Publishing Market Update: 2018

Last Updated on February 15, 2022

Talking Heads and Thought Bubbles (Stylized)Getting a contract with a traditional publishing house is possible, but it is going to take some work. Of course you need a well-written book and a dynamite proposal. You also know you need to research your target market, have a good marketing plan, and have clips of previously published works — and it won't hurt to catch up on some new research and writing tools. Here are some resources that can help you:

  1. "What It Really Takes to Break Through With Your First Book Deal." In this article from publishing expert Jane Friedman's blog, author Susan DeFreitas shares three routes to publication through the stories of real-life writers.
  2. "Publishing... and Other Forms of Insanity June Newsletter." Writer Erica Verillo provides a wealth of articles that describe publishers and literary magazines calling for submissions as well as agents seeking new clients and how to find your ideal agent match.
  3. "Book Publishing: A Thriving Business." And now for some good news: Data from Penguin Random House shows that despite upheavals introduced in the last decade by technological developments, worries about the “death of the publishing industry” were greatly exaggerated. The market is currently stable, and trade book and audiobook sales have actually increased in the past few years.
  4. “13 Imprints of Big 5 Publishers That Accept Unsolicited Submissions." Writers wanting to break into the Big Five may have better luck getting accepted by an imprint, especially if they aren't represented by an agent. Authors Publish shares 13 imprints that will give your unsolicited manuscript or query its due consideration.
  5. “Electric Speed October 20 Newsletter." Digital strategist and publishing expert Jane Friedman shares helpful resources that can give you an edge in the publishing market or at least make your life easier, including a new site that searches for books based on length, the best type ornaments to use in your book design, and a list of the best online courses for authors.
  6. “20 Podcasts for Authors on Writing, Publishing, and Book Marketing." If you have such a busy schedule that you have difficulty keeping up with book-industry trends through traditional sources, then podcasts may be the answer to your problem. BookBub provides a list of the best writing- and publishing-related podcasts that you can listen to anywhere, anytime.
  7. “Lyrics in Books: Your Questions Answered." If my clients don't listen to me about why they should not include song lyrics in their book, then I send them this article. This is the best explanation I have ever seen about why having song lyrics in a book is a bad idea.

If you know of any other online resources that can help other writers navigate the publishing market, please share them in the comments below.

Copyright 2018 by Sharon Goldinger. If you would like to reprint this article, please contact the author directly at for permission.

Sharon Goldinger
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