Monday, August 29, 2016


Sample copies or catalogs and guidelines are a crucial part of your marketing research, so begin collecting and filing as many as you can. (See Part 5 for ideas on filing them). One of the highlights of many writers’ conferences are their tables of samples and guidelines available free to conferees. Anytime you have a chance to pick them up for free, don’t pass it up. Sending for them by mail is expensive and time-consuming. Once you have them, spend some time getting acquainted with them before you file them away. This is comparable to chatting with customers in any other business. The better you know your customers, the better you can meet their needs. Your goal with the samples—like with your customers—is to be able to recognize and call them by name as soon as possible.

If you have guidelines and samples that are obviously not markets for you, there is no sense keeping them and cluttering up your files. Pass them on to a writer-friend or simply discard them. If you move into that area of interest in the future, you will need to get current guidelines and samples anyway.

Another source for market information on these publishers is their Websites. Most book publishers, and periodicals now have their own sights.  Many have guidelines available on the site that you can simply print off for your file. Many give you background information on the sponsoring denomination or organization, as well as sample articles from their publication or a list of upcoming book titles they are publishing. This is fast becoming one of our most valuable marketing tools.

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