Finding a publisher for your writing is not as hard as many people believe. There are many user-friendly resources available to writers that are both easy to find and inexpensive to use. An entire industry has sprung up devoted to helping writers get published, and the real trick nowadays is to weed through all that is available in order to simplify the search.
- The first step in any publisher search is to identify which market your writing is for. Online markets, magazines, books, and newspapers all have different criteria for publication and different ways to locate a publisher.
- If the writing is not intended for online publication, the first step in locating a print publisher is to buy the most recent copy of Writer's Market. This is an enormous volume dedicated to every conceivable book and magazine market, detailing the publisher's contact information as well as how the manuscript should be submitted. The Writer's Market is updated yearly with new publishers and new requirements, so it is important to get the most recent copy available. In the last few years the Writer's Market has also come with a CD-ROM that helps you save publishers that sound promising and to track submissions to make the process a little easier.
- The Writer's Market also has a website that is accessible with a subscription. Most of the information from the book is available on the website, and it is updated more often than it is possible to update the print edition. There are also direct links to publisher's websites so the specific writer's guidelines can be found without writing to the publisher. Buying a new copy of the book includes a code good for a one-year subscription to the website.
- If the material is intended for a newspaper, the submission will have to be directly to that newspaper. Many small newspapers do not pay freelancers, so a simple submission mailed with a permission to print the item will suffice. In larger markets, many newspapers do pay a pool of freelancers for specific stories. By contacting the newspaper ahead of time, it is possible to tailor the information to its specific needs, increasing the chance of publication and payment.
- If the material is not intended for a print audience, there are a wide range of publishers available online. If the material is an ebook, there is no need to seek a publisher. These can be marketed easily online on any number of websites. They can also be sold directly by you on eBay and other e-commerce websites. If the item is a smaller project, such as short fiction, there is little to no paying market for online short fiction, though just about any website that publishes short fiction will likely publish it for free. For small non-fiction items, Associated Content is one of the few sites that pays for a wide variety of non-fiction, as long as it is written well and needs no editing. Other sites can be found on work-at-home themed websites or on sites geared toward web content writing.