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.
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