Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Recycled Material (Reprints)

After Stock-Up Mentality was published, I found an article at Write From Home by Jill Miller Zimon called Reprint Mania. It basically gave steps to selling reprints of an already-published article. What an easy, quick way to make money off of something you’ve already written, right?

Okay, so I start gathering information on all the Parenting Publications of America (PPA) members. These are mostly magazines just like the one I was published in, so I figured it would be no problem to get in to ALL of these and make like $10-50 per reprint. I was spending my reprint money in my head as I compiled an extensive Excel spreadsheet of PPA members, circulation numbers, states (so I wouldn’t pitch to competing markets) and much more.

Since I have no Internet access at home, I started either copying my tearsheets from Kansas City Parent and mailing them with a cover letter to publications or else e-mailing them when I got the chance. Altogether, I sent out 38 reprint queries. Some I sent as-published; some I reworked a little. Some I even added some local information to, like local Social Suppers-type locations.

Then I sat back and waited for the acceptances and the money to roll in. I would buy Aron a fishing boat. He would never hound me again about how much fast food I got the kids for lunches and when he was out of town.

And I’m still waiting. Oh, I did hear back from ONE publication in Oklahoma, who told me it wasn’t a good fit.

I’ve learned recently that it would be nice to know SOMETHING about the magazine you are sending articles or reprints to or you look like an idiot. I was probably submitting this huge article to tiny little magazines. Or to classy magazines and I was submitting “klasi” material. Or I was submitting to magazines that work exclusively with local writers. Or to publications who only publish original material.

Please learn from me. Don’t marry a guy you haven’t known for a year. And don’t submit an article to a magazine you’ve never read.

Oh, and if you set up a professional e-mail address, try to remember to CHECK it from time to time. I recently realized I hadn’t checked my e-mail in over a year and potentially missed out on at least some rejections. I mean, a rejection is better than NOTHING. If you can’t handle rejection, you shouldn’t become a writer. I hope no publications actually e-mailed me asking me to shorten my article or edit it in some way because Yahoo wiped out my e-mail account.

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