If you’re not sure how to go about submitting your article to a specialty publication for the first time, these simple guidelines are sure to help the process.
1) Research specialty magazines in your topic. If you don’t know what publications are out there who might be interested in your article, it’s difficult to get a clear picture on what they want from writers, so a list of these print and online publications should be your first task.
2) Send the editor a polite email inquiring if they accept submissions from freelance writers. Some of them don’t, so make sure to do this before you send a pitch or an attachment with your article from the beginning, which might end up being deleted.
3) Make sure to review the submission guidelines of each publication, since they often differ from each other. If the submission guidelines are not clearly stated in the publication’s website, ask.
4) Check at least three times your final draft for spelling or grammar mistakes before submitting it to an editor. Remember, first impressions are essential and you will make a bad one if they receive your article with avoidable mistakes.
5) After you send in your submission, you may want to follow up with an email after at least two weeks have passed. Politely inquire if they received your submission and if there’s anything else they need from you.
Remember: Submitting your article to a specialty publication can be intimidating, particularly if it’s your first time doing so. However, dealing with rejection and persistence are key in this process. Every time you receive one of those dreaded rejection letters, it puts you closer to one of them accepting your submission. Pay attention to suggestions you may receive from editors on how to improve your work, even if they said no to your proposal. Remember, they have been doing this longer than you and their advice can be extremely valuable.
Some additional information:
The Market List (http://www.marketlist.com/writers_markets), has very helpful information on how to get published for the first time, from book manuscripts to magazine articles, in addition to lists containing specialty publications available in today’s market. Also, Writer’s Digest (http://www.writersdigest.com) offers advice on how to go about getting published in diverse areas of interest.
Word of Caution!!
DO NOT send unwanted submissions. If the publication’s website clearly states they don’t accept uncalled submissions, don’t send one! It will just end up in the editor’s trash folder and constitute a huge waste of everyone’s time.
CURB YOUR ENTHUSIAM! Another cardinal rule of first time article submissions is don’t pester the editors. Allow at least two weeks time to follow up with an email, and if you still don’t get a response, move on! Chances are, if they are interested in your article they will get back to you, but are perhaps inundated by work as editors often are.