10/08/2012 04:35 pm ET Updated Dec 08, 2012

The Rise of the Renaissance Reporter

One thing's for sure: the publishing world is facing an identity crisis. Pulitzer Prize-winning authors are sheepishly promoting their e-books on late night TV; The New York Times is paying veteran journalists to tweet; independent bookstores are shutting their doors at an alarming rate.
Does this all signal the demise of the professional writer?

Out of work screenwriters, poets and copywriters might say yes. I say no, but there's a catch.
There will always be demand for good writers. The thing is, just like any successful company, today's writers need to learn to diversify. For university professors, the old saying is "publish or perish." For freelancers, staff reporters and bloggers, it might as well be "produce or perish." Because with self-publishing, blogging and the advent of Amazon, production has taken on a whole new meaning, and it's no longer commercially viable to be a writer without the web.

To read more, download our new weekly iPad magazine, Huffington, in the iTunes App store. This story appears in Issue 18, available Friday, October 12.