Facebook friends pointed me to this new interview with Jonathan Franzen, which is as entertaining as you might expect. But before it gets into the usual topics of Oprah and the internet, I was surprised at how much the interview focused on money—both Franzen’s pursuit of payment (or lack thereof) and how he eked out a living prior to The Corrections. It turns out the source of the interview, Scratch Magazine, is a new e-zine dedicated to the business side of publishing, and I urge any and all writers—unpublished, debut, mid-career, indie, freelancers—to check it out.

There’s a lot of useful information for writers of all stripes, and it’s refreshing how candidly the articles focus on money. In contrast, I was at a book conference this weekend where I did a roundtable talk with a bunch of writers and editors, and while we did talk some about the financial and contractual side of things, it was very much in the abstract. So it’s nice to see the Scratch team breaking down the dollars and cents—including the subscription they hope to charge—though I do hope that in future issues they’ll offer a few more examples for writers than a life of poverty in Tijuana. Or Somerville…

One Response to Scratch

  1. Kevin A. Lewis says:

    Wow, Jonathan’s got a pair of Swarovski binoculars!? OK, We’re about the same age, he lives in Santa Cruz, and I’ve been on the Monterey Peninsula since the 80’s, where coincidentally we sold those things at the Nature Company on Ocean Ave. in Carmel. (this was in the glory days of Specialty Retail when the whole world wasn’t just one big clothing store) Those things are like the DeLorean of optics these days… Anyway, I’ve been on the Franzen Diet Plan of not allowing an internet portal within a hundred yards of my writing space for years, (came up with the idea independently before it became hip, by the way) and still avoid social media like the plague. (It’s a huge time waster which doesn’t have any real-world benefit towrd plugging your writing unless you’re trying to reach a whole lot of desperate writers snatching at your liferaft) Wonder if I sold those binos to him? Hmmm….

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