Sunday, April 01, 2018

Escape the Catch-22 of Publishing

For many years, I've known about the Catch-22 of publishing. The Merrian-Webster dictionary defines Catch-22 as “a problematic situation for which the only solution is denied by a circumstance inherent in the problem or by a rule.” Last week in Spokane, I taught a workshop on 12 Ways to Jumpstart Your Publishing Dreams and the details are in my Jumpstart Your Publishing Dreams book.

Here's the problematic situation for every new writer: they want to get published yet professionals (editors and literary agents) are looking for people with publishing experience. It's the same sort of situation you face when you enter the job market and need to create a resume which lists your job experience (yet you have nothing to list). What is the best way for writers to gain publishing experience? It is not in book publishing. Books are lengthy writing projects and sometimes reach a limited number of readers (yes even when traditionally published). The easiest way for a writer to escape the Catch-22 of Publishing is to write magazine articles.

I have an ebook called How to Succeed As An Article Writer. Also I've gathered a series of articles about writing for magazines at this link. Every month, I write a new article for A3 on different aspects of writing for magazines. I began my writing career in the magazine area and continue to often write for magazines. For the last several years, I've written a column for Southern Writer Magazine about book proposals called Book Proposal Boot Camp.

In this article, I want to tell you about a new resource to help you succeed in the magazine writing world. My long-term friend, Linda Gilden, has recently published ARTICLES, ARTICLES, ARTICLES! Subtitled, “A Comprehensive Guide.” This book is an excellent resource and Gilden has done a great service to the writing community publishing this book.  In the introduction, Gilden tells how as a stay-at-home mom with small children, writing articles seemed her best option to get published, “My children were small and still required a lot of hands-on attention. So, my writing sessions were short, very short or nonexistent. Much of what I wrote took place in my head until naptime, then I wrote furiously hoping the children were exhausted and would sleep a long time.” (Page 11)

This book contains a cornucopia of information for every writer.  Here’s some of the topics covered: where to get started, how to break in, types of articles, elements of articles, the rights to sell, marketing your articles and even how articles are a great way to market books and build an author’s presence in the marketplace (commonly called a platform—and follow this link to get my free ebook on the topic).

In addition to Gilden’s own depth of experience writing for magazines, throughout the book, she includes tips from other editors, authors and professionals called “Expert Word.”  Also key phrases are scattered throughout the book to remind reader of key lessons such as, “A kill fee is a fee that is paid when a contracted article is never published.”

Whether you are brand new to the writing world or an experienced professional, you will gain insights and ideas and action steps from ARTICLES, ARTICLES, ARTICLES! I highly recommend this well-crafted book.

Are you actively writing for magazines? If so, let us know about how you are escaping the Catch-22 of publishing in the comments below. I look forward to your feedback.


How can writers escape the Catch-22 of publishing? Explore the possibilities here. (ClickToTweet)
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