Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Trade journals versus forums and newsletters

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.



Jean said...

I'm one of the ones that doesn't susbscribe. I used to but let the subscription lapse.

For me it was the more info other places for free thing. And honestly, I didn't have the time to sit down and read the issues. It's much easier to search online for needed info when I need it than have to search through a stack of magazines.

I think this is one of those personal decisions for each of us. What is your priority? Do you really need that magazine subscription or could the money be better spent with that website, business cards, or stuck in a savings account for an upcoming conference?

Taking a look at career goals is a good thing. It is also something that needs to be done on a regular basis.

Thanks for the reminder:--)


sherry said...

LOL...I just gotta tell y'all...

Okay, the reason I wanted at least 1 trade mag was that I wanted one I could read in the bathroom. Taking a laptop in there just isn't that easy.


Cheryl said...

I have to agree with you there Gwanny. That's why I depended on paper instead of online stuff. Most of my reading is done in the tub. (Sorry for the bad visual, lol.)