Monday, July 6, 2009

Publishers Marketplace

Well, I finally did it. I plunked down the mullah for a subscription to Publishers Marketplace. I’ve been using the free sections for years but now that I’m in high gear in the query process, I wanted to see what the premium side had to offer. After all, the subscription goes month to month, so I figure I can quit once the service has served it’s usefullness.

Now if you’re like me, $20 a month sounds a bit pricey. So what do you get for your hard earned money? At this stage in my career (an actively querying writer seeking agent representation) -- a lot.

While the free to the public sections allow you to browse and search members' Web pages, if you want to view the lastest deals by the movers and shakers in the publishing biz, you have to become a paying member. Here’s what you get:

Deals
The latest book deals reported to Publishers Marketplace are posted here daily. Members can also subscribe to a daily e-mail digest of the latest deals so they don’t have to log onto the PM website to view them each day. You get to see which agent sold which author’s book to which editor. Often, there will be a nifty notation of just how good that deal was, from a “nice deal” ($1-$49,000) to a “major deal” ($500,000 and up). I’m hoping to see that listed by my name some day. *G*

Top Dealmakers
This feature uses a database to extract useful lists regarding the most active editors, imprints, agents and agencies over various windows of time, from relatively recent (the past six months) to fairly deep (since January, 2004). You can view lists specific to over 30 subject sub-categories, general sub-sections (such as fiction, nonfiction, and children's), and sales specific to the UK and Canada. When I searched for “agents” and “women’s/romance” I was thrilled to find out the agent I have an appointment with at Nationals is the top seller of romance for Publishers Marketplace -- 38 deals in the past 12 months, 4 of them 6+ figure deals. Woo hoo!

Deal Tracker
This service allows you to specify a list of agents, agencies, editors, and/or imprints to track. Each time you visit this page, you'll be shown all the deals posted since your last visit that involve your tracked entries.

Publishers and Imprints
Here you can track the divisions and imprints (and owners) of the six largest English-language publishing groups, along with many other large publishers. Linked imprints connect you to more detailed Dealmakers data (including acquiring editors and leading acquisition categories). Since I have a full with Rose Hilliard at St. Martin’s right now, I can see that she’s posted 12 deals in the past 12 months. Four of them were 6-figure+ deals and 3 of those were romance. I can also see what other genres she bought and which agents were involved in those deals.

You can also read book reviews and find out who the top book reviewers are.

Unfortunately, Publishers Marketplace is only as good as its industry members make it. I’m sure not every editor and/or agent posts every deal they make. But it’s a good start. I’m sure I’ll be keeping my subscription going for a while -- at least until I see a major deal for Lori Dillon’s debut romance novel pop up on the list. *G*

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