When I attended the New England SCBWI conference, I grabbed about a dozen publishing houses' book catalogs from Random House to Simon & Schuster. Over the past few week I've been going through them, tagging all books I might be interested in whether to read personally, for my book club or suggest to others. Most importantly, it allows me to see what kind of books these houses publish and if their style matches my writing style. One catalog I grabbed was all about non-fiction, a genre I don't write for. I now know not to send queries to this house. I would automatically be rejected.
It's one of the first tips editors and published author would tell you. Study the houses, find out what they like and are publishing. Taking a look at their catalogs is one way of doing so. You can see first hand what's being published through them. Many houses are now posting them online, staying green by not printing out physical copies. For example, Random House: http://www.randomhouse.biz/booksellers/childrens/catalogs/. This, of course, makes it easier for us to obtain these catalogs.
And for crazed, obsessed, book loves like myself, these catalogs are a two for one. Information on what kind of books the houses are publishing as well as first hand knowledge on what books I want to add to my Amazon shopping list. You can't beat that.
Welcome to the archived section "For Writers". Here you will find a collection of all previous posts written. So, if you're afraid you missed something, no worries. It's listed here for you anytime.