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