Magazines, particularly hobby magazines have a thirst for enthusiastic practitioners to fill their pages with articles, first hand tips, general hobby advice and originality to inspire their readers. If you are hoping to get a magazine article accepted by a craft or any other hobby publication, this is the article for you...
Creativity is your middle name! You have a fabulous idea for a craft project and want to share it with the world. Magazines around the globe rely on people like you to fill their pages with originality and to pique the interest of their readers. All you need is the confidence to have a go, and some simple guidelines to help get you started.
Top 5 research tips
1. Familiarise yourself with the magazine to which you wish to pitch - the style they use; their target audience; the types of article they publish. Read a few copies to get a 'feel' for it.
2. Ensure your idea is original - check the magazine's article index (Have other similar articles already been published? Which areas haven't they covered?).
3. Check that readers are still able to obtain the materials needed to create your project.
4. Find out the submission deadlines. Some magazines take submissions months in advance. You don't want to pitch an idea for Halloween when the next deadline is for Christmas! (Try searching for the magazine's editorial calendar, sometimes found in their media toolkit.).
5. Does your idea 'fit' the magazine? A crocheted quilt in a modern publication may not work.
Now you're ready to pitch your idea! Resist the temptation to send the same pitch to a variety of magazines. It is better to tailor your pitch to one magazine based on sound research in order to maximise your chances of success. You want to catch the editor's eye and stand out from the crowd. You are full of hope and promise, but remember there are two qualities every writer needs: resilience and persistence. You will face rejection. The question is how will you handle it? If you give up at the first few hurdles, the chances are you will not succeed. However, if you bounce back and keep trying then the world is your oyster!
Top 5 pitching tips
1. Keep your query email polite, concise and succinct but give enough information to convey your idea, these are busy people! Good quality photographs or sketches taken from a range of angles will help.
2. Search for the submission editor's name, and make sure you spell it correctly. First impressions count!
3. Check the font the magazine uses and send your pitch in the same style.
4. Create a public platform for your products. If you have a website for your craft business, boost your online presence by tagging (you will need to learn about keyword research).
5. Be patient! It may take a week or more to get a response. You may want to include: 'If I haven't heard from you within a fortnight may I follow-up my query?' in your email.
If you hit a brick wall don't dismay. Recursive refinement - go back to your idea and refine or improve it step by step. Then try again. None of us can call ourselves learners without failing a few times. Now get out there and