Friday, June 22, 2018

What is a Regional Parenting Magazine or Publication and Why Do They Want Your Reprints?

A Regional Parenting Magazine (RPM) is a publication that caters to parents and families in a specific geographic area. For example, Kansas City Parent, my local publication, distributes their magazine all over the Kansas City metropolitan area, which is huge and covers two states!

The articles in RPMs range from how to handle newborn sleep issues to how to deal with too many activities and your middle schooler to how to deal with a surly teenager to how to deal with living with an aging parent. Many also have special separate issues dedicated to babies, special needs, teens, etc.

RPMs depend on freelancers to fill their pages with articles, essays, how-tos, etc., usually on a monthly basis, but sometimes bi-monthly or quarterly.

They make most of their money from advertisers and give out their magazine for free, which means pay to writers is usually low ($15-200 per article in general, depending on advertising income and subscriptions), and they need a steady diet of new and reprint articles, listicles (combination of an article and a list) and essays.

"Reprint" means you write an article and sell it to a magazine (I submit to a huge list of possibilities), then other magazines also buy it. Check out this post on how I can earn over $500 for writing just one article and sending it out to many RPMs.

Check out the story of how I got started in this online, at-home money-making labor of love back in 2006:

“My friend is crazy,” I said to myself when I got home from a visit with a friend who had kids around the same age as mine. I could not believe she actually went grocery shopping with a baby and a toddler every single day so she could have fresh ingredients. I, on the other hand, avoided the grocery store as much as possible and stocked up so I would not have to deal with the drama of taking kids there while my husband was out of town. I also liked to cook in bulk and freeze meals ahead of time so I wasn't living in the kitchen. My husband traveled for work often just like hers did, and I couldn't imagine spending my life at the grocery store and in the kitchen while caring for little kids.
So, like I had done since I was a very young girl, I channeled my annoyance into writing. I started writing about stocking up on groceries and meals to save time and money. Pretty soon I had what resembled an article like I had seen in my local parenting magazine, Kansas City Parent. I always picked up a copy of KCP when I was out and devoured it, and I figured I'd get the email address for submitting my piece and see what might happen. They snapped it up and sent me $25 after publishing it the following month and I was hooked. Making money to do what I loved was great enough, but being able to do it while being at home in my sweatpants while nursing a baby was EVERYTHING. It still is, about a dozen years later, minus the nursing and plus the homeschooling J

After that, I got to work tracking them all down individually, with no internet at home, dragging my then-three kids to the library and friends’ houses to grab info to pop into a main document later. How to Get Published (and Paid!) Writing About Your Kids has changed a lot over the years. It’s gone through a lot of cosmetic changes and even some title changes. Each edition sees magazines folding and being replaced with others, as well as magazines being added to the book in droves.

You can sign up for an email subscription to this site and get two freebies! Please also consider joining my Facebook group called Regional Parenting Magazine Writers ... it's FREE and full of tips and tricks and markets and like-minded writer friends!




Check out my 386-page PDF of tips, tricks, and insider information, as well as 384 paying markets for only $9.99! Just head to this page :-) I wish you success!


Thursday, June 21, 2018

Clubhouse Magazine Submission Guidelines


Focus on the Family Clubhouse is a 32-page magazine designed to inspire, entertain and teach Christian values to children ages 8-12. The magazine, which has a circulation of over 60,000, reaches young readers and their parents all over the world. Parents trust Clubhouse to provide wholesome, educational material with Scriptural or moral insight. The kids anticipate stories with excitement, adventure, action or humor. Your job, as a writer, is to create work that pleases both parents and children.

Fiction

Focus on the Family Clubhouse is a 32-page magazine designed to inspire, entertain and teach Christian values to children ages 8-12. The magazine, which has a circulation of over 60,000, reaches young readers and their parents all over the world. Parents trust Clubhouse to provide wholesome, educational material with Scriptural or moral insight. The kids anticipate stories with excitement, adventure, action or humor. Your job, as a writer, is to create work that pleases both parents and children.
We feature fiction stories in each issue. We look for fresh, creative stories, especially those with children our audience’s age as the main character. The characters should be well-developed, the story fast-paced and interesting, and the prose descriptive and engaging. While our stories aren’t always explicitly Christian, they should be built on a foundation of Christian beliefs and family values. Key elements in a strong story are humor and charm.
What we’re looking for:
~ Humorous stories with a point (500 words)
~ Historical fiction featuring great Christians or Christians who lived during great times (900 or 1,800 words, depending on the story)
~ Contemporary stories with multicultural or ethnic settings (1,800 words)
~ Fantasy or science-fiction stories, avoiding graphic descriptions of evil creatures and sorcery (1,800 words)
~ Choose-your-own adventure stories (1,800-2,000 words)
What we don’t need:
~ Stories where adults solve every problem
~ Mystery stories (we have a monthly column)
~ Stories that deal with boy-girl relationships
~ Poetry (we don’t print poems, but Clubhouse Jr. does)
~ Preachy sounding stories with an overbearing moral or message
Nonfiction
We are always looking for unique and interesting nonfiction stories and articles, especially stories about real-life kids. Every article should have a Christian angle, though it shouldn’t be overbearing. The concepts and vocabulary should be appropriate for our audiences’ ages. Nonfiction stories should fall between 400-500 or 800-1,000 words in length.
What we’re looking for:
~ Personality features of ordinary kids doing extraordinary things
~ Activity theme pages with 3 to 5 fun things for kids to do
~ Short, humorous how-to articles (how to get good grades, how to be a good friend)
~ Quizzes (multiple choice or true/false) that teach a biblical concept or character trait—more along the lines of personality quizzes than factual quizzes
~ Factual stories from a Christian worldview that talk about apologetics, biblical archeology or Christian values
~ Short craft or recipe ideas centered around a theme or holiday
~ Interviews with noteworthy Christians or Christians who experienced noteworthy events (athletes, actors, etc.)
What we don’t need:
~ Bible stories—as of January 2007, we only publish Truth Pursuer devotionals
~ Science or educational articles without Christian insight
~ Biographies told in an encyclopedia or textbook-style without a kid angle
Payment
We generally pay between 15 and 25 cents per word, depending on the amount of editing required. Feature-length fiction stories are usually bought for $200 and up. Nonfiction pieces are purchased for $150 and up. Authors sign a contract and are paid upon acceptance of the story and sent complimentary copies when the piece is published. We do not consider reprinted stories. We purchase a non-exclusive license, and simultaneous submissions are not accepted.
Sample Issue
If you would like a sample of the magazine to read and study, please send $2.50 and a large self-addressed stamped envelope to the address below or call 1-800-232-6459.
Submissions
All manuscripts should be typed, double-spaced, on one side only of letter paper (8.5x11 inches). The author’s name, address, phone number, email address and an approximate word count should appear on the first page of the manuscript or in the cover letter, as well as the genre of the story. We only accept completed manuscripts; no query letters. Material will not be returned unless a self-addressed envelope with adequate postage is included. Seasonal material should be sent in at least eight months in advance.
Address all submissions to:
Kate Jameson, Clubhouse Editorial Assistant
Focus on the Family
8605 Explorer Drive
Colorado Springs, CO 80920
We do our best to respond to submissions within 12 weeks.
Have files of article reprints that you own but have no clue where to start reselling them? Have ideas for some fantastic new pieces but no idea who might want them? Check out my 386-page PDF of tips, tricks, and insider information, as well as 384 paying parenting and family markets for only $9.99! Just head to this page to download How to Get Published (and Paid!) Writing About Your Kids and get started immediately!

Sign up for an email subscription to The Published Parent and get two amazing freebies: 10 Parenting Markets That Pay $100+ and 10 Markets That Pay Writers to Write About Writing! And join my Facebook group called Parenting Magazine Writers ... it's FREE and full of tips and tricks and markets and like-minded writer friends!

Chicken Soup for the Soul Writing Opportunities and Submission Guidelines


Chicken Soup for the Soul has an astounding collection of inspiring books! I remember about 15 years ago when I got the one for mothers for Mother's Day and I still have it, all Post-It noted and highlighted! Click here to check out their possible upcoming books, which you can contribute to! They update it all the time as they publish more and come up with more ideas! Here are some that are coming up!


Grandparents 
The moment a grandchild is born, grandparents are born too. Just seeing your baby hold his or her baby is an unbelievable experience. Everyone has a great story about the unconditional love between grandparents and their grandchildren. We are looking for true heartwarming, insightful and humorous stories celebrating grandparents and grandchildren; written by grandmothers and grandfathers about being grandparents and written by grandchildren about their grandmothers and grandfathers. Stories about or by step-grandparents and honorary grandparents are welcomed too. The deadline date for story and poems submissions is August 31, 2018.


Life Lessons from My Cat 
We are working on another wonderful and entertaining collection of stories about cats the lessons that we have learned from our feline family members. We know that our cats can teach us things about life and we know that you have many great stories to share with us. Those stories can be serious or humorous... or both. If you submitted a story for a previous Cat book title and we DID NOT publish it, please do submit it again if you think it will fit in this title. The deadline date for story and poem submissions is October 31, 2018.


Life Lessons from My Dog 
We are working on another wonderful and entertaining collection of stories about dogs and the lessons that we have learned from our canine family members. We know that our dogs can teach us things about life and we know that you have many great stories to share with us. Those stories can be serious or humorous... or both. If you submitted a story for a previous Dog book title and we DID NOT publish it, please do submit it again if you think it will fit in this title. The deadline date for story and poem submissions is November 30, 2018.


Mom Knows Best 
**Please Note the Title Change: This book was previously posted as Stories About My Mom. No need to resubmit your story.**
We are collecting stories and poems written by sons and daughters of all ages about their moms, step-moms, grandmoms or someone that is "like a mom" to you. Tell us what this special person has done for you. Is she always right? Do you still turn to her for advice? Does she annoy you with her advice? Have you become your mom even though you swore you never would? How has your relationship changed as you've gotten older? Share your best stories - ones that will make us laugh, cry, or nod our heads in recognition. We are not looking for general tributes (we know your mom is terrific) nor are we looking for biographies. We are looking for specific anecdotes about you and your mom or stepmom or grandmom. The deadline date for story and poem submissions is SEPTEMBER 30, 2018 for release in March 2019 in time for Mother's Day.


Running for Good 
It is well known that running conditions the body, but it is also great for conditioning the mind and the spirit. The title of this new book on running has two meanings: running is good for you and improves your health or you can run to do good for others or to raise awareness of an issue or raise funds for a charitable organization. We are looking for true stories about all aspects of running: camaraderie, personal challenges, training, triumphs and defeats, why you run, what running means to you, how running changed your life, reaching your goal, and humor… we love funny, quirky, and unusual stories. The deadline date for story and poem submissions is December 15, 2018.



The Golden Years or Second Wind 
So, you're a certain age now and you are ready to retire or start a second career. But you're not ready to stop living! You feel energetic and young and there is still so much to see and do and enjoy. We are looking for stories that will share with our readers humorous and fun adventures from those, or about those, who are actively enjoying their "senior years!" Tell us about your new careers, your volunteer work, your sports and sports cars, your new love interest, your travels, your families and all of those things you always wanted to do that you are finally doing now that you have the time. The deadline date for story submissions is December 30, 2018.





"If the story or poem you wrote is published by us, you will be paid $200 upon publication of the book plus you will receive ten free copies of the book your story or poem appears in."

We have many Chicken Soup for the Soul books in development and we frequently add new titles. If you have a great story or poem you want to submit but it doesn’t fit with any of the topics below, please save it and check this page again in the future to see if we have added a topic that’s a better match.

If you have a story or poem that you think fits two of the topics below, you may submit it to both. Then let us know in the Comments section that you’ve done so. Also, you may submit more than one piece for each book.
We are always looking for new talent. So whether you are a regular contributor or new to our family, please share your story or poem with us. If this is your first time, please visit our Story Guidelines page, which will answer many of your questions about subject matter, length, and style.
Have files of article reprints that you own but have no clue where to start reselling them? Have ideas for some fantastic new pieces but no idea who might want them? Check out my 386-page PDF of tips, tricks, and insider information, as well as 384 paying parenting and family markets for only $9.99! Just head to this page to download How to Get Published (and Paid!) Writing About Your Kids and get started immediately!

Sign up for an email subscription to The Published Parent and get two amazing freebies: 10 Parenting Markets That Pay $100+ and 10 Markets That Pay Writers to Write About Writing! And join my Facebook group called Parenting Magazine Writers ... it's FREE and full of tips and tricks and markets and like-minded writer friends!

Thursday, June 7, 2018

The Published Parent's Non-fiction Self-Publishing Journey with Amazon and CreateSpace


Several people asked me this past week about self-publishing, and it's such a deep subject! There is a lot more involved than just the writing. Marketing, for example, is very important. I'm currently considering hiring an AdWords management company to help me with my marketing efforts so I can really get the word out about my self-published books.

I asked my writer friend Chris Lienke if I could use her questions as a basis for this post, then I'll sprinkle in some of the other friends' questions as well. She says, "I'm considering publishing a writing book ... but need some details like this before spending too much time on it."  Here are some of her questions:

I was wondering if you self-published your books and, if so, any tips there?

Yes, I am an only child and independent by nature, so sending my work to publishing houses and agents and waiting for a reply was not going to work for me. When I realized in 2009ish that people were self-publishing and making money doing it, I decided it was for me because (1) I've always been a writer and (2) I homeschool 5 kids and enjoy being at home.

Honestly, my first ebook was junk and was poorly formatted by me and had a bad cover (also by me). I believe in going back in time and celebrating your failures because we LEARN FROM THEM!!! So here you go:

I've since learned NOT to create my own covers so I paid a little bit ($20?) to get the cover below made on Fiverr (the price has gone up ... now I pay about $40 for a print cover with spine and an ebook cover to go with it; some people are great at creating their own covers and more power to them).

The revamp of this project is a long way down the pike (something akin to the Slow Family Living movement), so the cover may change again, but I think it's a lot better than the one I made! I do recommend paying to get a cover made, but I don't recommend paying a fortune when you're just starting out. It all depends on how much money you have and/or want to spend, and I had none at first.
I think this one is way more fun and
reflects my personality better!
My next attempt at an ebook was what you know now as Make Money to Write About Your Kids, which came out in 2009 and was published on the platform called Payloadz. It was great because I could collect the email of each person who purchased the book and stay in touch. Amazon won't let you do that, sadly (more on that later). They also took a smaller royalty, but they didn't have a good review system and were not as well-known as Amazon for sure.

Payloadz now charges this to be on their platform:
The cost for the PayLoadz Hybrid (Premium) is $19.95 per month + 2.9% of the sale and $0.29 transaction fee (except for orders that are less than $2.00; then the per transaction fee is only 4.9% + $.05).

4th edition in 2012, cover by me
7th edition to come out 2018, and I'm
still considering changing the title
back to the original!!!
Then came The Tater Tot Casserole Cookbook, a labor of love and something just for fun, and it has done pretty well. I plan to check into Amazon ads to get the word out on this one.



And I have this one in the works.



I realized I needed more products on Amazon, so I whipped out a couple of books based on parenting magazine articles I had written. They were thrown together, they were flops, and I took them down. I want to make sure everything I have on Amazon from here on out is a QUALITY and HELPFUL product because I'm in this for the long haul! I do not want people to see that I have a new book out and GROAN because it's probably another piece of junk. I want people to see that I have a new book out and rush to purchase it in ebook or print format or grab it on Kindle Unlimited to pop onto their Kindle immediately. I also love good reviews! I want people to have fun with my work and learn cool things as well.



My main tips are to create a great cover that stands out even in a thumbnail image and make sure you hire a proofreader (I proofread my own work but my husband does the final proof of the print book for me). If you follow that link and hire me on Fiverr, please send me a very clean copy of your work that has already been developmentally edited. I am your final pass (why I am so affordable) and I always find lots of juicy errors, which is good for you!

Amazon for ebooks and CreateSpace for print books are what I have used and they are both super simple. It's easy to get answers if you get stuck, and CreateSpace even provides an ISBN for you, and normally ISBNs are EXPENSIVE. Now you can do both ebook and print just on Amazon and eliminate CreateSpace but I don't want to learn something new right now so I'm sticking with CreateSpace until they kick it to the curb.

More tips would be listen to self-publishing podcasts and check out great blogs and ebooks. They will tell you about things like creating an advance reader team, building buzz, and getting reviews in place BEFORE the launch date. Some of the advice will differ, and you'll learn as you go along.

There are many platforms to park your book for sale. Right now I am only on Amazon, but am going to look into getting my books into libraries and in bookstores, etc. (Kobo, Smashwords, etc.).

Also, I'm curious how you've gotten the word out and what the experience was like to get it up on Amazon.

I get the word out with a lot of social media and the occasional Facebook ad. I tried Pinterest ads, accidentally spent a fortune, and didn't get results. I have a Facebook group for parenting magazine writers, as well as a mailing list, so that covers updates on that book and any series additions. I also blog a lot several different places.

As I said above, Amazon makes things so easy for an author. So easy, in fact, that I created a print book for the homeschool co-op where I teach and made it available only for parents and kids (not for sale on Amazon). I was able to order copies at $3.50 each plus shipping and it was amazing.


Lastly, I was curious how many you've sold -- have you found this to be a real income?

So I basically have 4 ways I sell books using Amazon: ebook, print, and Kindle Unlimited pages read; also, as a PDF of one specific book just from here on the site so far. I'll give you my figures below but first I'll answer your question about it becoming a real income. (Keep in mind you can also get your book on audio, so that would be a fourth income stream.)

*Kindle Unlimited (KU) pages read is cool because you can offer your book FREE to rent to people who pay $9.99 a month to Amazon for this privilege. I myself pay for KU and love it. Lots of great authors put their books free on KU for download, and last I heard you make about half a penny per page read. This changes based on how many people are members of KU. A year ago the total for the month to be shared was $12 million. Last month is was more like $21 million. Half a penny per page read doesn't sound like much, but many authors report making more money from that than with their ebook sales! The trend of renting books rather than buying them is real.

I believe this could be a real income for me if I could put another several books into my arsenal. I have plans for a Make Money to Write About Your Kids workbook and also a book of nonpaying markets for clips and coverage because so many people seem to be interested in that. I also plan to break out the MM series into one book of only markets and another book of only advice for those who only need one or the other at a certain time. I have plans for a homeschool series and many more ideas. If you have many products in circulation and are getting the word out daily, I believe this can be a good income.

I went into my historical reports and this is what I came up with for just two books on Amazon in EBOOK FORMAT ONLY. It says MM has been on Amazon since December 2013, but I sold it on a platform called Payloadz before that (it went live summer of 2009) and made quite a bit. I would have to do a bit of digging to get you those numbers, but the bottom line was I didn't work my book business like a business so no, it was not a livable income at that time. The Tater Tot Casserole Cookbook (TT) went live summer of 2013 in ebook format only.

Royalties Earned (What's this?) 
Create Space says I have earned $840.39 on both PRINT books in total. That's 95 copies of MM and 351 copies of TT. I estimate maybe another $500 sold on ebooks on Payloadz back in 2009-2010. Underwhelming, yes. I bring in an average of about $40 a month selling books in both formats but keep in mind I have been coasting for years, making more selling magazine articles and doing blogging and proofreading. See my income reports here, and they go back to 2013 when I was trying to do WAY too many things at once (since then I have decided to focus on only 4 areas: books, blogging, articles and proofreading). Clearly I have not been focused on books, but that's going to change this summer!

I published the 7th edition of Get Published (and Paid!) Writing About Your Kids (title change) July 22, 2018 and it has only been available so far on my website for $9.99. The buy link goes to ejunkie, and after PayPal takes their cut I make about $9.25 per sale; there is also a $5 per month fee to ejunkie to process orders. I have made roughly $700 doing this so far and am super excited to get the word out about selling reprints to magazines and making a decent income.

What percentage do I get to keep (royalty)?

It depends on pricing. Normally if the book is priced $2.99 or below I get to keep 70%. If the book is higher, it's only 30%. Keep in mind Amazon takes care of the sending for you. This means that your print book can be sent to Prime members for free and they get your book within 2 days. I know I could not offer that kind of service for the price they do. You get my tater tot cookbook for $6.99 shipped for free and within 2 days! I don't get to keep the email of the buyer, which stinks because I like to connect, but it's still a great deal.

Do you retain ownership of the book?

Yes. I can take it down or put it back up or sell it anywhere I want (as long as I'm not enrolled in the KDP Select program, which is another subject entirely and you can join for free for just 3 months at a time but during that time you are EXCLUSIVE with Amazon and can only sell there).

Please let me more questions in the comments and I will post updates in other posts I will link to from here!

Happy writing!

Have files of article reprints that you own but have no clue where to start reselling them? Have ideas for some fantastic new pieces but no idea who might want them? Check out my 386-page PDF of tips, tricks, and insider information, as well as 384 paying parenting and family markets for only $9.99! Just head to this page to download How to Get Published (and Paid!) Writing About Your Kids and get started immediately!

Sign up for an email subscription to The Published Parent and get two amazing freebies: 10 Parenting Markets That Pay $100+ and 10 Markets That Pay Writers to Write About Writing! And join my Facebook group called Parenting Magazine Writers ... it's FREE and full of tips and tricks and markets and like-minded writer friends!