Is Scribd a good place for new writer to publish?
June 22, 2009 11:46 AM   Subscribe

I am trying to figure out the best way to break into freelance writing on travel, wine, culture etc. - but having difficulty because I've never been published before. Is Scribd a good way to get exposure? And possibly earnings?
posted by suzanneo to Writing & Language (6 answers total) 9 users marked this as a favorite
Freelance writing has been slammed by the economy, with magazines slashing contributor budgets when they aren't going out of business. There might not be much left to break into. But promoting your own book on Scribd would be an interesting way to search for an audience--not sure about earnings, but it's a better deal for the author than traditional publishing.
posted by johngoren at 12:04 PM on June 22, 2009 [2 favorites]

not sure about earnings, but it's a better deal for the author than traditional publishing

Yeah, not really.

The thing about all these websites that "pay more royalties than Random House" and what-not is that it's vanishingly hard to earn any money from them.

Random House pays you a small percentage of the revenue for the thousands and thousands of your books that they sell. These folks pay a large percentage of the revenue for the two or three of your e-books that they sell. One of these is a better deal than the other.

The best resource out there for the beginning freelance writer is a subscription to it's $75 a year or something, but well worth it. A very good free resource is
posted by Sidhedevil at 12:52 PM on June 22, 2009 [3 favorites]

Most prominent web presences in wine writings have started in wine blogs and wine forums, namely erp and ws boards. I'd suggest becoming a member of the community and promoting yourself.
posted by stratastar at 1:50 PM on June 22, 2009

If you want to pick one specific topic, say travel, you might want to look into writing for
It pays, but not a whole heck of a lot. And it definitely gets you exposure. Examiner comes up in the Google news feed.

I write for their Dallas edition about books.

Check out their website - you can write for their national edition or an edition local to you.
It's mostly a news site, but there is plenty of room for reviews, op-ed pieces, advice, etc.
And best of all, you don't have to have any previous writing experience to come on board. It is really difficult to break into paid writing gigs without any previous experience. It is definitely a platform to launch a career and get your name more well known, as long as you keep up with it and market yourself well.

Within my first week of writing, I was getting emails from large publishing firms asking if I would be interested in reviewing advanced copies of books. Yes, please!

Good luck!
posted by KoobieKitten at 4:09 PM on June 22, 2009 is great for established writers. Unpublished writers may want to sit tight and do a lot of forum searching and reading of threads before posting at FLX, just to get the hang of what's been hashed out before. FLX is lovely, and there's a lot of support there -- but it may be too advanced for someone without any clips who needs a lot of hand-holding. (Just my opinion...)

If you are just starting out, is far more casual, but its archives are free and could be great resources for someone looking to get published. See also the newsletters by C.Hope Clarke, aka the Shy Writer (most are free). I suggest these because they were useful to me when I first started and helped me get clips that led to bigger clips, etc. I began with some trades and moved along quickly to better gigs on the consumer side.

And while reviews and free books/meals are fun, books and free meals don't pay the mortgage.... if "self-sustaining" is where you want to be eventually, read as much as you can on the business of freelance writing as well as on the craft of writing. I can't say this enough!
posted by mdiskin at 4:25 PM on June 22, 2009

I am not a freelance writer but to me the way to do it is to start a blog and make it successful. You will probably earn very little from the blog but it will build your brand and credibility making magazine assignements a natural step.

Beware that making a successful blog is very hard though.
posted by ilike at 4:40 AM on June 23, 2009

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