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A Writer's Guide To Getting Published In Magazines

A Writer's Guide To Getting Published In Magazines

Автором Dianne DeSpain

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A Writer's Guide To Getting Published In Magazines

Автором Dianne DeSpain

оценки:
4/5 (2 оценки)
Длина:
200 pages
2 hours
Издатель:
Издано:
Jan 10, 2012
ISBN:
9781614171669
Формат:
Книге

Описание

The definitive choice in how-to get published books, A Writer’s Guide to Getting Published in Magazines covers the topics every aspiring magazine writer must know in order to achieve success, including: Deciding your target audience and what magazines you want to approach; How to do your article research; Writing query letters and what to include in the query package; Writing an article proposal; How to decide what articles to write; A description of article types often open to freelancers; Finding an expert to interview; Sidebars, photos and clips; Protocol for working with editors; Manuscript formats and writing the actual article; Contracts, rights and the business side or writing for magazines.
Written by an experienced freelancer whose byline appeared in most of the leading consumers’ magazines for over a decade, A Writer’s Guide to Getting Published in Magazines is a basic tool every aspiring magazine writer needs at the beginning of his or her career.
Издатель:
Издано:
Jan 10, 2012
ISBN:
9781614171669
Формат:
Книге

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A Writer's Guide To Getting Published In Magazines - Dianne DeSpain

A Writer's Guide to Getting

Published in Magazines

An Essential Guide for Beginning Writers

by

Dianne DeSpain

Published by: ePublishing Works!

www.epublishingworks.com

ISBN: 978-1-61417-166-9

By payment of required fees, you have been granted the non-exclusive, non-transferable right to access and read the text of this eBook. No part of this text may be reproduced, transmitted, downloaded, decompiled, reverse engineered, or stored in or introduced into any information storage and retrieval system, in any form or by any means, whether electronic or mechanical, now known or hereinafter invented without the express written permission of copyright owner.

Please Note

The reverse engineering, uploading, and/or distributing of this eBook via the internet or via any other means without the permission of the copyright owner is illegal and punishable by law. Please purchase only authorized electronic editions, and do not participate in or encourage electronic piracy of copyrighted materials. Your support of the author's rights is appreciated.

Copyright 2000, 2011 by Dianne JJ Despain. All rights reserved under International and Pan-American Copyright Conventions.

www.DianneDeSpain.com

Email: Dianne@DianneDespain.com

BISAC: LAN002000 Language Arts and Disciplines, Authorship

eBook design by eBook Prep www.ebookprep.com

Thank You.

Table of Contents

Dear Reader

Chapter 1: Do You Have What It Takes?

Chapter 2: Points to Ponder

Chapter 3: Getting Started

Chapter 4: Query! Query! Query!

Chapter 5: After You've Sent It In

Chapter 6: Getting Down to the Writing

Chapter 7: The Practical Aspects

Chapter 8: The Finer Points of Success

Epilogue: The Write Attitude

Glossary of Terms

Meet the Author

Dear Reader,

I'll admit, magazine writing wasn't my first choice. I wanted to write romance novels, took a shot at it, discovered it wasn't in me at that time, and quit writing altogether. A couple of years later, I received a flyer in the mail, advertising a writing conference in, of all places, Muncie, Indiana. Don't know how I got on the mailing list, don't know why anybody in Muncie knew me, let alone thought I wanted to be a writer, but none of that mattered. I attended my first-ever conference, Midwest Writers Workshop (www.midwestwriters.org) and my life forever changed. Why? Because I took home one simple piece of advice: Write what you know.

I knew how to shop for antiques with the best of them, and in December, following that July conference, my first article on how to shop in antique malls appeared in Woman's Day. That was just the beginning of something I'd wanted to do since I was a child—be a writer. Today, I still write magazine articles, as well as non-fiction books, and I finally did get that career as a romance novelist, with over thirty titles in print now, all published by Harlequin Books, under the pseudonym Dianne Drake (www.DianneDrake.com).

Writing is what I do but, more than that, it's who I am. I write every day, don't feel complete if I don't. And it hasn't always been an easy process. But there's never been a time it hasn't been a fulfilling one, because there's nothing else I'd rather be doing. My first time in college, I studied music and graduated a rather accomplished musician. I went back to college, studied nursing and graduated to become a successful critical care nurse. Yet, something always nagged at me, something my high school English teacher had told me years before: Dianne, you're a writer. I was a teenager then. Didn't listen to my teacher like most teenagers don't. Still... Dianne, you're a writer never left me and because of those prophetic words, I would like to thank my teacher, Mr. Ray Brown, who spent a career teaching English, but more than that, showing the kids in his classes at Northwest High School in Indianapolis, Indiana, profound wisdom. Mr. Brown, I owe you my career, and for that, there aren't sufficient words to express my gratitude.

Writing is a journey, and as you begin yours, I wish you amazing travels along a path that will forever change your life.

All the Best,

Dianne

"Nothing is so hard,

but search will find it out."

- Robert Herrick -

Chapter 1

"Do You Have What It Takes

To Be A Magazine Writer?"

Your love of writing started long before you picked up this book. It was there when you were in school—grade school most likely. You didn't just wake up one morning and proclaim, Today, I'm going to be a writer! You've dreamed about it for years, and truly hoped for it, possibly for as long as you can remember. You've struggled with bits and pieces of sentences and ideas you've committed to paper or screen, trying to organize them into a logical story, and you've read the results of other writers' bits and pieces, and thought, I can do better than that. Right this very minute, you have an idea for an article or a story in the front of your mind, don't you? Admit it. There's one pushing its way up, and another one trying to jump into the queue.

Here's the thing. Before you write, you first must determine where you fit into the scheme of things. Webster defines the word freelance, alternately spelled free-lance, as, A writer, actor, etc. who is not under contract for regular work but sells his writings or services to any buyer. The majority of all nonfiction writers are freelancers, and this book specifically deals with freelance writing for the magazines. Since you're reading the first chapter right now, magazine writing is probably something you'd like to do. That's good, because magazines provide steady work, there are more editions published every year than books, they exist for every special interest under the sun, and they're approachable for every writer, including the beginner. And the best news is, in this relatively new age of digital publishing, there are more magazine-format opportunities than ever before. It takes a writer with some special traits to succeed in the magazines, however. Persistence. Energy. Curiosity. Can you find these three traits in yourself?

1. Persistence is a magazine writer's constant companion, because a magazine career is not easy to start, nor is it easy to maintain. Rejection rates are high, and you're competing with thousands of other writers for the same publishing slot each time you submit a manuscript or query letter—a letter proposing the article you would like to write. Holding firmly to your purpose, in spite of the obstacles, is a necessary ingredient in anything you deem publishable, because until you've established a reputation, the magazine publishing industry is not going to roll out its red carpet for you. You'll be rejected, over and over, and persistence keeps you going back to take another shot at it, even when the threat of another rejection looms in your future. Your persistence will pay off because, when you keep going back, someone will notice your work. That's when you'll get your chance to prove yourself. If you're not persistent, chances are, no one will notice your work.

The truth is, every magazine writer has been rejected. It's the persistent ones that you read in print every day who have taken their rejections, learned from them, then turned right back around and submitted another idea, even when the sting of that rejection is still fresh.

2. Energy is also a requirement for magazine writing. At the beginning of a career, most writers wisely choose not to pursue writing as their only means of support, because magazine income probably will not support them for some time to come. Until you've launched a solid career, holding on to that proverbial day job is advisable, especially when you know that the average income for freelance magazine writers working a minimum of thirty hours a week hovers between $5000-$6000 per year, assuming that work yields a product bought by a magazine. That income will rise with time and effort but, until then, it takes extra energy to drag yourself to the library, or spend hours on the Internet after your regular hard day's work is over, in order to start your second hard day's work. Turning on your computer to begin your second job, long after everyone's in bed, and you'd like to be in bed too, is backbreaking. And, even when your magazine writing turns into a full-time job, that energy level is still necessary to meet the increase in success that will increase the number of jobs coming your way.

Most writers trying to break in have heard the myth that writing is an easy job. All you have to do is kick back in your favorite chair, open up your laptop and let the words flow. Nothing could be further from the truth. Writing is exhilarating. If it's your goal to become a professional writer, it's an awesome career. But it's an exhausting one, too, as success comes from, and with, a lot of hard work.

As you move into full-time writing, don't be surprised to find that the job you hoped would occupy forty hours of your week will consume as much as sixty or seventy. That's the nature of the profession, as well as the nature of the writer who succeeds. While part-time magazine writers may have one or two projects going at any given time, full-time writers can, and often do, juggle a dozen, or more. That many deadlines staring you in the face means your energy level is as vital to your writing life as food and water are to your physical life.

3. Curiosity creates ideas, and ideas generate publishable work. Curiosity takes the mundane and turns it into something interesting and sellable. When you're sitting in your dentist's chair with your mouth open, listening to him ramble on about a patient who drives him crazy, do you merely let his complaints go in one ear and out the other, or do you wonder what other things irritate the man holding the drill in your mouth? Perhaps there's an article in that thought: Ten Things That Tick-off Your Dentist and How to Avoid Them.

A curious writer takes in everything around him, investigates it further, then considers it in terms of article potential. Once you start doing this, you'll be surprised what kinds of ideas you'll find out there.

Now, ask yourself self these questions:

1. Are you persistent, energetic and curious?

2. Are you capable, emotionally, of dropping another query into the mail after you've had a succession of sixty straight rejections?

3. Can you conduct a phone interview at three in the morning, when that's the only time your expert is available?

4. Is there always a bigger picture in everything you see, or experience?

Answering no suggests magazine writing isn't for you, and that's fine. Magazine freelancing is tough. Work is not consistent, paychecks can be few and far between, and the competition will beat you nine times out of ten. To be honest, nothing in a magazine career comes without a fight and far more effort than you thought it would take. To build any career in the magazines, a successful writer must be as tough as the industry in which he is seeking employment, and there's nothing worse than choosing a career path, planning and working toward it, only to find that you're not tough enough, or that you should have been doing something else all along.

Answering yes may affirm that you are persistent, energetic and curious which, in turn, means you possess the most important attributes necessary for establishing the career you want. Sure, the drawbacks are still there, but so are the exciting steps forward—the first byline and paycheck, going from a local to a national magazine where millions are reading your words instead of thousands or hundreds or even fewer, the chance to become the competition other writers want to beat. When you can honestly say yes to the questions, you are on your way.

~

Why Do I Want to Write?

The answer is—who knows? Magazine writing is a career choice that has to be driven every step of the way, and you're the only one in the driver's seat. Jobs rarely line up on your doorstep—it's up to you to develop, find, and sell your own projects. There are no benefits—no sick days, no holidays. No work means no pay. And, there are never any guarantees that because you have a job this week, you'll have one next week.

Hard work. Pay not guaranteed. Hours unpredictable. No benefits. Would you respond to this want ad in the classifieds?

Stepping into the role of freelance magazine writer is filled with uncertainty, especially at first, so why do you want to take that step? Be brutally honest with yourself here. Most writers will tell you that despite the hardships, it's the greatest career in the world, but what are you telling yourself?

~ I write because it is a burning passion.

~ I write because others have found they can make a living doing it.

~ I write because I like to see my name in print.

~ I write to be considered an authority on the subject.

~ I write to further my career.

~ I write to teach, or provide a service.

~ I write to entertain.

~ I write because I've had incredible life experiences I'd like to share.

Any reason is a good reason to start a magazine career except, perhaps, writing to become wealthy or famous. Wealth rarely happens in magazines. The same holds true for fame. Think about it. You know the names of the authors who write the book you love to read, but can you, off the top of your head, cite the names of anybody who's written a magazine article you've liked? Chances are, you can't. But that's fine, because most people are right there with you. All typical reasons aside, however, you have to remember your own reasons for wanting a magazine career when that career isn't progressing the way you would like. That's what will keep you on track.

Now, jot down a list of your top five reasons for writing, then stick it on the side of your computer to remind yourself there's a purpose to the struggle.

Why do I want to write magazine articles?

1. I love to write.

2. I love to write.

3. I love to write.

4. I love to write.

5. I love to write.

Who said the reasons have to be different? One good reason can make a career.

~

Education Versus Talent

Most writers are born with a seed of writing talent that grows, then blossoms, at some point in their life. Others work hard to develop their skills along the way. Somehow, though, whether it was because a teacher, parent or friend said you're a good writer, or you took an honest look at something you wrote and decided it was good, you have the gut feeling you are meant to write. But, do you need a college degree to get started?

Absolutely not. The requirements for the job are writing talent, skill and a love of writing. A college degree in a writing discipline is only a bonus, and unlike what happens in most other jobs,

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