Sunday, October 24, 2010
All Publishing Credits Are Not Considered Equally!
Remember back in college days how some classes were assessed as having greater “weight” or value than others?
Sometimes that designation depended on the number of hours and days it was offered, the complexity of the class, whether or not the class had a “lab” component, and whether it was advanced level or basic.
Ultimately, the more credits you accumulated the quicker you graduated.
Well, a similar system applies in the field of publishing. Beware---all publishing credits are not created equally. This unwritten rule seems to be unknown by many new or “unsavvy” scribes who crank out work on the regular without the recognition or monetary rewards they desire.
Take for instance by friend “Valeria”. Every month or so she floods my Email inbox with articles she’s had published by the online content mills or small blogs that virtually have neither screening process nor credibility.
I don’t know for certain, but if I were to hazard a guess, I’d say that she devotes hours that would almost be the equivalent of a work week on
a 9 to 5 gig.
This all in the hopes of being validated and seeing her byline.
There’s an easier way.
As a veteran professional writer and editor, I can attest that publishing success is just as much about strategy as ability. With this in mind, here are some pointers on how to elevate your status, get paid, and make the most of your submission strategy.
1.Have a game plan---What are your short and long term goals? Would you like to one day publish a book? Pen a column? Freelance full time? Your goals will determine your goal plan.
2.Diversify your portfolio---There’s nothing wrong with the occasional article to free article directories or small niche Blogs, particularly when starting out. But keep in mind that your career should show the ability to write about different topics, in different publications, and should show some progression and versatility.
3.Research before you submit—Increase your odds of success by doing your homework. No matter how eloquent your writing, if it’s sent to a publication that is a mismatch in terms of editorial content, you’ve wasted your time and theirs.
4.Keep in mind that quality is more important than quantity in the publishing business. Though there are exceptions to the rule, here are some general guidelines:
•A publishing credit in a paid publication trumps that of a non-paying.
•A national publication credit is generally more impressive than a local one.
•Publication in a non-paying, but well regarded magazine is better than that of a content mill. A good example would be Small Business CEO Magazine, (which at the time of this writing was a non-paying publication), but very well written by industry experts and offers a good degree of visibility for your efforts.
•Publication in an anthology is more valuable than self-publishing.
5.Whenever possible, maximize your efforts by sending out simultaneous submissions. This allows for less waiting time and more exposure for your work.
Keep these five tips in mind and you’ll make more money and move forward faster in 2010!
Do you consider all publishing credits the same, or do you value some more than others? Is this new information for you or old news?
This (my) article was previously published at Funds for Writers website.
Image Credit: Renjith Krishnan