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Rating Reference Resources

Posted on August 9, 2010 at 1:28 PM
The following reference books are each thorough compendiums for authors researching the marketplace:
  • Writer’s Market 2010 (WM; 1176 pages)
  • Literary Market Place 2010 (LMP; 2000 pages)
  • Jeff Herman’s Guide to Publishers, Editors and Literary Agents 2010 (JH; 1000 pages)
  • The Canadian Writer’s Market 2010 (CWM; 455 pages)

Each reference work is slightly different in tone and information included, and is annually updated. WM & JH include copious essays on the craft and business of writing, some of which are elementary but most of which are useful. They also avail themselves of handy icons symbolizing qualities relevant to each listing for shorthand information. WM provides examples of proper and improper query letters, while JH features interesting interviews with lit. agents which provide insights into their preferences and backgrounds, giving the book a more personal touch.

 

LMP is a whopping 2-volume directory cataloging concise listings of pertinent personnel in each category of book and magazine publishers, literary representation and awards/grants/fellowships (volume 1); it also compiles entries on book manufacturers, printers, distributors and binding/design service providers, etc. (volume 2).

 

CWM is a smaller and more manageable work, though it should not be confused for a lightweight effort; in fact, it is jam-packed with copious market listings for: magazines, scholarly/literary and trade/professional publications, daily newspapers, book publishers, lit. agents, competitions, funding programs, organizations and associations. The most handy of the bunch, some listings could benefit from more consistent information.

 

On the whole, all four are certainly invaluable resources worth a serious writer’s time, and are highly recommended as tools for investigating commercial and non-commercial markets. If time and money are tightly restricted, Writer’s Market is suggested as a good starting point.

Categories: Writing Markets