The Hot Sheet
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Jane Friedman and I have been observing the experiences of authors in the contemporary marketplace as it has developed over many years.
The impact of the digital dynamic, after all, hasn’t just rocked publishing. Like a good, stiff earthquake, it also has rearranged the landscape for writers—opening up new pathways to publication…and several pretty little trails that will lead your career right over a cliff.
But you’d think that at a time when free blog sites about writing are on every corner of the Web, the last thing you’d need to do is pay for a private subscription newsletter for authors. Right? Wrong.
As we worked through our appraisals of information and guidance for authors—Jane as a former publisher and professor in creative media, and me as a journalist specializing in publishing—what we kept finding was that most of what’s out there is either:
• Agenda-driven (someone wants to persuade you of something);
• Promotional (someone wants to sell you something); or
• Emotional (someone has an axe to grind and wants you to get angry, too).
Worst of all, so much material for authors out there today is ill-informed. Have you noticed that a lot of blog sites for writers are written by other writers who are learning their craft and then blogging about it as if they knew the score? They don’t know the score. They’re learning just as you are. And if there’s anything worse than the blind leading the blind, it’s the blind following the blind.
What Friedman and I do is sort through the industry’s major issues and events. We cover all the pertinent news items and the coverage of them. And then we analyze what we’re finding with an eye to choosing and explaining just what authors need to know. We don’t want an author wasting his or her time chasing around after information on something that has no bearing on the writer’s job.
In fact, that’s the reason we deliberately created The Hot Sheet without a community: no forum, no Facebook page, no comments, no gabfest. We want you to stay focused on the writing. Every other week, you read The Hot Sheet when it arrives on Wednesday, and then you get back to work. You’re updated, you’re informed, and you’re not frittering away your time trying to figure out just what somebody said in a comment at a blog post and whether it might have any bearing on you and other authors.
Our model is that of a private newsletter for Wall Street investors. And we see the cost of The Hot Sheet as part of your investment in your career as an author. It’s written for trade authors and self-publishing authors, alike. Unlike so many in the snarky blogosphere, we don’t want you to go one direction or another: publish the way (or ways) you choose. We’re more interested in giving you the news you need, and then getting out of your way.
There’s plenty of information about The Hot Sheet here, and don’t miss your chance to save on your subscription by ordering it through Bowker.
We’d be glad to have you as a subscriber. Join us for the best, most exacting, dependable expertly observed coverage of the industry in the business: with, as we say, “no drama, no hype.”
Porter Anderson ( @Porter_Anderson ) BA, MA, MFA, is a journalist, speaker, and consultant specializing in book publishing. Formerly with CNN, the Village Voice, the Dallas Times Herald, and other media, he is Editor-in-Chief of Publishing Perspectives, founded by the German Book Office New York, the magazine for the international publishing industry. With Jane Friedman, he produces The Hot Sheet publishing-industry newsletter, providing expert analysis and interpretation in a private subscription email newsletter, expressly devised to give authors the news insights they need, free of agenda and bias. Anderson also writes the #MusicForWriters series on contemporary composers for Thought Catalog.