Every day I read:
These blogs are great for insight into how publishing works. They’re updated every day. If you keep up, you’ll absorb industry knowledge and “how to write a query” by osmosis.
Rachelle Gardner (Rachelle is in the specifically Christian fiction branch of agenting, but her insights and experience are applicable to writers of all genres.)
After I got my book deal, I really got into editor blogs. Lots of behind-the-scenes type stuff and what works/what doesn’t.
Editorial Anonymous (Specifically a children’s book editor but, as with Rachelle, above, many insights applicable to the book world in general.)
Editorial Ass (Short for assistant.)
Miscellaneous Publishing Industry Blogs:
Pimp My Novel This guy did a single guest blog for Nathan Bransford, above, and got an instant following. He’s in sales for a major publisher, and has nuts-and-bolts behind-the-scenes industry info about what happens between publishers and bookstores.
Evil Editor This is a weird and hilarious query critique site. People submit their query letters and their first pages. Then Evil Editor (and friends), in a different color font, heckle them. Sounds cruel, but is actually really, really insightful. People with thick skin make huge improvements through this experience.
Lee Goldberg is a TV and tie-in writer. Funny and direct.
Writer Community Forums:
Absolute Write A wonderful place to learn about the craft and business of writing. For writers at all levels. Its “Bewares and Background Checks” forum is a must for anyone at or heading toward the query stage–find out whether that agent or publisher is a good fit before you query.
Backspace costs money to join, and so is more dense with published writers. There is lots of overlap, but mostly I would say Absolute Write is a place for improving your manuscript and query help, and Backspace is a place more for after-the-sale concerns.
The Comics Curmudgeon Josh heckles the newspaper comics page. Hilarious (and, warning: sometimes crude). If you’ve ever wondered what Mary Worth, Gil Thorp or the girls of Apartment 3G are up to, this site is for you.
Not Always Right Funny true stories of nightmare customers.
Cake Wrecks Badly decorated cakes with snarky commentary.
You should read them too!
PS–And for all those Mac users who miss minesweeper and solitaire, try: JigSawDoKu!
It’s a regular sudoku game, but with pieces that you drag around like a jigsaw puzzle. Soothing and distracting. Plus, if you’re going somewhere without wifi, just visit the site when you’re at home, and leave the browser window open. You can play as many new games of it as you want, without internet connection!
Or not, if you want to actually get some *work* done 😉