The Things I Find Useful…

As you may or may not know, I receive several e-newsletters in an attempt to keep up with trends and happenings in the publishing world. One of the newsletters I receive is SLJ Teen from the School Library Journal. In this morning’s edition, I learned about an awesome site that connects musicians with musical artists with a similar sound. The site, tuneglue, is unbelievably fun. I think I now have a new favorite way to waste time on the internet.

Yes, tuneglue is writing-related in a roundabout way. If you’re like me, you write for teens at least occasionally. Music is a major part of teens’ lives. If you need to include the name of a real band for one reason or another, tuneglue is a great resource for finding bands with a similar sound that your characters would likely know. Of course, your best option is to create fictional musicians with fictional songs. It saves the risk of the band that’s so popular when you write your story becoming unpopular by the time your book goes to print. Plus, if you have fictional music, you can include all the lyrics you want since you don’t need permission to use what you’ve written yourself.

Back to e-newsletters. They are a great resource, but they can also clog your inbox. Try to get only the ones relevant to what you write, and then only the ones you personally find useful. Some of the ones I like are Writer’s Weekly, Publishers Lunch, the GalleyCat feed from mediabistro.com, and a couple from Publishers Weekly. As I’ve already said, I also get SLJ Teen. Now, not all of these are daily. Some are weekly or bi-weekly. All have things I find useful in my writing/editing career. I’ve received others in the past, but the information they provided was no longer what I needed so I dropped my subscription.

Don’t take on so many newsletters that you’re overwhelmed. And don’t feel that you have to read them as soon as they hit your inbox. Just this morning, I read a couple from yesterday because I didn’t have the time to get to them when they arrived. Prioritizing is a big part of surviving being a writer who also works full-time. Figure out what’s important and do that first. In my case, work comes before reading newsletters. When I have a little free time, then I read a newsletter, even if it’s a couple of days old at that point. Cleaning out my inbox every day is my goal, but it’s one I don’t always achieve. Work and life get in the way sometimes.

If you know of any writing, editing, or publishing newsletters you find interesting and helpful, please tell me the name (and preferably the URL) in the comments section. I’ll put links to them in a later post so others can check them out.

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