Monday, October 1, 2012

October 2012: Are Print Magazines Making a Comeback?


Write for Love Inspired Suspense!

"Love Inspired Suspense is looking for new authors, and we're running a fast track submissions period..." 

If you've ever dreamed of writing for the Christian Romance side of Harlequin Romance, this may be your chance. They are having a "Fast Track Event." For this event you don't need an agent to submit and you'll hear back on your proposed novel within a month: by November 26th. But hurry! You only have a couple of weeks to get this done: you need to submit your first chapter and short synopsis (two pages or less) between October 15 and 26. For more details, click on the "Writing Opportunities" tab above.

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Cover Story: Are Print Magazines Making a Comeback?

Do you know what showed up in my mail box this week? A copy of Today's Christian Woman magazine.

Yeah, I mean it showed up in my MAIL box -- that metal box on a pole out by the street in front of my house. Not my inbox -- that overstuffed cyber thing that collects more digital magazines and other stuff every day than I can read in a lifetime.

I was shocked. Why? Because Today's Christian Woman magazine went out of business a few years ago.

Are print magazines making a comeback? It seems all the world has been going digital. Newspapers are going under. It seems print-anything is last century. And yet . . .

I think it was earlier this year, or late last year, that I started seeing commercials on TV for new magazines. I wish I would have made a list of them. Okay, it wasn't really a lot -- maybe three or four magazines -- but still I remember saying to my husband that I thought print was on its way out. And suddenly "everybody" (okay, well three or four organizations) were starting new print magazines.

(Please, don't anybody tell the environmentalists! All that paper and ink and stuff.)

Personally I love print magazines. As a reader, when I want to relax with a magazine the last thing I want to do is read it on my computer or any other reading device. I spend pretty much all day everyday working on my computer. My eyes are dry and tired. I'm dry and tired. And I just want to take a magazine out on my back porch in the sunshine, or near the fireplace on a cold day and enjoy it. Honestly, taking my computer just ain't the same. I can't see the screen in the bright sunlight, especially with sunglasses on or when my photo-grays turn dark.

I love print magazines as a writer too. I've built most of my writing career on writing for magazines since 1990 or so. This is how I made my income. When print magazines started dying, the little income I made went with them. Sure, there are still some print magazines, especially within denominational churches. I'm very grateful for them. But many have either gone out of business or gone digital. With the digital versions, many take content from freelancers like me but almost none pay. (Please don't get me started on the whole "why does everyone expect writers to work for free?" thing.) Gratefully, I've found some online markets are starting to pay a little now.

With so many print magazines ceasing publication, I began looking for other avenues to make income and for my writing, including self publishing, e-books, screenwriting, and books. Now that I'm starting to get some huge balls rolling in those ares, wouldn't you know the opportunities for print magazines are coming back?! So many opportunities -- so little time and energy.

While I didn't make a list of the magazines I saw starting months ago (darn it -- still wishing I had), here is an interesting list of new magazines:

I'm pleased to see the resurrection of Today's Christian Woman. The former magazine was owned by Christianity Today and the web site shows it still is. If I remember right, someone on staff at the former TCW (was it Ginger Kolbaba?) started an online magazine called Kyria after TCW ceased publication. Kyria existed since at least 2009. I don't know if Kyria was ever printed. Now it seems Kyria has turned into the new printed Today's Christian Woman (of which Ginger Kolbaba is the editor).

I have no information on the inside scoop on how all this came about and I'm not seeing any explanation in the issue that just appeared in my mail box. I'm curious because I try to keep up on things, so how did I miss the magazine was making a come-back? I see some friend's names on bylines of this first issue, so obviously they knew about it! But I didn't. (Insert sad face here.) Nevertheless, I'm pleased to see the magazine miraculously appear in my mail box.

If you're interested in writing for the new printed Today's Christian Woman, you can find their Writer's Guidelines here.

Interestingly, I'm wondering if we're also seeing signs of increase in book publishing. I'm sure you recall the manuscript contests earlier this year from Pix-N-Pens Publishing and its sister imprint Write Integrity Press, when they were looking for book-length manuscripts to publish about "hope" and for Christmas. And now Harlequin's Love Inspired Suspense is searching for new authors and manuscripts (see top of this post). (Just please, please, please be careful if you pursue any book opportunities so you don't get taken by a self-publishing company that looks like a traditional publisher (like Thomas Nelson's WestBow Press).
I don't think the national or world economy is improving, and I don't see any reason for it to improve in the future unless the coming presidential election makes a difference. So I can't explain why there seems to be a sudden upswing in print magazines and print books. Perhaps it's simply that everyone cut back so much for so long that now there's a hole and a hunger that needs filled. Whatever the cause it's good news for writers. I hope you find ways to take advantage of it and get your own writings out there. If you're writing good, positive content, the world surely needs it.

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Get Ready for NaNoWriMo

Sign up now for National Novel Writing Month and get a lot done in a short time. Whether you're the outlining type or not, get your story line in order during October: make notes, make an outline, or get the story worked out in your head. But don't write a word of it! That has to wait until November 1.

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Next Month:

I'm not sure. Maybe we'll talk about the benefits of National Novel Writing Month and how to not only survive it but and thrive.