Share this article on Facebook
How To Sell To The Regional Parenting Publications
by Jodi Forschmiedt
Looking for an easy way to break into print and
collect some clips? The regional parenting publications (RPPs) offer a huge
market for beginning and intermediate writers.
Nearly every medium to large town has at least
one parenting publication. Youve probably seen these free magazines at the
library, at the bookstore, and anyplace frequented by moms. Some are slick and
glossy, others are printed tabloid-style on newsprint. But they all have a
constant need for content.
What do they want? Articles on children and
child-rearing, of course
but more specifically? In three years of selling to
this market, Ive developed some general submission guidelines of my
Keep it short. The magazines have limited space
and want brief, punchy copy. Submit articles no longer than 800 words,
Keep it young. Parenting magazines are read
primarily by people with babies and small children. The content mix reflects the
readership. Youll get more sales with a great piece about toddlers than a
terrific article about teens.
Reportage sells better than essays. While most
RPPs run essays, they tend to be columns written by a staffer or already owned
by a freelancer.
Make it personal. RPP editors love
anecdotesyour own or the experiences of parents youve interviewed.
How-tos are heavily favored, especially by
editors in smaller markets.
Make it timely. A piece related to a holiday or
season will outsell an evergreen article every time. If you can get hold of the
editorial calendar, follow it religiously.
Go multicultural. If you have an unusual ethnic
or religious background and have insider knowledge about little-known
traditions, capitalize on it. RPPs love pieces that educate readers about
celebrations outside the greeting-card holidays.
Submit manuscripts rather than queries, unless a
magazines guidelines say otherwise. An email submission of a strong piece
sometimes gets me a sale within minutes!
Submit your reprints. Editors are just as happy
to purchase reprints as original articles, so anything youve published on a
parenting topic is fair game.
What do they pay? These advertising-supported
publications have small budgets. Some pay as little as $10.00 for a piece; some
pay $50.00. But because the magazines are regional, they dont compete with each
other. And they buy non-exclusive rights. That means you can sell the same piece
to multiple magazines. (Note: large cities may have more than one RPP, so dont
submit a piece to more than one magazine in a given region.)
How do you find magazines outside your city?
Parenting Publications of America maintains a database of members. For
a free search by state, go to http://www.parentingpublications.org/index.cfm?fuseaction=MemberSearch
Be sure and request copies or tearsheets from
the magazines that print your work. You wont be able to pick up publications
outside your region at the corner store!
© Copyright 2005, Jodi Forschmiedt