My PublicationWritten by Bob Osgoodby
So you've listened to advice, and you're going to start your own publication. Obviously, you must have some writing ability, or collaborate with someone who does, and you must be knowledgeable in areas you will cover in your ezine.
One of biggest mistakes a fledgling publisher can make is to focus their publication on something they don't know much about. While it is possible to get content from contributing authors, which does add a great deal to your publication, if you are to succeed, you must have original content.
Many people can write an occasional article that is excellent. Writing an article or column however on a regular basis, is a demanding task. But some folks like Rozey Gean at: http://www.marketing-seek.com and Larry Dotson at: http://www.ldpublishing.com have found secret to doing just this.
The hardest thing is to get ideas for articles. It seems that once you do get an idea, article then flows rather easily.
So, where do you get ideas?
Actually ideas can come from anyplace. Many come from questions your readers might ask. Sometimes a simple question can blossom into a full blown article. Email you receive, even spam, can contain a keyword that sets your creative juices flowing.
Browsing web is a great place. Discussion sites, where people are talking about something might give you an idea. Many times people get into rather heated discussions and controversy itself might breed an idea.
Articles by other authors can stimulate your thinking, but you have to be careful here. While we all know you can't take another's work and claim it as your own, you also can't take their idea and simply rewrite it a bit. There is a gray area here, and sometimes you may be taken to task even if you have never seen their work.
I once had someone say I did a rewrite of their article. When informed of this by author, I did check article in question, and articles bore very little, if any similarity to each other. But both articles did have same title however, which happened to be a common business term. So even if you are acting in good faith, it can come back to "bite you".
Getting PublishedWritten by Bob Osgoodby
Whether you are writing an article for a magazine, trade journal, online publication, or a press release, there are certain conventions you must follow. If you follow them, you have a chance of it being published. If you don't, you are simply wasting your time.
When a publisher contracts with you to write an article, you have no doubt established contact with them, and know format they desire. If you are not being paid, and are hoping to build your "recognition" through publication, it is to your benefit to present it properly.
Publishers are busy people who have deadlines to meet. The easier you can make it for them, better chance you have of them making a favorable decision.
The very first thing you should do is to give them some idea of what article is all about. A sentence or two describing content, and who it is targeted to, is essential. If you don't do this, they might read a paragraph or two and make a decision based on that. You might have a great article that is rejected, simply because first few sentences don't get their attention.
Do you provide a word count? This is absolutely necessary. Publishers have different amounts of space available for an article every time they publish. Many times their first "cut" is made on length rather than actual content. If they have to take time to figure out how long it is, it might just end up in their trash.
Now, will these two things guarantee it will be published? Of course not, but it does give you a shot at having it read. Even if content is not a "fit" for current publication, if they know what it's about and how long it is, they might just save it for a future edition.
Spelling errors are usually an immediate "kiss of death". There is absolutely nothing that will get your article rejected faster. Most publishers reject "out of hand" an article with spelling mistakes. Think about it - if you submit an article with these types of errors, a question is immediately raised as to accuracy of content.
Have you actually read your finished article? The best thing is to have someone else proof it for you prior to submission. Sometimes you get so close to an article, and what may be perfectly clear to you, is not to someone else. Never submit article day it is written if at all possible. Let it age for a day or two and reread it. Concentrate on content first go round, and on presentation and form in subsequent readings.