What You Can Do To Get Published As A Freelance Writer
Story ideas catch the attention of editors, not the writers. Freelancers that editors want to talk to are the ones who call or email with an abundance of new and interesting ideas. We are often asked about how to get published so today we look at some of the things you can do to improve your chances.
How To Get Published – Offer More Ideas
If you contact an editor with 10 ideas – as opposed to one – that's 10 potential ways they can fill their publication. You will also have increased your chance of being mandated by a factor of 10, as you only need one commission to work on at a time.
If your 10 ideas are good, each one has different potential, and each one can be approached in a number of different ways. This means that there are a number of different possibilities for each idea. It is up to you to identify the best approach based on the publications you would like to send them to.
How To Get Published – Ask The Right Questions
As a freelance writer, one of your greatest assets will be a sense of curiosity, which means you'll ask more than the standard 'who', 'what' and 'when' questions when a story idea presents itself. You will start looking at the 'where', 'how' and 'why'. Delving further into the 'why' of a story will help you focus on the best angles for the best publications.
- What are the 10 best eateries in Australia and who are the experts that can recommend them?
- Can you get a range of experienced travel writers in Bali to provide their top tips for traveling there?
- Can you get a range of people who have been victims of cyber crime in online dating sites to discuss their experiences?
- What are the best fishing sports on Kangaroo Island and who are the experts that can provide them?
- Who is an article on villa accommodation options in Bali aimed at and how will this affect the angle that you take?
- Can you get a range of women who have found partners through online dating to discuss their experiences and their mistakes?
- Who is a Port Douglas travel tips article aimed at and how will this affect the aspects of the destination that you cover and the publications you will aim at?
- Who are the experts that can rank the best coastal holiday destinations in Australia ?
- Can you get top film criticisms to discuss the resurgence of superheroes for an article, and what does this mean from a cultural perspective?
- How much longer can the James Bond character continue for, and who are the experts that can discuss?
Each of these provides a sharp angle for a particular story idea. Use these questions as the main angle for each relevant ideas and see how that changes the way you may treat the story.
How To Get Published – Grow The Story
Here's a tip! The smart freelance writer knows that an article published in one magazine can often be submitted elsewhere.
Something of a fine line exists here between what you can and can not do. Obviously you do not sell an article to one publication and then proceed to sell the same story elsewhere.
This applies specifically to two magazines competitiveness in the same market. To do this is unethical and a probable breach of your agreement with the publication concerned. And, you will quickly gain a reputation that will stop editors from accepting your future material.
What you can or can not do with an article depends on your agreement with your first publication. You'll discover there are many occasions when you will find you can market the same material many times over. The rule is to ensure the articles do not conflict. This will apply in terms of geography and the type of publication.
It is generally acceptable to market the same article to another publication if the circulation or distribution areas of the two publications do not conflict.
Publishers, themselves, do it all the time. Unless you make sure your agreement states otherwise, you may find your publisher selling your material to other publications that are not seen as competition. Sometimes one publication will obtain lifting rights to another. This means the publication can take what it likes from the other.
Obviously you should look for additional markets for everything you write provided that doing so does not break your sales agreement. For example, if you are offering material to a metropolitan or state wide newspaper, offer "state rights" only. This will allow you to sell the same material in non-conflicting circulation areas. For example, if you are clear in your agreement, you could sell the same travel story to the travel editor of a variety of metropolitan newspapers in various capital cities or states.
What have your experiences been with publishing your work? Do you have any advice to add for our readers? What tips and advice would you offer someone asking about how to get published? Leave your comments below.