Mastering the Dark Art of Marketing: Magazines

by jonnahzkennedy

Most of us know how our favorite authors got started up, and often times we wonder , “Damn, how can I be that good at such a young age? I gotta try this,” and we never get there, and you just kind of stare at yourself for a little while and wonder, “What did do wrong exactly?”, well, that’s what rejections for. I recently got rejected for the fourth time by a possible agent for my book The Farm, and turns out she was incredibly close to taking the book, but apparently there just wasn’t something there. This re-instilled my faith in the book for I had given up on it after I believed I would be seeing no prospects for it in the future, and I’m about to begin the process of editing it to appeal to more agents, I’m just afraid of the mainstream-alizing of it just to appeal to these agents, but that’s for another day. The last time you came to class to learn the Dark Arts, we were talking about contests, and this time, I’m here to tell you about a slightly different kind of contest: literary magazines. 

This is what I was talking about earlier: some of our favorite writers started writing for literary magazines from a young age, this is how they started churning out so many stories that you’re like, “How do they even do that? They’re like-like superhuman, dude,” and sure, maybe they’re just a little bit superhuman, they’re still human. What I’m trying to say is that, you don’t have to feel like writing prolifically as some of our favorite authors do just has to be a dream, it can be a reality. The reason why they submitted to magazines is because, magazines are a strange medium, especially literary magazines. Magazines seem to be on the threshold of indie and a major publishing company; you’ve got small ones, big ones, medium sized ones; yet all of them want your work, and this is why they are such a big mine that you need to dig into. In literary magazines, you have a much higher chance of seeing your work in major publication and syndication than with a contest or rolling the dice with a publishing company, and what is more, you instantly have a broader fan base than you ever would with the other two options, because you’re going to be put in a magazine that get’s some great circulation. 5,000 may not sound like a lot, but boy is it when you’re just starting out: 5,000 people reading a magazine with your work between it’s covers. Do you know how amazing that is? Do you realize what this means? If people like your work, not only are you benefiting the magazine by gracing it with your incredible writing abilities that will cause readers to purchase it again in hope that your work will be there again, but now you have a fan who is going to be on the look out for your work from now on, you now have a actual fan. Plus, magazines are read by everyone in some form or fashion, and you never know who’s on the other side of the screen reading your work, it could well be a literary agent whose been looking for some new project to take up. 

In short, magazines are great exposure. Unlike contests, to add, magazines are far more widespread and they’re not as hard to find, you don’t have to do so much digging. Just do a Google search, and you won’t believe how many magazines are looking for submissions. What is more, magazines are usually year round and have weekly editions, or biweekly editions, and they sometimes have a yearly anthology for which your work could be a part of, therefore, as I said before, you have a much higher chance at being accepted sometime during the year, where as contests have far stricter deadlines, and unless you’ve just been that on top of things, you’ll be late for contests and not have enough time to craft your story to the true place that you want it.

To finally relate to marketing, Magazines are obviously ridiculous chances for marketing: you’re not paying for an advertisement, you’re not auditioning for a commercial: when they accept your work, you have a bonafied guarantee that someone is going to come across your work, your entire work, not cut, not trimmed to fit this little advertisement book: the whole goddamned story. If that’s not more then enough reason to go out and try to get your work in some magazines, I don’t know what is and i’m at a loss. 

So go out my ravens and go search for you some magazines and you make people read your work, you become a writer: YOU GO GURL. 

Stray strong and fly high my ravens, cheers!