How to Find Out What’s Going On in the Book Biz

Do you wonder what kinds of stories editors at publishing companies are acquiring? Want to know what the trends are, what editors are looking for, and what they’re tired of seeing? (Hint: Dystopian futuristic YA novels may be played out.) There are several industry e-newsletters you can subscribe to free of charge.

Bonus: Those same industry e-newsletters often list the agent representing the authors as well as the acquiring editor.

Publishers Weekly

For trade books (books intended for individual consumers), PW is the industry magazine in print and online, and it has a dedicated semiweekly children’s book newsletter, PW Children’s Bookshelf. It covers many types of events in the children’s book business, and its Rights Report feature selectively lists recent acquisitions, including the editor and the agent representing the author.

Online you can find blogs, Best Books lists, and previews of the coming publishing season-another good way to find out what’s happening in the business.

Some of PW is behind a paywall, but some of it is free. You can also subscribe to an e-newsletter.

Self-publishers can consider It’s a monthly supplement (print and online) that covers the self-publishing industry, and it includes interviews with authors, book announcements and listings, news, features, analysis, book reviews, and more. Your book will be listed with a brief summary, and it will be eligible to be reviewed.

Publishers Marketplace

Online only, Publishers Marketplace tracks deals, sales, and news. Much of what it offers is inside news relevant only to those in the publishing industry, but you can browse agents and authors. It puts out a free abbreviated daily e-newsletter, Publishers Lunch, which contains some of what is available by membership only, including which agent sold which book to which company.

Shelf Awareness

Online only, Shelf Awareness is directed primarily toward those in the publishing industry, particularly those who sell books. However, it has a separate edition for readers covering published books, which comes out twice a week, in addition to its daily e-newsletter. You might be inspired by the interviews with authors, or you can click on its links to other book news.

Publishers’ websites, Facebook pages, and Twitter feeds

Social media is the name of the game, and publishers have jumped on the electronic bandwagon to varying degrees. If you think your work would be a good fit at a particular publisher, check out what it’s saying about itself online.

Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators

SCBWI offers its members lots of support and benefits, including bulletins, podcasts, conferences, and local chapters as well as an online community.

The Bookseller

The Bookseller is a source for publishing news in the U.K.

Ayla Myrick
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