The R’s of Writing by Pamela S. Thibodeaux (c) 2014
(W)rite the best piece you can! There are hundreds possibly thousands of markets out there. It goes without saying that writing your best is important whether it’s an article, essay or novel.
Research. Once you sell your piece and the limits of your contract have expired, start looking for similar markets to submit to, including those outside the United States. Say you’ve written an essay for Working Mother, try iparenting.com, a Canadian market that has several publications on the subject. If you’ve published in print, try online markets and vise-versa.
Rework. Can you add or take away from your original piece and sell it to another publication? Perhaps you’ve written an essay for a secular magazine, can you add the faith factor and sell it to a Christian market or vise-versa?
Revise. Can you revise your article or essay to fit a whole new market altogether? My essay Perfect Love was initially published in the Feb. 2001 issue of The Romantic Bower Ezine. One year later, a call for submissions came for a compilation called Crumbs in the Keyboard; Stories From Courageous Women who Juggle Life & Writing. By simply adding a commentary to the article that acclimated it to fit the purpose of the Crumbs project, the story was published in this anthology.
Rewrite. Can you rewrite your piece with a different POV so that it’ll work elsewhere? I did. My short story Angel of the Day was published in Nov. 2000 issue of The Romantic Bower Ezine. I revised the entire story from the hero’s POV, changed the title, added a hint of sizzle and a splash of sensuality and created a whole new story. The new version, Cathy’s Angel was published by Pelican Book Group and is still available.
Revamp. Can you cut out the tips and advice of a long piece and submit that elsewhere? I have. Several of my longer writing related articles have been shortened to bare bones and submitted to various publications for pay.
Record-keeping. If you have more than one article, short story or essay that you’re trying to market, it is imperative that you keep records of your submissions so that you don’t duplicate them. It looks unprofessional of you to send the same piece to the same place once it’s been rejected. Now, if you’ve implemented one or more of the above steps to better fit a particular publication, then by all means query. A simple paper, notebook or document listing the submissions and indicating what’s been accepted where, works well. Also, keep accurate records of your income and expenses for tax purposes.
Renegotiate. Most newsletters and websites have a reprint rate so it’s unprofessional and unnecessary to argue the point. For those that don’t list a reprint rate, offer to take less than their normal payment since it is a reprint or perhaps trade articles for advertising.
Remember, in this business money isn’t everything. Marketability is. Publishers want to know how marketable you are therefore, clips mean experience, experience means exposure and exposure means one step closer to publication!
So learn the R’s of writing. Added together they equal Revenue.
Award-winning author, Pamela S. Thibodeaux is the Co-Founder and a lifetime member of Bayou Writers Group in Lake Charles, Louisiana. She has over twenty years experience in bookkeeping, insurance and tax preparation. Multi-published in romantic fiction as well as creative non-fiction, her writing has been tagged as, “Inspirational with an Edge!” ™ and reviewed as “steamier and grittier than the typical Christian novel without decreasing the message.”
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