“Reselling Your Previously Published Work and Finding New Markets” – by Diane LeBow

“Reselling Your Previously Published Work and Finding New Markets: Tips from Two BATW Bobs”
by Diane LeBow, BATW President emerita
At our August BATW meeting, two of our most accomplished BATW members, Bob Ecker and Bob Cooper, generously shared their expertise and many useful tips on successful publishing.
History of the SF cocktail anyone?
Program Chair Erin Caslavka hit the jackpot once again by arranging not only an informative program, but also a unique venue. A large turnout of members filled the The Boothby Center, a SOMA location, part of the Barbary Coast Conservancy of the American Cocktail. This is an innovative nonprofit education and event center aiming at “presenting the cultural history of saloons and their cocktails in San Francisco.” Owner H. Joseph Ehrmann told us about their on-going and upcoming classes and events, and treated us to one of his favorite cocktails (see http://sfcocktailweek.com/boothbycenter.html for more info). Just when I think I know most of the nooks and crannies of SF, a new gem pops up!
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Bob Ecker
Bob Ecker

 
Reselling as an important trick of the trade
Bob Ecker, former BATW President and Program Chair, is the reselling champion: He’s sold one article about running with bulls in Spain 27 times! “The best advice I can offer is to use common sense, be resourceful and persistent,” was Bob’s summary advice. Some of his main points included:

  • 2 types of articles you can resell: evergreen and annual events; e.g., best beaches in Northern California. Editors love it because it’s easy to plug in anywhere.
  • For magazines/annual articles: check in 6 to 8 months ahead of time.
  • Magazine editors still want to receive a pitch, but newspaper editors generally want the finished article plus 1-2 photos if you have them.
  • Dust off old articles, shorten to 800-1,000 words, research to confirm all is still accurate, include 1 or 2 photos, not more.
  • For newspapers, check in 6-8 weeks ahead (or less).
  • About previous publication: Don’t ask; don’t tell. (Of course, if the editor specifies they must have first rights, then they do not want previously published pieces.) Don’t pitch to competing markets, like two papers in the Bay Area.
  • Think globally to find new markets. India, China, Japan, Australia, and Hong Kong all have quite a few English language publications.

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Bob Cooper
Bob Cooper

 
Think outside the box when looking for possible publication markets
“Think outside the box,” is Bob Cooper’s advice when it comes to researching new markets and pitching unique story ideas. Longtime columnist, editor, and contributor to a wide variety of publications, Bob gave an example of creative pitching: When he was the editor of a national running magazine, Running Times, a freelancer sent him a story about the Roadrunner, the cartoon character. It was an essay about this desert bird’s wily ability to always escape from the coyote that chased him. Bob accepted the article as a fresh perspective for this running magazine,  and the freelancer pocketed $1,000. Bob’s magazine was the 12th attempt this persevering freelancer had made, and it worked!
Research, network, and look for publications beyond major travel magazines like National Geographic Traveler and Condé Nast Traveler. Look into, for example, regional magazines like San Francisco, local newspapers, pet magazines, women’s, inflight, alumni, senior publications, business magazines, New Age like Whole Living, as well as apps.
Do Google searches both to learn of new outlets, as well as to find current submission guidelines, and to check out archives to learn about the publication.
Bob keeps careful folders with tips and editors’ names by category, as, for example, Inflight and Alumni magazines. You can manage these on your computer or in paper folders.
He recommends using the message boards of writing associations, including BATW’s, to gather ideas, and finds ASJA particularly helpful. Mediabistro.com’s “Revolving Door” gives the latest scoop on editors coming and going with various publications, Finally, it’s always important to be reminded how IM networking is invaluable, as are talking with other travel writers while on trips or at travel writing functions. Travelwriters.com is another worthwhile online resource.
Thanks to our two Bobs for an insightful and inspirational program. Maybe I’ll try sending my Nebraska cattle roundup piece to a PETA publication. Whoops, maybe not.
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