Monday, April 30, 2012

Inside Editor Information!

This from an editor, and I have been guilty of sending winter fun articles to Florida in the interest of saving time on submissions ... oops:

One other suggestion if you are working on your ebook. Have writers know their markets if they are sending out pieces that talk about the weather, snow, mountains, boots, sledding and even vacations.

I get a lot of stuff that talks about mountains, winter/snow/frost etc. and I just can them since they wouldn’t appeal to our market and I don’[t have time to rewrite articles.  If the article is about swimming in a lake – that isn’t going to happen here, there are alligators.

I think you get my point. I know it is easiest to just send one mass e-mail, I have done it myself; however when I read one or two article from a writer and they continue to do this, I really don’t bother reading their submissions many more.  One gal keeps sending me a summer vacation article ( it’s been several years now with the same article) and it talks about taking a trip to Florida…that’s where we are…needless to say, I don’t even save these anymore, I just delete them.

This is just my two cents, but if the other magazines get as many e-mails & articles as we do it is great to have a piece ready to go. Sometimes we have extra space a few days before we go to press and we need more editorial. If we need to rewrite or drastically edit it, it isn’t going to happen. 

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Research Your Topic

Yeah, I know that sounds like common sense, but it’s not. Many writers who are just starting out think they can just pound out a piece and that whatever they say is the truth because it is their personal experience or the experience of the 2 people they collected quotes from.

Alright, so “many writers” was just a clever disguise for saying “ME”! … I tend to get so wrapped up in my piece that I don’t do enough research and my article ends up being underdeveloped, which means it doesn't get picked up by many magazines.

Don’t make my mistake! Do Internet research, head to the library for books on your topic, etc. Your high school English teacher certainly wouldn’t have accepted an opinion piece, so why would a regional parenting magazine?

The sooner you practice this Step, the sooner you’ll be on your way to selling reprints to the RPMs while also getting assignments with the national parenting and family magazines.

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

Simultaneous Submissions, Regional Exclusivity

A writing pal and ebook buyer, Colleen Wright, wrote me and asked this:


"Up until now, I've been paranoid about submitting each of my articles to all of the markets because of what happened to one freelancer I know:  two magazines with overlapping readerships published the same article. One of them printed it without contacting her first, and the other publication then blacklisted her from future submissions. She felt it was her fault for submitting to overlapping markets.

Has anything like this ever happened to you? Until now, I've worked off three different submission lists with no overlaps to avoid that mistake. But I'm considering changing this so that I can submit to everyone.  Would it be weird to add to my query:  "please let me know if you would like to purchase the piece so that I can ensure regional exclusivity"? "

My answer was this:
"The regional thing was NOT HER FAULT! It makes me mad when they publish without letting you know. That is on THEM. This happened ONCE to me, recently, in Florida. I promised someone exclusivity then I think I had to GOOGLE my name to find a competitor had used the SAME PIECE. The editor understood when I told her who did it. I also wrote the perp and told them what they did and how it was wrong and please don't do it again.

So she's blacklisted ... I'd write a note explaining exactly what happened, that the other pub (and NAME THAT PUB; I do) published without asking and maybe ask if she could take on something original for them????? If she's still out of their good graces, so be it. There are a million other fish in the sea."


Further, I add this line when I sent out my reprint list and have started also adding it to any submission I send:


Please contact me first if you would be interested in reviewing one of these pieces for possible purchase so you don’t overlap coverage in your area without realizing it

Monday, April 23, 2012

Turning Crap Into Gold

My writer friend Kelly is going to kick my butt because she told me to LET THIS GO, but I have to let ya'll know that I plan to turn crap into gold.

So I highlighted the word CRAP up above so you can go (or not) to my main blog to read about a crummy thing that happened to myself and a couple of friends over 2 months ago that I am still having trouble dealing with on many levels. I won't bore you with the details. Just know that I know that we've probably ALL had something crummy happen to us, and what defines us is how we behave afterwards. I'm not entirely proud of the way I behaved in the Comments section of my own blog, and Kelly reminded me that my future editors may be reading that blog.

Anyway, I thought about what she said and know it is time to channel my energy and the talent God gave me into something more productive during my limited downtime. (Yes, I think we writers have God-given TALENT ... and if you are feeling the pull to write something and submit, you should DO IT, even if nothing comes of it, it is practice.)

So ... whenever I find myself feeling sad or snarky or angry or upset or whatever about a bad situation that happened to me, first I think of all my wonderful blessings, THEN I will pitch an idea on Contently.com or send a national query or write a new piece for a regional or do some work on an ebook project. Like this:
Heck, yes, I'm nursing and writing!
Instead of waiting for the next rude comment to come my way, I will be waiting to hear from editors in my inbox. I will be cashing checks so I can save up to take my family to LegoLand in California. I will be praying for healing from this bad situation I was in and praying for good things to come out of the bad.

How will YOU turn crap into gold?
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