A Great Resource Now Better
If you want to write for the Christian marketplace, one of the essential resources is the Christian Writers' Market Guide by Sally E. Stuart. For more than twenty years, Stuart has been the go-to marketing person helping writers.
Because I've got personal relationships with many of the book editors and magazine editors, I'll admit that I don't purchase one of these massive guides each year. Instead, I get it about every third year. With the 2007 edition, Christian Writers' Market Guide became even better. Now this reference book includes a CD-ROM for either Windows or Mac which includes a Word document and a PDF format of the entire text of the book.
Why is this important? Let's say you are looking for a literary agent, you can cut and paste the various addresses rather than retyping them on your labels. If you've written a query letter and simultaneously submit it to several magazine editors, you will save time using the cut and paste feature of the Market Guide.
Before you do a massive mailing from a printed guide book of any type, be aware this information is constantly changing. For example, my defunct email at Howard Books is listed in the guide. Stuart works on constant updates. I'm sure she's hard at work on the 2008 edition while the 2007 book has just released. This example shows the constant movement within Christian publishing. The market guide is just the first step in your research process to understand the various markets. It's the writers responsibility to address the right editor and the right publication rather than glut the system with a bunch of wrongly-targeted submissions.
Besides the contact information for different portions of publishing, Stuart includes analysis of bestsellers and lists the most popular topics for books. This information can help you select the right publisher or the right publication for your idea.