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Re: Going abroad: Collecting tickets (was Re: Dealing with the real fish? problem)

As a published author of a wide variety of articles, I can tell you that 
in order for a piece to get published, you have to have it meet THEIR 
editorial needs.  After being told recently by Fur-Fish-Game (where I 
have had a number of articles published) that they had no interest in a 
native fish aquarium piece (but were interested in an article on weasel 
trapping), don't worry about rejection slips.  A rejection slip doesn't 
mean that it was a bad article, just that it didn't meet their needs or 
doesn't "work" for them for whatever reason.  The best way to get 
published is to scope out the magazines and see which ones run articles 
on similar subjects.  An article on native fish aquariums might not be 
of interest to Newsweek but it may get a positive response from The 
Mother Earth News, where a good percentage of the readership might be 
interested in such an article as they might be interested in having an 
aquarium but don't want to purchase tropical fish. An article 
accompanied by good quality photos (usually 35 mm slides or larger 
format transparencies) has a better chance as it requires less work for 
the staff to make it publication ready.

Suggest reviewing a "Writer's Digest" type book if you are really 
interested in trying to get articles published, as reference books of 
this type usually have a good overview of publications and helpful hints 
on getting published.  Works the best when reviewed in conjunction with 
several issues of a magazine you are considering submitting to, as each 
magazine has a particular audience and "flavor." For instance, 
Fur-Fish-Game is a magazine for the average person who doesn't have a 
lot of money and fishes/hunts/traps locally or regionally on occasion.  
Outdoor Life is for the guy who has the ability to take off a couple of 
weeks for a vacation and maybe drives a bit on weekends.  Sports Afield 
is for the guys that go hunting  with tweed jackets and 1,000 dollar 
shotguns. Learning the "lingo" is half the battle of getting published.

>From owner-nfc at actwin_com Thu Jun 25 14:54:54 1998
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>Message-ID: <3592C6E2.68D5B234 at geocities_com>
>Date: Thu, 25 Jun 1998 16:53:39 -0500
>From: Herb Harris <top_side at geocities_com>
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>To: nfc at actwin_com
>Subject: Going abroad: Collecting tickets (was Re: Dealing with the 
real fish? problem)
>References: <Pine.A41.3.96.980625135546.404934H-100000 at acc_wuacc.edu>
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>	I have suggested a broader reader base privately, but as most are
>aware, the tickets for this ride are high priced. You'll likely collect
>a few rejection slips, though they are mostly called something else.
>Just hang in there though, when you do get a bite it can take you to
>more and more readers, but it takes time.
>	Robert's efforts are a good example. He is well on the way to ringing
>the brass bell with a generalized publication of the type you speak of.
>More of us should do the same. I certainly want to follow his lead in
>NFC, but also in WHAT he does to deserve his recognition, that is the
>hard work of shaping a slice of reality for his reader to share for a
>	A word of caution: NEVER, EVER write under an assumed name with the
>publisher having the rights to not only what you write, but to the name
>as well if you want to be recognized for the work elsewhere later in
>other forums. Depending on the conditions of the contract, you could be
>barred from direct discussion of the piece at all, or even mention the
>name! You really don't want to go there. You will defeat part of your
>purpose to associate your name with a writing subject, and so will not
>have other doors open for you as easily as they could otherwise. If 
>could talk about it, other folks would validate this. It does happen.
>Course if they told ya, like the spy said, they'd have to kill ya 
>HA ":)
>	Also, be leery of any publisher that offers to take the article, but
>wants to give credit to a "staff writer" as well, for the excuse of
>"editorial content" especially.  It depends on the piece, but they 
>just take your original piece, have it rewritten by a guy on the 
>anyway, and your name may never even appear in association with the
>piece. Sure, they will usually pay as agreed for your original piece,
>but as far as future recognition? ... that's a chance you take with
>these guys.
>	These may seem like common sense things, but in the heat of 
>and the desire to get a piece published, costly mistakes are made,
>especially if a person is just getting into submitting stuff to
>publishers, when they are easily avoided.
>	Mostly though, its all about waiting patiently for the mail for a few
>WEEKS, then finally getting a note about your stuff being "one of the
>better cookbook's I've read this week", when you didn't mention a 
>in the piece (except for that long section on preparing what the fish
>like to eat?). O well try again they say IF you're lucky and they like
>your style or something.
>	The above are of course general comments. In your case there is no 
>for concern, cause you can certainly hold your own with any nasty old
>publicist, eh? Hopefully though more junior writers will take up the
>cause as well, and may need to see some of this.  ":)
>	Course, the truly experienced among us could be a font of information
>if they have the time for such a piece(s)?
>Best of luck,
>mcclurg luke e wrote:
>> ***********
>>  More 'two cents' worth here...
>>   If we want people i.e. J.Q.P. to get the message then let's start 
>> to them.  Roberts and others articles are EXCELLENT but how are they
>> reaching the NON-aquaria world?  Let's consider other publications (a 
>> page advertisement--or the "Ditch" article in such publications as
>> 'Outdoor Life', 'Rod N' Reel', REDBOOK (don't laugh, that article 
>> get plenty of their readers going...) and that's just a FEW 
>> Maybe it's not financially feasible now for such publications, but 
>> about the local or regional journals.  I plan on trying to get 
>> to a couple of Agriculturally based regional magazines in Kansas this
>> year.  Probably just a note about the NFC or a copy of 'The Flier' 
but it
>> will be a start.  As well as sending stuff to area schools, 
>> and county extension agents.  Debate is great, articles are 
wonderful, but
>> let's not get locked into the idea that our only medium for 
expression is
>> in the pages (paper or electronic) of Aquaria based forums.
>> end sermon,  :-)
>> Luke
>> P.S.  It only works if we MAKE it work.
>> LM
>> >
>> > Keep up the fight Robert!
>> >
>> > Cheers
>> > Peter Unmack
>> >
>> >

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