I was recently honored to have one of my Santos dolls featured in the latest issue of Prims magazine.
It’s always exciting to see a part of yourself in print.
I’ve been lucky enough over the past few years to be published in over21 publications. And I mean that in a totally non-bragging way; because what I want to do is share a bit of what I have learned with you.
Being published can be an awesome thing. Especially if it’s a bucket list item. And that first time, second and even that most recent time makes your heart flutter with excitement and pride. While I have never found it has brought me a ton a traffic, it does bring credibility and pads the old resume a bit. And, it just plain feels good….And so validating.
But,sometimes getting published is not such an awesome thing.
In today’s virtual sharing society, it seem like such a great thing when a bigger blog or publication wants to share an idea, one of your ideas, with the rest of the world. The thing is,depending on the situation it may only help them, and you, maybe notsomuch.
It is very hard to see a project you have worked very hard on, that is your own creative idea and forever see it credited to someone else.
I speak from experience.
I have free-lanced with magazines for almost 4 years now.
There is little or no pay, and unless they are willing to continually credit you, after a while,you will get lost, but a part of you will forever be republished and reprinted over and over. Many times I have had something published that now is no longer mine.
Over 3 years ago, I submitted a project to County Living Magazine. The day they told me they were going to use it was one of the best days in my life and an awesome experience.
The day it was published was momentous.
I still get excited when I see it pop up various places. That’s mine!!!! It was one of the biggest affirming things of my life. It was a check mark off of my dream list. It’s challenging however now, even though I am still credited on the website, 3 years later to know it’s forever not my baby anymore.
I know I’m whining.
When your home is featured somewhere, especially in a national magazine, They will forever own those pictures, including any they took of your kids, your dog, and your family. That happy family picture may turn up 5 years from now to use as they wish, even long after the divorce papers are filed; if you catch my drift. And yes, I am still happily married. Your kitchen may also turn up in all kinds of places 2 years after it was shot, heavily photo-shopped…..
I guess what I am saying is before you give yourself away, get over the initial excitement and think about everything that goes with it.
1. Consider what you are willing to give away for free and what you need to be compensated for. Many magazines do not pay or compensate in any way.
2. If you write for another website besides your own, are you giving them the best of you?The best ideas? How will that help you in the long run, is $50 or $100 worth it? Or are you giving the best to you where your energies should be?
3. Many publications make you sign a non-compete publishing clause for up to 6 months where you cannot appear or those certain rooms they shot cannot be in any other publications.
4.Are they willing to plug your blog or web site?
5. Do they own the pictures and the project or just the pictures?
6.If your blog and your personal name are different, ask them to credit your pictures to your webpage not you. Are you getting credit?
7.Pinterest is a total game changer…..If it’s a bigger blog and you are writing for them, are they willing to still let you own your photos and watermark them? You might need to weigh the options.
8. Are they willing to at least link to you or give you a linking bio and send traffic your way?
9. Will they let you re-publish your projects at a later date?
10. Remember, you are doing them a favor. Not the other way around. You are giving them content, most of the time for free. There needs to be some kind of compensation for you in some capacity. Bloggers are a big game changer for magazines. We now set the trends and we bring the exposure, not the other way around. YOUR creative talents and mental property are worth something. Someday magazines will realize they need us.NOT the other way around.
You deserve to be published, with the right vehicle and the right time. Listen to your gut.
There is a lot of think about. Would I still be published? Yes, Would I do some of them over again? Heck yeah, but I would change some of my conditions. Are there things I just wouldn’t do?Yes, I have turned down offers after I realized it really wouldn’t do anything for me. But, have I also had some great experiences with magazines? I have, some are amazing to work with, with amazing editors, photographers, and staff. Will I still get published? Probably not after this post because I’ll be ear-marked as a rabble-rouser and be black-balled.
Because, it’s great to get published…On your terms.
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