Friday, January 9, 2009

Do You Want to Get Published???

Since this seems to be a topic that a lot of you want to know more about, I thought I would share my personal experience with you. Hopefully, you can learn (from my mistakes!) and be on the road to finding yourself in a magazine soon!

About a year an a half ago, I decided I wanted to try to submit some cards for publication. I went to my local Borders book store and found a few craft magazines and looked in the back for submission guidelines. I found two publications to start with. (Mistake #1: one of them was not my style at all!)

I submitted a few things to both calls and heard nothing. I submitted the next month and didn’t hear again. By month three, I really had the submitting part down and really forgot about the part that someday I might have something accepted!

And then it happened….an email from Cardmaker magazine with the news that they wanted a card I had submitted!!!! I will never forget the joy (and shock!) that came with that email!

My persistence had finally paid off ! If you want to get published, you just have to get out there an try. Here are a few things I have learned along the way—


1. Go to your local bookstore and look at all the publications out there (there are a lot!) and find the ones whose pages reflect your style. Many leading craft magazines lean toward a certain style and if you don’t fit that style—it may not be the fit for you.

2. Submit things that they ASK for. You will have much better success if you actually find out what publications are looking for (either printed in the back of the issues or on their website.)

3. When you submit, concentrate on sending quality NOT quantity. This is a mistake I first made. (Mistake #2!) Although it seems that if you send more in—your are more likely to be picked up and I guess statistically that is true. But, if you work hard on the design of a few cards—you will be more likely to have success than just submitting a bunch of cards that you threw together. Keep in mind that some magazines (such as Cardmaker) are now limiting the number of submissions each person can send in per call because they are getting too many submissions.

4. Compensation: Varies for each publication. Some send you a free issue. Some send you a free issue(s) and free product. Others send you free issues and also pay for your work. A range of payments I have received in the past has varied from $25-$150, depending on the publication and the project. Keep in mind that you ARE working. You have to spend time to write a detailed material list, instructions, etc. You also have to send the project in, which costs money. Keep this in mind if you submit.

5. When you decide where to submit your designs, make sure you follow the submission guidelines carefully. If they ask you to send in submissions with information on the back of the card, don’t send them an email. Just submit however they request.

Important things to remember:

1. Many publications are starting to request that all material that you submit be new (never posted online!). Check the website for specific details on this as it varies. Some magazines that do not pay do not require this because they are not paying for your work. They might simply ask you to remove the project from your blog/gallery for a certain amount of time.

2. Do not submit the same card to two publications at the same time. You can, however, submit the card to one and if you do not get picked up-you can then submit the design to another publication.

3. If you use someone else’s card design or template on your submission, you should get permission from the person who created the original design and give him/her credit in your card submission details. (However, in general, it is best to just stick with things you design. It is upsetting to see your original design printed in a magazine without your permission.)

What Gets Picked Up:

Sometimes it is hard to determine what will get picked up and what will not. Again, study the different stamping issues to see what styles they gravitate to. This will give you some direction (or let you know if your style fits that particular magazine.)

In general, cards that merely show a beautifully colored image will not get picked up, unless there is a focus on that particular coloring medium in that issue. Many people can color beautifully but there are a lot of cardmakers out there that cannot and do not want to see just colored images.

Clever designs and using unusual materials or ordinary supplies in creative ways are some things that most publishers look for.

Finally, whatever you submit, make sure your work is professional. Make sure your layers are straight and everything looks like it was done intentionally. If you submit electronically (via email), make sure the photograph is clear. Take the photo in a well-lighted area for best results.

If your project is picked up, make sure you send it in well before the deadline. You do not want to hold up the magazine because YOUR project is late. Also, be sure to send it in a cardboard mailer or box so that it doesn’t get damaged during shipping. It is also a good idea to get delivery confirmation so that the package can be tracked (in case it is lost en route!)

Most importantly—have fun! Do not get discouraged…everyone gets rejections—it is part of the process.

I hope this helps you! I just found out that my buddy Alli is going to be posting an article about getting published soon too…so be sure to check in on her blog for some more information to help get you started. I am sure she will have tons of good pointers! Good luck!

And THANK YOU for all the great responses and emails from my post yesterday!

Thanks for stopping by!

34 comments:

Marisa said...

What a wonderful wealth of information and good tips, Cammie. Thank you :)

Jerusha said...

These are great! Would you mind if I posted this on a message board as long as I link it to here?

Karolyn Loncon said...

Cammie, this information is incredible!! It is so kind of you to share it with all us rookies. I love that you encourage us to just keep trying. That's such great advice. Thank you for sharing this wealth of information, and for being that cheerleader to those that dream of being published. (Thank you also for the kind words on my blog yesterday - I was thrilled!!)

Nicole said...

Hi Cammie, nothing you said shocked me, so I guess I am more ready than I thought to start this process!

Thanks for the helpful tips and reminders, as well!

xoxNicolexox

Shelia said...

Oh Gosh, I can only dream of being published. But it would be a great expierence, I am positive of that. Thanks for all the tips, I may get brave and confident enough one of these days to just try. I don't take rejection very well though *wink*

Charlene said...

Thanks for all the great tips, Cammie. Maybe someday....

Carla said...

Thanks for the pointers, Cammie! I really appreciate the fact that you took the time to write it out!

Susan said...

Cammie, Thank you SO much for this! It's very informative and helpful.

Judi said...

Thanks for all the great tips! How exciting to see your work in publication.

Pam SCS-"craftea19" said...

Cammie, I appreciate the pointers! I see your work all of the time in Magazines so you apparently know what you are talking about!

Vicki (basement stamper) said...

Thanks for all the wonderful tips Cammie!! :) I've been in a few, but it's always making the time to do it that gets me!! I just want to stamp!! teehee!! Two of the ones I was in, I didn't know the magazine and someone else sent them in FOR me!! :) I guess I should make the time, huh?

Juanita B said...

Happy New Year.

What fabulous information you have shared...it is priceless. TFS.

Crafty Engineering said...

Cammie - thanks for the great info. I keep wanting to try submitting things on a regular basis...I have done it here and there (with no success), but never focused on it. One question, is it not appropriate to submit cards based on someone's card sketch. I do a lot of sketch challenges because they help me explore new layouts, but I have never been sure if I can submit them or not. What are your thoughts? Thanks!

Paula Barin said...

Great advice. Although I have only tried once to submit a card, your tips and encouragement are a big help. I'll keep trying.

Erin Smetak said...

Thanks for the wonderful tips for submitting our creations! I have been wanting to do this for quite some time, and have acquired several addresses where I need to send things. But, I'm afraid! I hate being rejected! And I know, it's part of the process. One thing though that you mentioned was on the back of the issues, they list what they are looking for for upcoming issues? I have never seen this! I really ony read PaperCrafts and Cards. That's all I see in the stores around me.

Thanks again, Cammie, for the great advice!
Perhaps I'll try it and see what happens!

Kerry J. said...

Thanks so much for taking the time to put this all together and to share it! It's much appreciated - as are you!!

Kim said...

Thanks for the great tips Cammie! You so ROCK!
Hugs~ Kim

specialcraftmom4 said...

Thanks for this information. I have never submitted for publication, but I think it would be really exciting! Maybe this should be one of my new year's goals (: Thanks Cammi

specialcraftmom4 said...

Thanks for this information. I have never submitted for publication, but I think it would be really exciting! Maybe this should be one of my new year's goals (: Thanks Cammi

Brandy J. said...

Wow, Carolyn this is amazing! You hit the nail right on the head with all of this information. Thanks for encouraging people to submit and thanks for always being so wonderful to work with!!

Christi said...

You could not have posted this at a better time. One of my 2009 goals is to get published! Thank you so much Cammie! You are amazing!!!

Whimsey said...

Thanks Cammie; this is extremely helpful and is actually one of my goals this year. :D I have 4 other goals in front of it; so if it doesn't happen...that's okay. BUT when you e-mail a magazine asking for their submission calendar; or you mail them a letter and return envelope asking for it and you don't get it - do you just keep asking? I know, what a silly question, but I didn't know if you've experienced this or if you know of another way to get their calendar??

You may not have time to respond and that's okay too; I know you are VERY busy. Thanks for all you share with us! Always, always love your work!!

Joyce said...

What great information you have here! I hope someone will take all this to heart, and find themselves being published for the first time!

Melanie said...

great post!! :)

Pat (mspfd) said...

Awesome information. TFS!!

Marilyn Hitterman said...

Thank you, Cammie, for explaining the ins & outs of submitting. You've answered a couple of questions I've had for a long time.

Starla said...

Thanks, Cammie, for sharing. Your post was very insightful for those of us who are considering the idea of submitting.

Anita C said...

Thank you for sharing Cammie. This is very insightful and helpful.

Elena said...

Thank you so much Cammie for the very interesting post! It really helps!

Ashley said...

This is an awesome blog post! Thank you so much for sharing it with all of us!

Darlene (SCS:akronstamperdpk) said...

Thanks so much for all these helpful hints Cammie!! I did a couple submissions (but never heard anything back) last year but I think I'll wait until DH is back to good health and really give it my best try!

Jean from jlfstudio said...

Great Hints Cammie.

I'd also like to add that if you are part of an organization like Stampin Up or some other company you can get some great practice by making submissions through your home companies contests and publication channels. Stampin Up even has an area on their demo site under Public Relations with contact and submission information for many magazines that routinely carry their ads and artists.

Thanks again for sharing your practical wisdom and experience. Hopefully this year is the year I finally manage it! - Jean

Alex said...

Thanks for sharing Cammie - great advice here!! *STAMPIN HUGS* Alex

Lee (LuvLee on SCS) said...

THANKYOU!!!!!!! I am so nervous about even trying!!! But I absolutely LOVED reading your info....the specifics are so very helpful!!!