Three Must-Use Tools for Getting Published

If you are a writer looking to get published, here are three key resources that will help.

  1. Duotrope: Duotrope is an online database of fiction and poetry publishers (or as they call them in the industry: markets), with tools that allow you to find publishers by genre, length of your work, and more. This is a good first place to go to find relevant publishers. Some publishers aren't listed, and sometimes whether a given publisher is open or closed to submissions may be slightly out of date. Duotrope also has a weekly email that will alert you to new publishers, or publishers that have recently reopened to submissions.
  2. Pred-Ed: Preditors and Editors is a site that lists publishers and agents, among other things. Ignore the website design (which looks straight out of the mid-1990s), and focus on the recommendations for each agent and publisher. Whereas Duotrope's Digest offers a comprehensive database of publishers without any information about the quality, Pred-Ed offers recommendations for each one: ranging from "not recommended" to "highly recommended". The recommendations appear to be primarily based on the relationship to the author: do they treat the author well, honor the contract, have a good contract, etc. When I was looking for markets for my first novel, I read through the entire database of publishers, looking for anything with positive recommendations. I found at least a dozen markets I hadn't found through Duotrope.
  3. Publisher's Marketplace: If you've got $20 a month to invest in your writing career, subscribe to Publisher's Marketplace for at least a month or two, and sign up for Publisher's Lunch Deluxe, their daily email. Publisher's Marketplace is an online database of publishing deals, among other things. A deal consists of an author, an agent, a publisher, and a book title. This means that if you've identified books or authors similar to yourself, you can see who their agent is. This is difficult to find anywhere else. 
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