Christian Writers’ Market Guide 2009

Christian Writer's Market Guide 2009I have the privilege of participating in a blog tour for the prestigious Christian Writers’ Market Guide 2009 (compiled by Sally Stuart and published by WaterBrook Press), the indispensable tool for the serious writer aiming for publication with Christian periodicals or publishing companies.

Why indispensable? One look at the table of contents answers that question. Inside this book is a list of book publishers categorized by the topics they say they’re looking for, followed by an alphabetical list with important details: contact information, how many titles they publish in a year, denominational affiliation, what percent of their books are from first-time authors, whether they accept work through agents or require such, whether they accept simultaneous submissions, what their current needs are, any preference on length, information about advances and royalties, special tips, and more.

This kind of information is necessary for an author when trying to determine which publisher to contact.

But there’s more. Following a listing of subsidy publishers is a list of distributors and a market analysis of books. Then the Periodicals section begins. Organized in the same way, this begins with a topical listing of periodicals, so for example, an author wanting to write about child rearing can look under the “Parenting” section for publications open to such articles. That listing is followed by an alphabetical list of periodicals with the important detail information and a market analysis.

This year, those sections take up eighty percent of the book. The final twenty percent includes greeting card/gift/specialty markets, helps for writers (including a list of agents, contests, and conferences), and a glossary and index.

At first glance, this 2009 edition seems to be a slimmed down version of the Christian Writers’ Market Guide since it is nearly one hundred pages shorter than last year’s issue. But the table of contents explains this, too. The final section—Resources for Writers—is exclusively on the accompanying CD. Of course the entire book is also on the CD, so a writer can search with ease on the computer for a particular topic, publisher, denomination, editor, or whatever else might be of interest.

At first I wondered about putting the Resources section exclusively on CD. But there are some practical reasons this works. First, the Market Guide itself was getting to be a rather hefty book. Now it is a trimmer, more user-friendly version. In addition, I would suppose this change helps to keep costs down while allowing for an expansion of the Resources section. And the section is growing. There are new categories and new listings. Like this one for instance:

+LATEST IN SPEC. A newsletter for Christian speculative fiction writers wishing to promote their most recent news, including book signings, speaking or teaching engagements, interviews, book reviews, Web chats, podcasts, contests, awards, and more. E-mail: rebeccaluellamiller at [rest of address removed]. Website: 😉

No review would be complete without an eye on what might be better, so I’ll mention two things. I would like to see a Table of Contents on the Resources CD. As it was, I had to refer to the book’s Table of Contents to know what I might find in the Resources section. I did discover that I could use the Navigation Pane in Word to … well, navigate through the categories, but I would still recommend including a Table of Contents.

A second thing I would recommend is an indication in the Topical Listing of Periodicals which of the paying markets are for Webzines (which generally pay only a token fee) and which are for print magazines (which might pay considerably more). I know that additional codes can get unwieldy, but if the “paying market” indicator is to be useful for freelancers, I think some differentiation is needed.

That’s it. Christian Writers’ Market Guide 2009 is a wonderful resource, an indispensable tool.

By the way, Sally Stuart’s blog, the Christian Writers’ Marketplace, gives you updates throughout the year, so no longer is a print resource out of date as soon as it hits the shelves.

And as a second by the way, Sally Stuart will be answering marketing questions this Wednesday, Janaury 28, 2009, on Terry Whalin’s LIVE telewebcast at 4 p.m. PDT / 7:00 p.m. EDT (I learned that at her blog 😀 ).

Published in: on January 26, 2009 at 1:53 pm  Comments (1)  
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