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Novel and Short Story Writer's Market 2012 (Novel & Short Story Writer's Market) Paperback – 30 Sep 2011

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Product details

  • Paperback: 656 pages
  • Publisher: Writer's Digest Books; 31st edition (30 Sept. 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1599632284
  • ISBN-13: 978-1599632285
  • Product Dimensions: 17.8 x 3.2 x 23.2 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 2.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 993,175 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index | Back Cover
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Customer Reviews

2.7 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Mrs. T. J. Kimber on 16 July 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I'm so fed up with being conned into buying reference books for writing. All I want is to pay for a book that tells me where to send my work for reasonable payment. I don't want a book full of listings for markets that will publish my work for free or for peanuts.
I was very disappointed that this did not do what it said on the tin. Novel and SHORT STORY MARKETS implies markets that will pay for my work. Very cross and won't buy again other than in a bookshop where I can leaf through the book and see if it offers what I'm willing to pay for.
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3 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Peter la Trobe on 6 July 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Maybe I missed sosmething, but nothing I saw warned me that this is intended for a US readership. If you're in the UK, and not looking to penetrate the US market, keep you wallet in your pocket!
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By Marran Grey on 3 July 2014
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 18 reviews
40 of 42 people found the following review helpful
A Worthwhile Investment 31 Aug. 2011
By T. Adlam - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
A resource with some excellent articles (others less so), a few informative and inspiring author interviews, and of course, a copious list of places to submit one's work, including agencies, lit. magazines, and contests, and a listing of various conventions/workshops. A worthwhile investment for authors looking to get serious about the business aspect of writing.

The book is broken up into five (relatively) logical sections: Finding Work, Craft and Technique, Fiction Genres, Managing Work, and Resources which includes Markets. (I would have flipped the order of the first three sections since Finding Work pairs better with Managing Work.)

FINDING WORK features two articles: "Don't Take No for an Answer: Dealing with Rejection" by Tania Casselle, which is essentially an inspirational piece on perseverance sprinkled with authors' anecdotes about rejection numbers climbing into the high double-digits before landing that lucky break; and "The Editor Relationship" by Leigh Hamrick, which offers some great (although borderline stalkerish) advice for ingratiating yourself with the editors most likely to read, enjoy, and accept your work.

The next section, CRAFT AND TECHNIQUE, contains seven articles:

* "Developing Your Prose Style: Form Following Function" by Jack Smith: This article doesn't offer any concrete tips for developing your prose style; instead, it tells you that some literary editors prefer dense, rich prose, while others prefer spare, lean prose, while others have no preference, and then ends with some generic ambiguous advice: form should follow function and you should read and study good fiction.

* "Avoiding Cliches: Recognizing Them and Getting Beyond Them" by Jack Smith: A notch above the prior article, but still light on the how-to; however there is wisdom to be gleaned if one has a healthy dose of patience and an aptitude for gold-panning to sift the nuggets from the stones. Basically, it's page after page of cliche is bad, but not necessarily if you inject something unexpected.

* "Keep a Journal: What's It Worth?" by Jack Smith: Consisting mainly of authors opining about the merits of journaling, this article almost redeems the prior two. It's inspiring enough for those fearful of journaling and provides some excellent advice for keeping said journaling in perspective.

* "Writing Authentic Dialogue: Handling Dialect and Jargon--and Getting Outside Your Own Language Background" by Jack Smith: Advice which amounts to be careful using various ethnic or socioeconomic dialects so you don't offend people, and train your ear by visiting the region of the people whose dialect you wish to incorporate and eavesdrop (or watch a movie if you're budget conscious).

Each of Jack Smith's articles feel more rhetorical than instructive; there's nothing inherently wrong with that, except at times it read like a parade of authors hawking their wares and pimping their laurels rather than conveying solid ideas or offering practical advice.

* "Understanding Three-Act Structure" by Jeff Gerke: A quick read that made me look at the classical 3-act structure (and plot) in a warmer, more approachable light. Equal parts entertaining, informative, and surprisingly inspiring.

* "Crafting Short Stories: Letting Plot Guide Your Narrative" by John Dufresne: A succinct and captivating lesson through demonstration. To start, Dufresne gives us two characters, then leads us by example through the crafting of a story built on plot, and showing that good plot is an extension of well-crafted characters. My only complaint is that the section "Exercises: 4 Ways to Make Each Word Count" inserted a quarter of the way through seemed misplaced and broke the flow early on, but the article ultimately recovered.

* "Is Your Book a Movie? A Crash Course in Book-to-Screen Adaptation" by John Robert Marlow: Enlightening article which breaks down what is expected of a screenplay and the qualities a book must have to lure a Hollywood fat cat's eye. However, I was a bit put-off by the subtle sales tactic employed for Marlow's own services. There's no problem saying, "Hey, I'm for hire and here are my qualifications," but instead, Marlow says when hiring a screenwriter, one should go for someone who's won legitimate contests/fellowships, and rather than list two or three legitimate contests/fellowships, he lists only one...one in which he placed top 10, twice.

The third section, FICTION GENRES, is composed of various author interviews including: Denise Hildreth Jones, Cat Linder, Tina Donahue, Jennifer Blake, Catherine Asaro, Julia Quinn, Laura Kinsale, Lisa Gardner, Michael Swanwick, and Kevin J. Anderson.

I appreciate such interviews, especially when an author is candid with his/her answers. The questions asked were a mix of typical (Why did you want to be an author? Where do you get inspiration? Etc.) and atypical (asked of Lisa Garnder: How do you create realistic duality of character?), and I appreciate that the authors weren't all asked stock questions. My favorite interviews from this section include Julia Quinn, Lisa Gardner, Laura Kinsale, and Kevin J. Anderson, but I did gain some insights from all of them.

The fourth section, MANAGING WORK, is a bit more proactive, sporting a worksheet and calendars:

* "Become a Snatcher of Time...: And Maybe You'll Hit 700 Books, Too" by James Scott Bell: I enjoyed Bell's book on plot and structure, but I'm not a fan of this article which was tepid; however the tip and worksheet for snatching pockets of time during the week were sound.

* "Agents: Building a Breakout Career" by Donald Maass: A spongy article with dubious editing, but sprinkled throughout are many tidbits of wisdom about what to look for in and ask of a potential agent, plus how to feed and care for your agent once you've found him.

* "Self-Publishing Strategies: Publishing Through a PoD Print Service Provider" by April L. Hamilton: Dry, and could have used another swipe with the editing wand, but informative mini crash course in print on demand publishing. Though it gives you the gist of self-publishing (and some great glossary terms) it only grazes the surface. If you're serious about self-publishing, grab a copy of The Complete Guide to Self-Publishing and read the blogs of authors going that route and sharing their progress (J. A. Konrath, Dean Wesley Smith, Zoe Winters, etc.)

* "Practical Tips for the Nighttime Novelist" by Joseph Bates: A charming, sometimes comical list of tips to help you plow through your writing whether night or day. Some tips are commonplace--choose the most suitable workplace for your needs--while others irreverent--"Be ritualistic and superstitious. If you realize that your best writing days come when you've eaten chicken, then by all means: Eat chicken. Every day." His conversational style made it a pleasure to read and it's the one article I want to print out and tape to my wall.

The section finishes up with Writing Calendars spanning the tail end of 2011 straight through December 2012. Each of the calendars comes with a goal suggestion (send out one query letter per day) or general advice (remember to save your work while writing). If these calenders are to be adhered to, though, then we're already a month behind because August 2011 has us building a blog. Not to worry, we could probably double up in October since we're only tweeting. And below the calendar are lines for plotting our own goals. A nicer touch would have been including contest/conference/submission deadlines directly on the dates (similar to A Working Writer's Daily Planner), but maybe next year.

The Resources section has a rundown of various imprints of major publishing houses, a special note for Canadians using this reference, and a helpful glossary of printing and publishing terms. But all of that is unlikely the reason you'd want this book: it's the Markets. And this book has a bunch, including literary agents, literary magazines, online markets, book publishers, contests, and conferences.

The listings each provide some basic information (whether they accept new authors, agent submissions only, pay cash, genres accepted, etc.) and basic contact information to facilitate your research online or elsewhere. For the most part, the listings are well put together, but a few could have been edited for clarity. In fact, a common thread throughout the book was the editing--when dealing with a book primarily about writing, I expect top-notch editing and the foibles were many and varied throughout.

That said, I'm pleased with my investment and see myself getting much use from it over the next year, possibly longer.

I hope this review was helpful to you, and if you have any questions about the book, leave a comment and I'll do my best to answer.
16 of 17 people found the following review helpful
Still Useful, If Slightly Less Convenient 9 Oct. 2011
By Andrea Gail - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
My rating: 3.5 Stars

After some weeks using this edition, here is my conclusion: It's still useful, however, it's less convenient when compared to previous years' editions.

Only a few of the articles warrant more than a cursory glance and if you have even a few books on the craft of writing and time management, you can safely skip over all them.

Though a nitpick, the paper quality has degraded as well. The paper used in this issue is closer to newsprint than proper paper and probably won't survive more than a year if one intends to use it in lieu of the next edition.

One other notable degradation in quality is the organization of the book. No longer are the publishers/magazines organized according to genre, but are lumped together in larger categories. This was quite useful in previous editions, and mildly annoying in this edition, but at least the accepted genres are included in the publisher info. I ended up making a genre index using an Excel spreadsheet which took about three hours, but has saved me hours later.

With that, the listings that I've used so far have been accurate with easily understood requirements. Also, the saving grace of this edition has been the year's access to the online market. (Though it's worth noting that it doesn't include the full market, only the Fiction section.) And when compared to the last edition, the editing has improved, but still needs work.
38 of 46 people found the following review helpful
Where's the Category Index?? 18 Sept. 2011
By Free Thinker - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
This guide is well laid out, has excellent articles, and is reasonably helpful, except for one obscenely stupid flaw: IT HAS NO CATEGORY INDEX!!

To explain: every other edition of this book has had an index listing all of the publishers who accepted particular fiction genres; ex. all the ones looking for horror, all of those open to SF, Romance, etc. That is missing in the 2012, which basically means that you will need to plod through the thousands of listings to find the ones that are in the market for your writing.

This is an inexcusable error, especially given that the publisher reminds the reader to take advantage of the "helpful category indexes in the back." HELLO? THERE ARE NO CATEGORY INDEXES!! WD screwed up big time on this one.
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
Already Working For Me: Submitted a Tale the Next Day 30 Dec. 2011
By A.Trendl HungarianBookstore.com - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
I bought my copy of the "2012 Novel & Short Story Writer's Market," and within a day, I sent out my first short story manuscript. I won't know how that turns out for a few months, but I am pleased.

I have used other Writer's Digest writer's markets before, but this is my first active use of this one specific to short stories.

For me, the general categories are enough. It is laid-out and typeset cleanly enough that I can quickly scan entries to see how my work might fit in. After a few scan-throughs, I have began to be familiar with the publishers in my genre. I can see how a finer-tuned category index might help, but I personal do not feel hindered by the lack of it.

The articles will be the most help to newer writers. However, I bought it entirely for the publisher listings. They each read plainly:
Who they are, what they publish, what a good submission looks like, and how much they will pay (or not). Readers learn how long to expect for a response, and often, a tip or two for breaking into publications like theirs.

I fully recommend "2012 Novel & Short Story Writer's Market." Here's to hoping I find a publisher for my short story collection.

Anthony Trendl
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
Gone Downhill 23 May 2012
By E. K. French - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
I've used Writer's Market for 15 years, and this newest edition is, sadly, a departure from the well-organized editions of the past. I've read a few others complaining about the lack of a category index--I agree completely. But two other huge problems--listings were put in the wrong markets and there is no "Business of Fiction Writing" section. First off--the confusion with markets. I'm a short story writer (and teach short fiction on the college level), and this edition has mixed up the publications in the "Literary Magazine" market and the "Small Circulation Magazine" section,and even worse--the "Consumer Magazine" section. How do journals like The Arkansas Review, Calyx, Five Points, or CrazyHorse qualify as "Consumer Magazines"--which are defined by WM as having a circulation of over 10,000? Someone messed up big, and this is very confusing. Also, I often order Writer's Market as a text for my classes to teach students how to submit their fiction for publication. We always looked closely at the "Business of Fiction Writing" section, which is now missing. How are new writers supposed to learn how to write a cover letter? I'm not sure why these changes were made, but I'm disappointed and will probably discontinue ordering it as a text.
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