Recently I started a poll at the StoryCrafters forum. I asked how many of my fellow writers subscribed to trade journals. The results surprised me. Twenty-five percent of those who responded do not subscribe to any. They cited various other avenues to find trade news and helpful tips to improve their craft.
From forums, to websites, to online newsletters there is a wealth of information out there to help writers-- and much of it is free. So, I had to ask, why is it that I pay for three trade journals when I can get good information for no cost at all? Not that trade journals aren't helpful, but if I am struggling to keep expenses down wouldn't it be prudent to subscribe to free newletters and participate in forums. Then I could afford business cards, stationery, or maybe even a professional website to promote my work--which will certainly increase my exposure and hopefully lead to more sales.
Sure looks like 2007 will be the year I change the way I handle and promote my writing career.