I sometimes wonder if this isn’t harder than the writing; however, it is a necessary evil if one wants to become a successful, published author. There are many things to take into consideration when finding a market to submit your work, the first being what your piece is categorized as, such as novel, short story, etc. Depending on that, you then need to research your markets. One of the biggest mistakes a new writer can make is submitting to the wrong market. For example, you wouldn’t submit your novel length piece to a literary magazine, or vice versa. You also need to keep in mind your genre. Certain book publishers and magazines only accept certain genres. This holds true for agents as well. I’ve actually found that agents are more particular about what they accept than the publishers they market your work to.
I have found that one of the most useful tools for a writer looking to submit their work is the yearly edition of Writer’s Market. For those of you who may not be familiar with this, it is a compilation of book publishers, magazines, agents, etc. and information about submitting to them. It is updated yearly, but I’ve found that you can usually use one for at least two years. It tells you what they are looking for, how much they pay (or even if they pay), and guidelines on submitting to them. There is somewhat of a digital extension of this with their website, WritersMarket.com. If you get the deluxe edition of the book, it usually has a code in it for a free year to the website. And of course, the website is going to be more up to date than the book. As far as the website goes, it’s a little tricky at first, but after some exploring it becomes more user friendly.
Aside from this source, there are an abundance of places online that offer submission info. Many have newsletters that you can sign up for and they will send the listings right to your inbox. Some of the better ones are Daily Writing Tips (dailywritingtips.com), Freelance Writing Organization-Int’l (fwointl.com), Funds For Writers (fundsforwriters.com), and a personal favorite, The Market List (marketlist.com). Keep in mind, this is only a handful of the resources available on the web.
Finally, there are several magazines available on your local bookstore’s newsstand to aid in your search. My all time favorite writing magazine remains Writer’s Digest. Not only do they include information about submitting your work, but they have interviews with other authors, information on the craft, and other good things. Another good one is The Writer. While it doesn’t usually have as much as Writer’s Digest, every month it includes a section just for markets that are currently accepting submissions. However, each month is usually geared toward a specific genre. Poets and Writers magazine, while not very useful to me, is an invaluable resource for those writing in the literary genre. It includes interviews with many well-know literary authors as well as a section on upcoming submission deadlines and writer’s conferences.
One final note, as you begin this part of your literary journey. Please be aware of the shady peoples! Yes, I know it’s hard to believe, but apparently in the writing business there are those who would take advantage of the new writer, still wet behind the ears. You can protect yourself (and your work!) by simply doing a little research on any publisher, agent, etc. that is interested in making a deal with you. A very helpful resource for this is the website Preditors & Editors (pred-ed.com).
I hope you find the information I’ve provided here useful. I’m happy to answer any questions and provide any further information I might have. Now go write something!!! 🙂