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How to Publish Your Works

How to Publish Your Works

This article explains how to publish your works at traditional media such as trade publications, print magazines etc.

Before we could discuss how journalists publish their works, it should be relevant to have a look at their daily routine. On an average day, journalists receive hundreds and sometimes thousands of submissions regarding design and art projects, among which they consider the designs that are relevant for their sections. So how to get featured? It is easy:
When considering designs for their section, journalists want to publish new projects that are appealing, interesting and relevant to their audience. Especially niche publishers i.e. industry specific publishers would prefer more to publish different looking projects including concepts while general-public oriented publications would want to publish more finished products which could be purchased by their readers. In both conditions, the most important aspect if your design fits the audience or not: i.e. do not send classic designs to media that publish modern works or viceversa; match their art movement or style.
Furthermore journalists would prefer to choose designs which are accompanied by some textual description and which have high-resolution images, preferably with white background so that they could have their pages prepared easier. Some magazines would also publish photographs of the designer and any story behind the design. Even though these two elements are required, in your email to editors, they should be mentioned but not included for example you could say : I could also send some of my images and a text description of the story behind my work.
Therefore when submitting designs to printed magazines, in addition to high-resolution, preferably white-backgrounded images, designers should also attach some text which provides background story of the object, and their professionally taken photo if any. But not in the first email; these additional information should be sent in the follow-ups. Furthermore, if the object is for sale, price information and manufacturer could also be shared, the price information can especially be relevant for general-audience and lifestyle publications since the readers would want to know how much the items are and for how much they are sold for and where they could be bought.
Another important element when getting published is the way to contact the editors. It is better to be kind and straightforward; when contacting print media editors please choose a subject that says Publishing Inquiry or similar. Your subject should be personal if possible targeting a section or editor in the magazine. Please attach all the relevant details to your first email as a summary (best to send a short email first and if asked send everything including big attachments in the second email). It is usually considered kind to send low-res images first, as a preview and send the high-res images later if they would confirm it.
The contact addresses for editors are relatively easy to find. To get published in a magazine, please buy it first, and read or skim the magazine carefully. Identify the editors and sections that publish content similar to your designs. Once you identify the editors or sections, send a mail towards these editors directly bypassing the general emails. This method helps you get the best results. If you are unable to buy magazines (i.e. for example you are trying to pitch your works to a foreign magazine, you could check their webpages.)
In some publications, editor emails and contacts are already given at their sections together with names. It is important to write customized mails; do not BCC multiple editors with generic publication emails. Instead please contact the editors individually. If the editor email is not present, simply contact the general communication email of the magazines which could be obtained from the masthead or colophon or from their webpages. Furthermore, website could be visited to reach further editorial mastheads especially in United States.
When sending an email to the general contact address, please try to highlight the section or editors you would want to reach. Alternatively, you could call the publication contact numbers (which are found in masthead or colophon) and ask for the email addresses or phone number of editors. It is best to contact by email first to create a positive start.
If you have not been published at any prior publication, my sincere suggestion is to contact smaller or specialized media first. For example contact the local media in your niche. This way you could also practice how to communicate with editors. In all cases, your chances of publishing at smaller media is relevantly higher simply because smaller media gets less communication given all other things constant.
Another way to ensure that you will be published is to contact the right media in your niche but also a very irrelevant seeming media: Many magazines or publications feature or dedicate several few pages for non-topic items; if your design or product is highly relevant you can send them for inclusion in such sections: for example a women's magazine could have a section for home decoration. A home decoration magazine could discuss fashion or software or hightech; thus it is best to buy and have a look at any magazines not the ones in your niche to reach a diverse and wider audience.
Editors do not like, perhaps despise bloating people. When contacting editors, please make sure that your tone is modest, if you have won any awards you can mention it, but remember that the final decision is that of the editor; even though winning a design award could serve as a topic initiator, winning a design award should not be the dominant subject matter during your communication since it would be bloating; instead focus on your design, the story of the design and any values that the photograph of your designs do not communicate to ensure positive reception.
It is best to send several designs, not just the ones that have won awards. In addition please remember to include an online portfolio or webpage where the editor could access more information or check further designs if she would be interested. Do not send more than 2 emails to the editors if there are no answers, instead call them if they receive the emails and if they receive the emails say thank you and do not try to push them; if they would have wanted to publish your works they would write back to you.
Your first email should be very brief and focusing on your design and its story. While it is best to have your photos ready, do not send it in the first email; all high res images and photos could be send in the follow-up communications. If the editors are interested in publishing your works, they will ask you to send high resolution images anyways.
When editors publish your works, please ask them to send a PDF version of the pages for future reference. If they would not provide a PDF preview, ask if they could send you a copy of the printed magazine; if they cannot send a copy ask the dates when the magazine would be published and buy the magazine and scan it to have the publication in your archives. This is highly important because your past publications can be used as value when contacting buyers. Remember also to build a press section in your websites and magazines to organize and keep track of publications.
The following are some aspects when submitting to traditional media: 1. Lead Times (When you submit work today, it could be published next month or the following month). 2. Contact Section Editors First (Try to avoid contacting the Editor-in-Chief). 3. Submit Relevant Content (By reading the magazine or by asking what type of article they would prepare for next edition)
4. Keep it Short (but be available for more information). 5. Follow up Later (wait 4-5 days before sending the second email..). 6. Call (especially if there is not an email to reach). 7. Be Swift (answer any questions or reply to any information needs in a timely manner). 8. Provide a story for your designs when asked. 9. Your subject line makes the difference, make sure it is to the section, preferably to the editor name etc.
10. Be polite yet persistent, but also willing to accept No for a publishing request. 11. It is best to write a story on your work before trying to pitch it; if your story does not impress you, it would not impress the editor either. 12. Include contact information (seems funny but highly relevant; make sure the magazines could contact you back!).
13. Familiarize yourself with publications and pitch your product designs for specific pages or editors of the magazines - this will help you get featured often and a lot. 14. As I said earlier, include prices if the product is on market, if the product is not on market (for concept products - make up a price - at least for limited editions). 15. For bigger publications, make it exclusive; to ensure re-publication i.e. do not send the same content to all editors.
16. If a magazine editor does not respond you back by email (after 2 emails with 5 days intervals), you might want to write a 3rd email indicating you would call, and later call them instead of just calling them. 17. Use a spreadsheet program such as Excel to keep track of who you pitched, the status etc to ensure that you keep up with the press.
How to Publish Your Works
18. Unlike story pitching, you could simultaneously pitch your designs to multiple magazines, especially foreign ones. To find magazines in foreign countries, do a web search or when you visit foreign countries, buy the magazines, check them, and bring back home covers and mastheads where you could find contact information. 19. In your first email remember to introduce yourself quickly i.e. who you are etc. 20. Spell-check and let them now your website only if it’s really well designed, up to date and appealing. These 20 tips pretty much everything you would need for pitching your designs to traditional media editors.

This article was added on Monday, 27th of January, 2014 at 06.26 am by author Frank Scott Tags: tips for publishing, pitching your works, traditional publications. Read our copyright policy here.


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