By Terry Whalin @terrywhalin
Many years ago, I did my first
stint as an acquisitions editor working inside a publisher. It was an
eye-opening experience for someone like me who had written numerous books on the
outside but never witnessed the various dynamics inside a publishing house. Because of working inside a publisher, I wrote Book Proposals That Sell, 21 Secrets To Speed Your Success.
The publisher announced my new
position in the trade magazines and other places. Yet to my surprise months
after this announcement and with fairly often consistency, I received
submissions addressed to the previous acquisitions editor. I was actively looking
for new writers but the submissions addressed to someone else on my desk made
the wrong first impression.
Now years later, I understand why
it happens. The
publishing world is constantly shifting. Editors move to a different
publishing house. Other editors join a literary agency. Some book publishers
close their doors while others open new business. In the magazine area,
publications cease publishing while others begin new magazines. These shifts in
the publishing world often open new opportunities for writers—at least those who
keep up with these changes.
How do you keep up with the
various shifts and changes? If you have the right information and use it
appropriately, information is power. The answer is an annual book which is
essential for every Christian writer: The Christian Writers Market Guide
2023 which released last week. Don’t be fooled into using an
old book and the wrong information,
Sally E. Stuart was the
original creator of this guide, then she passed the responsibility on to New
York Times bestselling author Jerry B. Jenkins who published it for a few years. Several
years ago, literary agent Steve Laube took over the annual guide. Through the years I’ve
interviewed each of these leaders. In this article, I include links to those
interviews which are filled with insights for every Christian writer. You will
gain instant access to the replay interview and each of these leaders
have included a unique free ebook that you can download and study.
Are you looking for a nearby
writers group or planning to attend a writers conference next year? Like other
elements in the guide, these elements shift and change from year to year. Or
maybe you are looking for a freelance editor to go through your material and
polish it before you send it to an agent or an editor? This information is also
in this volume.
In his foreword, Jerry B. Jenkins
says, “Here’s a dirty little secret of the writing life: Veteran editors can
tell within two minutes whether they are going to reject your manuscript.” From
his experience as an editor and publisher, Jerry gives three common reasons for
fiction rejections. I’ll include one of them here: “Too many characters
introduced too quickly.” If you get these insights and apply them to your
writing, the foreword alone has immense value to you.
The Christian Writers Market Guide 2023 contains nearly 1,000 listings including more than 200
book publishers, 130 magazine publishers, 45 speciality markets, 215 writers
conferences and writers groups, 45 literary agencies, and 240 freelance editors
and designers. Also this volume includes information about legal, accounting,
speaking services, podcasts, courses and contests. The information can be
powerful and priceless to your writing life—if you use it properly.
Whether you want to write for
magazines or publish a book or speak at a writer’s conference, you will have to
learn to write an eye-catching pitch. From my years in the publishing world, you
will always have to pitch to the right person at the right time. A key part of
that process of finding the right person is contained in The Christian Writers
Market Guide 2023 .
How do you use this essential
reference guide? Let
me know in the comments below.
Labels: agents, editors, first impressions, Information Is Power, publishers, submissions, Terry Whalin, The Christian Writers Market Guide, The Writing Life, writers conferences