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How to Pick the Perfect Writing Markets

February 21st, 2008

writing-market.jpgEven if you fancy yourself an excellent freelance writer, it will be difficult to make money from your work if you cannot find a market for it. This article by April Aragam guides us through four planning stages that we can use to find writing markets that will pay us enough to make our efforts worth the time.

After writing a piece that is edited, polished and ready for submission, the next most important thing you have to do is submit it to the best possible market for that piece. Choosing the perfect market to submit your story, article, filler or poem will raise your chances of acceptance ten fold.

1. Before you write

So, you have a fabulous idea for an article. You want jump right on the computer and get writing it, but before you do make sure that you have a place to send it. If going through your market listings brings up nothing, you have one of two choices. One, don’t write the article at all. Or two, do more research and find an appropriate market. Since your article might not be accepted at the first place, you may want to find two or three.

2. Create a market binder

When most of us create a market binder or folder on the computer we fill it with markets that appeal to us. That makes sense, but it can also be a hindrance to writers since we don’t know what we might be writing in 3 months, 6 months, or a year. How many times have you remembered seeing a market listing you saw and can’t remember exactly what it was? And now you need it! For this very reason, I suggest putting all markets you find into your binder. If you’d rather not add them to your regular listings, create a tab at the back entitled “miscellaneous”.

3. Magazine research

This can be quite a task. Luckily, you don’t need to subscribe to every magazine to get a feel for them. Your first and cheapest option is to check out your local library. They have a great selection of magazines and if they don’t have the exact one you’re looking for, ask the librarian if another branch does. You can either go to other libraries or request the magazines be sent to your location. Always find the most recent issue of the magazine so that you know exactly the types of pieces they are publishing.

Another option is to buy magazines that you’re very interested in writing for. This was you always have it on hand to refer to. Another alternative that comes in handy if you cannot find a magazine at all is to request a sample copy. You can do this when you request their guidelines. Double check the listing or website to find out if the sample copy is free or comes for a small fee.

4. Pick The Market

If your goal is to be published (and it probably is) you want to aim for the market in which you’re most likely to be published. If you are fairly new to the writing business, with few or no clips, you don’t want to start out submitting to a high-end magazine. Your chances of getting published there are very slim. This doesn’t mean that you have to write for free to get clips. There is a very large middle ground in which markets pay little to medium and even high amounts. As time goes on you can work yourself up to those glossy magazines. Your goal, always, is to choose markets that are realistic for where you are in your career as well as choosing markets that publish the type of work you are planning to submit.

Taking these ideas into consideration is sure to increase your chances of publication.

One Response to “How to Pick the Perfect Writing Markets”

  1. comment number 1 by: Walk Through Money Online Journal

    Excellent tips.. I’ll keep everything in mind… Spend more time thinking the best topic for my article.

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