These are "Reports from the Newsstand," my comments on the publications in our catalogue at We offer sample copies of our publications, not subscriptions. Each sample copy costs $2.59, well below newsstand cover prices (if the publication is available on your newsstand at all). A $2.00 shipping charge is added to each order. Publishers use to get their publications into the hands of potential subscribers.


Ed Rust, proprietor of, has worked in publishing in a variety of capacities for decades. He started as U.S. circulation director of the Financial Times "way back when they flew the papers into Kennedy Airport from London a day late." He most recently was managing editor of publications at the General Society, Sons of the Revolution.

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

BYLINE: A Comfortable Home for Writers

Happy Valentine's Day! Today we welcome ByLine to the newsstand. This monthly magazine provides a warm, comfy home for beginning and working writers, offering them practical advice, a host of writing contests and the opportunity to publish in its own pages. It's a tough world out there for freelance writers; very few make it big, and not many even do well enough to support themselves without a day job. But it can be fun, and getting that first article or poem into print with a check coming back to you is a psychological kick akin to winning a jackpot at a slot machine. I've been looking through the January issue of ByLine, which was founded in 1981 and is published in Edmond, OK. It starts with editor and publisher Marcia Preston examining what she calls "old chestnuts" of advice for writers. The first she cites is "When you get a rejection, put that manuscript right back in the mail." Whoa, she cautions, first consider the new publication to which you're sending the manuscript and revise it to meet that market's unique needs (and, I guess, be thankful that word processing and computers have replaced the typewriter and made revisions much, much easier). In the next article, Patricia Fry warns self-published authors that the big chain bookstores don't want their books. She suggests all sorts of strategies for promoting your own book, from approaching local independent bookstores to locating special interest groups that will find the subject of your book right up their alley for a lecture or presentation. You'll encounter another article about publicity of a slightly different kind: Setting up a simple Web site that will have a search engine like Google send someone typing in your name right to that site, which can contain your picture, biography, list of writing credits and maybe a couple of your articles. Then add your Web site address to your business card. That way, writes author Joan Upton Hall, "a business card becomes your portfolio in the pocket of an agent or editor." The article I liked the best, by Al Peck, is titled "Double-Dip to Sell More Articles." It's traditional advice to a freelancer, but it can't be repeated enough: Take the same research and interviews and create different articles for a variety of markets. He also stresses keeping your eyes open, and in a delightful sidebar writes of seeing a large concrete penny, a monument of some kind outside a hospital. He made inquiries and found that it was erected to honor a long-ago drive to start the hospital that brought in millions of pennies from around the country. "This heartwarming story was appealing to coin-collecting magazines, medical magazines and a state history magazine," Peck writes. "But I wouldn't have known if I hadn't asked." Each issue also contains some poetry and short fiction. An annual subscription to ByLine (11 issues) is $24.00 from the publisher; you can get a sample copy from us for $2.59.


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