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How should I study a market?

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Vylar Kaftan
Posted on Monday, March 14, 2005 - 09:40 am:   

I'm having trouble phrasing this question, so please bear with me.

Writers are often advised to read a magazine before sending them stories. That makes perfect sense; the writer gets more fmiliar with what kind of stories they publish.

My question is: how can a writer tell if a story might be a good fit for the market? Sometimes it's obvious, but at other times I'm not sure what to look for. If a story is very different from what a magazine tends to publish, is it probably a poor fit? Or might it be a welcome change for the editor to see something different? Is there any way I can make an educated guess about this?

I'm particularly interested in hearing from some editors on this question, though other thoughts are welcome too.

Thanks.
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Carole C
Posted on Tuesday, March 15, 2005 - 01:52 am:   

Well, the answer is .... there is no answer.

You never really know what will be a good fit, you can only do your best to read the magazine, study the guidelines etc.

Best policy is to just do the best work you can, and hope it fits!

Another thing is - it's amazing how often the perfect place comes along for something that you might think would *never* fit anywhere.

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