Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Writers' Guides to the Markets

Dear Dead Beat,
I am a writer of poetry and short fiction. I frequently submit my work to magazines etc. I also have enough work I think to submit to a publisher. I don’t have a lot of money. Do you think investing in a guide to writing markets is wise?

Dear Frequent Submitter,

Most writers understand the money shortage problem. And so decisions do need to be taken. Sending work out is not cheap. Therefore we do not want to send work to the wrong place or send wrong work in the first place (see Just Not Getting It).

You do need to know the magazines you are sending to. Preferably you need to seek them out and get them in your hands to read. Not always easy depending on where you live.

Similarly for publishers you need to have a look at their books, their websites etc.

A good writers’ guide can be a great asset in ‘guiding’ you. No doubt. If money is of concern see if you can find one in your local library or put in a request for one. But yeah I think owning your own is very useful. You can browse it at your will. Have it right beside you when you need it.

Thing is magazines come and go, publishers come and go, change addresses so an old guide may not be up to date. So the book you buy this year may not be so useful in the next. But that being said I would not advise buying a new guide every year either.

The key here is to get a ‘good’ guide.

2006 Writer’s Market seems very comprehensive for US and more.
The Writers’ Handbook 2006 by Macmillan for UK, Ireland and more.
The Canadian Writer’s Guide for Canada.

By the way, check out the internet for used copies.

Good luck.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Is there a such thing as a born writer?

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