Saturday, March 03, 2012

Tickle the imagination and The and Sami - How to get published in magazines

We have three fabulous blog posts for you all, being delivered today and next Sunday 11th march. The subject is all about how to get yourselves published in magazines.

First up we have Tanya, editor and all round style guru of the most fantastic online magazine "tickle the imagination" Tickle is a new, independent e-mag, celebrating the handmade and creative community in Australia. Released bi-monthly, tickle the imagination aims to inspire creativity, showcasing talented artists, crafters and designers, discovering emerging talent and sharing real-life stories and diy projects. 

After Tanya, we have Thea from Thea and Sami, Thea designs and hand prints natural and organic fabrics in her studio in Brisbane, Australia. She also creates fabulous homewares, including a limited edition range of quality linen homeware and accessories. Thea has recently been published in Home Beautiful and has written about the experience.

Over to Tanya, from tickle the imagination......




tips for getting your small creative business featured in a magazine......

Getting featured in a magazine is a fantastic way to introduce your business to a new audience, and also gives you a nice little confidence boost. 

It can be daunting approaching a magazine the first time... but don't let that stop you. Editors are just people too, so don't be scared to submit an idea...the worst thing that can happen is that you receive a 'no thank you'. And if you don't get it quite right the first time...try again! 

Here are a few tips...

perfect match
It may sound a little obvious, but magazines look for content that will appeal to their readers.

Every magazine is different and has its own unique audience.  For tickle the imagination it’s Australian women aged 25-45 who are lovers of handmade and/or own a small creative business.

It makes sense to find a magazine that has a similar target audience to your own. You understand their interests, your products will appeal to them and you therefore stand a much better chance of having your product or business featured.

pitch an idea
If you have an idea for an article or feature, don’t be shy, email the editor.

Try to find the name of the person you will be submitting your idea to, it’s nice to address the email personally.  Look for submission information on the magazine's website. If it's not there, simply email and ask for their submission guidelines or media kit.

Before clicking send make sure that double check the content (grammar and spelling) and that you attach or embed images that support your pitch.

be timely
Most magazines will have an editorial calendar outlining their themes or topics and deadlines for upcoming issues.

If their next issue is all about interiors then it's the perfect time to introduce your new range of hand printed wallpaper or pitch your idea for a cushion tutorial!

Keep in mind that magazines work a few months ahead of their next issue, so take note of their deadlines before preparing a submission.

save advertising copy for…well… adverts
Blatant advertising in your submission will generally result in your article being overlooked. 

great photography
Being a creative magazine, our focus is gorgeous images. We love crisp, clear photographs that show-off your creations in their best light!

Professional photography doesn't always fit into the budget of a small creative business, so here are a couple of tips for photographing your product (please note...I am only an amateur photographer and these are guidelines based on my own experience):

·         styled shots can be beautiful, however if you don’t have experience styling a shoot…stick to the less if more policy.  A crisp white background almost always results in a lovely shot. Try using a white sheet (ironed of course!) or large sheet of card for the background, placed so that it sits underneath the item and carries on up behind the item to avoid a visible 'corner' line
·         if you have a tripod...use it! If not rest your camera on a steady surface to avoid blurring
·         images taken at night or in a dark room almost always result in poor quality images
·         experiment with your aperture setting - a large aperture (low f-stop number) creates a shot with a shallow depth of field - meaning you can create a shot where the product is in focus, and the background is out-of-focus, while a smaller aperture (high f-stop) will result in a greater depth of field, where both the product and background can be in focus
·         I have always found natural light work best for me... try taking your photo shoot outside or in a room that is filled with natural light. Direct sunlight will result in harsh shadows and/or glare on your product so overcast days are best. Afternoon light is said to have a better colour than early morning light (Although this might depend on your location!). You want a soft, even light with minimal shadows.
·         try photographing your product from different angles, but be careful not to distort the perspective.
·         even if you don't own an SLR, don't despair!! I have seen some amazing shots done with an i-phone camera!! don't believe me? checkout these shots by stylist Deb McLean!! (i-phone photographs will not have the resolution necessary for a print mag, but can certainly be used to pitch an idea)

follow up
If you haven’t heard back within a week, it is perfectly fine to send through a quick email to check your email was received and if any further information is required.

make it easy for the editor to say yes
Editors are busy people, and unfortunately it isn't always possible to reply to every concept and idea that is sent through. A very basic overview of what I look for as an editor...

a few links…
I love this little article on getting your indie business noticed

Good luck,
Tanya x

and now a note from Thea, from Thea and Sami.....




Hello, I'm Thea Samios from Thea & Sami. I design and hand screen-print natural fabrics and homewares in our own studio in Brisbane. We sell our range at boutiques all around Australia and through our on-line store and in studio.

Recently, I was fortunate enough to be featured in the January issue of Home Beautiful, one of my favourite magazines. Bronwyn McNulty, was the the freelance journalist who interviewed me. She found my blog after doing a Google search for 'textile designer'. So yes, it does pay to be consistent with blogging. 

As the article was part of the monthly 'Inspire - Creative Journey' series, the magazine was looking for a artisan in their studio/work space. The editor had to approve me as the subject and did so on the merit of the studio photos that I placed on my blog.  So don't think that it doesn't matter if you don't have clear photography. Many journalists as well as retailers are trawling the blogs and Facebook looking for new and exciting products. It will pay you to learn some photo editing skills. It's rare for me not to touch up my photos at least a little in Photoshop.

The photo shoot and interview took place in my studio 7 months before the article was actually published! I was very nervous about having my photo taken but the photographer was nice enough to allow me to veto any images that I did not like and submitted a nice collection for the editor to choose from. It was definitely worth it as I had a surge of new customer orders and wholesale enquiries once the magazine came out. The orders have tapered off a bit now as people are always reading the latest magazine.

It probably pays to try and have continued media exposure and I am now using a professional photographer for our product shoots so will be submitting those images to the media contacts that I have made. Tanya will be able to tell you more about what magazines are looking for. Personally, I have always been contacted by media, but be aware that they will often ask for high-resolution images at a day's notice so always try to have high quality images ready to go. You will lose out if you don't have them.

thanks so much ladies..............

Next week we are continuing on with the advice about how to get published in magazines. We have guest blogger Heidi from Giddy kipper joining us. Not only has Heidi been featured in loads of magazines in the U.K, she has also been extremely busy interviewing some editors of U.K publications on our behalf, to give her blog post that extra va va vooooom!!! 

Can't wait to read it Heidi!

To read all the Cheeky BLOGS and how they started, click here

Have a lovely week everyone and don't forget the BIG Cheeky Pickle FB Market night next Sunday 11th March, 8pm. Lot's of my designs will be available to buy including originals and printed work.




  1. Fantastic as usual. Thanks for another enlightening read :-)

  2. Superb - thank you. I'm not at that stage where I'm ready to approach a magazine, but I plan to at some stage and I will keep you advice in mind when the time comes. I've just read the latest issue of Tickle the Imagination - it's a great magazine. Helen

  3. great advice and I love those fabrics! Thanks a lot, Ladies!