Monday, June 29, 2009


BEACON FLASH #37 - July 2009

In the summer issue of The Beacon, the sidebar addressed one way to add value for magazine editors. This Flash will give you more ideas.

Freelance writers no longer just write articles. In today's connected and visual world, we have become content providers, which means that well-orchestrated text is just not enough. Savvy writers today offer:
  • a choice of article lengths: feature, department, or short
  • a text version for the publication's website, which is shorter and edgier. (Think - small screens on Smartphones)
  • a selection of their own images in lo- and hi-res for print and web (see the June 09 Beacon); everyone with a digital camera can achieve pix good enough for print magazines
  • podcasts for the website that enlarge on the written article and may include interview clips and sound effects. (The 18-34 year old age group prefers to listen to their magazines, but so do many others.)
  • where appropriate, short video clips for the website. ( For example, sports and recreation, and travel pubs use them.)
These enhancements to simple print articles demand that writers check into periodicals' websites to see what they offer. Some use all of the above to push traffic back and forth from their print mags to the website. Others do not. Make sure you know who uses what before you query an editor with an article idea and your additional offerings.

A few diehard freelancers are resisting this approa
ch, saying they are writers not broadcasters or photographers. But many have already embraced the change and upgraded their skills to provide magazine editors with exciting content for print and the web. These are the writers who are selling their articles in this competitive climate.
To learn more about the value-added components, join Julie for
Pitching in a Cold Climate
at the Whistler Writers' Festival on September 12, 2009.
Go to and click on "Events" for details.