When I started writing for publications like Quilting Arts® Magazine a few years back, other fiber artists asked me, "How did you get published?"
|Art by Jane Dávila|
As you can imagine, since becoming editor of Quilting Arts, I get asked that question a lot more frequently! Many artists, me included, get a thrill from just seeing their name and art in print (or in a digital publication). But the exposure you get from being published can also give your art business a boost.
Not every publication has the same process for article and art submissions as Quilting Arts. But there are general guidelines to follow that will help you succeed. Jane Dávila, an artist who has been published in many magazines and books, outlined the steps in the Minding Your Business column of the August/September 2012 issue of Quilting Arts.
Here are some tips based on her article:
1. Do your research. There are a lot of magazines out there, so you should be able to find one that's a good fit for your work and business. If you're not familiar with the magazine, review copies at the library or online to get a feel for the tone and content. At the very least, review the table of contents from the last year to see if your idea has been published recently.
2. Follow the guidelines. Most magazines publish guidelines on their websites. Follow the guidelines exactly and include all of the items asked of you to ensure the best outcome.
3. Submit clean, clear documents and photos. The publishing world is fast-paced; editors appreciate complete submissions with a synopsis of the article you want to write (not a whole article) and clear photographs so the editors can make an accurate assessment of your work.
4. Meet the deadlines. Editors are very likely to return to writers who have a track record of working well under tight time constraints with punctuality, grace, and humor.
5. Be seen. One of the best ways of getting your work in front of magazine publishers is to enter the challenges and contests they sponsor. If they like your work, they may approach you about writing an article, or if you later submit an article idea then your name and work will be familiar to them.
I agree wholeheartedly with this advice. In fact, the artists whose work appeared on our last two covers came to our attention through reader challenges!
In the same column, Jane offers tips on submitting a book proposal, and she has many other topics for improving your art business (or getting one going) planned for future issues of Quilting Arts.
We also have Maria Elkins lined up to give you tips on how to photograph your fiber art. If you don't want to miss out on this expert advice for how to make your quilt and fiber art business thrive, be sure to subscribe to Quilting Arts.