Monday, 24 June 2013

Research, query, write

Sasha from Brixton needs some marketing advice, she writes: I have written several articles on technology issues, but I’m really struggling to find outlets for them. Can you help me find markets?

There are two ways to deal with market research. One is to read several copies of a magazine and then think up an idea that might be of interest to the editor - taking into account the publication's style and content. If the editor likes your idea in outline form, you would then write the article to suit the magazine.

The other way is to think of an idea and then research a magazine that might be interested in it. This is by far the harder way of doing things. However, sometimes ideas come to us and we want to write them, so we have to research for the right outlet.

What you are trying to do is to find a market for existing articles. This is almost, but not quite, impossible. The articles may well need substantial rewriting to suit the publication. You might be able to use the facts, but end up with an entirely different article at the end, depending on what the editor asks for.

This is why it is so important to query with an outline - so that you don't waste time and effort on writing an article for which you do not yet have a market.

With regards to your technology articles, you need to find magazines that appeal to you as a reader and study the tone and content, then write an outline using your facts, which you feel would catch the eye of the editor. If the editor then accepts any of the ideas, you can alter your existing articles so that they are right for the readership.

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