Thursday, July 16, 2015
Overview Markets: Part One: Study the Market
Workshop: An Introduction to Writing for Children and Young Adults
There are two ways to approach studying the market as an overview. One is to look through relevant publishing news and see what the publishers are looking for. Another is to know your genre well and then search the markets that match.
Remember though that a particular hot topic can become easily saturated, or a quick phase. By the time you prepare to write and submit the interest has moved on to another. I suggest going deep in your particular genre or age category or heart story. Follow industry blogs. Attend conferences, especially one-day ones that organizations offer such as Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators, American Christian Writers, Romance Writers of America, and many others. Most welcome guests so you can check out what is available in your area without an immediate commitment. Most of them have resources to connect you to critique groups as well.
Search the web for publishing houses and follow their blogs and newsletters. Publisher’s Weekly offers free weekly news updates in different categories. Check it out at PW Children's Bookshelf <ChildrensBookshelf@email.publishersweekly.com>
Even if you are just starting out choose one or two venues to begin to follow so that when you are ready to market you already have an idea where to go. Keep lists of interesting possibilities.
When you are ready to send out queries and proposals you will already have some general publishers to consider. Now get down to the details. Check their websites. Look at their guidelines. LISTEN to what they don’t want.
For example one publisher listed, “We publish pre-school storybooks, concept book and middle grade and YA chapter books. No romance novels.” Another non-fiction market listed, “No memoirs or personal stories.” Yet agents and editors are continually sent projects that are directed towards the wrong publishers and immediately returned. The publishers know their audience and their market. It’s important to take the time to find the right fit.
For the next few weeks we’ll walk through the process for a non-fiction article as an example. If you are writing fiction you are still doing research and you might find some magazines or guest blogs that can help give you readers when your book releases.
Here’s a sample of some magazine non-fiction categories listed in Children’s Writer’s and Illustrator’s Market: Animal, Arts/Crafts, Biography, Careers, Concept, Cooking, Fashion, Geography, Health, History, Hobbies, How-To, Interview/Profile, Multicultural, Nature/Environment, Religious, Science, Social Issues, Sports, and Travel
1. Sign up for the free PW weekly email.
2. Choose a publisher you think you might be interested in and read their guidelines.
3. Check if the publisher offers sample articles to read online.
4. Look through the list above and see how many topics might apply to your fictional character, or are of interest to you as a non-fiction writer.
Share: Which subject category listed above looks the most enticing to you? Which topic did you most want to read growing up and/or still do?
Read deep, marcy