Wednesday, January 08, 2014

Writers' Wednesday: Highlights from the February Writer's Digest

Hey, writers! Writer's Digest is a fantastic magazine resource for all authors, aspiring and best-selling, in all genres. Here's a rundown of the articles in the February 2014 issue, which arrived in my mailbox yesterday:

"Sizing up Small Presses" talks about the advantages of signing with a small press rather than a bigger, more traditional publisher. Among those advantages are closer communication with all staff at the press, including your editor, your cover artist, and many times even the owner of the press itself. (I can vouch for this one)

"What Writers Need to Know about the E-book Market" is an interesting read about how e-books have changed book distribution, marketing, pricing, contracts, and author-agent relationships. (I can vouch for this one too.) The fact that e-books are wildly popular, cheap, available at your fingertips in the stroke of a key or two, and easily produced by almost anyone, has both advantages and disadvantages for the market - but it's definitely changed how authors can get their stories into the hands of readers. One thing for writers to keep in mind: if you're looking for an agent to represent you in the e-book market, do your research carefully. Some agents are much more comfortable, experienced, and savvy that others in the e-book world.

Finally, "Best of Both Worlds" discusses the possibility of being a "hybrid" author; that is, publishing some stories in traditional channels and publishing others on your own. Indie publishing gives authors much more control over the whole product, from production to pricing, while it also incurs more risk and financial investment. Traditional publishing assumes that risk and can often put books in front of a wider audience of readers (especially in brick-and-mortar bookstores) but can dig in its heels when it comes to non-traditional titles, genres, or lengths. It also takes A LOT LONGER to publish a story through traditional channels. So why not do both? It's definitely something I've been thinking about over the last few weeks.

Check out more writing info, or get your own subscription, over at the Writer's Digest website. Happy writing!

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