Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Pub Tips From an Amateur

Hi friends!  Hope you are doing well.  I have had lots of emails, private messages, chats, etc... the last few months asking me about tips for publication calls so I figured I would write a blog post just in case anyone cares to read it.  WARNING: I am not a professional and I have no affiliation with any magazine.  I am just like YOU, a crafter who thinks it's cool to get projects published.  This is just what I personally feel helps me with calls.  Everyone has their own method.

1.  STUDY STUDY STUDY!  If you want to be in a magazine, study that magazine.  Look at the cards in there and make sure your style suits the magazine.  If you don't have the money for a subscription or to buy an issue, go to your bookstore and study there for a while.  No matter how good your work is, if it doesn't suit the style of the magazine, it will most likely not get picked up.  It's ok to alter your work a bit to fit in with the magazine.  

2. Know your strengths.  I have a bunch of Copics but I've never taken a class so I don't color that well.  I barely ever submit anything with coloring on it and if I do, it's very minimal coloring.  If coloring is your strength, then submit that.  If you are known for tying the most gorgeous bow, submit projects with bows on them.  If people oh and ah at your clean and simple style, then submit those cards.  Yes, it's ok to go out of your box but at least know where your strength lies.

3. Use newer products.  Some magazines say that the products you use on your projects need to be available for 6 months after you submit.  Keep in mind that calls happen months to a year before the magazine actually comes out.  The readers want to be able to BUY the product once the magazine comes out, they can't if the product has been retired.

4. Take clear, concise pictures.  I'm not sure if you know this but I used to work for a photographer.  I know all sorts of fancy effects on photos but I NEVER use them for my publication projects.  I take straight on, clear photos with no props or background.  I don't want anything detracting from my projects.  I also make sure that there's plenty of light in my photos.  If people can't see your projects, they can't accept them.

5.  Expand your horizons.  There are many magazines out there.  You can submit to them ALL if you have the time and energy.  If your style varies or you have several different interests, submit to different magazines.  Not everyone can be in the same magazine, but there's lots of magazines to submit to find the one that has room for you.  

6.  Keep trying.  I can't tell you how many times I've had projects rejected.  Over and over again.  Just keep trying until you get in.  You can submit the same projects more than once as long as they fit into the calls and meet the requirements.  Never ever give up!

I hope these tips help you!  Good luck!  


  1. Great tips! Thanks so much for sharing your experience with others trying to get published.

  2. This is a great post, Ashley. I'm sure I'm not the only one who feels like this was written just for me ! :-)

  3. Great post - and I'm sure will help to answer a lot of questions for people just starting!!