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Book Review:

Every Nonprofit's Guide to Publishing

by Cheryl Woodard & Lucia Hwang

review by Deane Brengle


It isn't often I get the pleasure of writing a book review on a subject so near and dear to my heart: Creating newsletters, magazines, and websites. As the owner and creator of several websites that double as an online magazine, newsletter and yellow pages phone book for the nonprofit world, it was wonderful to be able to "pick the brains", so to speak, of nonprofit publishing experts Cheryl Woodard and Lucia Hwang.

Their recently released book, Every Nonprofit's Guide to Publishing: Creating Newsletters, Magazines & Websites People Will Read, by Nolo.com, contains exactly the kind of essential information I wish had been available to me back in 1996 when I first ventured into the world of publishing.

The Inside Look

The authors give an inside look at every aspect of the publishing process. From the basics that publishing novices desperately need to know - to hints and tips for the established editor, webmaster, and communications manager - this book covers it all.

Magazines, newsletters, and websites are the very public face of every nonprofit. Often, it's all the members see. These publications are used to raise money, attract and retain members, and increase awareness for their cause. They are the tools that a nonprofit must use successfully to become a vibrant organization and remain so. Publishing business consultant Cheryl Woodard and nonprofit magazine editor Lucia Hwang have teamed up in this book to lay down on paper the guidelines of the publishing process that nonprofits must use to achieve success.

In their book readers will learn step-by-step how to:

  • Craft a mission statement and goals

  • Establish a sensible budget and stick to it

  • Produce high quality content

  • Design and print the publication

  • Create a compelling website

  • Develop marketing and advertising strategies

I especially appreciated how they guided the reader to look at the big picture. Often folks venturing into the publishing world for the first time get caught up in the details of the project and loose sight (if they ever had it in the first place) of exactly what they hope to accomplish with the new magazine, newsletter, or website. Heck, even us old timers need to pull back sometimes and re-examine the purpose of our publications.

And the advice on how to keep your mission on course and not let it become derailed by the different underlying forces within every nonprofit was priceless.

The book also comes bundles with a CDROM filled with essential forms, checklists, templates, worksheets and spreadsheets - all the tools to get the job done right.

The Long and Winding Road

The road to a successful nonprofit publication can be long and hard. Obviously the authors have traveled this road before! You can save yourself a lot of time and potential grief by getting a copy of this book and benefiting from their wisdom and experience.

Their book, Every Nonprofit's Guide to Publishing: Creating Newsletters, Magazines & Websites People Will Read, is available online, at a discount, in several different formats: Book with CDROM, E-book, and Deluxe Nonprofit Bundle (this book and two others) at Nolo.com.

Read a sample chapter online, courtesy of Nolo.com: Chapter 1: Getting Started

See the Table of Contents online.

Read an article by Cheryl Woodward and Lucia Hwang, adapted from their book: Layout and Design Tips for Print Publications

Read an interview with Cheryl Woodward and Lucia Hwang: Creating a Website: Getting Your Nonprofit Online

About the authors: Cheryl Woodard & Lucia Hwang

Cheryl Woodard is a publishing business consultant and co- founder of PC Magazine, PC World and Mac World.

She is president of The Publishing Business Group,an alliance of independent publishing consultants in the San Francisco Bay Area. Their group includes experts in editing, design, market research, circulation, advertising sales, online advertising sales, strategic planning, and business management. They often work together on projects where their individual skills combine to provide their clients with a complete solution to their needs. Each of them is also available independently from the others. Visit The Publishing Business Group website at: www.publishingbiz.com/.

Lucia Hwang is a journalist, award-winning investigative reporter, and magazine writer who currently edits a nonprofit associationís magazine. Her degrees are from the University of California, Berkeley, and Columbia School of Journalism. Lucia has been writing and editing for magazines, websites, and newsletters her whole career.

***********************


About the Author: Deane Brengle is a writer and the editor of several free online publications that cover fundraising for small nonprofit groups. You can visit these publications and read more about fundraising in articles by him and other experts in the field at The Fund$Raiser Cyberzine, The Fundraising for Small Groups Newsletter, and Fundraising Booklets.

The author of this book review and this website have no monetary connection with the book, the authors, or the publisher.


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