How to Get Published

By Drue Lawlor, FASID
Director of Coaching, Gail Doby Coaching & Consulting & Design Success University
Photo Credit: Katie Klein

Media is changing and a number of traditional print magazines have closed or consolidated, while others have reduced the page count of projects. These changes mean designers are competing for fewer pages, so it is even more important to have a serious plan in place when submitting projects for publication.

Most importantly, ask why you want to be published in the magazines to whom you are submitting? What will be the return on your investment? Are you hoping to attract clients from the publication? If so, will this publication attract your ideal client? Would they even see your project if it were published there? Would being published influence that client’s selection of an interior design firm?

If you are serious about getting published, the following 5 tips may help that become a reality.

1.Be clear as to what magazines your ideal clients read, and research and get to know the look and type of story content found in those magazines. How many and what type of photos do they usually publish? Will your project “fit”?

2.Identify 3 magazines that are the best “fit” and submit to one at a time. Be specific as you pitch your project or they will assume you have sent this out to numerous magazines. Be sure you have enough content for a story as well as great photos and that the project is unique enough to capture attention. You might want to identify specific areas of the magazine where you feel your project would be a good fit which shows you actually are familiar with the publication.

3.Critique your website. Does it need updating before you submit your photos as, if they are interested they may visit your website to get a better feel for your firm and your work.

4.David Duncan Livingston, “Photographer of Interiors, Architecture & Lifestyle”, with an excellent track record of his photographs being published, recommends that you submit via email with a well written, concise description (under 500 words) with 6-10 small, good quality photos as jpegs. These are “introductory photos” so can be snapshots, but if you are serious about getting their attention, show your work in the best possible light – figuratively and literally! He also recommends that the photos are as accessible as possible, as they may be share with a variety of people on the editorial board – so avoid links to download.

5.Include photography and styling in your marketing budget. Research photographers with experience in having their photographs published. It may be worth the additional investment if the photographer can work with you and make recommendations as to how to best photograph the project for publication.

One additional tip: Be patient. Livingston suggests that you might include a “sunset clause” stating that you would love to have the project in their magazine. And then add that if you do not hear back within a few weeks, you may look for other publication possibilities.

And don’t give up! “Winning takes talent, to repeat takes character.” John Wooden

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