After I got serious about being a fiction writer five years ago, I always bought a copy of “The Novel & Short Story Writer’s Market” (Writers Digest Books) to find new markets for my short story fiction. Every six weeks I would spend a weekend browsing through the current N&SSWM, finding markets that fit my short stories, and preparing 20 or so snail mail submissions. (I had 50 manuscripts floating in the slush piles for several years.) And then the Great Recession in 2008 made an impact: submissions started returning unread as magazine publishers went out of business, and I could no longer afford to buy envelopes and postage for snail mail submissions. A year ago I started revising my work on the computer, submitting my manuscripts online, and publishing my short stories as original or reprint ebooks. I’m wondering if I should even bother to pick up the 2012 N&SSWM when it comes out in September.
These days I’m browsing Duotrope’s Digest for new markets for my short stories. Since I made the transition from literary to speculative short stories three years ago, the majority of my sales have been to genre anthologies that get listed for a few months at a time. N&SSWM caters to the traditional literary magazines and annual anthologies that accept submissions year round. I haven’t tried the online version of N&SSWM but I don’t expect those listings to be different from the dead tree edition. You can also find new markets on Twitter as editors reach out to find writers for their new anthologies, such as One Buck Horror and War Of The Words Press.
If I do pick up the new N&SSWM, it will probably be for the literary agent and book listings. Unlike the fast changing short story markets, the traditional publishing industry is still slow to change and a dead tree listing is still relevant months later. By the time my first novel is ready to be submitted, I just might publish it myself as an ebook.