More publishing tips: What not to do (5-5)

Hi all!

Paper Crafts has a new call up for submissions. You can check it out by clicking here.

It seems like I always get questions when there is a new call. And since I know a lot of you out there submit or have thought about doing it, IΒ  thought I would talk today about what not to do when taking and preparing photos of your projects for submissions for the magazine.

I kind of like visual examples so I’ve worked up a few examples of what not to do with the card I posted here yesterday.

Let’s get started.

1. Don’t add watermarks or typed letters to your picture like “Penelope” did in this one. πŸ˜‰

The editors really do care about judging projects blindly. They do not want to know who made them. They do want to see your project.

Sometimes, the writing covers up little details they want to see.

I recommend that if you need a watermark for a picture you are going to post on your blog to take a separate picture to use watermark-free for submission purposes.

2. Avoid hidden messages like this.

Believe me, pleading gets you nowhere.

3. Take clear pictures. Not fuzzy ones like this.

You know the card is super cool, but the fuzz keeps the editors from being able to tell just how cool it is.

I should also add to take pictures of your projects straight on. They want to see the whole project and not just the side of it.

4. Avoid props.

Am I trying to get the flower published here or the card?

Matt, the magazine’s art guru, is the prop guy. He and the editors need to see projects prop free so they can work ahead and figure out what they want to use to bring together your project with the whole group of projects they want to publish.

Again, props are really popular with pictures on crafty blogs. I recommend if you need a photo with props for your blog, take a prop-free one for submission purposes.

5. Just say no to patterned paper backgrounds and buttons in the foreground.

Patterned papers don’t always enhance the card. Take the picture here.

The paper is from the same collection I used on the card. It has the same colors and all, but it clashes.Β  Don’t sabotage yourself with getting picked up. Just. Say. No. Use a neutral background like white cardstock, a painted wall or a piece of solid fabric.

Buttons are a pretty popular prop in the crafty blog world. But they, too, can be problematic with submission photos. The buttons might clash with your project. Or an interesting button might even draw visual interest away from your project.

6. Avoid taking pictures of your projects laying down like here.

Think about the magazine. Almost all the projects that appear in the magazine are shot standing up. Make it easy for those editors.Β  Show them how your project would look if it appeared in the magazine standing up.

7. Adding your smiling face behind your project won’t help you get picked up either.

Hee, thank goodness, right? πŸ˜‰

Finally, when you do submit, remember to size your photo accordingly in your photo editing program. Photos should be no bigger than 300 K. They should also be no bigger than 550 pixels in any one direction. If you don’t know how to do it, ask a computer savvy friend to help you out.

Hope this helps those of you out who are submitting to Paper Crafts.

If you missed my more general publishing tips posted here previously, check out this link. It will give you a few more tips.

That’s all for now. I’ll be back tomorrow with a brand new card.

Thanks for stopping by.

72 thoughts on “More publishing tips: What not to do (5-5)

  1. Thanks for the tips, I am guilty of the pattern paper for the back drop, but I will stop now.

  2. awe man, I guess I better stop taking pictures of myself behind my card bwahahahaha. Thank you so much for this post, I needed to smile today πŸ™‚
    In case anyone cannot see the sarcasm in my post…no I do not pose with my cards. Although, that would be hysterical!

  3. Perhaps a whole blog for those of us who are photo challenged on how to actually take awesome pictures of our cards for our blogs LOL

  4. LOL Thanks for your hilarious, but realistic, list of things NOT to do! I am guilty of a few of them… and will. promptly. stop. now. Oh, and maybe now I’ll have to courage to actually press the ‘send’ button on a submission to Paper Crafts magazine! πŸ™‚ Love your humor.

  5. Why you say Copyright!!!! if the idea is in the internet if you share your skills with other people other people can do the same.

  6. Here are a couple of questions:

    If a card refuses to stay propped up (where the crease is at the top opposed to the side) what do you recommend to help it stay propped for a photo?

    Another question is what size card do you recommend creating for photo submissions? (inch-wise dimensions, like 3×5, 4×5.5″?)

    Great article, BTW!

  7. Oh Teri, what a super great post!!!! Everyone should read this! πŸ™‚

    (Not to mention, you had me cracking up the whole time, ha ha ha! Especially with the “pick me, please”, hee hee!)

    Okay, off to check out the call! I’ve been wanting to submit for the longest time, this time I’m really gonna try and do it!

    HUGS! πŸ™‚

  8. Thanks for the giggle. I love the photo with your smiley face in the background and the one with the ever-so-subtle “Pick ME!” sign.

  9. Om-gosh you made me snort out loud at the last one – really???? I love the picture – to darn cute πŸ™‚

  10. wow- made me totally lose it on #7- what a great pic! bahaha! you are so cute Teri! love this- and great suggestions!

  11. Pingback: Tweets that mention More publishing tips: What not to do (5-5) Β« A bit of this. A bit of that. --

  12. Teri you are adorable, #7 was definitely my fav.

    So hey, when are you going to turn your handwriting into a font… Getting too hard to ask you to do my journaling for me! LOL πŸ™‚

  13. Teri, thanks so much for these tips (and March 3rd tips)!!! I saw your blog post on the Paper Crafts fb post – coooolll! I like your common sense advice! Yes, someday, I may submit for a card call and I’ll think (and thank!) of you! I’m a true fan. KellyL in NM

  14. awesome tips!! I’ve never seen what NOT to do. OK, I have to add one…I got my first card picked up for Simply Homemade. My first pub ever. I was so excited when I got the email but then quickly got scared because I had given the card away for a wedding present. I would have asked for it back but she was on her honeymoon. True story!
    So don’t submit and give away. I never thought I’d get picked up, but it happened to me, lol.

  15. Forgot to add that I made a mad dash to Archivers to get some supplies to remake the card. I was able to get some and it made it in the mag πŸ™‚

  16. Great post! Loved it =)
    I am wondering if you could answer one more question. If you’re project is chosen to be published, do you then send in the original? And if so, do you receive your original back in the mail after it’s been photographed for the magazine. Thanks for your help!

  17. This was so funny and loved the tips. So a mug shot with the card *doesn’t help*…what if they are cute kids? lol!!! Thanks for the laugh!

  18. Very helpful tips. Maybe some day I’ll submit something. I can’t believe they wouldn’t want to see my face peeking in from the corner. Are you sure that’s a no-no? Ha Ha

  19. Pingback: · We’re Listening: Your Submission Questions Answered!

  20. Pingback: ‘Get Published’ with Creative Editor Susan R. Opel |

  21. Pingback: Behind the Scenes with Paper Crafts Magazine

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s