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BrianShaw 03-08-2009 12:09 PM

Getting published in magazines
I have far too many interests in addition to my profession, and as a dyed-in-the-wool researcher I love publishing my work. Getting published in professional and hobby journals in other areas has been a challenge but hasn't been so difficult as to be unachievable and has been intellectually satisfying.

Now I'm interested in publishing some "research" in cooking magazines, but finding that to be a tougher nut to crack. I can't even get them to divulge their process. Perhaps not being a "known name" is an issue, but I would suspect that they have a process for unsolicited submissions from yokels like me, etc, etc.

Has anyone on this board had experience publishing in cooking magazines; I could use some advise on how to get started.

sarah h 03-09-2009 12:11 PM

Re: Getting published in magazines
No idea, but here's a question:

Do you just want a way to get your research results and your views out to an audience or are you looking for a way to make some cash from the process?

If it's the former, simply starting a blog (easy on E-Blogger or Wordpress) might do the trick and, though it could take some time, if you rack up a decent number of hits on your site or reach the right audience it might eventually provide the 'cred' needed to move you into the publishing arena.

A friend who's been blogging for a few years just had his first article published, though it's for a website rather than a paper publication. A comment he made in his blog about an article on that site caught the eye of the guy who runs it. He e-mailed my friend, asking if he'd be interested in reviewing a software application from their store. Things fell into place from there ...

Just my 2 cents!


Ken524 03-09-2009 08:01 PM

Re: Getting published in magazines
Sarah is right on the mark... and I wouldn't have believed it unless I had seen my own son do it.

My son Ryan started his own weather blog and website at 16 years old and has been at it for over two years now. In that time he has built a large loyal following, been featured twice on local TV news (once being a guest weathercaster), featured in the local paper, won a nation-wide Weather Channel contest, landed a summer job as a storm chasing guide and most recently scored a full scholarship to get his Meteorology degree from Mississippi State.

OK, I'm done bragging. Sorry :o

rroughtrade 03-10-2009 05:32 AM

Re: Getting published in magazines
As a former staff writer for a well known food/wine and travel publishing house and now as a freelancer, I can speak from experience that it is indeed pretty damn tough to break into the industry as a nobody. However, it can be done. Start off with some of the lesser known journals and magazines and/or local papers. While blogging is definitely new media, most print publications have fairly strict guidelines regarding spelling, grammar, writing conventions, voice and content. Instead of writing an article and trying to hawk it (When I worked as an editor..I didn't even bother to read unsolicited submissions), send a query letter. Basically, a one page "query" explaining what you would like to write about, a couple of angles, total length (word count) and ask, if they would be interested. Almost without exception, a magazine/journal etc is planned out between a year to two years in advance. A query letter allows the editor and opportunity to see if your slant fits into their planning needs. If they are interested, they will let you know exactly the direction, tone etc that they are looking for...if they don't want haven't spent hours agonizing over your masterpiece that won't even be read. With current changes in the economy, most magazines/journals and publishing houses have had pretty severe lay-offs and are well stocked with content to last for the next few years. Interestingly enough, I keep seeing an article I wrote and had published almost ten years ago being recirculated by a variety of magazines but now "written" by a new author.

BrianShaw 03-10-2009 12:39 PM

Re: Getting published in magazines
Interesting insights and great information. Thanks folks.

In general I'm looking for an outlet to share what I've learned. Academic journals don't pay so I'm accepting of that. Now... if I could make a few dollars to offset equipment, etc I would be very happy. And since my investment is fairly minimal I'd be happy with fairly minimal pay!

It seems that I need to re-adjust my attitude about blogging, etc. I see some very good blog sites and currently I have the impression that it is an endless labor, albeit a labor of love it appears.

Modthyrth 03-10-2009 02:52 PM

Re: Getting published in magazines
I write for, and get paid for it. It's an article farm, but I get to write about absolutely anything that strikes my fancy. Payment is based on a revenue-sharing model, so the more I write, the better my articles are, the better I am at SEO, the more money I earn. I'm currently only earning about $30/month, but I haven't put much effort into it. The lovely thing about this revenue model is that I'll continue to keep earning money, even if I never write another word.

Many of the writers on the suite forum talk about other freelance opportunities and book deals that have arisen through their online suite101 portfolio.

Ken--I'd be crazy proud of your kid, too! Brag away!

BrianShaw 03-10-2009 05:44 PM

Re: Getting published in magazines
Thanks Nikki. I'll look into that. Right now I'm earning $0.00 for my writing. I just submitted a four-part article to an scholarly journal. They eagerly accepted it and I hope to see the first installment appear in the next edition. But my dream is to stop being so academic (I write research/write technical stuff at work and historical stuff at night) and start sharing some of my culinary research. Darn... it still sounds rather academic, doesn't it?

Ken524 03-10-2009 07:00 PM

Re: Getting published in magazines
It's been so long, I had forgotten... Back in the late 80's, early 90's, I was published a few times in a now defunct computer journal (anyone remember the Commodore 64?).

I did exactly as RroughTrade suggested. I sent a letter to the editor pitching my idea and he contacted me back telling me what he was looking for. After the first article went to print, I was able to get 3 or 4 others published - at least until they shut down operations.

Modthyrth 03-10-2009 10:12 PM

Re: Getting published in magazines
Heh. My first computer (of my own, not a family computer) was a commodore 64 portable. And by portable I mean about 60 pounds and the size of a large suitcase.

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