Square One Publishers
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REFERENCE / Writing Skills
For every writer who hopes to break into print, getting that first article published is essential. How do you get your story idea looked at, let alone accepted? Where do you start? Now, freelance article writer Shirley Kawa- Jump has written an exceptional book designed to answer all the novice writer’s common questions about getting articles into magazines, journals, newspapers, and newsletters.
How to Publish Your Articles is divided into three parts. Part One covers the basics of the world of print publication. Part Two provides a complete system of article submission geared to maximize your odds of getting an acceptance. And Part Three looks at the possibility of building a rewarding career as a freelance article writer.
Shirley Kawa-Jump received her bachelor’s degree in English from the University of Massachusetts. She published her first article at age twelve. During her twentyplus- year writing career, Ms. Jump has had over 2,500 articles published, many in nationally recognized magazines and newspapers. She is the author of two published books, as well as a highly sought-after speaker on the subject of freelance writing.
Table of contents
A Note on Gender
Part One: The Basics
1. Understanding Your Goals
2. Understanding the Article Market and How it Works
Part Two: Getting An Article Published
3. Where Does Your Article Fit In?
4. Finding the Right Publications
5. Preparing Your Submission Package
6. Using the Square One System
7. Evaluating the Results
Part Three: Building a Freelance Career
8. Developing Ideas and Finding a Market
9. Writing a Query That Makes a Sale
10. Researching and Writing the Article
11. The Contract
12. Building Your Career
Introduction or preface
Get ready to achieve your goal, because you’ve already taken a big step toward it. Simply by picking up this book, you’ve moved closer to being published.
Whether you are a writer who is composing articles out of love for the written word or an academic striving to publish your research and conclusions, your objective is the same--to see your work in print and receive confirmation that you are an accomplished writer and/or an expert in your field. However, if you aren’t already a part of the world of publishing, publication may seem like a dream that will never come true. You may be at a loss as to where your idea or already-written piece would fit. The quandary lies not so much in creating, but in knowing how to get from having written to having published.
It’s not as hard as it may seem to realize your dream. Richard Bach, author of Jonathan Livingston Seagull, once said, "A professional writer is an amateur who didn't quit.” Replace the word “professional” with “published,” and you have the truth about the publishing industry in your hands. You can and will be published--if you don’t give up at the first setback, and if you apply yourself to the task in a sensible, informed manner.
Whatever your goal is--publication in commercial magazines, academic journals, newspapers, or e-zines--How to Publish Your Articles provides the comprehensive, practical information you need to break into the world of print or online publication. The information and advice presented in this book are the result of years of experience, as well as research into current industry data. As a freelancer for twenty-plus years, I have written and published more than 2,500 articles, working for more than 100 magazines, newspapers, and journals. I have been rejected (more times than I’d like to remember), and I have felt the joy of acceptance. I have been where you are now, and I know that it is possible to get your work into print.
The world of publishing is like a maze. It’s easy to get lost or be confused by all the different terms and “rules” you encounter along the way. You could get bad directions or take a wrong turn and end up hitting a wall. This book is designed to be the map that guides you through that maze, arming you with the knowledge, skills, and confidence you need to reach your objective successfully.
How to Publish Your Articles is divided into three parts, each of which is designed to address the needs of writers at various stages in their publishing career, as well as the needs of people who are not working towards a writing career, but would simply like to get an article or two into print.
By covering the basics of the world of print publication, Part One provides important material for all writers, regardless of their specific objectives. Chapter 1 gives you a realistic view of the article market, helps you understand and define your goals, and directs your initial steps towards those goals. Then Chapter 2 breaks down the different markets and periodicals, and discusses how each works, as well as the kinds of material that each publishes. By the end of Part One, you should have a clearer idea of where you want to go and how you can best get there.
If you have already written an article and need to find a place to publish it, Part Two was designed specifically for you. Putting first things first, Chapter 3 guides you in defining your article’s topic, approach, and audience. Once you have a full understanding of what your piece is and whom it addresses, you’re ready for Chapter 4, which helps you use the many available resource materials to zone in on those publications that are the best match for your article. Chapter 5 assists you in the preparation of an effective submission package, and Chapter 6 guides you in using the Square One System, a step-by-step strategy for sending out your submissions in the most effective way possible. Finally, when the responses start rolling in, Chapter 7 helps you deal with them--whether the results are a much-longed-for contract, multiple acceptance letters, or a disappointing stack of rejection letters.
If you already have a few publishing credits under your belt, and want to move up the ladder into freelancing part- or full-time--or even if you have not made your first foray into print or online publishing, but feel that your talents are well suited to the profession--you will find that Part Three provides invaluable guidance. Chapter 8 teaches you how to develop great article ideas, tailor them to fit specific markets, and spin several ideas off of one to increase your potential for sales. Then Chapter 9 helps you write an effective query package--a package that will convince the editor not only that your idea is a good one, but that you’re the right person to right the article. If you need a hand with the article-writing process, Chapter 10 is the place to go. It guides you from the lead to the conclusion, and enables you to recognize article elements that make editors happy. To help you make the most of every sale, Chapter 11 explains contract issues and discusses how you can preserve your rights throughout the negotiation process. And finally, Chapter 12 assists you in building your career. Should you choose part-time work or go full-time? Should you specialize in one area or write on a broad range of topics? How can you get your work into bigger publications? Chapter 12 will help you answer all of these questions, and will also look at other ways in which you can put your writing ability to use in order to maintain a steady income and gain valuable experience.
This book is filled with information, but you’ll find that it’s presented in an easy-to-read format that is designed to inform, not overwhelm you. Whether you are an academic looking for entry into respected journals, a writer who is serious about building a full-time career, or just someone with a love of writing who wants to get that occasional article into print, when you are done reading How to Publish Your Articles, you will be well on your way to publication, strengthened by a solid understanding of how the markets work--an understanding that is essential for success.
When you see your words take shape beneath your pen or on your computer screen, it’s an exciting process. But when you see those same words in a magazine, a newspaper, a journal, or an e-zine, the thrill is compounded. You’re published!
Now, let’s help you get started on that journey.