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Eight Tips for Finding New Markets for Your Writing
by Jennifer Brown Banks
A common complaint I get from writing students of varying levels and genres, is the inability to find publications to place their creative works. And let's face it: no matter how well you write, not being able to connect with the correct editors and publishers means you'll be a “starving artist” in the truest sense. But, the good news is that market research is not rocket science. And with the advent of the Internet, publishing opportunities have increased exponentially.
You can increase your portfolio and your bottom line with a little ingenuity and the following eight tips.
- Go beyond the obvious. Most writers purchase The Writer's Market and spend hours upon hours combing hundreds of leads, only to find little success. Though this “resource bible” can be used in your efforts to find suitable work, don't rely on it solely. Writing success requires multiple methods.
- Do some creative snooping. Check out the competition. Where are other writers in your chosen genre being published? To get clues, read the bio and resource boxes of the authors that write for your favorite e-zines and newsletters. Last month I was able to identify three new markets this way.
- Have markets emailed directly to your inbox. Tired of surfing the net with no “net gain?” Freelancedaily.net will email writing gigs directly to your inbox five days a week. The cost is $3.95 a month. You can get a free one-week trial before signing up for the service.
- Do a treasure hunt at your local thrift store. Many times thrift stores carry magazines and newsletters not available at your local book store due to space limitations or lack of popularity. These tend to be smaller publications, or those that are industry specific, or representative of a certain region. For example, on a recent visit, I actually came across some magazines for training horses, creating scrapbooks, and others not typically found in my area.
- Join a writers' group in your region, or on line. Job leads are often a membership benefit. Organizations like National Writers Union, Chicago Writers Association, and International Women Writers Guild are a few of note.
- Ask friends and relatives to give you the magazines they would typically toss after reading. It's a win-win situation for all—they get to get rid of the clutter and you inherit some valuable new reading and research material. I discovered a cool jazz magazine with an accompanying new CD from an unfamiliar artist, and a great fitness and health magazine the last time I made this request.
- Check out the database of new publications available at woodenhorsepub.com. Here you'll find lucrative leads from many start-up publications in need of new talent. Apply early and you may have the opportunity to get in on the ground floor and influence the future direction of the publication.
- Create your own opportunities. Just because a publication does not have a “writers wanted” request on their website or job board, doesn't mean that they couldn't use your talent or creative ideas, particularly if you are able to identify a gap in their current offerings. Research publications devoted to your specialty area, and pitch the editor with a unique concept. I did this four years ago and landed a relationship column that I still produce today on a weekly basis.
Follow these eight tips and you're sure to save time, money, and mental wear and tear in your marketing pursuits.
© Copyright 2009, Jennifer Brown Banks
Jennifer Brown Banks is the former senior editor of Mahogany Magazine. She holds a B.A. in Business Management and blogs at Penandprosper.blogspot.com
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