Saturday, November 11, 2006

Finding a Fantasy Market

As someone who has submitted to wrong markets in the past, I wish to help those who are willing to find the right market for their work. I’m focusing on the fantasy genre because that’s what I write, and it’s the market that I know the most about. Specific markets will not be mentioned since the market is constantly changing.
I was a big proponent of using the Writer’s Market books. To this day, I agree that they convey a lot of helpful information, but there are free methods of locating fantasy markets that work just as well. If you have the money available to buy the book (or ask for it as a gift), it will prove useful. It just isn’t essential.

One of my favorite finds on the Internet is Ralan. Ralan’s list of Speculative fiction and humor markets remains current, relying upon updates from the writing community. The markets are broken into various categories, such as book publishers, semi and pro markets, paying markets and just for the love markets. Each market comes with a description and information about its state of affairs (backlogged and slow or temporarily closed, for example). Before submitting anything to a magazine, I’ll check Ralan because sometimes not even a magazine’s own website will list any problems or changes, but the writing community found out and informed Ralan.

Another recent discovery for me was Duotrope. This allows users to query the various markets of a wide number of genres. Queries take shape with a number of parameters, including pay scale, length, media type and submission type. Duotrope also has a database on response times from the various markets and acceptance/rejection ratios (similar to another good response time site called The Black Hole). Duotrope is another website dependent upon information from the writing community.

Finally, information comes from writers themselves. Whether you’re reading the information from a blog, newsgroup, chat room or personal web site, up to date news comes from those who have already hunted for it. Why rediscover something that someone else already found?

We’re writers, so our time should be spent writing, not searching endlessly for markets. The key information is out there. You just have to know where to look. If you know of some other data-rich sites for finding markets, add a post to inform others of your grand discovery. I’d be excited to find out about it!

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