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Writer's Digest publisher says everybody wants to write a novel; Articles? Not so much

I was a little nervous when I received an email from Jane Friedman, the publisher of Writer’s Digest magazine and books.

She was responding to my interview with one of her authors, Mike Sacks, the author of And Here’s the Kicker: Conversations with 21 Top Humor Writers on Their Craft.

Sacks was unhappy with a number of things about the way Writer’s Digest published his book and wasn’t shy abut discussing it.

I thought Friedman was going to give me an earful about what a sack Sacks was and how neither of us understood anything about publishing decisions.

Much to both of our surprise, she actually agreed with a number of the things we discussed and was interested in continuing the conversation. I was only too happy to do so; this show, after all, has hosted conversations with the editors and publishers of Smithsonian, Playboy, Success, Cooking Light and many others.

AUDIO EXCERPT: “You could see the change in our magazine as well as the books we published over the last 10 years. We actually felt this affect long before we saw it coming up in the industry as far as newspapers and magazines closing. Our books and articles on freelance work, newspaper journalism, magazine journalism, those sales were falling off dramatically. But what was selling was anything related to novel writing, finding an agent, anything more creative writing related… Most people aspire to write a novel. That’s where our market has shifted.”

And, as a guy who makes his living writing books and magazine articles, I certainly have an interest in the topic.

As for Jane Friedman, she is publisher and editorial director of the Writer’s Digest community at F+W Media in Cincinnati, Ohio, where she oversees all facets of the Writer’s Digest brand, including Writer’s Digest magazine, Writer’s Digest Books, annual market guides, online education, events, and competitions. Her blog, “There Are No Rules,” discusses how writers can succeed in an era of change in the writing and publishing industry.

You can LISTEN to this interview by clicking HERE!
• • •
Subscribe to Writer’s Digest magazine
Order 2010 Writer’s Market
Order And Here’s the Kicker: Conversations with 21 Top Humor Writers on Their Craft


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