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How to get published in magazines

Behan & Karen Burns-Booth

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How to get published in magazines

  1. 1. How to get published in magazines By Karen Burns Booth & Ren Behan
  2. 2. We‟re Karen Burns Booth @KarenBurnsBooth and Ren Behan @RenBehan We are both UK food bloggers and freelance food writers. Hi!
  3. 3. • Getting noticed – how to create strong editorial • What info you should add to a recipe and/or pitch • Developing a niche and becoming a „go to‟ person • Tailoring your pitch and following the process through to publication • Our experiences and top tips! We‟ll each speak for 5-6 minutes and then we‟ll open the floor to questions with Ceri‟s help. Today we’re going to talk about –
  4. 4. • Blogging since June 2011 • Recipes in print - Country Kitchen, delicious. Magazine, The Simple Things, People's Friend, Village Living, Baxter's Recipe Cards, Fish is the Dish cookbook, The Clandestine Cake Club cookbook, The Little Book of Tea Time Treats. • Also writes for Great British, Garlic & Sapphire (Sarah Raven), Rural Mums, Bavette (French Magazine), Living France and Morphy Richards Blog. • Previous career includes - Teacher (Art and English), Restaurateur, Buyer for Harrods and Cabin Crew for two major UK airlines @KarenBurnsBooth Introduction
  5. 5. How to get noticed…  A good way to get noticed by magazine editors is to enter competitions - many magazines ask for „readers‟ recipes‟ with the offer of prizes to those that are published.  This was how I was first discovered by Country Kitchen.  The editor approached me to ask if I had any more images, copy or recipes similar to the one I submitted and won with. She then sent me a schedule of proposed articles for the year ahead, and asked me to "pitch" for any that interested me by providing sample copy, recipes and images for them.  I submitted several articles and was accepted on to the „regular freelance contributor‟ list.
  6. 6. When pitching…  Try to create recipes that fit in the „theme‟ of the magazine you are submitting the recipe for; if it is a „heritage‟ magazine, submit recipes that resonate with local history or that have been passed down through the family.  When I wrote regularly for Country Kitchen magazine, they were known for promoting heirloom and historical British recipes, following the festivals and seasons throughout the UK.  I had to research ancient Saint's days and festivals to provide relevant copy for my features, as well as develop recipes based on old recipes and regional ingredients.
  7. 7. Points to remember…  Before sending an email, ask first who is the correct person to pitch to. It might not be the Editor. It could be the Food Editor, a Features Editor or even a Lifestyle Director.  As well as pitching recipes, ask if they will consider using your images (if they are of high enough quality and are Hi-Res)  If the magazine is using their own image of your recipe, ask them if you can approve images they take, as mistakes can happen where the image published does not represent what it should look like. This has happened to both Ren and myself!  Make sure you check the recipe before printing if the magazine asks to „tweak‟ the recipe in any way. It is YOUR name and head on the block if it is tweaked and does not represent what it should afterwards.
  8. 8. Securing a freelance commission  Make sure you are accepted on to a finance list at the same time too - they will usually send you a form to fill in with all your bank details and other personal information.  Ask for a written contract – to specify how you will be paid and whether that includes expenses or whether your fee is £X + expenses  Let them know how you want paying from the start, such as BACS or cheque.  Make sure you ask them what their time-table of payments are, to avoid nasty shocks later when it appears you have not been paid.  Invoice regularly, keep receipts and copies of invoices and remittance advice once paid.
  9. 9. How to comply with editorial frameworks…  Make sure you are sent a set of guidelines so you know how to comply with the editorial framework; this comprises:  Dates - the last date for submitting copy and a schedule of articles for the next six to twelve months  Images - the resolution required to submit images  Nutrition - what nutritional information is needed for each recipe  Word count - minimum and maximum word count for the editorial
  10. 10. Continued…  Style - some editors ask for a certain style of writing, such as third person or first person - usually when you are writing personal editorial to back up a family recipe or local festival  Originality – check whether you can submit previously published recipes (by yourself) – usually a magazine will insist on exclusivity, so if you follow up with a blog post, you‟ll have to point or link to the recipe, rather than re- publish it  Sundry requirements - some editors will ask or provide a framework of other requirements; one magazine I work with asks that all recipes I submit must be suitable for one person too.  If you are NOT provided with an editorial framework, then ask for one, it saves a lot of hassle in the future!
  11. 11. Online versus traditional print magazine work  The way forward is definitely web-based magazines, and I write for several; if you decide this is the way for you, then the same rules also apply for online editorial as for printed.  Online time-scales will be shorter and seasonal work will be more in tune with the current season. For example, for a Christmas edition, I used to have to get my copy in by the end of June for print; for an online Christmas article, work on submitting editorial by the end of October.  Some writers prefer this more "instant" way of writing - I am happy to work with either platform, but DO remember that you may have to search for out- of-season ingredients and they may be costly - I won't bore you with my search for a goose in June!
  12. 12. Conclusion - Karen’s Top Tips  If the editorial is accompanied by high quality (hi-res) photos, they often go to the top of the list for further consideration.  Always check your grammar and spelling before submitting editorial, it seems obvious, but many people don't.  If submitting recipes, make sure they have been double tested at least, triple testing is best, as if the readers find a problem, you will have to stand by your recipe with the editor.  Apart from the basic editorial, each recipe needs an interesting introduction and maybe how it was developed, the family history etc.
  13. 13. @RenBehan  Blogging since November 2010  Recipes/articles in print – delicious. Magazine, Flavour Magazine London, Morrisons magazine, Fish is the Dish Cookbook, BBC Three Counties recipe factsheets  Also writes for Jamie Oliver.Com, The Foodie Bugle, Great British Chefs, plus styling, photography and recipe development for UKTV Food/the Good Food  Previous career includes – Solicitor/Criminal lawyer  Following a career break, completed a Diploma in Journalism through CTJT and a Food Styling Course at Leiths School of Food and Wine
  14. 14. Making your recipes stand out to an Editor  It can help to develop a niche or to be known for a particular type or style of food. If you can become a "go to" person or an expert you are more likely to get repeat commissions.  Bloggers who tend to get external recipe work or print deals usually have a particular angle - ancestry/heritage, baking and desserts, a dietary specialism, travel, regional cuisine, kids‟ cooking – or have strong photography and styling skills.  Some of my recipe work with a Polish angle has been noticed as it‟s different and „on trend‟. In other cases, my styling or photography has got me noticed.  Sabrina Ghayour, blogger and Persian supper club host agrees – “Be unique, offer a unique insight into a subject and populate your site with that kind of food.”
  15. 15. @SabrinaGhayor’s Tips…  “Don‟t harass magazine editors to feature you. Just strike up interesting conversations on Twitter and Instagram. Keep posting photos of your food. Don‟t focus on chasing features, they will come to you.”  “Keep recipes colourful, seasonal and interesting. Don‟t use too many hard-to-find ingredients. Make your food accessible.”  “Consider holding some recipes back so that you have some recipes that are not already published on your blog.”
  16. 16. Tailor your pitch to the publication  Notice different sections within each magazine and look at who put the feature together as an indication of who to write to.  Consider mainstream as well as specialist publications, magazines linked to brands or kitchens, specialist dietary magazines, baking publications and women‟s magazines with recipe sections.  Don‟t discount new and „up and coming‟ publications, or independent publications such as The Foodie Bugle. I started writing for The Foodie Bugle in its very first month and am so proud to see it move to print - taking some of its favourite contributors with it! Contributors are not always paid in new magazines, but it is a supportive, collaborate platform. You can write in your own name and get a profile boost.  The Simple Things Magazine, Fork Magazine, Crumbs and Pretty Nostalgic are other examples of growing publications – as you can imagine, there are hundreds of others!
  17. 17. The process…  Draft a strong pitch, tailoring it and sending it to the correct person. Ask if it is ok to pitch before pitching!  Offer a few different recipes and ideas. Usually they like to see a recipe written up.  If the pitch is successful, the magazine will usually test the recipe – make sure it will stand up to rigorous testing.  Ask for a PDF proof of the feature to see how it looks and to use in your media section.  Check back in a few months‟ time to see if the publication are interested in a follow up.  Note that magazines work 3-4 months ahead of schedule. Pitch Christmas ideas early in the year!
  18. 18. @SilvanedeS @TheFoodieBugle Silvana de Soissons is the Editor of The Foodie Bugle and food writer for The English Garden and The Simple Things magazine. Her advice is this:  “I know how very hard it is to get editors interested in you. The market is flooded with wannabes. There are three really important elements to getting your work published by magazine editors or by book publishers: quality, quality, quality.”  “There is a tsunami of food blogs, magazines, cookbooks and articles. The ones that stand out, stand the test of time, are read by the cognoscenti and appreciated by discerning readers are the well researched, well written, well photographed, well presented ones.”
  19. 19. Continued…  “Spend lots of time researching your piece, reading lots of material, analysing the subject matter, structuring the article, photographing the food etc.”  “Quality speaks for itself quietly. Mediocrity needs to shout, and is mainly ignored.”
  20. 20. Your best chance of getting your work published…  Sometimes it is a case of luck; being in the right place at the right time, or a recommendation from someone already on the inside!  Regardless, you can and should use your blog as a visual platform – move away from the classic “here‟s what I had for my dinner” – with a poorly lit/blurry photo if it your intention to move into paid, freelance or even in- house recipe work.  Imagine your blog as an online portfolio. Be professional. Don‟t use your blog as a place to rant. Use it to showcase what you can do best.  Perfect all angles of recipe work – develop well structured and well written recipes. Simple food styling and light, bright photography will really help you to get noticed. Look into taking a course to improve your skills, if necessary.
  21. 21. Aim high! @AnnesKitchenTV’s Tips  “Even as a journalist by profession, writing a food blog has opened up many new opportunities.”  “The Simple Things magazine approached me to shoot a few recipes for them, as they saw my pictures on my blog.”  “My recent delicious. Magazine article (a travel piece on Berlin) was a combination of my journalistic endeavours following my work at Time Out and my blog work.”  “My biggest success has been pitching my own TV show and getting it commissioned.”  “Having worked for RTL as a regular correspondent for 2 years (doing mostly news and features) I approached them again after starting my food blog and explained what I'd like to do. They listened and gave me a chance to shoot a pilot. They then commissioned two seasons (24 episodes) of my very own show. I have since created my own TV production company, got a book deal and can now say that I can make my living BECAUSE of my blog.”
  22. 22. Ren’s Top Tips  Look carefully at the way magazines are structured and notice that certain features tend to repeat. For example, simple suppers, seasonal food, weekend favourites, inheritance features, food + travel pieces.  Always have a business card to hand and have a clear contact page. I got some very decent freelance work recently by going along to a press event, chatting to the editor of a top UK food site and leaving my business card in the Editor‟s general vicinity!  Spend less time going to PR events, or writing free PR for brands, and more time focusing on networking (but not throwing yourself at) editors and journalists.  Write original and eye-catching content.  Contact online editorial teams running alongside traditional print publications, as very often they run separately and may be keen to use features online as well as in print. Often, an online platform has a much higher readership per month than a traditional print publication‟s circulation.  Improve your skills as much as you can. Ask to attend a food photoshoot, or to spend the day in a test kitchen. Look out for courses in styling or photography and consider holding some of your best recipes back from your blog in the bank ready to pitch!
  23. 23. Thank you for listening! Any questions???