On the publisher search page
, first make sure you are searching for fiction publishers. If not, use the "Switch to" options at the top of the search page and select Fiction.
The Search page has criteria across four tabs:
First Tab: The Basics
Screenshot of Basics tab
We highly recommend including this option with every search. Unless the piece you wrote is a specific genre (such as science fiction, fantasy, romance, etc.), select "General."
You cannot select a Subgenre until you have selected a Genre. We don't recommend selecting a Subgenre unless the piece really is a specific subgenre (such as magic realism, historical fiction, urban fantasy, etc.)
For non-genre pieces (literary, mainstream, etc.), we highly recommend including this option with every search. For genre pieces (fantasy, mystery, etc.), Style is less important but can still be selected. The most commonly used options are: "Literary," "Mainstream," and "Experimental," but it's worth exploring all the options. Humorists, you can find the "Humorous" option here, under Style. (Note: You can't select a Style until you have selected a Genre.)
If you are writing for a general adult audience, we recommend not selecting a specific Audience for best results. However, if your piece is aimed towards a specific audience, such as Young adults, Christians, or Gays/Lesbians, select that in this field.
We only recommend selecting a Topic in certain circumstances. In most cases, Topic won't apply, but it's still worth becoming familiar with all the options.
You cannot select a Subtopic until you have selected a Topic. We don't recommend selecting a Subtopic unless the piece is a good match for one of the options. If searching for a specific Subtopic using Search Level: Exact doesn't return enough results, try a Fuzzy or Broad search level.
We highly recommend including this option in every search. The options here are fairly self-explanatory (see our glossary if not). Hint: Looking for book publishers? Select the appropriate book-length option: "Novel," "Novella," "Story Collection." (Note: Collections are single-author and shouldn't be confused with multiple-author Anthologies, which are covered on the second tab.)
# of Words
Using this option will exclude publishers that don't specify what word counts they're looking for, but there's no harm in starting with the ones that we know accept pieces of a certain length. If you do use this option, be sure to also select a Length option. If you get too few results, try changing the search level to Fuzzy or Broad.
If you care about getting paid for your work, you should always include this search option. (Note: Some of our listings have a payscale of "unknown." If you select a Min. Payment option and you want to include those listings, check the "Incl unknown" box. We especially recommend doing this with book publishers.)
Unless you are specifically looking for anthology or book-length fiction publishers, we don't recommend using this option. (Notes: The "less than 15%" and "greater than 15%" options should only be used when searching for book publishers, not anthologies. Also, the "incl unknown" box in the Min. Payment section applies to any Royalties selected as well.)
We recommend including this option in every search, unless you truly have no preference between sending electronic submissions and postal submissions.
If you are specifically looking for a market that publishes in print or a market that publishes electronically, select the appropriate option.
Enter the medium of the piece you are submitting: Audio, Image, Text, or Video. In most cases, Fiction submissions will be Submission Medium: Text. However, some projects accept audio or video fiction submissions as well, so if the piece exists in those media, you can try those options, too.
Check the "Accepts Reprints" box if the piece you are submitting has been previously published. (Note: Many editors consider pieces that have been publicly posted on blogs, websites, etc. to be previously published.)
Check the "Accepts Simultaneous Submissions" box if you are (or will be) submitting this piece to several publishers at the same time.
Check the "Accepts Multiple Pieces in one submission" box if you want to submit multiple pieces at once to a single publisher. (Note: Few fiction publishers allow this. Also, we highly recommend selecting a Length if you use this option.)
Sort By (available on every tab)
The default option is to sort the search results alphabetically by title, but if you care more about Payment, Response Time*, or Acceptance Percentage*, you may want to use those options instead.
Important: The Sort By options marked with asterisks (*) will also eliminate any listings with fewer than 10 fiction submissions reported to us in the past 12 months. If you want to ensure you see all matching listings, avoid using those options.
Search Level (available on every tab)
The default option ("Exact") is to show only listings that are exact matches for all of your search criteria.
"Fuzzy" searches will broaden the search, but most of the search results will still be likely matches to all or most of your search criteria.
"Broad" searches are even broader than fuzzy searches. These can be useful when you search on a lot of criteria and/or very specific criteria, such as Subgenre (when applicable) or Subtopic, and the Exact or Fuzzy results are too few.
Second Tab: Exclusions
Screenshot of Exclusions tab
There are some powerful options on this tab for eliminating unwanted search results and ensuring that you don't make any embarrassing mistakes (such as submitting the same piece twice to a publisher or accidentally sending multiple submissions).
If you are only interested in Contests, Anthologies (multiple-author collections), Fledgling publications, or listings you've added to Your Favorites, select that option.
Here you can exclude Contests, Anthologies, Fledgling publications, publishers that only accept submissions from a Limited Demographic, and/or listings that may publish some "Mature" content.
If you are searching for a specific piece that's already in your List of Pieces, you can exclude publishers where it has already been submitted by selecting that piece in the drop-down list. (Note: This option only appears when applicable.)
If you want to avoid submitting to any publishers where you already have submissions pending, check the "Exclude all publishers where I have pending submissions" box. (Note: This option only appears when applicable.)
Note: Any listings in your Ignore List will always be excluded from the search results.
We hope this information has helped you become a better searcher. If you have any suggestions on how we can improve this guide, please let us know.