Sunday, November 07, 2021

Why Write for Magazines

By Terry Whalin @terrywhalin

I want to begin with a bold but true statement: anyone can publish articles or writing online. For example, these articles about the writing life come directly from me to you. There is no editor or barrier in this process. It's the same type of standard with self-publishing books. You can choose to hire an editor and proofreader then produce something of a high standard which looks professional. Or you can self-publish your book without an editor or proofreader.

Throughout my decades in publishing, I have written for print magazines because they have a higher standard of excelllence than writing online. I've written for more than 50 publications and I've been a magazine editor on several publications. While many writers want to publish books, you can enhance your publishing credibiility in the magazine area of the market. You can reach more people to spread your message and magazine articles are much shorter to write than books. I've written more detail about writing for magazines in this article

To write for magazines, you have to learn how to pitch editors and often to write a query letter. The editors are the gatekeepers for their publication. They know their readers (target market) and hold to a high standard of what they will publish, I continue to write for magazines while writing books--and I encourage you to do this as well. 

For decades I have been taking a trade magazine and reading it cover to cover. This publication has a column which is the next to last page in the publication. I knew they had never covered the topic of book proposals. Several weeks before the release of my new Book Proposals That Sell, I wrote a specific article for this publication. I've written for this magazine before but it was many years ago. I had to  pitch like a brand new writer to get their attention. I understand editors get a lot of pitches and submissions so I pitched this editor several times. Finally he responded that my article was over the word limit for this column--and he gave me the correct length. 

With this valuable feedback, I cut my article to the required length then submitted it again--and heard nothing. I followed up and a lengthy period of silence. Then late last week I got an email saying they were preparing to publish my piece and asking for my headshot. My persistence and follow-up looks like it will pay off. When the piece is published, I will show it to you. I hope my experience is going to encourage you to write for print magazines.

Do you write for magazines? Why? Let me know in the comments below.

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