Tuesday, May 22, 2018

Find & fetch: Writer’s guide to literary resources, reprised

A fellow writer’s mention on Twitter about blogging his own stories caught my eye. Nothing against self-publishing, indie friends, nothing against self-publishing, but it can drastically reduce the number of other venues willing to pay for the same story. Could I suggest some ways to find markets, my new Twitter friend asked? Yes, indeed. And because this blog about finding literary services ran before I became a twitterer, I’m rerunning an updated version of it now, with information not only about how to find publishing venues but book reviewers, literary agents, illustrations and more. 

Book publicity: Jane Friedman’s Electric Speed newsletter is a wonderful source of information. From her, via Writer Unboxed (another service I subscribe to), comes one writer’s experience with daily deal book promotion sites. These are similar to BookBub, but often more accessible.
Book reviewers: Because I review quite a few books on Amazon (as well as on Goodreads and this blog) I receive far more review requests than can be honored. So imagine my delight on finding a searchable data base of book review bloggers – Best Book Review Blogs of 2018.
I found the versatile site Reedsy through its work as a sponsor for NaNoWriMo. But although I get Reedsy’s emails, I overlooked the book bloggers post until also seeing it on Jane Friedman’s Electric Speed newsletter.
image: pixabay
Contests: Writer Unboxed blogger Arthur Klepchukov posts seasonally about writing contests and why he considers them worth his time (and money). I haven’t seen an update for summer 2018, but fingers are crossed.
Graphs and illustrations: I always use images with my blog posts, so I’m on the lookout for fresh, copyright-free illustrations. My personal favorites for downloading are Pixabay and Wikimedia Commons. I’m just getting the hang of Flickr. All of these encourage users to share their own photos and illustrations, copyright free. 
Not to knock these sources, but when I want photos of more diverse ethnicities, I’m going to try one of Jane Friedman’s suggestions (again!) and go to Nappy which specializes in photos of black and brown people.
Literary agents: Query Tracker is a free, searchable data source of more than 1,500 agents. It allows authors to search by genre, and keep track of query dates, responses, average response times, and more. I’ve found it generally up to date, although you’ll have to check agent websites (links are available) for specific submission guidelines. Query Tracker also lists some publishers who accept unagented manuscripts. Again, check the website links, as I found some of these charge fees.
And don’t forget the old standby, Writer’s Digest’s newsletters, which frequently feature new and hungry literary agents looking to increase their client list, as well as other writerly tidbits.
Publishing markets: In spite of its $50 annual membership fee it’s hard to beat Duotrope Digest for its variety of market listings for fiction, nonfiction, and poetry markets. But if you can’t bring yourself (yet) to pay Duotrope’s fee, a free, searchable alternative for genre writers only is Ralan. Also for genre writers, I've become fond of My Little Corner, mainly devoted to mystery, crime, and horror, but with interesting sidelines. The Submissions Grinder provides services similar to Duotrope at no charge. Jane Friedman also offers suggestions on finding both agents and publishers, from the for-pay Writers Marketplace to freebies like Ralan and more. And as mentioned earlier, Query Tracker provides some references for locating publishers.
New Pages lists a wide variety of literary venues. And for literary information with Texas-angles, check out Lone Star Literary Life.
Scam detection sites: Those, like me, who mourned the demise of Preditors & Editors will rejoice to hear it’s being reborn on a Wordpress site. See the P&E link for updates on the revamp. A more specialized but still useful scam detection source is the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America Writer Beware.

As always, I welcome input and personal experiences with these and other literary resources!