Introducing The Hot Sheet: A Great New Resource for People Who Care About Publishing

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Anyone working freelance in today’s publishing industry is in a double bind. (And you can be forgiven if you feel doubly blindsided, too.)

Not only is a first-rate ghost, an editor, a freelance writer of any kind expected to be up to speed on industry issues, changes, developments, and trends, but she or he is also expected to hit deadlines and contribute the kinds of ideas that in-house teams have handed to them by their managements and support teams.

Some of the best publishing houses now, for example, serve their writers with newsletters and updates, dashboards and briefings. Not all publishers are hip to keeping their teams in the know, but those that do are pulling ahead in terms of knowledgeable, informed writers.

That’s why this sector of publishing’s creative corps–the independent, hardworking, freelance and ghosting community so important to the industry as a whole–has taken so well to The Hot Sheet. And it’s why we’re delighted to have a chance to introduce it to you.

The Hot Sheet is a bi-weekly newsletter available only by subscription and arriving every other Wednesday at midday, Eastern time. It’s modeled on the financial-advice newsletters produced by analysts for their clients on Wall Street, and on the Publishers Lunch newsletter that many publishing professionals subscribe to.

Now almost two years old, the purpose of The Hot Sheet is to provide top-grade publishing-industry analysis to ghostwriters, freelance editors, designers, stringers, as well as traditionally publishing and self-publishing authors.

It’s been created by myself and Jane Friedman. We’re both experienced specialists in the industry who don’t operate out of any agenda.

Jane is the former publisher of Writer’s Digest and is a university professor, an instructor with The Great Courses, and has just produced new material for writers with the Authors Guild.

I’m a journalist, formerly with CNN and the Village Voice, and others, and I’m the editor-in-chief of Publishing Perspectives, the news medium of Frankfurt Book Fair. Jane and I both speak at and cover conferences, trade shows, and other events around the world all year and are in direct touch with key industry players. (In fact, I’ll be moderating a panel expressly for freelance writers in August at the Writer’s Digest Conference in New York, and Jane is giving sessions at the conference, too.)

What’s made a success out of The Hot Sheet are these main features:

  1. Unbiased, thoughtful points of view. The Hot Sheet is the only guidance of its kind for writers that’s unattached to any publishing entity. Your subscription supports our ability to produce it. Our writer-subscribers are our customers, and we see The Hot Sheet as a service.
  2. “No drama. No hype.” Our slogan has held up well, in that so many alternatives–mostly blog sites, forums, and comment threads–are emotionally charged centers of opinion. We provide writers with genuine analysis, not shouting.
  3. Efficiency. Authors we work with say one of their biggest problems is the time it takes to know what industry news impacts them and how to find reliable sources. We created The Hot Sheet so you can get the right news fast. Read us once every two weeks and then get back to writing.

One of the biggest compliments we’ve had is that other industry pros, not just writers, are subscribing to us. And we’d love to have you join us.

Let us cover the news so you don’t have to. And thanks for letting us explain our offer to you–we know your time is money and we appreciate your attention. All the best in your work!

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