Mission Statement

As an editor and publishing industry professional, I've met a lot of people who have told me they want to write but they can't because they're "not writers."

Everyone who can use language can become a writer. Writing is a skill that anyone can build with study and practice, not a gift you're born with or without.

Shelf Life exists to share my editorial and publishing knowledge with writers at all stages of their writing career; help them see what's possible; and show them what they can expect on their publishing journey.

Shelf Life exists to let curious laypeople get a glimpse inside the publishing industry. I've learned a lot of interesting things and met a lot of amazing people. The publishing industry is cool. I want to share it with you.

Shelf Life exists to help make the publishing industry and the wider world a kinder, more respectful, and more inclusive place.

Shelf Life Commandments

  1. Shelf Life will deliver a newsletter each Tuesday and Thursday at 9:00 AM Eastern time. (On rare occasions, Shelf Life may publish on a Monday-Wednesday-Friday schedule in case of a three-part series. I'll warn you in advance.)

  2. Each edition of Shelf Life provides a five- to ten-minute read on a subject related to words, writing, or publishing. (How do I calculate reading time? Check out the Science of Shelf Life.)

  3. Shelf Life will not charge you to read the newsletter, nor show you ads, nor include affiliate links.

  4. Shelf Life will protect your information. I'll never sell your email address to a third party and I'll never use it to send you anything except Shelf Life.

  5. Shelf Life doesn't make money. Any revenue generated by the Shelf Life merch store goes to Shelf Life promotional materials or toward the cost of maintaining this website. Any revenue earned above that will be donated to a trustworthy, literacy-based charity.

  6. Shelf Life will never recommend a product or service that I haven't personally tried. Shelf Life may review or compare services or products based on their features or specifications without having tried them, but I'll always let you know that my review doesn't include a recommendation if I can't stand behind it personally.

  7. Shelf Life is always written with kindness and respect in mind and never includes profanity. It's safe to share with your grandparents, your kids, and your boss.

  8. Shelf Life community areas, including the comments on the newsletter and the Shelf Life Discord server, are moderated. We make sure they are friendly, respectful, and inclusive spaces. They may occasionally contain strong language but NSFW content is restricted and the rules are enforced.