Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Start To Get Your Writing Published

Where do you begin the process to get your writing published? Most people instantly think of books and want to have a book published. While I understand these thoughts, from my years in publishing books is not the first place to start.

At the recent Write to Publish Conference, I had a series of fifteen-minute back to back meetings with people who were attending the conference. One of my stand-out sessions was with a gray-haired cheery woman who immediately told me, “This is my first conference and I'm here to ask your advice. If you were just getting started in in the writing world, where would you begin?” What a thoughtful question!

“I would begin writing for print magazines,” I said. “It's a wide open opportunity for writers which is often forgotten. In particular, I would start with publications called Sunday School Take-home papers.” 

Almost every denomination has a variety of publications for different age groups. Within these papers, a common type of article is called the personal experience article. It's a story written in first person with a single point to the story (also called a take-away).

Here's several key points about this type of writing:

* Magazines reach more readers than books. It is a solid performance if a book sells 5,000 copies during the lifetime of the book sales. In contract, many magazines have a circulation of 100,000 or even 300,000. You definitely reach more readers with magazines.

* Magazine articles are shorter in length than books. Magazine articles have a short headline, a beginning, a middle and an ending (all good skills for any writer to learn on the short form). A typical book has  50,000 or 100,000 words where magazine articles range from 500 words to 1500 words in length so are easier to finish and get into the market.

* Magazines are a great place to learn to write for a target audience. Each magazine has a distinct reader or audience—just as your books will be targeted to a particular reader.

* Magazine articles get published quicker than books. In general magazines have a three to six month turnaround from publication acceptance to getting into print. Many book publishers are 18 to 24 months out from when you deliver your manuscript and the book is released into the bookstore.

* Editors and literary agents read magazines looking for writers. These publishing professionals are looking for writers who have experience in publishing (which you gain from writing for magazines).

I encourage you to check out the writer's guidelines for the particular publication. Many of these guidelines are online so use Google to find them.  The writing is fun and anyone can do it.  Almost every publication uses personal experience articles. Each of us have unique and interesting experiences which can be the backbone of these articles and you can write. A personal experience article is an excellent place to begin writing for magazines.

If you want to know more details about writing for magazines, I encourage you to explore this link where I give the basics of writing for a magazine. This type of publishing is great exposure and helps you build your platform and publishing credentials with editors. In fact, it is good for any writer at any place in the publishing journey. As I write these words (even as much material as I have published), it spurs me to write a few query letters and articles for magazines. If you don't submit the articles or ideas to an editor, it will never happen.

What magazine will you target today for your writing?


Read this article to learn the Best Way for Anyone to get published. (ClickToTweet)

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