Market Analysis


Information in the section is taken from "On SALE: A Technique for Breaking into the Short Story Market," by Hal Blythe and Charlie Sweet in Writer's Digest, December 1882, pages40-43.

In their article, Hal Blythe and Charlie Sweet outline a simple, but effective way to maximize your opportunities to be published. Summarized in a single phrase, their advice, echoing the advice of many others is:


Know Your Publication and Exactly What It Publishes!


Simply put, to optimize your chances for being published, you must write for a particular magazine. This is even more true today than in the past. Today, there are literally hundreds of specialized magazines, each catering to a very specialized segment of the population. To be published in one of these magazines, you must meet the peculiar needs of the magizine and the specific expectations of its readers. This is not new advice, as Hal and Charlie point out in their article:

Even William Faulkner, who would go on to win a Nobel Prize, used such market study in the 1920s. Determined to break into the "slicks," he collected them for a decade, read them voraciously, and noted their fascination with death and the grotesque. As a result, he deliberately fashioned such a story and published in The Forum "A Rose for Emily." From that point on, Saturday Evening Post and Scribner's paid him very well.


"The SALE technique is nothing more than a simplified method of market analysis applied specifically to magazines. It involves four steps:



There is no secret to getting your material published. You must: