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The Complete Idiot's Guide to Publishing Magazine Articles (Complete Idiot's Guides (Lifestyle Paperback)) Paperback – 8 Jun 2000

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More About the Authors

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Product Description

From the Back Cover

Take the mystery out of selling your ideas to magazine, newspapers, and web sites by reading this book. It explains who hires writers, what editors want from freelancers, how much you can expect to be paid, how you can write effective query and pitch letters, and how the Internet can help your writing career take off.

About the Author

Sheree Bykofsky is a New York literary agent and co-author of the best-selling The Complete Idiot's Guide® to Getting, Published.

Jennifer Basye Sander is a book packager and the author of more than 20 books.

Lynne Rominger is an educator and author of over 50 published magazine articles. She lives in Roseville, California, with her four children.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 21 reviews
51 of 52 people found the following review helpful
This Book Sold Articles For Me 22 Aug. 2002
By Ray Shane - Published on
Format: Paperback
Before reading this book, I'd written and sold a couple of short fiction stories but had never tried nonfiction. I liked the idea of writing magazine articles but had no idea how to go about it. I picked up "The Complete Idiot's Guide to Publishing Magazine Articles" because I like their simplified approach to topics and because I'd read the other IDIOT'S GUIDE Sheree Bykofsky co-wrote (Complete Idiot's Guide to Getting Published).
The Idiot's Guide to Publishing Magazine Articles gives you a no-nonsense approach from start to finish, covering things like studying the market, generating ideas, querying editors, assignments, conducting interviews, and actually writing the article, as well as some tips on book proposals, the life of a magazine writer (waiting/praying for checks), even taxes.
After I read "The Complete Idiot's Guide to Publishing Magazine Articles" I thought up a couple ideas, fired off some queries, and sold three articles the month after I bought the book. Now I'm working on assignment (not spec) writing a second piece for one of the magazines to which I sold an article last month.
If you can write and if you have something interesting to say, this book and a copy of "Writer's Market" are the twin pillars on which you can build a freelance career.
Charles Hustmyre
New Orleans, LA
48 of 50 people found the following review helpful
Good content-- in between the jokes & verbose chatty writing 27 Feb. 2005
By Groovy Vegan - Published on
Format: Paperback
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.
46 of 49 people found the following review helpful
Helped me get published! 18 Jan. 2001
By Amazon Customer - Published on
Format: Paperback
I bought this book last September because it was the only book I could find that included Web writing and email queries. It has been an enormous help.
I also really liked the advice on finding a niche. Since I'm an accredited breastfeeding counselor, mine has turned out to be pregnancy, breastfeeding, and babies. I guess I'm doing something right, because I've sold three feature articles to, Breastfeeding Baby Steps and Best Foot Forward. Another will be posted soon.
In addition, I've gotten two article assignments from a local parenting magazine, one on swimming programs for young children and another on baby-wearing (slings, wraps, etc.).
I've been meaning to write a review for many weeks, but considering my young kids and my new writing career, I've been pleasantly busy. This has helped me get started with online publishing in a field I know well. I consider this a great book!
16 of 16 people found the following review helpful
Fabulous book! 6 Jan. 2004
By A Customer - Published on
Format: Paperback
Fabulous book! I picked up "The Complete Idiot's Guide to Publishing Magazine Articles", and after reading all of the wonderful advice and tips, I had the marvelous experience of having my very first submitted article (ever!) retained by a big national magazine (and they only accept 10 in 1,000 from freelancers).
I saw a few comments about the book being heavy on travel writing information, but I did not find that to be true at all. I also agree with the reviewer who said that a career in freelancing can begin with this book and a current copy of "Writers Market".
I highly recommend this book for those interested in magazine writing. A BIG *THANK YOU* to the authors of this helpful manual!
20 of 22 people found the following review helpful
Made lead, cover article with the help of this book! 25 Aug. 2003
By MW - Published on
Format: Paperback
I've always had a writing bug and I love to tell other people about neat things that I've done. So, at the beginning of 2003, I picked up the book, "The Complete Idiot's Guide to Publishing Magazine Articles."
First, I brainstormed about what to write. Then, I used the ideas in the book to determine which magazines to target first. I wrote several articles using the tips on writing effective articles. And, finally, I wrote a few query letters.
I approached 2 magazines with 1 article in February and 2 other magazines with another article in March and April. The first article was rejected both times. The second article was rejected once in March, but some interest was expressed by the second magazine in April. After a month or so of back and forth communication, the second publication (Nuts & Volts, for electronic hobbyists) agreed to buy my article. My family and friends were quite impressed when they visited their local ...bookstores and saw that my article was the main, headliner article on the cover of the July 2003 issue!
What more can I say but, "the advise in this book works!"
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