Every once in a blue moon, I receive emails, tweets, or comments from fellow crafters such as yourself that are interested in bring published in the different crafty magazines we see on our store shelves. I am always eager and willing to help because so many fellow crafters helped me when I reached out to them! So here are my tips. The information I’m providing is based from my experiences only. So, please don’t take this as “the law of the publication land”. The information is simply here to help you along your journey.
Before you submit:
- Scour the magazines on store shelves and online. By doing your research you can find out the magazines styles and figure out which magazine(s) suits your personal style.
- Look out for publication calls or editorial calendars. Sometimes you have to write the editor for the calendar. It can be a short direct email like, “Dear Mr/Mrs. So & So, I am interested in submitting to your publication and was wondering if you could email me an updated editorial calendar. Thank you, Your name, Your blog address”
- Once you’ve found some submission calls you’re interested in, read the call very carefully. It is best to submit creations that are for a specific category. If you are unsure of which category to submit to, go with your gut and use your best instincts. I’ve had cards picked up and thrown into different categories, so if the editors like your design and thinks it fits their needs, they will pick it up.
- Keep track of deadlines on a calendar, more specifically the time the call ends on a specific day. If you are on PST, take note of the EST difference of +3 hours.
- Some magazines do not accept cards that have been published anywhere online such as a blog or online gallery.
Creating for a call:
- If you have cards in your stash that fit a certain category, by all means SUBMIT them!
- Keep track of the supplies you are using. I organize my supplies by brand/collection so that I can easily recall what product I used for a creation. Maybe you could keep track of your supplies in a notebook/journal!
- Do not used retired products that can no longer be purchased. If a retired product accidentally slips into a design and is picked up for publication, it will not hurt your chances of having it published. Just take not of the brand/type/collection in your write-up.
- If possible use current and/or new products when creating. Editors love seeing new product!
- Make sure your finished product is clean and polished. So no adhesive boogers, crooked cuts, or exposed adhesive. Simply, submit your best!
Photographing your creations:
- Photograph/scan your creations on a neutral background (white, black, kraft, cream, beige, etc.).
- Take clear well-lit straight-on photos, no funny angles.
- Use natural outdoor lighting as much as possible. If you live in a dreary place, like myself, you might want to create your own light box or invest in some external lighting (like an external camera flash to bounce the flash, some Ott-lights, or a photographer’s light tent).
- Use photo editing software such as Gimp or Picnic to sharpen and resize those photos.
- Do not add any watermarks. Most editors judge the creations blindly and do not like the addition of watermarks.
Submitting your creations:
- When you submit your creations, you will be asked to add all your personal information and details about your card such as instructions and supplies. If you submit to Take Ten, you simply mail in your creations.
- Follow the submission guidelines per each publication. Paper Crafts has an online form to submit and CARDS Magazine asks that you email cards to a specific email address. Make sure to follow the instructions pertaining to file sizes of photos.
- To remember your supplies and instructions, take a quick screen shot of all the information before sending it! This way, when the editor chooses your creation your information is good to go! No digging needed!
The Waiting Game:
- Once you’ve submitted, you have to wait. Most publications do not send emails if you’re not accepted, only when you’re accepted.
- Most publications take a week to get back to you if you are picked up. Paper Crafts Magazine is kind enough to tweet and post their status on Facebook for their eager artists!
- If you’re picked up…YAY!!!!!
- If you’re not picked up, it’s okay to cry. I cried for about 3-4 months straight, just ask my DH. Try try try try try again! Don’t be afraid to ask a friend’s advice. I actually wrote Susan, an editor from Paper Crafts, asking for advice and she kindly responded. Go ahead and email me! I’m here if you need help! Seriously-
So you’ve been accepted:
- Make sure to send your creation safely and in a timely manner. Some publications require you to submit forms online as well.
- Some publications pay and some pay in product. If the publication pays, you will have to submit a W-9 for tax purposes.
- You are required to keep track of your own earnings.
- You will have to wait until the issue is in stores to receive compensation, sometimes you have to wait even longer.
- There is a lot of work that goes into being published and to me, it’s WELL WORTH IT!
Paper Crafts Magazine “do”s and “don’t”s:
- Send food, candy, liquid, or any item that may melt or leak unless specifically requested, and please package it separately from paper project pieces when sending it.
- Email your contract to Ahtanya. Your contract should be physically mailed with your project (see second bullet below).
- Miss a deadline.
- When your project is late, it creates a domino effect for each step in our production process and results in added costs we must incur.
- Unfortunately, effective immediately, we will begin making deductions from your project fees. However, we realize that international mail can be a pill, so we will review this on a case by case basis.
- Fill out the contract completely every time. Don’t forget your signature, zip code, SSN (if a US resident).
- Send the signed contract, your project(s), and your printed copies of supplies and instruction lists all in one package.
- Email your supply and instruction lists to the appropriate person (usually Susan) on or before the deadline.
- These documents are used by the writers (who are off-site) and saved on the network for future reference – often answering a question from a reader years after the issue has been printed.
- Carefully pack your items to prevent breakage.
- Be on time. YAY!
STILL have some burning questions?
Maybe these tips from the kind editors at Paper Crafts Magazine can help answer those questions!
Good luck on your paper crafting journey