The Secret To Conducting Writers Market Research
Did you know that the biggest challenges writers are faced with are in relation to marketing? As long as writers continue to struggle, mastering the art of writers market research is the only relief.
Having said that, the brighter side is nowadays almost everything seems to be revolving around the internet.
The internet has broken barriers that once stood in the way of progress. It comes with a host of new opportunities and it has become easy to find new writers markets online.
Writers who know how to do a writers market research stand a better chance to tap into those opportunities.
As a writer invest time in searching for paying markets and learning how to exploit them and how to approach editors and publishers.
Having a grasp of how to conduct writers market research is key for getting your work exposure to be accepted and paid for.
How To Conduct A Writers Market Research
Market Analysis Stages
Step 1: Choosing Stage
Depending on your interests, if your eyes are set on the magazine market, choose the magazine (publication) you’re familiar with.
A publication that publishes the type of material you feel confident writing in. Only pay attention to publications that pay article contributors.
Step 2: Analysis Stage
After going through the selection process, carry out an in-depth analysis of the magazine you have chosen.
Step 3: Writing Stage
After analysing the magazine in great detail, write down your analysis.
Why it is relevant to do an analysis
For you to succeed as a freelance writer, you must know where to send your manuscripts.
Firstly, establish who to send your material, when it’s convenient to submit, the accepted length for the manuscript and the writing style for materials. Finally, you must know how much you expect to be paid.
Fresh Analysis For Each Submission
Editors come and go. Publications do change the type of articles they accept from time to time. So, it is very important that you do a fresh analysis each time you want to submit an article for publishing.
It doesn’t matter its a magazine, newspaper or a journal. What I am basically saying is you must know markets out there.
Below are Sample A and Sample B to showcase how I did a market analysis for two different magazines. My Sample A research was for submitting an article to a Short Story Magazine.
Short Story Analysis – Best Magazine 2007
Name of Publication: Best Magazine.
Address: Best, 33 Broadwick Street, London, W1F 0DQ, Telephone number, Fax number.
Editor Name and Initials: Write the name in full.
Frequency & Type: Weekly, women’s magazine.
Length:60 colourful, saddle-stitched pages.
Do They Accept Freelance Work?
No other non commissioned work accepted, but always willing to look at ideas/outlines. For short story writers, Best is a good market.
Targeted at women of all ages especially in their late 20s and above, probably working.
Type of advertising
On food, pharmaceutical products and special offers.
Type of Articles
Multiple features, news, true-life short stories on all topics of interest to women, regular sections on fashion, beauty care, health fitness, homemaking, recipes, agony column and astrology.
For short stories, each issue has a one-page, (900-1,200 word), variable other works.
Don’t need to specifically romance, nor twisters-just good, ‘not-instantly’ transparent stories.
Articles targeted to the average reader and use general language for informing and entertaining purposes. Direct speech is made use of very often.
An in-depth analysing of a realistic market reveals what it expects from a writer. Figure out what the ‘typical reader,’ the individual you will be writing for.
For example, you can deduce this from the ads. What do the adverts tell you about the reader’s lifestyle?
Short Story Analysis – Guidepost 2007
Name of Publication: Guideposts
Address: The Editor, Guideposts: Finding Hope from Tragedy 16 East 34th Street, 21st Floor, New York, NY 10016.
Editor Name and Initials: The Editor
Frequency and Type: monthly.
Length: Not indicated.
Accept Freelance Work?
Writing a short feature is often the easiest way of making a sale to Guideposts.
Guideposts don’t use fiction, essays or sermons, and rarely presents stories about deceased or professional religious people. It does not evaluate book-length material.
Aimed at people from all walks of life to achieve their maximum personal and spiritual potential.
The magazine’s articles present tested methods for developing courage, strength, and positive attitudes through faith in God.
Writers express viewpoints from a variety of Protestant, Catholic and Jewish faith experiences.
Type of Advertising
On family recipes from readers, pharmaceutical products, and medical books e.g. on arthritis, bibles, knitting yarns, cookbooks, birthday cards-anniversaries, get well etc.
Type of Articles
inspirational, interfaith, nonprofit publication.
Articles Length and Payments
- Full-length manuscripts (750-1500 words): $250-$500, occasionally higher.
- Shorter manuscripts (250- 750 words): $100 – $250.
- Short features and fillers under 250 words): $25-$100.
- These include “What Prayer Can Do,” and heavenly encounters such as “His Mysterious Ways, “Angels Among Us” and “Divine Touch.”
- Article Style A typical Guideposts story is a first-person narrative written in a simple, dramatic, anecdotal style with a spiritual point that the reader can “take away” and apply to their own life.
The story may be the writer’s own or one written in the first person for someone else. Even Short Features, use this format.
Power In Our day-to-day living, His Mysterious Ways.
Type of Vocabulary: Simple and straightforward English. Direct speech is made use of very often to make stories lively and be natural.
- Don’t try to tell an entire life story in a few pages. Focus on one specific happening in a person’s life. The emphasis should be on one individual. Bring in a few people as possible so that the reader’s interest stays with the dominant character.
- Decide what your spiritual point or “take away,” will be. Everything in the story should be tied in with this specific theme.
- Don’t leave unanswered questions. Give enough facts so that the reader will know what happened. Use description and dialogue to let the reader feel as if he was there, seeing the characters, hearing them talk.
- Dramatize the situation, conflicts and struggle. Then tell how the person was changed for the better or was the problem was solved?
- Most Important: Study the magazine.
- Manuscripts: May be submitted online and by mail.
- They must be typed, double-spaced and accompanied by a self-addressed, stamped envelope.
Why Writers Use Outlines?
An outline is sent to the editor to promote your work. Some markets have their own outline styles that they publish in the publication itself or on their website.
Writers Market Research
Each week buy at least one different magazine from your usual ones. Examine the magazines closely to establish the kind of articles, features and stories they contain.
The more you read the more likely you will have the following effects.
- Association Ideas – Almost every anniversary can produce a unique angle to an article, not covered in the mainstay of the anniversary.
- Also, write for the web-based publications where you can earn good money. You can also use the internet as a research tool.
- Ideas come from your reading. No idea is new so your job is to find a new slant on the subject.
- Using your own articles by rewriting them to suit another market.
- Looking for articles with a local interest in local history focus.
Please feel free to share any method you use outlining. I’d love to hear about it!