here would be listed alongside all your other books. With Xlibris you would maintain all your rights and if you were to be picked up by a mass market publisher, like your other books, we would provide the publisher with all the pre press work to help in the transition. Hope I am not being too commercial. Of al the reef books I have, your Conscientious Marine Aquarist book is the one I am using as my bible for building the tanks. What I found interesting is that after I had the book for several months I was on the internet and someone was discussing the “Conscientious” book by Bob Fenner, I thought to myself that Bob has another book I should get. In my original reading nowhere did I feel that you were preaching or being pedantic on the subject of being “Conscientious”.    <Indeed... this would be counterintuitive in my estimation. That is, it occurs to me that proselytizing is unconscientious... "Be like the sun and the good in your deeds will be revealed", or such> Keep up the good. Hope to see you at the Brooklyn Aquarium Society May meeting you are scheduled to appear. <I look forward to meeting you. Thank you for writing, sharing. Bob Fenner> Sincerely, John Ason

RE: That article on Adding Livestock (and drygoods) sales to Svc. Rel. Bob, <Duane> Thanks for getting back with me. I would love to speak with you or all of you at WWM. I would be happy to call at a convenient time...weekends usually since I have my "real job" or in the evenings after 6 pm central. <Mmm, was hoping more for a face to face get-together... maybe at one of the larger regional hobby conferences... or the international trade shows... Are you going to Aquarama in May?> As to what part of the process I am interested in - really all parts but most specifically, getting the word out that I have books for sale, production/printing resources and methods of distribution. <Again, easily done... but first to generate the work itself... this will help give all an idea of who the target audience is, its size, how to reach it.> I am by no means a formally trained writer but I love the aquarium hobby and enjoy writing and sharing my knowledge (as well as the research involved with the preparation of any piece). Finally, I am very interested in the do's and don't of what makes a good book...the logistics in creating a resource that is informative and fun to read. <Me too! Other than Anthony, none of us (as far as I'm aware) have academic background in "writing"... It seems yours and my education in all this has more to do with "explaining" a few dozen or more times what it is we think needs to be imparted... defining how best to do this... and then committing the same activity to print> I have several manuals that really could be combined to form one larger work but really don't know the best way to organize, format, etc. <I have had notions of writing "Aquarium Service Manuals", "Retailing"... and omnibus series on the whole trade... but was and am stymied at how large a market there might be...> Well, enough of my rambling. Thanks again and I look forward to speaking with you. Duane Clark <Let's keep thinking, chatting about your project/s... Have you seen Jay Hemdal's "Aquarium Careers" book/let? Something like this could, should be re-done... perhaps you could start here. Bob Fenner>

A content providing we will go... How would I go about submitting a for pay article? Do you mean for a magazine like FAMA or AFM or TFH?  <Yes. Write one up, send it in... with pictures if you have them. Easily enough done... and how I got started on the content providing merry go round many years back... as oft-stated by others, "beats working"... and very useful for paying for ones hobbies> I am interested and have experience writing papers etc, (I am in college, so a lot of papers are needed). Please get back to me. Thanks again! <Please read here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/wrtierfaqs.htm and the related "writing" sections posted on WWM. I will gladly help you... with editing, penning a cover letter to the editors involved. Not difficult and (to me) very rewarding. Bob Fenner> -D

FW: Construction of a CO2 Canopy for Plant Tanks-FAMA MAG Dear Bob, I had a surprise today. FAMA MAG is going to publish my article on CO2 Canopy for Plant tanks. <Ah! Congratulations> All credit to you for encouraging and supporting me to produce that article and most of all giving it an exposure at your fantastic web site. Though I have not corresponded with you for some time, I make it a point to visit your site regularly to read FAQs. Thanks and regards Lalith Atugoda <Be chatting... and writing! Bob Fenner>

finally got started writing an article for publication.... Hi Bob (& co. ;-) <Howdy!> I'm finally writing an article for publication. Nope, it's not a brackish topic, it's about setting up a nano-reef on a budget. It started as an answer post on the nano-reef board. When I wanted to refer people to it five times in two days I pulled it out into its own post. I have several pages written already as I'm fleshing out the various pieces. Here's the original post, from http://www.nano- reef.com/forums/showthread.php?s=&threadid=3173 : <Yes, I saw... very good> >Tips: setting up a nano on a budget >So, you've decided you just *have* to have a reef, but your budget  >is small. You might wonder if you can get into this hobby without  >draining your bank account or maxing your credit cards. Well, you  >can, if you are careful. Don't get me wrong: you WILL spend  >significant amounts of money on a nano tank over time. However, you  >can minimize the impact on your wallet with a bit of work. Here's  >what I've learned so far.... >The keys to doing a nano reef on a smallish budget: >1. Research and planning. >Figure out what you want before you get anything. One of the best  >ways to keep expenditures down is to avoid getting the wrong stuff.  >As you develop a plan, ask questions on the boards. Be willing to  >revise the plan and do more research. And be willing to accept the  >fact that your research will never be truly "done". >2. Use what you already have. >If you have a 10g tank, don't go out and buy a 12g Eclipse. The  >exception here: if what you have is not appropriate for use in  >saltwater, don't use it. (Example: I have a 20g long tank that has a  >piece of wood glued to the bottom -- it was a reptile tank at one  >point. I wouldn't use this tank for sw, but it's okay for fw or  >brackish.) >3. Create a "wish list" for people who give you gifts. >Be very, very specific. Include the brand name, model name and  >number, and any other relevant details that would differentiate the  >item you want from others like it. Include alternates when possible.  >Try to make sure your list includes some inexpensive items as well  >as the more expensive items. A tank thermometer that your  >six-year-old neice bought with her allowance savings can be as  >treasured a gift as the lighting kit from your parents. >4. If you feel capable and have the construction tools, build some  >of the equipment yourself. >This goes for things like hoods, stands, refugiums, sumps, and the  >like -- possibly even the tank itself. And you can create base rock  >out of Portland cement and aragonite sand. >5. If you have to buy it, try to buy it used. >Start with the classified forums here, and check ReefCentral,  >Reefs.org, and other places. Sometimes you can even get stuff for  >free. Also check eBay, which has around 3400 fish-related items at  >the moment. Just be careful, and watch out for shipping costs. If  >the ad doesn't say "user pays actual shipping costs", find out what  >they're going to charge you before you bid. If you decide to get  >something through eBay, start watching auctions and keeping an eye  >on how much the item or similar items usually sell for. For example,  >I wouldn't pay more than $80 for a used CPR BakPak II. They usually  >go for $50-70, depending on the condition of the skimmer. >6. If you have to buy it new, shop around. >Hit the major online fish and marine retailers. Some of them have  >price-matching, so if you find an item cheaper somewhere else,  >they'll give you the same price. This is helpful when one place has  >an item you need that another one doesn't, and the other place has  >cheaper prices on some other stuff. Again, watch out for shipping  >costs. >Any reef tank can to be expensive, no matter what you do. But you  >can keep your costs down if you're willing to do the work it  >requires. Could you please suggest which of the hobby magazines would be most likely to run an article like this?  <Mmm, yes... AFM would likely pay the best, particularly if you have images to go with... TFH will pay in advance (but not much)... and may run by early next year... FAMA will definitely take... but pay next year... If it's short (< 1000 words let's say), you might consider SeaScope... not much pay, but very wide placement (several languages)> I'm thinking that if I can get an article on a more general-interest topic published first, I'm more likely to be able to get a more specialized-interest aka brackish topic article published later. <You will do fine> Thanks, Ananda p.s. Please keep this one out of the daily Q&As, since that may qualify as "publishing" this by some definitions of "publishing". :-( <Allright... though the "electronic rights" issue should be separate. Bob Fenner>

RE: That article on Adding Livestock (and drygoods) sales to Svc. Rel. Bob, That is good. I like it very much. I will cut the check and get it right out. <Ah, very well> I also would like your advice if I may. My first published article is due out in AFM in the October issue...I am very excited about that. I have also sold many of my manuals...enough to continue my little business venture, but I want to take it to the next level. My questions are as follows: 1. I have submitted several article idea to AFM but they have been refused. <Shop them elsewhere Duane. FAMA has a much wider, more applicable audience... try Sue Steele there. If you'd like, send a "cover letter" to her by way of me... I have had many articles placed there> What types of articles are usually needed? My first article is about starting an aquarium maintenance service so that was a no brainer. <Almost any topic written lucidly> 2. What is the "norm" for payment? I will receive $250 for a 5 page article. <This is about "it"... FAMA pays 250 for articles and features (w/ or w/o image work) for 1500-2500 words (but you may have to wait, ask for payment for months)... TFH about 200, plus 15-20 dollars per photo (and they pay in advance of publication)... overseas is about the same equivalent in other currencies> 3. How do I get the word out that I will write for hire? I suppose I can also submit ideas to the other magazines but do perhaps there are other outlets. <Send a letter offering your work, perhaps with examples of what you have to offer (with a SASE for return), asking for input... perhaps request an editorial guideline from the 'zines first> 4. Should I actually write my articles first and then submit rather than just submit ideas prior to writing? <Just send the articles with graphics if you have them> 5. I would love to get my manuals actually published. My aquarium maintenance guide will actually be well over 120 pages once these last updates are made and that is without pictures so when I am done with a version I really am pleased with (I never seem to be satisfied) it will be a pretty good start. So, how do I do it? Who should I contact and do you have to be a PhD to be considered for anything? <No need for a doctorate... I will circulate your note about here... We are actually a couple of small publishing interests (WWM is a media co. really, and Anthony Calfo has ReadingTrees.com). Am sure we can help you in myriad ways... at the very least with our opinions, experiences of "how we've done what we've done"... if not production, sales and distribution help> Thanks so much for the help and I hope to hire you to do more work for me in the future...maybe a forward to my guide. :) <I would be honored. Bob Fenner> Duane Clark AquaServe Aquarium Publications Home of eFishTank www.aquaserve.com www.efishtank.com

review Bobster... How long for a book review for FAMA (word count). Thanks for the suggestion about Reef Life. I really like the book and am delighted to do it. <About 1200-1400 words> Also... my acclimatization article just appeared in the new FAMA. Thanks for sending it in, Bud! <Ah, good. Bob F> Antoine

Re: Upcoming Review and much more Dear Bob, <Hello Jayne> Nice to hear from you and looking forward to seeing the Surgeonfishes review! <It is posted here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/acanthuroids1.htm> We have two main distributors in the US and are not planning to take on any more at the moment, but thanks for the interest! <Okay. Pls make it known who they are if you want the review appended thus. Have listed Quality Marine for dealers, Sea Challengers for end-users as sources as you will find> Our Marine Fish Families Series is a 10 book series, written by Rudie Kuiter and Helmut Debelius and we are not intending to publish any other titles at present. If you would like to get in touch with either of the above about using your photographs then please let me know and I will pass their email addresses onto you. <Please do contact them re. Bob Fenner, WetWebMedia.com> Kind regards, Jayne

Marine Photos (magazines, writing...) I was thinking of submitting some photos for this article, but was wondering something. This sounds like a non-paying gig. <re Pet Age, a pet (including ornamental aquatics) trade/business magazine... one of three (extant) in the U.S... They do/should pay... (unless this is a "pro", not your name but "for the good" as in Pro Bono legal work, piece) for articles, image work... Not much... likely a couple of hundred dollars per submission, including photographs... Can/should be negotiated, at least understood twixt parties in advance...> I would like to see my name in a magazine. Do you think this could lead to some paying work?  <Yes... even just submitting what you know, can devise in print will (definitely lead to being paid... and the increasing likelihood of paying work... mainly from your submitting more... Umm, do so> How does this work for various magazines? Do they only pay for covers? <All pay for cover photos... A hundred dollars (e.g. TFH) to about twice this (FAMA)... Other fields, publications outside of our interests, much more/less... All should/does work (the payment, understanding) between content providers (i.e. us) and editors through verbal commitment, stated "guidelines" (ask the editors to send these along... they want/need work submitted in certain ways...)... to some degree negotiable. I have encouraged you before... am doing so now. Bob Fenner> Thanks, Steven Pro

Just a moment of your time Hello Bob, <Hi there> I attended the MASLAC/SCMAS Christmas dinner in Hollywood last week. I enjoyed hearing your talk and thought it was pretty neat to be able to meet you. <And what a nice venue... an adventure driving about those Hollywood hills> I have a question for you, kind of out of the ordinairy (I know you are busy so I will make this fast). <Never that busy> My son, Michael (9 years old) has decided to write a book about snake keeping. He is getting discouraged at the process due to the time involved in writing a book. <I do understand this! Wait until he has to deal with publishing, sales and distribution!> At his age he expects to be able to have it done in a month or two. I have decided to defer to a professional at this point and ask you if you could tell me how long it took you to write "Concientious Marine Aquarist". <Mmm, my whole life really... that is, the contents (versus format) were "acquired" through many years of experience, reading, reflection... the actual "writing" took about four months. But more to the point here, I do have suggestions for helping your son... my "technique" (if it can pass for such a title) involves breaking a "book length" idea into component parts and penning these in smaller "bites"... with a view to being able to tie them altogether as they all finish... An example for your son: Leaving off aspects like the Introduction, Acknowledgements, Glossary, Index... to make a working Table of Contents, e.g. What is a Reptile? Snakes in History, Snakes as Pets, A Survey of Living Snakes, Selection, Husbandry... with component parts as subheadings that are big enough to submit (and I would) to Herptile Magazines... The subdivision of the book thus will likely make this large project much more interesting and palatable... And as an important part, do encourage this young person to take up photography... digital images that are easily imported, manipulated into manuscript layout... of animals, gear, people... for the articles, book. Semi-lastly do take him about to visit with snake-hobby groups, herpetologists, natural historians (as in at the Museums)> Also, how many outlines and rough drafts did you complete in the process? <About three total... the going back and forth with my principal editor James Lawrence at Microcosm... very useful, instructive> He has been researching for about 3 months now and writing things in a small notebook as well as keeping a snake. I would like to encourage him in this line of work for obvious reasons and do not want him to be discouraged, BUT I would like him to understand that there is a lot of work in the process of writing a book. You are an obvious choice since I HAVE your book and he has read a lot of it. Thank you for anything you can share with my son!! Adrienne McMullin (The tall red head in purple) <Ahh... please have your son contact me with his questions, concerns. I will gladly help him. Bob Fenner>

A little (extra) book advice Bob, If you don't mind giving a little more book advice, I was wondering what you would suggest for pricing to distributors. <Okay> The book is currently going to cost under $ 8.50 ( 8.19 is the current estimate) with the color photos inserted in the center and the laminated heavy stock cover (you can do cartwheels later). This price was on just one thousand. The price is sure to go down a lot lower, as you know, if I have the good fortune of a demand for a larger run. <Reasonable price> I know it is surely difficult for you to estimate a price without seeing it or reading it, but if you could lend an educated guess... it would be nice if I sounded like I had a rough idea of what I was talking about when I talk to distributors at MACNA and beyond (Champion called today, yipee). <Good places, help. And yes to helping you guesstimate price... on basis of "intended worth", "comparison with other, similar works", "likely marketibility"...> I have scheduled to run some basic advertisements (2-color) in FAMA in will dog some other periodicals. <Yes, the freebie "new products" listings... a good choice... and DO use the "pre-release" price (free-shipping) gimmick that TLF/Jules uses for pre-selling this thing... signed copies no less (ho boy)> We're taking 250-300 pages with 40 color photos and a cover/bind like the Humann series. I was going to offer the book through direct sales for $26.50 which includes express (1-3day) shipping. <Cheap... too cheap... would raise to $34.95... Reasons? You won't sell nary a one for a dollar less, your real costs are higher than you know (figure in the cost of funds of your money sitting around in books, the costs of distribution, um, something for your time/profit...), and a realistic spread for the "intermediaries" in the supply chain... Ahem, if you want to, you can figure this all backward... but book distributors want forty percent (more in the pet-fish biz...), and retailers at least this mark-up... Let's use your number: 15.00 dist. cost, to 21.00 dealer cost to 29.40 dealer retail (absolute minimum)... in actuality, the folks in the pet-book biz allow a keystone mark-up (doubling) from their cost... Yes... from 21.00 dealer cost to 42.00 retail... Think on this carefully. Very hard to change later.> Does $15 per book sound like it is in the ballpark for a distributor's price? <Yes... but do raise the suggested retail. Bob Fenner> Thanks Kindly, Antoine PS- I just bought a totally rad, new hawaiian shirt that will not be worn until I can christen it with a Blue Hawaii (or four) in the Islands.

BIG thanks, on book advice (No Text) <Count on my help Tonester... Have been there/here, doing this/that. Bob F>



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