Part three of the series on How to Get Published in a Craft Magazine provides insight to the type of investment required in order to pursue this goal. The submission process can be broken down into three parts: creation, submission and acceptance.
Creating a project for submission is done on spec. This means you have invested time, money and effort with no guarantee of payment. Right now, you might think that you won’t have to buy any materials because of your craft stash. Depending on the craft and the stash, this might not be true. A magazine’s specific requirements can be found in their submission guidelines. In general, the materials used in a project must be current and readily available. The definition of current for these purposes means that the company that created the product is still in business and the item has not been discontinued. The definition of readily available means that it should be easy for a reader to acquire the materials required to make the project.
You can submit a project by mail or electronically (via e-mail or uploaded to the magazine’s website). There still are some publications that only take submissions via mail.
Publications sometimes require that you submission include their submission form. Mailed submission will require that you be able to print out the form. Electronic submissions the form can be filled out the same way. If for some reason you cannot fill it out using your electronic device, then fill out a printed copy, take a photo of it and attach it to your submission.
The cost associated with mailing a submission will depend upon the craft type, project size, project weight, packing materials, method of shipments and distance shipped.
An electronic submission requires access to a digital camera and the Internet. The digital photo is what the editor uses to evaluate your design. You’ll want a photo that really shows off your design. You might be able to get away with using your smart phone if your is a genius when it comes to taking a photo. Unfortunately my smart phone is pretty dumb. Professional photography lights are not required. I prefer natural daylight over my photography lights. Keep in mind that access to an external file (like your digital photo) might not be possible if you are accessing the Internet at a public library or at work.
The publisher expects you to pay for shipping your work to them. The package you send will include the finished project and the printed out instructions. You must type up the step-by-step instructions you wrote. You will also send an electronic version in a word document. Additionally, you might have to pay the return postage too. Some project might call for photos or illustrations of some steps. Photos that support the instructions will have to be high resolution. After reading this post you should have a clearer understanding of the investment required in the pursuit of becoming a published craft designer.
Part four of the series will address the return on this investment.