There are three key periodical submission tips to follow when sending content to online outlets and print media publishers.
I list them from least important to most important, but if you don’t get past the first one, you’ll never get to the second. And you must pass the second step to even have your writing considered.
1. Follow the Submission Guidelines
Guidelines are there for two reasons. First to allow the recipient (usually an editor) to work more effectively, and second for the writer to present their work in the most favorable light.
The guidelines are there for your benefit, to help you, not constrain you.
2. Make Sure Your Submissions Match What the Periodical Publishes
For example, my publications address niche industries. I want relevant industry nonfiction articles. Over the years I’ve had people submit short stories, poems, song lyrics, and even a recipe. It’s clear they never bothered to see what content I publish.
As a result, they wasted my time and theirs.
3. Submit Your Best Possible Work
Even though it will be edited—this happens to every piece, regardless of who wrote it—make it the best you can. Proofread it carefully, spellcheck it, and ensure it says what you want it to say. Frankly, if I have to work too hard to polish the submission, I’m likely to reject it and go on to the next one.
This may seem harsh, but it’s the reality for most time-pressured editors, agents, and publishers. Follow these three periodical submission tips to maximize your chance for acceptance.
Peter Lyle DeHaan, PhD, is an author, blogger, and publisher with over 30 years of writing and publishing experience. Check out his book The Successful Author for insider tips and insights.