If jokes and verbose trying-to-be-clever writing were advertising, this book would be Oprah Magazine. But more on that later--I just needed a lead as per chapter 19 "Hook 'Em Early, Hook 'Em Hard."
"The Complete Idiot's Guide to Publishing Magazine Articles" is like an introduction 101 survey class to this topic. Among many other things, it covers the basics of the entire process from generating article ideas, to writing query letters to conducting interviews, writing basics, and even how freelance writers deal with taxes. Like a 101 class, this book provides breadth but not depth. Most beginning magazine writers will likely need more of the material on earlier parts of the process such as studying the market and writing query letters rather than dealing with taxes and contracts. However, as a survey course, they do have their place, with the exception of the chapter on writing books and book proposals. For an excellent, more in depth treatment of query letters, a topic a novice will definitely need, I recommend "How to Write Irresistible Query Letters" by Lisa Collier Cool.
Having published a handful of freelance pieces and knowing the basics of the process, I can tell you the information is provided is good, sound advice. My problem with the book is that you have to wade through so much verbose trying-to-be clever chatty writing to get to the basics you need as a freelance magazine writer. It's like the authors, unbridled from the tight word counts and no nonsense editing of magazines went nuts trying to be cute and clever. For one of many examples, there's a section called "Ratatatatat: Machine Gun Writing" which begins, "Do you feel like Bruce Willis in 'Die Hard' right about now? What the heck do we mean when we say machine gun writing?" Then there's another paragraph before they get to the definition. I think this book could have been edited by about 1/3 with no loss of content.
None-the-less, I appreciated the content in between the jokes, even though some of it was not in depth enough to my liking, such as the brief section on how to get clips. I especially liked the interviews with magazine editors discussing what writers need to do to break into writing for their publications. If you need an intro 101 survey of the career of freelance writing and don't mind wading through all the chatty wisecracking writing, this is the book for you.