Today I'm answering a common question among budding knitwear designers: "Should I design for magazines?" We'll go over the main items you should consider before submitting a design proposal to a magazine, as well as my top tips for success in this area. If you've been wanting to grow your knitwear design biz, give this episode a listen!
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- It can be tempting to work for "exposure," hoping that will turn you into a superstar.
- Designing for magazines usually means you will get paid for your work, which is a big benefit!
- Once you know how much time it will take you to create a design and how much they'll pay, work the numbers.
- Remember: there's also a marketing benefit for magazine design! Your work gets out to a wider audience.
- Connection can be a benefit as well. Working with a magazine can connect you with influencers in the industry.
- Keep your eyes open for opportunities to form connections each time you collaborate on a design.
- Think about what you can offer above and beyond just sending in a pattern. Solve a pain point for the editor!
- Rights can be a tricky area for magazine design. For at least some time, the pattern rights will belong to the publication.
- Make sure you understand the rights agreement and if/when the rights revert to you!
- Remember that the photos in the magazine don't belong to you; if you republish a design, take your own photos.
- Even if the rights don't revert back to you at all, that's not necessarily a bad thing! Just make sure you're comfortable with the arrangement.
- Make sure the fit is right: does your work fit with the magazine and its audience? If not, find another one.
- Think like a businessperson: tailor your proposal/submission to the magazine you're trying to impress!
- Kara's tip #1: Keep trying until you get a YES! (No matter how many Nos you hear before that!)
- Being turned down by one magazine - or ten- does NOT mean that your work isn't good enough!
- Sometimes rejection just means your work didn't fit their theme or they had too many similar submissions.
- Kara's tip #2: Be professional! Put together a nice portfolio of your work to show the editor!
- Study how other designers are using Instagram well to present their portfolios.
- Maintain a professional website - it's like your virtual home base and it speaks volumes about you and your work.
- Follow the guidelines and format that the magazine specifies in their calls for proposals.
- Kara's tip #3: Diversify! Don't put all your eggs in one basket - publish your work in a variety of places.
- Be aware: If you send your designs out to different magazines, you can't send the same design to more than one place!
- Never send a previously published design as a proposal to a magazine. All designs must be original.
- Bonus tip: don't knit your own samples! Hire sample knitters - it will save you a ton of time.
Links Mentioned in this Episode:
Trisha Malcolm's episodes - Episode 1 and Episode 72
If you need help with planning out your path to magazine publication, or you'd like someone to review your design proposals, book a FREE consulting session with me and we'll go over it together! Click here for all the details.
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