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Writer's Market / writersmarket.com

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Editing for authors: because every writer needs a good editor.

spywriter

I was led to believe that Writer's Market was an excellent source for reputable agents and publishers. Everyday I learn something bad about some that are listed in there. :head

So which is it? Good witch/bad witch?
 

James D Macdonald

Re: Wrtier's Market...yes or no?

Writers Market is an excellent source of agents and publishers. Determining if they're reputable is up to you.
 

spywriter

Re: Wrtier's Market...yes or no?

Ah-ha! That almost sounded like double talk. :grin I have recently heard that there are more reliable sources out there (ie ones that ONLY put in 100% reputable agents...none that are questionable). True? or are they just like WM?
 

James D Macdonald

Re: Wrtier's Market...yes or no?

No one source is 100%. Jeff Herman's guide, for example, tries to be good, but has its own collection of questionable agents.

Nothing's perfect. Use multiple sources, do your own research, and trust in God.
 

spywriter

Re: Wrtier's Market...yes or no?

Amen to that James D...amen to that!
 

CaoPaux

Re: Wrtier's Market...yes or no?

*ventures where angels fear to tread*

Yet be wary of claims of faith. Many writers have been hooked by scammers with the line of being Good Christians (or whatever).
 

sunrisepro

Not a writer's Bible

Writer's Market used to be a lot more reliable than it is now. Several agents' addresses were incorrect. My query letters came back with no forwarding address. Also, one agent (see Silver Screen Placements on ezboard) has many complaints against him on this site. One agent who called me from California also turned out to be sleazy. I have tried the HCD Producers list, the Writer's Market lists and I am letting the WGA agent list guide me from now on.
 

AnneMarble

Re: Not a writer's Bible

Writer's Market used to be a lot more reliable than it is now. Several agents' addresses were incorrect. My query letters came back with no forwarding address.

I'm not surprised. Recently, I've noticed that they often screw up the titles submitted by publisher. For example, in the entry on Baen Books one year, they said that one of the titles that year was "Miro Dance." I think they meant "Mirror Dance." :b So if those parts are wrong, why not the other information? :(

I don't know if the publishers are submitting this information by handwriting with bad penmanship, or if there are simply bad (or overworked) typists at the Writer's Market offices.
 

skylarburris

Re: Not a writer's Bible

] Think of Writer's Market as paid advertising by the agents.

I'm not sure I understand this. You don't have to be paid to be listed in Writer's Market. My magazine is listed in Writer's Market, Poet's Market, and Short Story Market, and I certainly never paid a dime. I assume agents don't pay either, but correct me if I am wrong.

All the Writer's Market publication do is collect information via questionnaires from markets, publishers, and agents, and make it available. They don't vouch for anyone, although they will remove an entry if they receive enough complaints of misrepresentation. So, if you found an agent in Writer's Market you think was a scammer, be sure to contact Writer's Market and tell them so that it can be removed from future editions. The editors rely on information from publishers, editors, and writers to compile this thing.

I do find the Market books are often out of date. That is partly because the publishing world is in constant flux. And, it is partly because the guides come out too early in the year--the 2005 edition, for instance, comes out in September of 2004. As an editor/publisher, I find this doesn't really give me time to update my information for 2005, since most changes occur toward year end.

Having said that, I still think these are the best resources available to find a wide array of markets.
 

Whachawant

Re: Not a writer's Bible

Nothing's perfect. Use multiple sources, do your own research....

Have to agree with James here. Just because there in a listing of publishers that comes out every year, doesn't guarantee their reputation as a reputable publisher.
Double talk, nothing!...paddle your own canoe! You can't take everything at face value.
"Nortel and Enron were in the top Forbes 500 at one point"... and look at what happened.

I personally, use the Artist and Graphic Designers Market more, and its listings fluctuate every year. Companies come and go like Elvis impersonators. I follow up on the net and check for people who have had bad experiences with certain companies. I don't consider it a big deal ... its just part of the business.....
Ah well....
Back to work....

Cheers :cheers
 

Magus

Re: Not a writer's Bible

Personally, I'd go with Preditors and Editors, not Writer's Market. Too many of the agents I found there were fee-based agents. At least with P & E, the websites are updated, and if a person finds that someone's asking for up-front payment and it's not listed, that can always be updated too. Many times they don't have the information right away, and it takes authors to talk to them. Consider it a type of Consumer Reports for writers. :D
 

spywriter

Re: Wrtier's Market...yes or no?

I have to say that now that I have used Jeff Herman's book, I appreciate the layout of Writer's Market better. It is easier to read...with the Herman book, you have to really concentrate to find the info that you are looking for. HAVING SAID THAT....I compared the 2004 to the new 2005 edition of WM and found that a number of the agents never even updated their sales! For example, one agent is listed as having 22 sales last year and then some of those titles are listed. Well, guess what's in there this year? The same exact info for that agent. SO...either WM doesn't even update their stuff, or you can't trust a lot of what an agent says about themselves in there. P and E and this board are my best resources.
 

Jamesaritchie

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Writer's Market

If you want more reliability, and constant updates, you need the online version of Writer's Market.

As for agents, it's who the agents handles, which publishers she has sold novels to, and how many sales she has made that matters, not where she's listed. You always have to check these out before determining anything about the agent.
 

e.dashwood

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It's up to the agent to revise the listing on WM. I can attest to the fact that my perfectly legitimate agent and his agency (with many sales each year) has not updated their WM listing in several years.

I've found that many successful agencies have a low public profile, i.e., no web page, out of date listings on agent directories, no blogs, no attending of conferences, etc. They may feel no need to promote themselves because their real business is not soliciting for their slushpile but talking to editors. I know for a fact that my agency is often approached by editors looking for projects not the other way around.

When I was querying I'd cross-check WM, agentquery, and P&E. Plus I'd google the agency to see what overturning that rock would reveal. If you are just looking for an agent, you could probably do fine with just agentquerry, P&E, and google. WM's real value may be its extensive listings of markets such as magazines, ezines, and publishers--not just agencies.
 

Elaine Margarett

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Publishers Marketplace Online Edition

I've found this to be the most current and helpful. You need to pay a twenty dollar a month subscription fee but you can cancel at any time.

They have excellent search engines as well as up to date news on the latest deals. There's a digest available for free but it only scratches the surface.

EM
 

Dragon-lady

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It's up to the agent to revise the listing on WM. I can attest to the fact that my perfectly legitimate agent and his agency (with many sales each year) has not updated their WM listing in several years.

I've found that many successful agencies have a low public profile, i.e., no web page, out of date listings on agent directories, no blogs, no attending of conferences, etc. They may feel no need to promote themselves because their real business is not soliciting for their slushpile but talking to editors. I know for a fact that my agency is often approached by editors looking for projects not the other way around.

When I was querying I'd cross-check WM, agentquery, and P&E. Plus I'd google the agency to see what overturning that rock would reveal. If you are just looking for an agent, you could probably do fine with just agentquerry, P&E, and google. WM's real value may be its extensive listings of markets such as magazines, ezines, and publishers--not just agencies.
I kind of have to disagree with you mildly. Mr. MacDonald often says to start your agent search at your local bookstore. Now I think that your own bookshelf is probably better. But what I look at is who represents authors of the kind of books I read (and write). I won't find that out in WM and probably won't in agentquery. Sure they may say "fantasy" but there is one heck of a lot of difference in the ones who will only touch urban and the ones who specialize in other subgenre. The only way to know that is to look at the books and then find out who sold them for the author. That takes more work than running a google search because 99% of the time you won't find out with a simple search and while some sales are listed in WM it's just not set up for that--but you can find it if you do intelligent research.

I do pay for a monthly subscription to something, but as far as I'm concerned a subscription to Publishers Marketplace is a heck of a lot better investment. It's http://www.publishersmarketplace.com/ and you always have up-to-date publishing industry information, tons of info on agents, you can research who represents whom, and you know who is selling what.

Edit: No, I don't work for them but I do use my subscription on a daily basis.
 
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Carmy

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Remember it's out of date before it gets to the book stores. Use as a guide but check for up-to-date information on the Net or here at AW.
 

victoriastrauss

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Online listings can be far more out of date than print guides. It's a good idea always to double check--and always use more than one source. No single listing or book will have every agent appropriate for you.

And never just google "Literary Agents." General websearches generate at least as much bad information as good.

- Victoria
 

billyf027

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Is the Writer's Digest guide to literary agents worth buying?

Not sure if it is? There is so much information on internet. Anyone use it?
 

ejNY

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Writers Digest: 24 Agents who want your work

Anyone take a look at this list yet?

http://www.writersdigest.com/article/24-agents-who-want-your-work-2009

I was concerned to see two agents listed on here that don't seem to have the best reputations: Jeffery McGraw (from The August Agency) and Robin Mitzell. Neither of these agents have a $ on their P+E listings, and if you read through the threads on this board for them, there aren't a lot of positive things being said about them.

I've always felt Writer's Digest was a great source of advice in the past. But the inclusion of these agents in this article really surprised me.
 

M.R.J. Le Blanc

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I think places like Writer's Digest don't really screen things like this. That's why it's always so important to do lots of cross-checking. Even the Writer's Guide that comes out every year isn't a 100% reliable source.
 

SJWangsness

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Well, since three of those 24 turned me down, one can certainly say they don't want what I've written... ;)
 

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