Jerry Jenkins, co-author of the bestselling Left Behind series and owner of the Christian Writers Guild, bought out the Sally Stuart’s Christian Writer’s Market Guide last year after 26 years in publication. Even though you won’t see a major revamp over previous versions, the value of this hefty tome is in its accumulated knowledge.
When developing the guide, Sally Stuart embarked on the massive quest to survey every Christian book and magazine publisher annually on everything from the number of titles published to how much the “kill fee” is (amount received for cancelled articles).
The first thing that struck me was number of possible differences in the publishing process depending on the publishing house, such as the length of time taken to respond to a query, whether they pay by royalty or advance, or their preferred version of the Bible. Yet the real gems lie in the perspective you can gain on what publishers need. “Editors are looking for writers who understand their periodicals or publishing houses and their unique approach to the marketplace,” says Jenkins. By reading samples of published material along with the criteria in the guide, you can get a clearer perspective of how to write—and how not to write—something that will fit the publisher’s culture.
Don’t think that your options are limited, even before you start writing. The sheer number of subject categories listed (over 160, including a separate category for Canadian publishing) demonstrate that you have to choose your niche carefully. In addition to a ranking of the publishers by books published, the ranking of book topics gives an instant perspective on what kind of potential your book on, say, lay counseling has (not great, given that the topic is the least popular of 155 topics).Read more ›
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
Vast Resource ToolDec 31 2011
- Published on Amazon.com
I've been wanting one of these for years. It's everything I figured it would be and more. What a vast resource for aspiring writers! It contains pretty much everything from what publishers expect and demand for manuscript submission to workshops writer's can attend to improve their craft. Sections under publishers highlight Scripture version preferred, statement of purpose, annual submissions received, average 1st printing facts, how many words are desired in manuscripts, how many new authors are accepted per year, and how payment works. Also listed are miscellaneous notes such as, "Looking for unique voices and settings others shy away from."
Periodical information includes website information, circulation information, subscription information, how much accepted writing is freelance or assigned, payment information, desired number of words, kill fees, Bible versions preferred, submission guidelines, columns and departments, and tips, such as "Be able to tell a good story , with drama, suspense, description, and dialog. The point of the story should be some practical spiritual help hat subjects learned through their experience. . . " If abbreviations or keys are used, they are clearly defined and a glossary exists at the end of the volume that helps explain terms found within the resource section.
This Market Guide is not hard to navigate at all. A simple hour of familiarizing one self with it and from that point on, facts can be easily accessed and referenced.
How to Use This Book
Part 1: Book Publishers
Chapter 1: Topical Listings of Book Publishers
Chapter 2: Alphabetical Listings of Book Publishers
Chapter 3: Subsidy Publishers
Chapter 4: Distributors
Chapter 5: Market Analysis
Part 2: Periodical Publishers
Chapter 6: Topical Listings of Periodicals
Chapter 7: Alphabetical Listings of Periodicals
Chapter 8: Market Analysis
Part 3: Specialty Markets
Chapter 9: Greeting Card/Gift/Specialty Markets
Part 4: Helps for Writers
Chapter 10: Christian Writers' Conferences and Workshops
Chapter 11: Area Christian Writers' Clubs/Groups
Chapter 12: Editorial Services
Chapter 13: Christian Literary Agents
Chapter 14: Contests
Chapter 15: Denominational Listings of Book Publishers and Periodicals
Chapter 16: Book Publishers and Periodicals by Corporate Group
Glossary of Terms
My only disappointment with this Market Guide is the fact it does not contain a freelance section (beyond the periodicals). This is an ever-growing market with many dead-ends and it would be wonderful to have a credible resource to point writers in the right direction as they attempt to build that area of their writing expertise. For example, who hires for website content? To help build religious blogs? Although some freelance areas are addressed in Specialty Markets, not all were and it would be beneficial to have that included in the next version of this book.
My other thought is that this information presented changes quickly in the writing world, so it would not be worth purchasing this book until a writer is currently ready to launch out. To purchase it before having a manuscript to present wouldn't be a total waste of money because the writer can get a feel for what publishers are looking for, but by the time the manuscript is finished the information may be outdated and a new book will have to be published. I would get a feel for it via the library if just starting to write and then, purchase a personal copy upon readiness to become published so that your money is spent on a up-to-date version.
Other than those two critiques, I give the Christian Writer's Market Guide 2012 a five out of five rating. It is an indispensable tool for a writer to have.
Disclaimer: I received a complimentary review copy from the Tyndale network
8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
The latest information on Christian PublishingDec 21 2011
- Published on Amazon.com
This is a book I am increasingly thankful for. The Christian Writer's Market Guide 2012 is exactly what its subtitle professes to be: Your Comprehensive Resource for Getting Published. This book is truly a "one stop shop" for the aspiring writer of Christian literature.
I encountered the Christian Writers' Market Guide for the first time with the 2009 edition. At that time the book was still being authored by Sally E. Stuart, who had been the author of the guide for over twenty years; this is the first year the task of compiling the guide by someone other than Stuart.
Jerry Jenkins has taken on the responsibility of continuing Stuart's work and has kept the outline and information flow of the Guide almost identical to that of the original. This is good news for folks who have used the guide in previous years...and good news for newbies alike. The original work had been perfected over the two plus decades of publication and doesn't make a lot of sense to change something that works so well simply for the sake of change itself. I commend Jenkins for the wisdom of this decision.
The value of this book/guide cannot be overstated. The compilation itself is monumental in the amount of work and time that it saves the person-writer who needs the information contained in its pages. As an aspiring writer myself, I am keenly aware of the rapid changes that have taken place in the publishing world with the recent leaps in technology and how that affects the publication industry. It is important to know and follow the respective guidelines for each publisher when submitting work for consideration and this guide is invaluable in those regards.
The Christian Writer's Market Guide 2012 doesn't begin and end with a list of publishers and their submission guidelines; there are a number of other helpful tools and pieces of information that can be of use to the aspiring author as well as the seasoned writer. A few of these specialized pieces of information can be found in part four of the book, Helps for Writers. In this section are several chapters sharing some great resources. A couple of chapters, for example, that are of interest to me are chapter ten--Christian Writers' Conferences and Workshops and chapter fourteen--Contests.
This Market Guide for 2012 is a faithful continuation of the original work and previous users can be assured of the integrity of content this volume and version contains. New users can also be confident that the information shared in the guide will be a guaranteed boost to their efforts in submitting successful queries to potential publishers as the information is relevant, accurate, and up-to-date with requirements and contacts. Thank you, Jerry Jenkins for carrying on this faithful work.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
Not exactly what I was expectingSept. 17 2012
- Published on Amazon.com
I do like this book. I was able to get a few tips out of it, but for the most part I paid for hundreds of pages I'll never use. I was looking for an agent who represented Christian novels, and when I got the book, the size of it led me to believe I'd have quite a selection. The listings I needed were nearly all the way to the back and there were only a few pages out of the mass I paid for that I will actually use. Two of the listings are for agents who aren't working anymore, and one may be a typo for the email address listed doesn't work. A website is listed for "hundreds more agent listings", but it's an ad and led me no where. I maybe found twenty agents I could contact that I didn't find on the web for free. I think these days starting on the web is the best idea, for you can get tips from agents on how to submit to them on their website, and many are very good about telling you how to perfect your cover letter and query. I don't think I wasted my money, but I'm not going to rush out and buy the 2013 version, either.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
Better when Sally Stuart Edited itJan. 7 2013
- Published on Amazon.com
It's not that Jerry B. Jenkins' staff isn't doing a good job with this book now, it's just that they are cutting corners to save money, it seems to me. It's shorter every year (publishers are going out of business fast), and the book has included less and less information, especially writers' helps, every year since 2007. Unless you really want to write for dozens of new markets every year, I think subscribing to "Christian Communicator" magazine and buying this book every other year would be sufficient. "Christian Communicator" runs a column every month with Christian writers' market updates, and Jerry B. Jenkins writes the column. Pretty authoritative source, I'd say.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
A keeper_ definitelyJan. 5 2012
- Published on Amazon.com
magine being a writer and needing to know who to call for editors, publishers, contests and not knowing where to look. Your searches on Google end up with the crafty business person's eye-catching website and writing classes for the local middle school age homeschool co-op. Frustration oozes from your fingertips. This amazing article hibernates on your hard drive while potential periodical editors hunt for something great to publish. How can the two become one? Is it possible for the perfect match to be found? Unlikely....Possible....Maybe? *Cue end of drama.* This heavenly made match can be completed with the help of Jerry Jenkin's 2012 Christian Writers Market Guide. Jerry B. Jenkin's Christian Writers Guild compiled information from hundreds of publishers, agents, contests, writers' groups, conference locations and dates and topics of interests. This book is like the White Pages of the writing world. I bought my first copy in 2009 and used it as a guide to navigate new territory. By flipping through the pages, I was able find useful information for publishing....but I also found encouragement to write. This tool is 552 pages of potential outlets for writing. Even though the publishing world seems to be caving in right now, there are still writers landing jobs! It's motivating to skim through the Guide and see the areas on interest still available for writers. If your amazing article or book is still hibernating on your hard drive and you'd like to wake it, grab yourself a copy of The 2012 Christian Writers Market Guide. It's somewhat pricey ($24.99), but if you look at it as an investment in your yearly writing career, then it isn't so bad. Thanks Tyndale for a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review!