Subscribing to a magazine may not sound like a writing tip, but it’s the best one I was given so I’m passing it on.
The first action I took when I returned to fiction writing was subscribing to Writer’s Digest. It had been years since I thought about the publishing world–playwrights, TV writers, don’t publish. I knew the industry changed and needed to come up to speed. The first issue of my new subscription of Writer’s Digest contained the feature, “Publishing Today.” The entire issue was dedicated to the state of the publishing industry. I hit the ground running.
It is not the best source if you are looking to improve the quality of your writing or learn the craft of writing. I find Writer’s Workbook tedious and unhelpful, but that doesn’t mean it won’t help others. The writer interviews are best for craft.
What Writer’s Digest does best is give writers the tools to sell their work. Traditional publication, self-published eBook or a hybrid, it doesn’t matter; they will help you. I would not be writing this blog if it weren’t for Writer’s Digest.
My favorite monthly features are Funny You Should Ask written by literary agent Barbara Poelle of The Irene Goodman Literary Agency, Meet the Agent, Top Shelf, Furst Drafts, author interviews and Your Story. If you need to know something, there will be an article about it the next issue.
Each October they publish a guide to getting an agent showcasing agents seeking new authors, extremely helpful. Then there is the yearly Best Websites for Authors; it includes everything from productivity sites to scam alert sites. They do features on self-publishing, genre publishing, writing short for genre, building a writing platform, marketing strategies and many, many helpful articles aimed at getting your words in print. Most of my Writers on Writing quotes are pulled from WD interviews.
Their writer’s forums, which come with the subscrition, are the best I’ve found online for discussing the business of writing.
There is a lot of content available free on their website. Check out this interview by Barbara Poelle of bestselling Young Adult author Lauren DeStefano (The Internment Chronicles).
At $20 a year it is a cheap investment when you consider you have everything to gain and nothing to lose.
There is one pitfall I must warn about. WD does not vet its advertisers. Pay attention to articles, but be careful of the ads. Remember, if publisher or any other service is advertising for manuscripts they are trying to sell you something and not buy something from you.
Writer’s Digest–what you need to know, when you need to know it.