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Write From Home
Kim Wilson
P.O. Box 4145
Hamilton, NJ 08610

E-mail: kim @ writefromhome.com

Reprint Mania: How to Generate Sales, Clips and Contacts from Regional Parenting Publications
by Jill Miller Zimon

Regional parenting publications usually pay writers low fees so that they can stay free to their readers. But this market is replete with reprint opportunities (also called second serial rights) and the publicationsí local presence gives new and part-time freelancers without thick clip files a great chance to sell their writing based on life experience.

By following the steps below, I turned one sale of a gift-giving article into eight sales, including two assignments from editors who knew me only because of my reprint query. If you want to boost the number of editors who will see your work, pay for it and publish it, then sell one article repeatedly to help reach your goals. 

1. Parenting Publications of America sells its 114 membersí information for $50, but you can access the listings for free through the siteís "Find a member" Web page (select a state and hit return). Thatís 114 family, child, parenting, health, education, psychology, sports, and product review markets in one place since parenting magazines regularly feature stories on all those topics. The listings include the name of the publication, the area(s) it serves, a snail mail and e-mail address, phone and fax numbers, a Web site address when one exists, names of the publisher and editor, circulation size and the frequency of publication.

2. Read the publication online and note its departments. Check writersí biographies to see if they are local. What topics do the non-local writers cover and do those stories mention local experts? A magazineís writerís guidelines may also address the issue of non-local versus local contributors.  Check a publicationís media kit or advertising section for editorial calendars. 

3. Send an e-mail to the editor with the subject line "Do you use reprints?" if the Web site doesnít tell you whether they do, or there is no Web site. Identify yourself as a freelance writer, ask whether they accept reprint submissions and if they do, do they prefer that you attach your manuscript to an e-mail or that you cut and paste it into the e-mail. Request information about whatever the site doesnít cover i.e., writerís guidelines, the editorial calendar, and to whom you should address your submission or query. 

4. Put your articleís title in the subject line of your e-mail and compose your reprint query. Most editors wonít open an e-mail with a generic title. Pitch the article, say when it was published and by whom, what rights are available, why youíre qualified to write it and where else youíve been published if you have been published before. Mention how your piece meets their editorial calendar.

5. Send the proofed query with manuscript. Wait about four weeks. If you donít receive a response after four weeks, send an e-mail saying that you hope they received the submission you sent a month ago but, in the event that they didnít, youíre cutting and pasting it into this follow-up e-mail because you know how many e-mails they must review. Thank them for their time.

6. I didnít query any publications that required snail mail but the steps would be the same. Only the mode of communication would change.

Several publications on the PPA list are affiliated with United Parenting Publications (UPP) and donít accept unsolicited freelance submissions. E-mail the specific editors first to find out if they'll accept queries. Also, some publications require exclusive review and use of your article due to competition (Florida and Connecticut for example). Tell the editors that you will respect that request until you hear from them or after "x" number of weeks expire.

Last but not least, keep track of the queries and submissions. Reprint work can multiply quickly and you donít want to miss any checks or clips now, do you?

Jill Miller Zimon is a freelance writer from Pepper Pike Ohio.  Her work has been published by The Plain Dealer, Cleveland/Akron Parent, Connecticut Parent, Mid-Ohio Valley Parent, Metro Parent (Ann Arbor and Detroit) and Suburban Focus. In 2003, she won Inspiredtojournal.com's Memories with Energy contest, placed second in Funds For Writer's Success Wanted contest and her personal essay, "Passion Junkie", placed in the top ten of The Writer magazine's Journey Conference contest. She and her husband have three children ages 3, 6 and 9.  She can be contacted through jillzimon@sbcglobal.net. Visit Jill's Web site at http://www.jillmillerzimon.com










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