Thursday, February 07, 2008

A Question on Finding Markets

One comment on my Tuesday’s post asked where I found out about the markets I submitted to. I thought I might take a moment to answer. Although there won’t be any great revelations here, I’m sure.

First, I’m a member of HWA (the Horror Writers Association) and they send out a periodic newsletter that lists market guidelines and provides information on editors and such. Most genres have their own professional organizations, including Westerns, Romances, Mysteries, and SF/Fantasy. There’s even the relatively new Thriller writers groups. If you’re serious about writing in a genre, then joining such a group has many benefits. In most cases, even unpublished writers can join, although they may not necessarily get all the benefits that professionally published members get.

I’m also a member of SFPA (The Science Fiction Poetry Association) and they include marketing information in their official magazine, Star*Line. There’s a link on my sidebar, at the top.

Online forums are also a great way to find out about markets. I’m active at two, Unified SciFi Forums, which is linked on my sidebar, and SF Reader Forum, which I just put up a link to this morning. Both are in my top set of links. My last two short story sales came to markets I found out about on SF Reader Forums.

Another thing I do is check out magazines about genres or topics I’m interested in every time I visit Borders or Barnes & Noble. The magazines themselves might provide potential markets, but they will also contain ads inside for other magazines and, thus, potential markets.

In the last year or so, I’ve been getting a lot of my information about markets from the blogosphere. My last three poetry sales came from markets I learned about by visiting Greg Schwartz’s website. Greg is an excellent poet and although he doesn’t update his blog as often as I’d like, he has links to several markets that publish the same kind of poetry that I like to write. I’ve found markets listed on many, many blogs, though, far too many to follow up on them all.

Finally, if all else fails I “Google.” Searching “Literary Markets” or “Memoir Markets” will give you lots of hits to check through. Some will be out of date or otherwise useless. But a little effort can usually reveal some suitable places to launch your manuscript toward.

That’s pretty much it.

28 comments:

Billy said...

I've noticed that all of the various Writer's Guide Publications have more and more incorrect info, either wrong or out of date. I like your methodology here.

Sarai said...

Good advice, each genre should have a list of publishers attached to it like RWA or SFA. Any way good advice on how to look them up via web and mags.

Travis Erwin said...

duotrope.com is also a great resource for finding markets for short work and poetry.

Inside our hands, outside our hearts said...

Thank you Charles. How nice of you to answer that question.

T

Shauna Roberts said...

Another great reference is http://www.ralan.com. The site lists markets for sf, fantasy, and horror short fiction and books. The short-fiction markets are divided into three groups by how much they pay: "4theLuv" (pays nothing), "Paying" (pays 2.9¢ a word or less), and "Semi- and Pro" (pays 3¢ a word or more).

One great thing about Ralan is that he [?] lists anthologies too, which tend to be open to submissions for only brief periods and so are hard to hear about in time.

One can sign up for a free newsletter that lists changes to the listings and new listings.

Julie at Virtual Voyage said...

I don't know anything about this area, but one interesting comment caught my eye on a Problogger post this afternoon. A journalist who'd recently quit had set up a website with what he calls journalism lite stories - tasters - that he showcases on a site and newspapers then look in and buy into the whole story from him. Said he'd earned a grand in two weeks that way.

Taste of things to come?
http://www.newslite.tv/

Middle Ditch said...

The writers guide here also has many errors and I have lost many a script because of that. Check, double check and check again is my motto and even then it can all go wrong as our postal service is getting pretty bad.

Thank you Charles for linking me. I shall return the favour soon.

Avery DeBow said...

Thanks for the information, Charles. And, thanks, Shauna, for the very relevant link.

ivan said...

Looks like you know part of the way, Charles.
I'd say better than most.
My experience has been that a publisher can link you to some of those ora\ganizations for grants, prizes and such.

...That's in the days when I had a publisher. :)

Lana Gramlich said...

There are also books on writer's markets, often available at one's local library.

December/Stacia said...

All very good advice!

Miladysa said...

Thank you Charles.

I hope one day I get to use it! :]

Christina said...

I'm thinking about joining RWA, though I dont' really think what I write is romance, but I've noticed writers can squeeze a novel into a few genres. I find that worth trying, and like you said, these markets are so helpful. A friend gave me this link: http://www.duotrope.com/ and it is amazing!

Greg Schwartz said...

Thanks for the mention, Charles! Glad I could help even a tiny bit. I find a lot of markets the same way you said... writer forums and Star*Line, as well as Ralan.com.

You're right about the blog... I need to update it more often. I'll work on it!

ChristineEldin said...

Finding out information about markets is a nice benefit of blogging, imho!!!!

:-)

Bernita said...

Very sensible.
It helps if you know your type, of course.

Erik Donald France said...

Pragmatic and helpful. I'm also noticing more blog-based books being published without much publisher-editing. Editing seems to be left mostly to the writers these days (and that includes news agencies).

Charles Gramlich said...

Billy, you're right. Once I find out about a market I like to double check on the web. Most of them have websites these days, but not even all the websites are accurate and updated.

Sarai, yes, and like HWA and their market reports.

Travis Erwin, Yes, I've used duotrope.

Tara, it was a great question.

Shauna, thanks for mentioning that one. I use it as well. Newsletters are pretty much the only way to go for anthologies because the book guides will not be up to date.

Julie, thanks for the link. Newspapers and mags are almost always looking for short "filler" items. I've sold a fair number of such pieces. They can be lucrative.

Middle Ditch. Definitely, like I said to Billy, I doublecheck on the web whenever I can to make sure.

Avery, yep, Ralan is worthwhile.

Ivan, being an academic helps provide me with information about grants and fellowships. My problem with it is that writing is not my official academic area so I often have to make sure I have to intersperse psychology type grants with writing grants, and getting grants, while lucrative, can be time consumming.

Lana, yes, Poet's market, Writer's Market, and Novel and Short Story Writer's market can be very helpful, and they often have tip articles as well. Good suggestion.

Stacia, thanks.

Miladysa, sooner rather than later perhaps.

Christina, I have quite a few friends in RWA and not all are romance writers. The marketing tips are good there and the organization provides a fair amount of help with basics. I think most pro writing organizations do.

Greg, it's just that I enjoy your posts.

Christine Eldin, indeed. I find more sources than I can pursue.

Bernita, definitely.

Josephine Damian said...

Christina: I joined RWA and I write hard-boiled crime.

Markets: I used to try the "shotgun approach" sending stories everywhere. Now I believe in the "sniper approach" - targeting a specific story to a specific magazine by trying to meet their specific needs - and it's working - it's how I've been finally successful.

Charles Gramlich said...

Erik, editing at many markets seems very hit or miss. There are some good ones out there that really help improve work, and there are places where very little or no editing is done. Editing is tough to do well, or at least I've found it so.

Josephine, I very much like your shotgun versus sniper approach analogy. I use the sniper approach myself, although I hadn't thought to call it that.

Shauna Roberts said...

Christina, I also belong to RWA and I write speculative fiction. Many of the chapters are open to writers of all stripes.

Donnetta Lee said...

Good advice, Charles. And thanks for sharing!
Donnetta

Sidney said...

Ralan.com has some good listings too, and even Craig's List and Freelance writing sites can deliver some fiction markets. It's always good to browse.

writtenwyrdd said...

My sense is that the printed materials rapidly fall out of date, but the internet is more likely to provide up-to-date submissions info. Do you find it so, Charles?

For Spec Fic periodicals, I like www.spicygreeniguana.com

Charles Gramlich said...

Shauna, RWA is definitely very accepting of writers in many genres.

Donnetta, good to see you.

Sidney, Ralan is good. I've used them, and yeah, through browsing or googling you can often find plenty of sites.

Writtenwyrd, generally yes, although even websites are not always updated. And monthly newsletters are usually pretty up to date. I always try to check webpages for the final word, though.

ChristineEldin said...

OMG. I knew a Greg Schwartz back in the day before children.
Artist, guitar player, software designer.
So I click on th profile, and could this be him??!!!
He's from Maryland (Hello!) and personality seems very similar.

I don't want to spook him. Could you ask him if he plays the classical guitar? (if you don't want to, no biggie)

Thanks!

Greg Schwartz said...

Christine,

Sorry to disappoint... I'm not that skilled. I saw a guitar a few times, and I've used software before, but that's about the extent of the similarities, I guess.

ChristineEldin said...

Hi Greg!
Thanks for stopping by and answering!
:-)