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“I subscribed to WritersMarket.com and compiled a list of small publishers that accepted unsolicited submissions and a few literary agencies.”
Stephenie Meyer, Author of the Twilight Series | Excerpt from StephenieMeyer.com
When I was in college, I had a professor who once told us regarding Writer’s Market, “If you’re not using Writer’s Market, you’re just playing around. You need to live with your Writer’s Market. You need to sleep with it. It’s no substitute for sex, but it might get your career farther.”
After 30 years, I can say that he was exactly right. I’m sure that I could attribute almost all of my success to Writer’s Market and WritersMarket.com. Even indirectly, Writer’s Market has been a winner for me.
If you want to hear about an indirect success story, I have a great one. Several years ago, I was called in for an audit by the IRS. They were trying to claim that my writing was a hobby and not a business, making my deductions ineligible. I printed out a report of my submissions, income, etc., and presented it to the auditor. He only fanned the pages and said, “Wow.”
They decided from my WritersMarket.com report that I really was a business!
Not only that, but without Writer’s Market and WritersMarket.com, I’d be out of business.
Michael W. Michelsen, Jr.
I have had several success stories by using Writer’s Market online.
Many times, after I have written an article, I use the search tool on your site to find appropriate markets to submit the article. I have made several sales this way. It is one of the only online writing tools I subscribe to because it has brought me more sales than other methods I have tried. I also recommend it to other writers on writing message boards.
Keep up the great work!
Betsy S. Franz
I am writing to share my success story, in which Writer’s Market played an important part. On July 5, 2008, I completed my first novel. I had no experience in publishing fiction. However, I remembered reading somewhere that Stephenie Meyer found her agent through Writer’s Market. So, I decided to give Writer’s Market a try.
I spent some time searching through the listings and compiling a list of agents and publishers who might be interested in my work. I sent out a couple of queries; I got one very nice rejection and no response at all from the other. But I was not deterred. I found a listing for Black Rose Writing, a small, independent publisher located in Texas. I visited their website and felt that they might be a good fit for me. However, they were not accepting new submissions until late January 2009.
So, I took my time putting together the best query letter I could, and when Black Rose finally began accepting submissions again, I sent mine in. To my surprise, I got an almost immediate response. The editor, Reagan Rothe, wanted to see my entire manuscript! Of course, I sent it in, and after reviewing it, Black Rose offered me a contract.
My first novel, Through A Glass Darkly, was released on September 3, 2009, and is now available from all major online bookstores, including the Ingram catalog, and from the Black Rose website. Sales have been pretty good so far, and I already have a few book signings in the works. I do not think I would have found my publisher if not for the Writer’s Market service. So, this is my opportunity to say thanks!
I use WritersMarket.com all the time to know which markets to send to and for guidelines on how to comply with the various markets’ requirements.
I sent a query letter to Diversion Press last year concerning my lighthearted book about growing up in a small town in Vermont in the 1940s. They responded with a request to see the entire manuscript. I sent it to them, they sent me a contract and my book is now scheduled for release in 2010.
So a big thank you to WritersMarket.com. I appreciate Writer’s Market being online, because I know the listings are updated continuously.
I’ve been a member of WritersMarket.com for a couple of years, and have found it to be an excellent tool in finding new markets for my stories. Here are two articles that have been published as a direct result of WritersMarket.com: “Life Lessons” (May/June 2009 edition of Living Aboard magazine) and “Belize – The Reef and More” (published in online magazine Real Travel Adventures).
I wanted to let you know that I think of myself as one of the luckiest writers out there, and a lot of it’s due to your website. About a year ago I wrote a paranormal story entitled Alex. After researching publishers on your site and sending my story out, I received a very encouraging letter from Wolf-Pirate Publishing. They liked the story, but said it was still a little too rough to publish. They invited me to join their Writer’s Workshop instead.
Through e-mails I was able to work one-on-one with an incredible editor, May Bestall. We went over the manuscript a chapter at a time. May Bestall explained the good and bad points in the story and offered suggestions and encouragements. After completing the entire story in this manner, she urged me to start looking for a publisher.
I returned to your site and began sending out Alex’s query letter (using examples from your Query Letter Clinic) to likely publishing houses. Within two days, I received a reply from Mountainland Publishing managing editor, Michael Combe. He said, “Thank you for an excellent query and a wonderful first chapter. We are intrigued with the story…Excellent hook.” They wanted to read the rest of the manuscript, and within a week I was offered a contract. The release date for Alex is set tentatively for March, 2010 from Mountainland Publishing, Inc.
As you can see, your site helped me to find two wonderful publishing houses, and your Query Letter Clinic helped sell the story for me.
I have been a subscriber to WritersMarket.com for about three months and querying agents and publishers for about six months now. I read success stories from other authors who shared their success with getting published and that they had several people looking at partials of their manuscript. When I would read these I would think, “Well that has not happened to me… I have not had anyone, not one, ask for a partial. All I have gotten are no’s.” I am here to tell you, there is light at the end of the rejection tunnel.
About a month ago, I submitted to people who, quite frankly, I thought were completely out of my league. The uber-agents, the big “wish list” publishers. The ones I thought for sure would tell me no. I thought I would have better luck with smaller publishers or a smaller agent company. Six weeks had passed and I had given up on all of the “super” names of the industry.
Then, I found out I did not win a writing contest I had entered several months before. I was upset, to say the least, and ran to my house to grab something for my young daughter who was in the care of my mother at her house. As I ran into the house, an envelope caught my eye in my mail box. It was my SASE (self-addressed, stamped envelope). I could not believe my eyes.
It was from one of my “wish list” agents. Quietly praying for the letter to be nice to me I opened it, I braced myself for the worst. Reading on, it said, “We would like to consider your project, please send the first 50 pages either electronically (e-mail) or by mail.”
I jumped and screamed and cried tears of pure joy. My first Partial. My first official foot in the door. Since then I have had another publisher ask for my full manuscript. My first success may not have been huge or even mean that I will get “signed” by that particular agent, but it did offer my tormented artist soul some reprieve, and gave me the strength to keep on keepin’ on.
I hope that through my experience you will know that even the “big fish” are not out of your reach! Follow your dreams.
My success story is certainly on the smaller, yet to be completely seen end of the spectrum. When I finished my first book, I got all the guides and reference materials and signed up to the Writer’s Market online. Shortly thereafter the querying process began. Time after time, I got close, but wasn’t signed by an agent. Then after countless rejections, a handful of “almost but not quites,” I finally scored an agent. The book has been edited, reconcepted and developed and is so much stronger creatively and commercially than when I finished it.
Writer’s Market is the reason why. So if it sells, great. If not, I have the experience, a little success and a go-to resource to make my next big idea that much bigger.
Howard Jordan Jr.
The only experience I can relate to holding my first published book in my hand is that of holding my firstborn in my arms. The only difference is… my book earns money.
I started using Writer’s Market in February of 2009 to find an agent or publisher interested in my work of historical fiction entitled There Are No Words.
I created a chart, which I hung in my home office, detailing every query letter sent and the response that it received. My children would bound in the door from school every afternoon to see how many rejection letters I had opened that day. We had so much fun every time I was rejected. (Well, they probably had more fun with it than I did.) I decided that every rejection was one step closer to an acceptance, and I was right. I took many steps toward acceptance. Many. Many.
There were two rejection letters of note, and I kept both of them.
The first was an early query letter that a (truly helpful) woman had covered with red ink and returned. I think she must have been having a really rough day. In fact the only part of my query letter she liked was the picture of my dog in the author photo I had enclosed in the packet I sent her. Ouch. I used her suggestions, though, and thought to myself, “Anything that does not kill me, makes me stronger.” I actually sent her a thank-you email, and she reacted with surprise at my gracious response to her (a-hem) honesty.
The second rejection letter was from Penguin. One of its subsidiaries had requested a full manuscript for review, and I sent it out right before I jumped up and down on the trampoline yah-hooing like only a West Virginia girl can. I waited. And waited. And waited…
Then as I was waiting to hear back from Penguin, I found the most perfect publisher for my book, Lucky Press, and was offered a contract, and I signed it, and once again I jumped up and down on the trampoline whooping-it-up with joy in full sight of my neighbors and felt no shame.
The next week, I received an official-looking letter from Penguin, and ripped it open with enthusiasm, only to find rejection again staring me in the face. But I didn’t care. Not really, because I had already found the most perfect publisher for my book, and as far as I was concerned, Penguin could kiss my “already under contract” hiney.
So, Writer’s Market, thank you. Through you I found Lucky Press. Janice Phelps Williams and her team of caring professionals are perfect for me.
Mary Calhoun Brown