Burgett, Gordon 1938–

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Burgett, Gordon 1938–

(Gordon Lee Burgett)

PERSONAL: Born June 17, 1938, in Chicago, IL; son of William Virgil (a small business owner) and Lois Thelma (a junior high school secretary) Burgett; married, 1962; wife's name Judy (marriage ended, 1990); married Marsha Freeman (a writer and speaker), June 3, 1995 (marriage ended, 2000); children: (first marriage) Shannon Victoria Burgett Graydon, Kimberley Erin Burgett Pierce. Ethnicity: "American." Education: University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, B.A., 1960; University of Wisconsin—Madison, M.A., 1962; Thunderbird Graduate School of International Management (now American Graduate School of International Management), master's degree, 1962; Northern Illinois University, M.A., 1970. Hobbies and other interests: Running, reading, barbershop singing, speaking.

ADDRESSES: Home—3863 Cherry Hill Rd., Santa Maria, CA 93455. Office—Communication Unlimited, P.O. Box 6405, Santa Maria, CA 93456; fax: 805-937-3035. E-mail[email protected].

CAREER: CARE, Inc., site director in Cartagena, Colombia and Guayaquil, Ecuador, 1962–65; City of Glendale Heights, CA, director of recreation program, 1967–70; California State University, Dominguez Hills, Carson, dean of Evening Division, 1974–80; Communication Unlimited, Santa Maria, CA, chief executive officer, 1982–. Public speaker.

MEMBER: American Society of Journalists and Authors, National Speakers Association, Publishers Marketing Association.


The Query Book, Communication Unlimited (Santa Maria, CA), 1980.

Ten Sales from One Article Idea, Communication Unlimited (Santa Maria, CA), 1981.

How to Sell More than Seventy-five Percent of Your Freelance Writing, Communication Unlimited (Santa Maria, CA), 1984, Prima Publishing and Communications (Rocklin, CA), 1995.

Query Letters/Cover Letters: How They Sell Your Writing, Communication Unlimited (Santa Maria, CA), 1985.

(With Mike Frank) Speaking for Money, Communication Unlimited (Santa Maria, CA), 1985.

Empire-Building by Writing and Speaking, Communication Unlimited (Santa Maria, CA), 1987.

Self-Publishing to Tightly-Targeted Markets, Communication Unlimited (Santa Maria, CA), 1989.

The Writer's Guide to Query and Cover Letters, Prima Publishing and Communications (Rocklin, CA), 1992.

The Travel Writer's Guide, Prima Publishing and Communications (Rocklin, CA), 1992, Communication Unlimited (Santa Maria, CA), 2002.

Niche Marketing for Writers, Speakers, and Entre- preneurs, Communication Unlimited (Santa Maria, CA), 1993.

Treasure and Scavenger Hunts, Communication Unlimited (Santa Maria, CA), 1994.

Publishing to Niche Markets, Communication Unlimited (Santa Maria, CA), 1995.

Sell and Resell Your Magazine Articles, Writers Digest (Cincinnati, OH), 1997.

(With Reece Franklin) Standard Marketing Procedures for Dentists, Dental Communication Unlimited (Santa Maria, CA), 1997.

How to Create Your Own Super Second Life: What Are You Going to Do with Your Extra Thirty Years?, Age Masters (Santa Maria, CA), 1999.

(With Jay Hislop) Life after Dentistry, Dental Communication Unlimited (Santa Maria, CA), 2002.

Lian McAndrew and the Perfect Human World, Communication Unlimited (Santa Maria, CA), 2003.

How to Plan a Great Second Life: Why Not Live Fully Every Day of Your Extra 30 Years?, Communication Unlimited (Santa Maria, CA), 2003.

Writer and narrator of audio cassette and compact disc series. Sportswriter, Suburban Times, Des Plaines, IL. Contributor of more than 1,700 articles to periodicals.

SIDELIGHTS: Gordon Burgett once told CA: "I started writing as a sophomore in high school, patching together a page or two of sports every week for the Des Plaines Suburban Times. I was then selected as editor of the Maine Township High School newspaper in my senior year. I picked up another editor's spot for the Illigreek at the University of Illinois, serving the largest Greek fraternity and sorority system in the United States.

"Most of my writing for the past forty-five years has been for magazines and newspapers, as a freelancer, and I sold more than 1,700 articles. I had no central theme, really. I figured that others wanted to know about the same things that I was interested in. There was a lot of writing on sports, travel, general interest topics, and running pieces, plus reprints.

"It became obvious to me that many others, with greater writing skill than I had, were not in print because they simply didn't understand the selling process in the publishing world. I began to write books in that field, to demythologize the system. I concentrated on query letters and reprints, then on the whole process from idea inception to research, writing, and marketing. Another facet intrigued me: niche publishing. I wrote the first book in that field and expanded the idea through empire-building (selling a concept by many means) to niche marketing (including and expanding beyond print).

"Since most of my writing in the early nineties focused on travel, I applied the selling concepts to a travel writer's guide. There was also a fun book about planning treasures and scavenger hunts, which I had done to survive at the University of Illinois some thirty-five years earlier. As my publishing company, begun in 1981, expanded into the dental and medical field, I wrote two books, one with Reece Franklin and one with Jay Hislop, about marketing procedures for dentists and 'life after dentistry.' When Writers Digest Books asked me to write a book about selling and reselling articles, I was able to draw from the many earlier books (and classes taught) to bring the process to its best form.

"All the while, I have been speaking at the college level more than one hundred times a year, offering workshops through the extended education divisions (mostly in California), often about the topics in my books. There are also about fifteen to twenty keynotes or seminars to professional associations annually.

"Then, as I crept into old age, it was time to write about my newest interest. The book title tells all: How to Plan a Great Second Life: Why Not Live Fully Every Day of Your Extra 30 Years? In my case, probably I will keep writing. It's almost a crime to get paid for having so much fun!"

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