Amy Carroll » Writing Tips » Tool Time!

Tool Time!

I’m moving to a new state, which means that my home is up for sale. Which means that I’m painting and touching up and fixing what needs to be fixed.

Sort of. . .

I realized quickly that I didn’t have all the tools that I needed. My paintbrush was caked with paint from 2005. The caulk gun didn’t shoot straight. I found a hammer, but the handle was wrapped in duct tape.

Before you judge me, understand that carpentry isn’t my trade. I know my limitations, so I usually hire someone who is skilled. Since these were small jobs, I thought I could handle it, but not with the tools in my tool box.

As a writer, you also need the right tools.

One tool that is essential to a market guide.

The CBA (Christian Bookseller’s Association) recognizes The Christian Writer’s Market Guide: Your Comprehensive Guide to Getting Published by Jerry Jenkins as the most comprehensive and up-to-date marketing guide available. It’s published annually and is a complete guide for writers and authors who desire to write for the Christian marketplace.

The Christian Writer’s Market is indexed by genres (a genre is a type of writing like humor or romance) so you can search by a particular writing interest. Chapters are broken down into large markets such as Book Publishers or Consumer Magazines and then further categorized. For example, there are categories for music, parenting, youth, and regional publications as well as a host of others.

A writers’ guide contains information about thousands of magazine and book publishers. Information includes the publisher’s address, name and title of editors, payment and rights information, circulation, needs of the publication, and guidelines for manuscript or query submission. Most listings also have editor’s tips, which provides the personal likes and dislikes of editors and is very valuable information.

Writing without a market guide is like a this girl trying to paint a house without the proper tools—I might have the colors I need, and even an idea of what I want it to look like, but chances are the house isn’t going to be painted properly.

The Christian Writer’s Market Guide makes certain that your query, proposal, or request to an agent or editor is in the correct genre, submitted properly, and has the best chance of meeting an editor’s needs.


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