I got a pleasant surprise yesterday — a big fat envelope from ByLine Magazine containing a check and a couple of copies of the April 2008 issue with an article by me featured on the front cover! I hadn’t known the article was accepted for publication, so it was a real surprise indeed!

The article is called “Build Your Virtual Office: Ten Great Online Tools for Writers” and lists ten types of online applications writers will find handy. I’m not going to say too much about the article, since I’d really rather people head to ByLine Magazine’s website and order it as a back issue.

Or, better yet, subscribe. ByLine is a strange bird in the writing magazine niche — written almost entirely by freelancers, produced by a single publisher acting on her own (that is, not as part of a corporate publishing empire), with content ranging from poetry and short stories to how-tos, markets, and thought-pieces. It’s the kind of off-beat magazine that deserves wider recognition — and the kind that, since it isn’t getting it, struggles from month-to-month to stay afloat.

Especially right now — magazine sales are hurting across the board due to the easy access to quality material on the Internet, paper prices are rising (I think due to global lumber shortages), postage prices keep going up and up (a cent increase doesn’t affect your letters to grandma much, but imagine sending out thousands of pieces of mail a month). It’s a hard time to be a “little” magazine, and I’d hate for the writing world to lose one of the few publications out there dedicated solely to our craft.

Subscriptions to ByLine are $29 US a year (but they just went from monthly to bi-monthly, so that might change the subscription rate); you can order a sample issue for $5 US. Their ordering page is here.

Meanwhile, I’m going to bask in the glow of my first magazine sale. I’ve been published in periodicals before, but never for pay — that’s the “joy” of the academic marketplace! The funny thing is, turn-around in the print world is so slow — decisions are made after weeks or months of deliberation, then production starts months before the actual publication date — that my bio includes nothing about this site, my work at Lifehack, or even the title of my book (which was still in the “working title” stage). 

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