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Christian Publishing Market: News and Opinion

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The Christian Writer’s Market Guide has been a valuable resource for Christian writers for over 30 years. Sally Stuart compiled and edited it until Jerry Jenkins bought it from her. He produced it for several years through the now-defunct Christian Writers Guild. Jenkins bought it back from the Guild and published the latest edition (2015-16) with Sally’s help.

If you are a subscriber to Blog4Writers, you may be aware that I am a fan of the guide. There’s no better single source of information about the Christian publishing market.

News: Christian Writer’s Market Guide Has New Owner

Steve Laube, literary agent and owner of The Steve Laube Agency, has bought the market guide from Jerry Jenkins. He plans to publish the guide in print and ebook versions. And here’s the part I’m excited about. Laube wants to provide an online version that writers can subscribe to, much like the Writer’s Digest Writer’s Market Online.  No word on exactly when the 2017 edition will be published, but I’m looking forward to it.

And There’s More News

The Laube agency is also creating a training program for Christian writers. Christian Writers Institute will offer audio and video courses in addition to books to help writers learn their craft and how to market their work. As of this writing, the site only says “coming soon,” but I’ll watch for updates and give a progress report when things change.

Opinion: No Better Source of Information on the Christian Market

CWMG-2015-16-coverYou can go to conferences and join writers’ groups ’til the cows come home, but nothing gives you a better picture of the Christian publishing market than the market guide. When I first started writing for the Christian market in 1999, I attended a conference, took some classes, and tried to follow all the instruction I received at conference. But, several people at the conference, including Lettie Kirkpatrick Burress, recommended that I get and study a market guide.

My husband’s company invited spouses to attend a meeting in South Carolina at the Wild Dunes Resort. I purchased my guide and took it with me to read on the plane. Once we got settled in at the resort, he had to attend meetings, and I planned to roam the shops and check out the beach. However, on the first day, a rain set in and stuck around for most of the time we were there. I spent a lot of time studying my market guide. I read all the instructions about how to use it. Then, I bookmarked potential markets to which I wanted to submit my work. I doubt any other newbie studied the guide more diligently than I did. I found periodical markets that I would never have known about if it hadn’t been “forced” to study the guide.

If you don’t have the 2015-16 edition, I recommend you get one. The new edition probably won’t be released for several months. I don’t necessarily recommend that you spend your vacation time studying it, but I do think every Christian writer should have one. It costs no more than the typical magazine subscription would cost annually.

Previous posts about the market guide:

Readers, do you own a copy of the Christian Writer’s Market Guide? Why or why not? Please share in the comments. If you get this post by email, please click on the title of the post to go to my site. Scroll down to Leave a Reply and comment there.

Photo Credit: Image courtesy of Stuart Miles at FreeDigitalPhotos.net.

10 Responses to Christian Publishing Market: News and Opinion

  1. PaulaNo Gravatar July 30, 2016 at 8:50 am #

    Emily, I have purchased the Guide for many years. For most of those years it’s been a valuable resource and I still use it to help me find markets for my work, which is writing for periodicals.

    I wondered what the Guide would be like after Sally Stuart no longer edited it. The first year Jenkins took over, I was disappointed. I hate to say that, but it’s true. There were woefully fewer listings, which was evident by the physical size of the Guide. Listings for periodicals once included were gone. (Since I’m not at the point of looking for a book publisher yet, I haven’t compared those listings.) I understand that publishers often don’t, for whatever reason, send information back to the editor of the guide. I understand that they may not even want to be included. It could account for there not being as many listings.

    The 2015-16 edition, I was happy to see, was a larger volume physically so when I received it in the mail, I was excited. Then I read through its contents and realized it was almost one third articles. I understand these articles can be helpful to beginning writers (and good reminders to more seasoned writers). But the listings I was looking for had diminished once again.

    My hope is that the new editor will see this as an opportunity to include information directly associated with marketing. Help in the form of actual listings is what I’m looking for in a market guide.

    Thanks for letting me put in my two cents worth.

  2. Diana DerringerNo Gravatar July 30, 2016 at 1:39 pm #

    The Christian Writer’s Market Guide is my number one writing resource.

  3. Tracy CrumpNo Gravatar July 30, 2016 at 3:25 pm #

    Most of the articles I published came about because of research I did in the CWMG. I wondered if we would see a new edition in 2017. So glad we will. Like Paula, I hope future guides will concentrate more heavily on markets.

    Sally Stuart did an fantastic job for twenty years!

  4. Emily AkinNo Gravatar July 30, 2016 at 6:16 pm #

    Thanks for the detailed reply, Paula. I understand your frustration with recent editions of the guide. I think there are fewer listings in the guide for a couple of reasons. One is that some Christian publications have ceased publication. I know that to be the case with Evangel, a Sunday school paper that was published by Free Methodist publishing house. Also, Vista, which was Wesleyan Sunday school paper. Also, I recall Jerry Jenkins saying either in the book or in one of his articles in Christian Communicator, that some publications had asked not to be listed. Maybe they were getting too many submissions. BTW—I think you should go to Steve Laube’s blog and tell him your concerns in a comment on this post, http://www.stevelaube.com/steve-laube-buys-christian-writers-market-guide-jerry-jenkins/.

  5. Emily AkinNo Gravatar July 30, 2016 at 6:16 pm #

    Preach it, Diana.

  6. Emily AkinNo Gravatar July 30, 2016 at 6:17 pm #

    I suggested to Paula that she go to Steve Laube’s blog and comment on this post http://www.stevelaube.com/steve-laube-buys-christian-writers-market-guide-jerry-jenkins/ to give him your input.

  7. Ann KnowlesNo Gravatar July 30, 2016 at 9:35 pm #

    Paula has expressed my sentiments exactly. I don’t need all the articles; I get those in other places. I do want to know about as many article and book markets as possible. I use my Christian Writers Market Guide all the time, but my preference was Sally’s version. Hers was the best for layout and content, in my opinion.

  8. PaulaNo Gravatar July 30, 2016 at 9:57 pm #

    I did not mean to imply that I would stop using the Guide. I’ve used it for years and, like Diana, it’s been my number one resource. And I know about those markets Emily listed as no longer publishing or not using freelancers. They are both markets I wrote for and the editors contacted me with their news. As I mentioned, I’m aware of the reasons a publication may not be listed. Marketing isn’t new to me. But I need new markets. I believe we all are looking for new markets as well as repeated work with the editors we presently work with.

    I’ll continue to buy and use the Market Guide, but I’ll also look for other ways to find markets for my work. Thanks for giving us the news about the new owner, Emily. I’ll keep my eyes out for more news since I follow this agency on Twitter.

  9. Emily AkinNo Gravatar July 31, 2016 at 1:26 pm #

    That’s true, Ann. Nobody does it better than Sally. I’m excited about the online subscription option that Laube intends to offer. If they update that constantly, it will be much better than an annual book.

  10. Emily AkinNo Gravatar July 31, 2016 at 6:41 pm #

    I didn’t mean to imply that you implied that you would stop using the Guide (smile). Like you, I’d like to find new markets.

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