Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Marketing Writing

I'm currently working on issue #2 of my zine, "Little Tales". It's going to be a bit more on the serious side, with some longer stories (some approaching 1000 words, while there was nothing over 300 words long in issue #1). The theme will be animals. I've worked as a wild animal trainer, veterinary nurse, and with primates in a medical research lab, as well as volunteering over the years in a zoo, the SPCA, and a farm animal sanctuary. This is where my stories will come from. In fact, unlike issue #1, these will all be non-fiction and semi-autobiographical. So as you can imagine from my list of experiences, they don't all have a happy ending. I can't stand things to be completely depressing though, so there will be some humor and hope mixed in too.

Anyway, as part of my mission with this blog, to share some of what I've learned, I wanted to offer some market resources out there for other writers. I had a subscription to Writer's Market online for a year that I got as a gift. It's a great website, but a bit overwhelming, and a lot of work to try to narrow things down to the types of markets who would be interested in something specific. Here's two of my favorite market lists (for fiction) that are free, and still very good:
http://www.duotrope.com/
http://www.ralan.com/
As far as non-fiction goes, I've mostly concentrated on local publications that I'm semi-familiar with or online markets that are easier to research. I suppose I'll try to get the courage to go for the big bucks and big markets someday, but I'm not ready just yet.

Some great advice I got once was that it's easier to pick a publication and write something to fit it than it is to write something and then try to find a market to fit. I know, I know, artistically this seems to be the wrong way to go about things, but when I approach my writing in this manner, I have had more success getting into print.

One problem is that many publications have a very specific feel and vibe that they are trying to create with each issue. You can have an amazing story, but if it doesn't fit the editor's vision for that publication, it isn't going to be accepted. Now, I'm hardly an expert or else I wouldn't still be working a job outside the house, but when I've written an article with a market in mind, my rate of acceptance has gone up a lot.

Now, if I can just get my rear in gear and edit some of my stories to get them ready to submit, then I can get back on the right track for coming home from that outside job thing.

1 comment:

Jen said...

hear hear! i've had the same experience with writing toa specific publication -- much easier to get into print, but feels less artistically authentic at times. it's a tough balance.

good luck with the editing!