The Writer’s Market used to be a book I bought every year. The most recent edition reminds me of why I stopped buying this book annually. Due to the more immediate information available on publishers’ websites and the constant changes in the industry, the printed Writer’s Market is outdated before it can find a home on the bookstore shelves.
I edited a library reference book which was published annually, but not available online. By the time an annual directory gets to print, a certain percentage of it will be outdated and incorrect. The shelf life of a printed directory is shortened before it is even set in ink and bound into a book.
2009 Writer’s Market Book Review
With the Writer’s Market 2009, the publishers have done their best to keep to include updates in their online database of the Writer’s Market. The question freelance writers and book authors will have is, why buy the print version when I can access the database for about the same price?
Cost Comparison: Print vs. Online
The 2009 Writer’s Market retails for $29.99. The Writer’s Market online database is $5.99 per month. They claim to update the database every day. I had a full subscription last year and found that the updates were not always current with the information available on a publisher’s website.
The 2009 Writer’s Market Deluxe is the combined printed book plus it gives freelancers and authors access to the database.
Flaws of the 2009 Writer’s Market Book
The 2009 Writer’s Market at face value looks like a good buy. For $29.99 you can purchase a book with 1,170 pages. However, that page length is misleading when you start delving into the listing section of the 2009 Writer’s Market.
The 2009 Writer’s Market pads the book with old and outdated listings. The book includes some entries which take up more than half of a page, that include these buzz-kill phrases:
“Open to Canadian writers only.” These listing should be in a separate section, not under a subject heading.
“Closed to submissions until further notice” or “Currently closed to book proposals.” – There is no need for this type of listing to be included in the book. When submissions are accepted again, the Writer’s Market could update their database to include that listing.
“Does not accept any unagented submissions.” – These listings should also be in their own section of the book.
“See Website for further details.” This description can be maddening for freelance writers who spent money on the book, only to be told to check the website instead.
Pros of the 2009 Writer’s Market Book
The 2009 Writer’s Market does give freelance writers and authors an insight into the preferences of the publisher, as well as how to approach them. Just as people in your life prefer to be contacted in a certain way, including email, text, phone, IM, publishers are the same way. The 2009 Writer’s Market is clear about which publishers prefer complete manuscripts, queries only, or if they do not accept email submissions or if they actually prefer email submissions.
The 2009 Writer’s Market can help new freelancers and aspiring book publishers navigate thier way through the different types of publishers, and gain insight into how to market their pieces to the publishers. The 2009 Writer’s Market also gives writers the business end of the publishing world, where writers learn that writing is a business, even if it is also our art.
How to Improve the Writer’s Market
Do not include publishers closed to submissions.
Create two separate books: book publishers and magazine publishers.
Include the online subscription as part of the purchase price of all print versions.
How Writers Can Use the 2009 Writer’s Market
The 2009 Writer’s Market is a good starting point for freelance writers and authors. Use the book to gather background information about the publisher and their market. Understanding the needs and market for each publisher will save you time and money. There is no reason to contact publishers by mail with complete manuscripts, for example, if they prefer an emailed query letter instead.
Go to the official website of the publisher and search for “submission guidelines.” Follow the submission guidelines on the website rather than the ones listed in 2009 Writer’s Market, if they differ. A publisher’s website will have the most up-to-date information. Some willinclude their current needs list, which can quickly become outdated in the 2009 Writer’s Market printed book.
When to Buy 2009 Writer’s Market
If you spend a lot of time at the library, use their copy of 2009 Writer’s Market. If they don’t have one. suggest to the acquisitions library that they purchase a copy. If you do buy 2009 Writer’s Market, you do not have to buy it every year. You could buy it every other year, and supplement the listings with an online subscription to the online database, or by using free listings available at various magazine and publisher directories online.
The best time of year to buy the Writer’s Market book is in the summer when the book is first published.
The Writer’s Market 2009 edition