Every year the Writers Market writer’s reference book releases an updated version of the popular publication that some might consider to be a writer’s bible. One wishing to own or have access to the information in the Writers market can either pay about $30 to subscribe to the online reference guide or they may purchase a thick, heavy book which also enables them to utilize the website. The writer’s market is no doubt a superb source of information for writers regarding writers markets, publishing agents, contests and so forth for both online and printed sources. But is it really worth it to pay the money for this information? Isn’t there some place where you can get these resources for free?
The answers are yes and it depends, in reverse chronological order. If you do some heavy scouring of the Internet and really push the limits of the search engines you will surely find many websites that offer information about writers markets and places to submit work to both on and offline. On many sites, even, there are more market listings than what is available on the writers market online site. So when it comes down to finding a simple reference guide to the market out there and their submissions guidelines, I vote that not the writer’s market online is not worth paying for, at least for someone like me who isn’t constantly trying to juggle query letters with offers form dozens of publications and pending negotiations on payments. I simply freelance on my own time and while id love to be busy enough with writing assignments that I could make a living off of them, that isn’t happening yet. Therefore, I don’t need much assistance in organizing my submissions and correspondence with publications.
However, for someone that is a professional writer full time, writes constant back and forth communications between themselves and editors/publishers, I do think the writer’s market online subscription is worth purchasing. While the reference information can be found elsewhere on the web, the usability of the writers market online website is set up to be very straightforward thorough, and helpful to a busy working freelance writer. There is an entire application programmed into the site dedicated to assisting the writer in organizing his or her freelance information, by giving oneself notes to track the status of a submission, mange payments and remind oneself with open notes what they want to do with each market they selected to go in the tracking to do folder of the writers market online website. So if you have a lot to keep track of, the writer’s market online might be a good option. But if you just want a list of markets to occasionally submit work to, the writers market online does make it easy to ascertain and filter the information you get, but if you need to save money use the other free resources on the internet. Yes, it may take much longer to find them and go from site to site to read guidelines and such but it’s better than spending thirty bucks to subscribe to a service that you might only visit maybe three times a year.
Here are some sites that provide free information on various writing markets:
Writing For Dollars