I read a lot of industry news. I want to see who is publishing what and where my own work might fit into the market. Several newsletters and blogs I read recommend hot markets. “Check these markets out for the opportunity to make a sale.”
But not all “hot markets are created equal.” Some definitely offer good opportunities for sales. Others, not so much. Here is some of what i look for when I’m studying one of these markets.
They are actively acquiring. It seems obvious but a market can only be “hot” and a possibility if they are buying. If not, it might be a great resource for Sue the Reader but Sue the Writer needs to go elsewhere.
They are a paying market. Whether you are a published writer or a money-earning professional, great opportunities to publish that offer you exposure but no pay are really only so-so opportunities. If it is for a cause or organization that you believe in, feel free to donate your time and talent. Otherwise, think long and hard about giving your work away.
They are acquiring more than a handful of pieces a year. Recently, I looked into a new-to-me magazine that purchased up to 3 pieces every six months or so. If I had a manuscript that was a perfect fit, I might have considered it, but I still wouldn’t call it a hot market. Why? Because the maximum number of pieces they acquire/year from freelancers is six. This may be a viable market but hot? No. I’d call it tepid.
I’m not saying that you should ignore a small market. But when you see a market listed in a blog, newsletter or magazine, you are going to be competing against everyone else who also saw it listed. If you have something that is perfect it, send it. If not, don’t make this market a priority. Instead, look for one that might publish something you have ready to pitch or submit.