Sunday, December 5, 2010

Writing About Personal Experiences (and Getting Paid!)

Yes, another year is here and time to plug my article that I am so proud of, 8 Ways to Holiday Peace or Dreaming of a Peaceful Christmas. I'm proud of this one because it comes from a growing experience of breaking away from extended family events and starting my own family's traditions while also incorporating my extended family. It's bittersweet when you realize you are a grown-up with your own spouse and kids and that you need to start your own stuff your own way. But when you find a way to work it out for everyone involved, everyone wins and life rocks! And when you find 15 different publications to publish it and pay you for it, that's even better!

Enjoy the article (link highlighted above).

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Writing for the Regionals

Jennifer Gregory had this to say after using the ebook for over a year:

"By using Get Published I have published over 160 times (including reprints) in over 27 different magazines in the past year. Through the relationships I have been able to build with editors I have also been able to get several assignments with the magazines."

I have had the same experience. Eventually I'd like to start writing for national publications, but I will remain loyal to the publications who gave me my start. Some writers turn their nose up at those of us who make $50 per article, yet so many are writing for content mills for only $15 per article and they don't retain the rights and make no money off of reprints. I'd say making $50 per article 10 times is not a bad way to make a living. Who says you can't write for locals AND nationals?

You can do it all!

Thursday, November 25, 2010

How to Sell Articles Again and Again

The following is an excerpt from the ebook Get Published in Regional Parenting Magazines:

Even though the pay is relatively low, writing for RPMs can earn you valuable publishing credits. You’ll need those clips and credits in order to make your move to writing for national publications in the future. Don’t think an author website is unnecessary and too costly for you to set up. You don’t need a professional website developer to showcase your writing credits and synopses of your published pieces. For now, in fact, my author website in on Blogger.


Once you get a body of work under your belt, you’ll want to periodically send an email to all editors to let them know about your author website, which will list all of your available reprints. The reason you’ll do this is to keep your work fresh in their mind for when they need filler pieces.

Your author website is important and should include the following:


• Something about you as a writer and a person


• A photo of you


• Summaries of articles you have written or have had published


• Links to the places where you have been published (your publishing credits), serving as a type of online resume


• A list of available reprints you have for sale


• Testimonials/references. Don’t be afraid to ask for these from editors you have worked with. I have found LinkedIn to be a great resource for asking for recommendations, and I make sure to ask the editor if I can use their recommendation on my author website.


• Links to your online writing so editors can see your writing style


• A way to contact you


With a little patience and a lot of hard work, your author website will grow as you write more pieces, are published more places and gain testimonials. Check out some sample author websites:


kerriemcloughlin.blogspot.com


clairefadden.com


ginaroberts-grey.com

Saturday, November 20, 2010

How to Get an Article Published

I recently pitched and wrote two original articles for Calgary’s Child in Canada. When I checked out the digital issue, only one of them had been published. Do you think I sat down and cried? Do you think I yelled and screamed and cursed Calgary’s Child?

Heck no.

I jumped up and down for several reasons:

1. I published something. Period. I get paid to do what I love AND get to stay at home with my kids.

2. The pieces were a little too similar to each other. I don’t blame them for only picking the strongest one.

3. They chose THREE more of my reprints and published them.

Even if they hadn’t purchased those 3 other pieces, I would still be one of the happiest work-at-home moms on the planet.

Please share your successes with me and provide a link to your article or magazine or blog.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Price Increase for Ebook

If you purchased Get Published in Regional Parenting Magazines at the rate of $9.99, pat yourself on the back. Effective immeditately, I’m increasing the price to $24.95 to reflect the true value of this ebook. Updates are FREE, people, and this ebook includes over 200 regional parenting magazines plus the bonus national and online magazines. I do believe I briefly lost my mind offering this so cheap!


So tell your friends the new price is $24.95 … and how it’s worth double THAT!

Sunday, October 10, 2010

What Should You Get Paid?

What do you say when an editor asks you what kind of pay you want for an article?

I say start at 50 bucks an article and negotiate from there. That way you know where they’re coming from. If they ask what you want just for online, the general rule is 10% of print since online can be seen by anyone anywhere and if someone Googles your name they can easily see that you sold the same piece to many different places online. Print is more exclusive … so most publications offer about $10 for online only and I happily accept.

I know some of my colleagues will blast me for this policy, but I'm not in this game to get rich, nor am I trying to support my family with this money at this point in my life. If you are in this position and truly need to make money, you need to get the clips so you can start querying to the larger national publications like American Baby, Parents, etc.  This is what I'm trying to do at this point in my career:  get clips so I can continue to write for the regionals and make income from reprints almost effortlessly while also having the time and the clips to query the larger publications.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Re-submit!!!

Don’t be afraid to resubmit an article you’ve already sent that was rejected. Editors come and go and have different needs. Trends change. The first time I submitted my piece on homeschooling to about 200 places it only sold to four regional magazines. When I tried again six months later it sold to a different five. You can bet I’ll be sending it again next year.

Friday, October 1, 2010

WHAT DO I NEED TO GET STARTED WRITING FOR REGIONAL PARENTING MAGAZINES?

1. A good idea turned into a great article or essay

2. Writer’s guidelines

3. Editorial calendars

4. Email addresses

5. A cover note for your email submission

6. A way to track your submissions, time, money

My ebook includes:
• The addition of 25 RPMs, for a grand total of 231

• Email address tables, including updated writer’s guidelines, pay information and the bonus markets

• More editorial calendars so you can see what an RPM wants and what it has already published in 2010

• Sample timekeeping, money, publishing credits and submissions logs

• Even more Mistakes to Avoid, for a total of 25

• Fourteen more bonus markets, for a total of 36

• A sample invoice in the ebook

• More guidelines that are important to you, like which ones only use local writers or local material (quotes, sidebars)

• Information about starting an author website

• Better and more extensive tips for getting started

• More printer friendly with left margins for hole punching, a smaller font for less paper use and less color to print

• Sample email query letter

• Resources at the end of the ebook

• A new feature called “Kerrie says …,” which is my personal experience tips with editors/publications

• Inspirational quotes

• Free updates — check the Get Published website regularly (GetPublishedParentingMags.com) or sign up for an email subscription. As soon as I find out a publication has started up or is going out of business, I’ll share that information with you.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Join the discussion

It's a good idea to join a few online writing groups that pertain to your field, like groups for writing moms, if that fits you, or nonfiction writers or write-at-home moms.

There are so many groups out there through Yahoo, Facebook, LinkedIn, etc. that you are bound to find a good fit for yourself.

These groups can be a great place to not only get support, but also to learn more about topics such as writing in general, freelance writing, writing for magazines, writing novels, writing for newspapers, and so much more.  Who knows, you may even get a few writing jobs through these sites.

Monday, September 27, 2010

Keep those reprints in circulation

You must set up some sort of tracking system on a calendar or other reminder system so you don’t miss out on important reprint opportunities. Just because a publication didn’t want it in 2008 doesn’t mean they can’t use it in 2010.

For instance, last year I sent out a piece about keeping the peace with your family over the holidays and sold it to 9 RPMs. You bet your butt I’m sending it out again around September 1 to all the RPMs except the 9 I originally sold it to.

How do I remind myself to do this? Well, I put it as a Task in my Outlook program, but I don’t look at that so much.

My REAL system is to write on a big notecard and tape it to my writing desk so I have to see it several times a day. The holiday one says:

Holiday Peace Re-Send
To All RPMs but 9 (see list)
Due Sept. 1 (Wednesday)

This is also where it comes in handy to keep track of which RPMs published which piece so you aren’t bugging them every year with something they’ve already purchased.

For more information about writing for magazines (big, little, regional, national, online), sign up for an email subscription on the right-hand side of this page. You can also email me at mommykerrie at yahoo dot com with any questions you’d like to see answered here in the future.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Sell Those Reprints!!!

So you've written an article and had it published. Congratulations! You are a published author and probably made a little cash.  Now what?  Do you just let it sit on your hard drive forever?

Heck no!  You use my ebook to send it to about 200 other markets within SECONDS!

When I am asked to do an article for a publication, I am thrilled because I know that after it publishes I will pop off a quick email to another 200+ regional parenting magazines and will sell it again and again.  I get more clips and more money.

If you belong to a writing group (online or otherwise), please let them know about this ebook. It is truly life-changing.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Keep records of your submissions

This is one of my Steps to Getting Published from the ebook (sample chapter download here).

Keep good records of your submissions so you can keep track of your publishing credits and any money owed to you. The sample spreadsheets included with the ebook make it a snap!

I have an Excel spreadsheet for each year with different worksheets inside of it. I title them:

Sales per article (so I can easily see how each piece is doing as a reprint). This sheet also comes in handy when I send out a seasonal piece again because I don’t want to resend it to someone who has already published it.

Who published what (so I can see who I’ve worked with before and can add to my publishing credits on my author website)

Submissions (date submitted, piece submitted, who I submitted it to, response rate)

Ideas

Income (who published the piece, the month it was published, the name of the piece that was published, the amount I was paid, the date I was paid)

For more information about writing for magazines (big, little, regional, national, online), sign up for an email subscription on the right-hand side of this page. You can also email me at mommykerrie at yahoo dot com with any questions you’d like to see answered here in the future.

Monday, August 9, 2010

Be patient.

 “Be patient” is one of my Steps to Getting Published from the ebook (sample chapter download here).

It seems to me like most RPM editors are like fickle teenagers on a Saturday night: they have many invitations (submissions) and are just waiting for the perfect one before they commit to go out (buy your piece).

So I don’t spend time obsessing over this fact, I’ve found that the more projects I have in the works, the less time I have to worry about why I haven’t heard back from a specific editor.

At any given time, I may have up to 10 large notecards taped to my desk to remind me of upcoming deadlines (either real ones given to me by editors or ones I have to set for myself so that I keep plugging away). I keep busy by working on each piece a little each day, doing research, seeking out local expert quotes when necessary, seeking out “real mom” quotes and coming up with more ideas.

What do you do to keep from obsessing over each submission you send?

For more information about writing for magazines (big, little, regional, national, online), sign up for an email subscription on the right-hand side of this page. You can also email me at mommykerrie at yahoo dot com with any questions you’d like to see answered here in the future.

Friday, August 6, 2010

Read and Follow Writer’s Guidelines

Because I am a writer’s guidelines junkie, this is one of my Steps to Getting Published from the ebook (sample chapter download here).

When I was in high school, I loved getting assignments to write papers because there were always strict guidelines. I liked knowing exactly what the margins should be, how the teacher wanted us to take out the boring “to be” verbs (am, is, are, was, were, be, being, been), how long the paper should be and so on.

I immensely enjoyed collecting writer’s guidelines for the ebook. My suggestion to you is to read the writer’s guidelines included in the ebook for the publications that provide them. They took the time to write them, and they expect you to take the time to follow them. Your article is more likely to be published if you follow the writer’s guidelines.

So I’m off to follow my own advice. Usually I write a general article for a regional parenting magazine and then send it blind (blind because I’m sending out to everyone, like my eyes were closed and I threw the article at a bunch of editors … and blind because I blind carbon copy them) out to all 204 publications. Later, when I have time, I tweak the piece a bit more and send it to a few who have very specific guidelines.

The thing about guidelines (and the reason I send blindly to all the RPMs first) is that they can sometimes be bent. I’ve had RPMs with very strict guidelines contact me to use a piece I sent out blindly. These were places who wanted the subject line to be very specific and a very specific font and to have the article attached (I never do this), and so on. I didn’t follow any of the guidelines, but my article apparently stood on its own and they knew I could tweak it if necessary.

Don’t you love guidelines?

For more information about writing for magazines (big, little, regional, national, online), sign up for an email subscription on the right-hand side of this page. You can also email me at mommykerrie at yahoo dot com with any questions you’d like to see answered here in the future.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Proofread!!!!

http://booklocker.com/books/4778.html“Proofread” is one of my Steps to Getting Published from the ebook (sample chapter download here). You’d think this would be a given, right? Wrong!

I am always surprised when I’m reading a magazine or book and find an error. Nobody’s perfect, of course, but the goal is to get your work in the hands of the editors in the best possible shape. So how do you do this?

First, don’t just read your work on the screen. Print your piece and look at it on paper.

Next, read it out loud.

Then have someone you trust check for errors by emailing them your article or giving them a printed copy.

For more information about writing for magazines (big, little, regional, national, online), sign up for an email subscription on the right-hand side of this page. You can also email me at mommykerrie at yahoo dot com with any questions you’d like to see answered here in the future.

Monday, July 19, 2010

Check Out the Competition/Inspiration

Posts during the next few weeks will focus on my Steps to Getting Published from the ebook (sample chapter download available here). I’ll be going into more detail on each of the 14 points and am extremely interested in your feedback, personal experience, etc.

This is something I preach but haven’t had much time to practice. I do think it’s important to check out other authors who write for the same type of magazines you do. For one thing, it’s a good way to make sure you aren’t accidentally stealing ideas. For another, it’s a great way to gain inspiration (meaning: if she can do it, so can I).

When I was first starting out I kept seeing in my local regional parenting magazine the byline of Jessica Fisher (http://www.fishmama.com/), who was at that time from my town. The little bio at the end of her articles said she was the homeschooling mother of five (then six!) kids. I thought, “If she can publish an article every single month, why can’t I?” Then I logged on to her author web site and was blown away by the fact that she had been published in over 70 RPMs. That’s when I got the idea to gather information for all the RPMs I could find and to start submitting to them. Another year later and I had the idea to turn my information into an ebook.

Other authors you’ll often see (and will want to Google) in RPMs are writers like Denise Yearian, Gina Roberts-Grey and Claire Yezbak Fadden. These women are inspirational and (without even realizing it) have given me the courage to write on.

Many who have been published in RPMs are now regularly writing for national and international markets like Parents, Parenting, Family Fun, BabyTalk, American Baby and more. Why shouldn’t YOU be next?

For more information about writing for magazines (big, little, regional, national, online), sign up for an email subscription on the right-hand side of this page. You can also email me at mommykerrie at yahoo dot com with any questions you’d like to see answered here in the future.

Monday, April 12, 2010

Sappy Mom Published Piece

Check out this link to a piece published in Houston Family this month called Sappy Mom. Who knew a little journaling could lead to the sale of a personal essay?

If I can do it, so can you!

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Some E-book Changes

Based on feedback from buyers of the first edition of Get Published in Regional Parenting Magazines, I'm working hard right now on a few things:

1. Smaller font to save paper when printing.

2. Less color to save ink when printing.

3. Left margin for 3-hole punching.

4. More bonus publications.

5. Information on online writing courses.

Anything else you'd like to see? Remember, if you purchase the first edition before the second edition is ready (should be a couple more months), you get the second edition absolutely FREE with updates on this site! You pay nothing extra EVER!

Happy writing!

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

E-mail address changes

The following e-mail addresses were either printed wrong in the database or have changed. Please correct the following entries in your database and/or e-mail program until the 2nd edition comes out!

1. Change editor@mvparentingmagazine.com to editor@mvparentmagazine dot com

2. Change sherryh@daycommmail.com to sherryh@daycommail dot com

3. Change editor@curiousparent.com to editor@curiousparents dot com

4. Change editor@coastfalfamily.com to editor@coastalfamily dot com

5. Change lyn.wolford@azparenting.com to todd.fischer@azparenting dot com

6. Change publisher@georgiafamily.com to georgiafamily@gmail dot com

7. Change parentsprs@aol.com to was defunct, coming back as editor@parentspress dot com

8. Change cpclax@chartern.net to cpclax@charter dot net
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