Do you use search engines to look up publishers, book review opportunities, newspapers worldwide, publications related to your area of interest, school districts, book festivals, libraries, book distributors, etc? Good for you. Research is important to an author at all stages of writing and publishing. It is also a necessary activity for journalists and freelance writers.
But you can spend a lot of time searching for one item at a time. I suggest searching for directories. Locate directories of science fiction publishers, magazines for gardeners, regional book distributors, business universities, public libraries, etc. Then either print out the directory or start researching those listings that seem most viable to your project.
Search directories by using keywords, “book review site directory” or “newsletter directory,” or “directory of literary agents” or “directory writers’ organizations,” etc.
Sure, not every subject has a directoriy, but many do and they really can simplify your research.
The downside to directories is that they are not always kept up to date. You can help the directory organizer by letting him/her know when a link no longer works, when you come across a new listing and so forth.
This weekend, if you are doing research on a subject related to writing, publishing or book marketing and you stumble across a good directory, pass it along to us. I’ll publish them in an upcoming blog.