A Creative Income guest post by Marie Segares from Underground Crafter.
As a creative business owner, there are many reasons you might want to pitch your work to a magazine. Some of the most common reasons to submit article, tutorial, or design proposals are:
- Compensation: Freelancing for one or more magazines can help create steady cash flow during slow seasons.
- Publicity: Appearing in a magazine may introduce you to a new audience.
- Credibility: Being published in a reputable magazine can help to enhance your credibility as a talented artisan and business owner.
- Networking: You may be interested in connecting with the creative team of a particular magazine, and submitting a proposal will grant you an introduction.
Here are some suggestions for pitching your work to magazines for the first time.
1. Start with a brief bio
Write a short paragraph that highlights your skills as an artisan and lists recent accomplishments and events. This will be your standard introduction to a new magazine and can be easily modified.
2. Get access to the editorial calendar and related documents
Magazine production schedules are guided by editorial calendars. These calendars establish the schedule for soliciting and accepting proposals. For print magazines, it is not unusual for proposals to be due a year in advance of the issue’s publication date. Editors may also share a mood board or a call for proposals outlining specific content they are seeking for a particular issue.
Once you’ve identified a magazine you are interested in, search the website for “submission guidelines” or “editorial calendar.” Follow instructions to join an email list of potential contributors or bookmark any submission guidelines posted online.
3. Review the guidelines and develop a relevant pitch
Before you pitch to any magazine, check the deadlines and make sure you will be able to get your finished article, project, or tutorial to the publisher on time. Also, be aware that you should never submit the same proposal to multiple magazines simultaneously.
4. Draft your proposal
Your submission is more likely to be accepted if it’s focused, conforms to the magazine’s aesthetic, and is relevant to the editorial calendar/mood board.
Once you know what the magazine is looking for and have developed some concepts, draft your proposal. Be sure to follow any guidelines about formatting and include contact information on each page or sample. While some magazines expect to see the finished project in the proposal, most prefer shorter outlines (1 page or less). Don’t forget to include your bio if you haven’t worked with the magazine before.
Now that your proposal is submitted, the waiting game begins. If your proposal isn’t accepted, don’t be discouraged! If it is, congratulations, and don’t forget to meet that deadline!
These are my suggestions for pitching to magazines. Do you have other tips to add?
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