Thursday, November 13, 2008


Children's Market: Jumping Jack Press Pop-Up Books

I mentioned this market in our August issue of Premium-Green (where we give first calls), but I thought I'd share it with you all since it's a great one!

Ever since I was a kid, I've been a big fan of pop-up books. They are always so visual, and a great interactive way to introduce children to reading. They weren't always for children though. According to Wikipedia, the audience for early movable books were adults. It is believed that the first use of movable mechanics appeared in a manuscript for an astrological book in 1306. The Catalan mystic and poet Ramon Llull used a revolving disc to illustrate his theories. Throughout centuries they have been used for such diverse purposes as teaching anatomy, making astronomical predictions, creating secret code, and telling fortunes. It was not until the eighteenth century that the techniques used in pop-ups were applied to books designed for entertainment, particularly for children. And kids love 'em!

In researching markets for Premium-Green, I wrote the creative director, Monika Brandrup, at Up With Paper and asked for their submission guidelines for their greeting card line. I was disappointed to find they didn't accept freelance writers for their cards, but she told me that their new book division, Jumping Jack Press, was always looking for story ideas for their pop-up book line.

Monika said, "We are always on the lookout for great story ideas. We pay a flat fee for writing our books that averages around $1,200 for an 8-page book. If anyone is interested in submitting concepts and ideas, they may email them directly to me."

So there you have it! Check out Jumping Jack Press: to get an idea of the books they publish before you query. They are absolutely gorgeous! Then send an email to Monika Brandrup: monikab[at]upwithpaper[dot]com.

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Wednesday, July 23, 2008


Freelance Writing Job Opportunity from eHow

eHow is Looking for Writers of All Levels to Contribute to Their Growing Library of How-To Articles!

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Joining our writer community is fast and simple. Once you register and opt in to our Writer Compensation Program, you can immediately start uploading articles and making money.

As part of our Writer Compensation Program, eHow Writers make money on the articles they submit. Payments are generally based on the traffic the article receives and the quality and uniqueness of the content. We also encourage our writers to promote their articles on their own websites and blogs.

Why Write for eHow?

Our easy to follow article template helps you quickly format and upload your articles. You choose the title and write the body of the article by filling in detailed step-by-step instructions. Add any tips or images readers will need to complete your How-To. Then pick a category, and you're ready to submit.

eHow Writers enjoy these benefits and more!
- Publish articles on topics of your choice
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Monday, March 17, 2008


Lucky Query Letters

Since I am part Irish and it's St. Patrick's Day, I have to write about luck. But leaving our writing to luck is not a good strategy if we want a successful freelance career. Sure, there are those lucky few, who seem to just sort of wander into an on-going assignment with National Geographic or who just happen to query People magazine and get an assignment to interview Tom Hanks. But usually writing does not come down to luck, even on St. Patrick's Day. So, how can you get your query letter out of the slush pile and into the hands of the right editor?

The secret, which has nothing to do with luck, is not even that hard. All you have to do is find the name of the editor, who would most likely publish your article in her section of the magazine. For smaller mags such as Missouri Life, this would probably be the managing editor or sometimes the associate or submissions editor. For a larger publication such as Vogue, many of the individual departments, such as Beauty or Health, have their own editors.

The easiest way to find the name is to see a copy of the magazine. This is recommended, anyway, before you query the editor. Go to your local library, view a copy online, buy one at a book store, or send for a sample copy.

Once you have a copy, then look at the masthead. You will see the names of the editors and their job titles. Find the editor that fits your submission and send your query directly to them. If Nancy McFarland (had to pick an Irish name :) is the Health editor and your article is about a new exercise plan, then start your letter: Dear Ms. McFarland. When you address your envelope, put Nancy McFarland on the top line and the magazine name and address below. One way to end up in the slush pile is to address your envelope to Submissions Editor. (You can also use the Web site, , to view the masthead of many magazines.)

Some words of caution: If you are looking at a huge magazine such as Family Circle, do not send your submissions to the top editor. She is in charge of the entire magazine, and usually, her associate editors or department editors bring her ideas they love from the query letters they've read. Address your letter to one of them. Going straight to the top is not always the way with query letters.

If the name is gender neutral such as Riley or Kelly, don't assume the editor is a woman or man and address the person with Mr. or Ms. In these cases, I address the letter with the editors first and last name such as Dear Riley Smith. I've also heard of writers, who have called the magazine and asked if the editor was male or female. Writers also call and confirm the person still works there. I've never done this personally, but I do know a lot of successful writers who have. Don't ask to talk directly to the person. That is the kiss of death. Just ask the receptionist your question.

I also double check the name on the publication's Web site if possible. Most print publications have a Web site, and sometimes, names and email addresses of editors will be listed. This is only a tool for double checking. I do not email my query to the editor unless the guidelines say I can. I also use the Writer's Market guide to double check editors' names. Sometimes, the market listing will be specific and tell the name of the acquiring editor, but I like to check this with the Web site or masthead. Market guide listings are sometimes written a year in advance, and in the publication world, people change jobs often.

However you do it, find an editor's name before you address your query letter. This strategy gets you one more step closer to publication without relying on luck.

Happy Writing!
Margo Dill

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