Monday, 10 February 2014

Offer, When Asked

As writers we should always be seeking out new ideas, and I sometimes find myself jotting down potential ideas, with a view to tackling them at some point in the near future. Unfortunately, other projects take over and that near future becomes some point in the distant future. 

There are times when life nudges you to change your priorities. I have an Apple desktop computer and an Apple laptop, so I regularly read the Apple magazines. (Being self-employed I am the IT department, and so those magazines come in useful sometimes if ever I’m not sure how to tackle something.) But as a regular reader, I’m aware of the slots where the magazines need reader involvement. One of those, in MacFormat magazine, is called ‘Me And My Mac’. Essentially, a reader sends in a photo of their desk with all of their Apple equipment and then writes about why they have the computers/gadgets they do, what they use them for and what’s their favourite piece of software. There’s no payment as such, but successful submissions win a prize.

I’d had this slot in mind for a couple of years, but had never got round to sending something off. That might be because the magazine wants photos of a tidy desk … and mine isn’t always the tidiest of specimens on the planet! However, last Saturday - February 1st - MacFormat magazine put a call out on their Facebook page. Wanted: photos of their readers’ desks for the Me And My Mac slot. Clearly they were running short of submissions, so it was time for me to get off my backside and make the submission I always said I would!

It took about fifteen minutes to tidy the desk. (Okay, make that move everything out of view of the camera.) Then I set everything up and took three photos. Ten minutes later, I’d emailed them in to the magazine. On Monday, a member of the magazine’s staff got in touch, thanking me for my submission, and if they liked it they would be back in touch. An hour later they got back in touch saying they’d like to use my photos, and could I answer the following questions. I spent thirty minutes providing all of the answers and emailed them back. By the end of Monday afternoon I received another email, thanking me for my answers, and telling me that my photo will be in the next issue out at the end of February. They asked me for my address so they could send me my prize (a multi-card reader, with additional USB slots, worth £50). I gave them the info and then updated my records of the impending publication. The following day, Tuesday, the postman delivered my prize!

From submission on Saturday, to acceptance on Monday, and payment (by prize) on Tuesday. If only all publications paid that quickly! So the next time you see a magazine call for submissions, DO SOMETHING! You might be surprised by the response you get!


Good luck!

5 comments:

  1. Hiya Simon

    I've never actually been 'paid' at all for my bits n bobs I've sent off. But the thrill of seeing your name in the local paper a number times and also in Amateur Photorapher a few times is also a thrill. Not much I suppose but it is something.

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    1. It still proves you're giving the editors what they want, doesn't it? Keep up the good work!

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  2. Magazine slots like this (e.g. photos and letters) can certainly provide quick wins. Last year I won a pair of running shoes worth £140 for a 100-word letter. Around the same time, I was paid nothing for an article of ten times that length (although I appreciated the boost of having a comprehensive piece of work published).

    Colin

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    1. It can be a little frustrating at the disparity between payments, can't it? If only we could pay the gas bill in running shoes!

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