It came to my attention while I was deciding whether to pay the big clams for the Deluxe Edition of the 2015 copy.
It certainly didn’t help that both cover pictures on Amazon are the same: they both read “deluxe edition.” (Psst! Hey, kid. I’ve got a color TV in this box for only $50. Don’t open it!)
The consensus in Reviewland is that the book is a necessary evil. Er, I mean… valuable writing tool worth any expense! An expense you can write off once you start making serious writer dough, which is all but guaranteed when you buy the Writer’s Market.
I’m not sure if I’ve ever actually owned one of these books. (Maybe I’m “aspiring.”) Generally, I check them out of the library. There’s usually a wait, but it’s useful… it hasn’t actually helped me, per se, but they publish it every year. It’s from a company that publishes hundreds of titles on writing and publishing.
They also sell very pricey webinars.
Don’t forget about courses and conferences.
So they must know what they’re talking about.
But, with all that’s available on the internet, is Writer’s Market relevant?
Well, here’s a breakdown of the reviews:
90% Five Star: Great! Sign me up! Wait a minute… these are written by people who are “new to writing.” Many claim this is a must-have, definitive, comprehensive, etc. then a sentence or two later, admit, “I’m not there yet! Fingers crossed!” (Maybe crossing your fingers would give you a better shot at getting published – and it’s FREE. Just saying.)
7% Four Star: Read these reviews carefully, and they are pretty negative. Not like, “I loved most of it but I found XYZ needs improvement.” These are people who might not feel they got their money’s worth, but are afraid to displease the writing gods. “The listings aren’t particularly well-organized, and I’ve had better luck on Google, but I really want to be published and paid. Please don’t smite me, O Mighty Writer’s Digest.”
3% Three and Under: Some One-Star reviewers on Amazon are just picky people with axes to grind. These are not those people. I’m willing to bet these reviews are written by writers. Writers who are sick of being burned by yet another how-to-write/publish/profit scheme. These reviews point out that many publishers, agents, and publications are missing from Writer’s Market, the articles are recycled and outdated, and the contact information is not always correct.
Using the 2014 edition out of the library, I was struck how many times the WM information didn’t jibe with the internet submission guidelines. I laughed out loud at the article on becoming a full-time blogger throwing around annual incomes of $50,000, $200,000, $500,000! (Just take our handy webinar for $300 to learn how!)
The most useful pages (not sections, pages) were examples of formatting queries. Lo and behold, this information is readily available on Google – from Writer’s Digest!
So, I looks like I won’t be getting my work “Pulished” any time soon. At least, not by Writer’s Digest Books. I’ll just have to fall back on my $500,000 blogging career. (Sigh!)