One Writer’s Journey

February 6, 2017

Submit Smarter, Not More Often: How to Increase Your Writing Income

balancing-marketsIf you’re anything like me, you’d love to earn more writing income.  Although I make my living as a writer, I’m to the point that I’d really like to make a “good” living as a writer.  In her newsletter Funds for Writers, Hope Clark recently told readers about a new approach that I’m going to try — the 25/50/25 tool.

Google “25/50/25 writing” and you’re going to find several different versions.  The way that Hope uses it is related to income.

25% of your pitches should go to easy markets.  These are your sure things, the ones that almost never turn you down.  For some people there are non-paying markets that simply give them a byline.  For me, they pay but not especially well.  But they give me exposure and they are sure things.

50% of your pitches should go to markets that pay better and are a bit more challenging but are in reach.  Not everything that you submit to these markets is a sure thing but you do get acceptances.  They pay a little better but probably aren’t going to pay the mortgage.

The final 25%?  These are your dream markets.  Want an agent?  Or a Highlights byline?  Then some of your work needs to go to these markets — 25%.

Keep submitting this ratio to each type of market — 25% to sure things, 50% to harder solid opportunities, and 25% to long shots — and slowly but surely you will find yourself getting more and more acceptance from better paying markets. That’s the theory anyway and I’m going to give it a shot.

In the need for more markets?  Spend some time looking through the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators market listings if you are a member.  Or you can check out the list of Children’s Book Council Members.  Or Evelyn Christensen’s educational markets for children’s writers listings. If you want a specific type of market, Google “Children’s magazines” or whatever.  Then look for the guidelines on their sites.  If you want to see what markets are buying, Google “Writer for Us,” “Writer’s Guidelines” or something similar.

I checked my submissions and pitches for January and had 3 sure things, 2 pitches to maybe markets, and 3 long shots (pitches to agents).  That puts me at 38/24/38.  Not sure what that means at this point but I’ll have to see how this works out over the next several months to a year.

–SueBE

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