Markets: 4 Tips on Researching Publishers

how to research a publisher or editorHow do you research a potential market for your work?  Here are the 4 steps that I follow before I send an editor or publisher my work.

Check out their site.  First things first, I check out the website.  Yes, even if I am submitting to a magazine or the book publisher, I first go to the site.  Why is this step #1?  Because if their site is amateurish I can skip steps 2-4 and go back to writing.  Does this make me sound like a mean girl?  If so, too bad.  I don’t want to sell my work to someone whose work I don’t respect.  Rude, perhaps.  Realistic, definitely.

Guidelines.  Next I read their guidelines or look for an online market listing.  First things first, I check the rights they buy.  If they want all rights, I have to really adore the market.  After I check the rights, I check to see what they pay.  Copies?  Adios.  I can’t send copies to the electric company.  “Payment varies.”  Not much chance I’m going to work with you either.  I appreciate a degree of transparency.

Google.  If I like everything I’ve seen so far, I google the editor or publisher.  What am I looking for?  Interviews for editors but also any complaints.  Has anyone posted about a problem?  The internet is full of cranks but if the publisher isn’t paying people, these boots were made for walkin’.

Their Products.  No matter how much other research I do, if I’m still interested in a publisher or editor, I check out their work.  I can read interviews and market listings but I won’t truly know what they mean by quirky or upbeat until I see it in print.  For more on how important this last step is, check out my post for yesterday on the Muffin.


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