I decided to take a break from card sharing today and instead share some publishing tips.
It’s something that has been on my mind a lot lately. I’ve had quite a few private discussions lately with folks wanting tips for getting published. I figure now is good as ever to share them.
So let me say before we get started that these are just my own tips. They are not endorsed by anyone or any publications I have ever or will ever work with. They are just based on my own observations and my own experience with getting published.
Ok, so let’s get started.
1. Learn about the magazines you want to submit to. Yes, you may already subscribe to them, but I am saying to do something more. Sit down and really look at a few issues of the magazines. Look at what kinds of projects they run and just how the magazines are built. Do the magazines have a lot of features? Are they column driven? Are the projects more paper crafted or stamped related? My point is not every magazine can be the same and run the same kind of projects and be successful. Look for opportunities with magazines that your work might fit the best in.
2. Do what you are good at. Submit cards (or whatever) that show off your skills. Maybe you are good at coloring. Show projects that emphasize that. Maybe you have a thing for clean design. Maybe you are a great product mixer. Maybe you are good with techniques (in general). Submit projects that show what you are good at.
If you don’t know, ask some trusted and honest friends to look at some samples of your work. Ask them to tell you what stands out the most.
3. Know the submission pool is huge! It’s harder than ever to get published. Yes, harder than ever. Not only are more people than ever submitting, but more people than ever are submitting more projects per call than before. I hear of more and more people who consistently submit 10 to 20 cards (or more) to each call they see.
4. Step back for a minute and try to put yourself in the mindset of a reader. Recognize that just because things are cool in the online world, it doesn’t mean they are to the magazine’s readers.
Magazines are always trying to appeal more to those readers so really think about what the magazine has done for them in the past. And think about what you might be able to bring to those readers in the future.
5. Be yourself and submit projects that you made and came up with the concept for. This is a no-brainer, but I’ve seen this a few times over the years where projects appears to be a lift of someone else’s design. Just the product has been changed out. And, sometimes, it’s not even that. It’s just not cool.
6. I can’t stress this one enough. It’s NOT about who you know or who you are nice to at the magazines. Things are judged blindly with many of the magazines.
Even with Paper Crafts, it is that way. A little known fact is Go-to-Gals submit just like the general submitting population. We go through the same process, fill out the same forms and hope (just like everyone else) that something is picked up.
7. Don’t give up if you do not get something published right away. It’s a rare bird who get picked up right away. Some people submit for years before it happens.
8. This is kind of a play off of #8. Recognize that just because you have had a couple things picked up (you might have even had some crazy amount of cards picked up for one issue the first time out), it doesn’t mean you are going to get picked up again or right away again. You have to go back to square 1 each time. If you expect it, you are probably going to set yourself up for disappointment.
9. Make things you are proud of.
10. Getting published is not a race or a competition! I can’t stress this one enough. If you feel like it is, step back for a couple minutes. Think of why you started paper crafting.
11. Be honest with yourself. Assess if the time and work you are putting to try to get published is worth it. You might find that it isn’t. Then again, you might find it totally is.
12. Think of how publishing benefits you or doesn’t benefit you. Again, be honest with yourself. If you have an end goal, lay it out there for yourself. Are you working toward something? Do you just want a venue to show off your work? Are you hoping it will help you get on design teams? Are you using it as a jumping point for going into product design? Does the thrill of trying to get published excite you? Are you wanting to work with your favorite publication in a more close way? Is it a way you can share your passion for paper crafting with others? Whatever it is, be honest with yourself.
13. Take the chance and try to get published. I have met gals who get so caught up in over thinking the stuff they make or the whole “I’m thinking about getting published thing” who never go from wanting to submitting to actually submitting. Just take the chance and give it a go. Your project is either going to get picked up or not. It’s really as simple as that.
I hope these nuggets help some of you out there. Or I hope at least they give some of you something to think about.
Be take tomorrow with a card.
Thanks for stopping by.