Book publishing is a hard field to get to know, even for experienced authors. There are many types of publishers and editors, publishing professionals use jargon and follow practices with no counterparts in other fields, and of course conditions are constantly changing in this era of technological innovation. If you're interested in getting published, you may find the following resources helpful. (These resources are provided for the convenience of writers and others. Their inclusion here doesn't imply our endorsement of specific services or products.)

Useful Books for Writers

Brewer, Robert Lee, ed. Guide to Literary Agents 2019. Blue Ash, OH: Writer’s Digest Books, an imprint of F+W Media, 2018. A comprehensive directory.

Brewer, Robert Lee, ed. Novel and Short Story Writer's Market 2019. Blue Ash, OH: Writer’s Digest Books, an imprint of F+W Media, 2018. Detailed listings for book publishers, agents, and others; also includes articles on the craft and business of fiction writing.

Brewer, Robert Lee, ed. Writer's Market 2019. Deluxe ed. Blue Ash, OH: Writer’s Digest Books, an imprint of F+W Media, 2018. An invaluable resource, covering both book and magazine publishing. The deluxe edition includes an online subscription to, featuring a searchable database, recordkeeping forms, and other useful tools.

Lerner, Betsy. The Forest for the Trees: An Editor's Advice to Writers. Rev. ed. New York: Riverhead Books, 2010. Sage advice from someone who combines the background and expertise of a literary agent, editor, and writer.

Lyon, Elizabeth. Manuscript Makeover: Revision Techniques No Fiction Writer Can Afford to Ignore. New York: Perigee, 2008. One of the most useful books on manuscript revision; applies to nonfiction as well as fiction.

Lyon, Elizabeth. Nonfiction Book Proposals Anybody Can Write: How to Get a Contract and Advance before Writing Your Book. Rev. ed. New York: Perigee, 2002. One of the best guides to proposal writing; strongly recommended.

Lyon, Elizabeth. A Writer's Guide to Fiction: A Concise, Practical Guide for Novelists and Short-Story Writers. New York: Perigee, 2004. A highly recommended resource for fiction writers.

Rabiner, Susan, and Alfred Fortunato. Thinking Like Your Editor: How to Write Great Serious Nonfiction--and Get It Published. New York: Norton, 2002. An excellent resource from an insider's perspective (Rabiner is an agent and former editor; Fortunato is an editor).

Rein, Jody, with Michael Larsen. How to Write a Book Proposal. 5th ed. Cincinnati: Writer's Digest Books, 2017. Step-by-step guide to proposal writing by two publishing pros; also includes lots of other useful information on getting published.

Sambuchino, Chuck. Get a Literary Agent: The Complete Guide to Securing Representation for Your Work. Blue Ash, OH: Writer’s Digest Books, an imprint of F+W Media, 2015. Basic guide to the submission process.

Sands, Katharine, ed. Making the Perfect Pitch: How to Catch a Literary Agent's Eye. 2nd ed. Milwaukee, WI: Crispin Books, 2018. Useful articles by agents on their preferences and procedures.

Sedwick, Helen. Self-Publisher's Legal Handbook: Updated Guide to Protecting Your Rights and Wallet. 2nd ed. Santa Rosa, CA: Ten Gallon Press, 2017. Lots of useful information on the business of self-publishing.


Agent Query  Large, easily searchable database of literary agents. It's also free.

Association of Writers & Writing Programs  Offers information on writing programs and conferences and provides other services to writers.

Authors Guild  An important advocacy organization. There's a membership fee, but some features of the site are accessible to nonmembers. Member benefits include free contract reviews.

Literary Market Place (LMP)  A major resource for the book-publishing industry. Provides comprehensive information on agents, publishers, and industry services.

PublishersMarketplace  A service of Though there's a membership fee, some areas of the site are available free--including profiles of agents and writers and information on book deals.

Publishers Weekly  Comprehensive source of publishing-related news, author profiles, book reviews, statistics, and other features.

ShawGuides: Writers Conferences & Workshops  Has many conference and workshop listings. You can also search for conferences by month, topic, or location.

US Copyright Office  News, FAQs, forms, and other resources.  Includes tips, blogs, and other resources. Useful features include listings of the top websites and blogs for writers.  Online version of Writer's Market. Important source of information on book and magazine markets as well as other topics of interest to writers.

Writers' Union of Canada  Membership is limited to Canadians who are published authors, but various services are also available to nonmembers.

© Casco Bay Literary Services 2019