We have all been there. We have poured over websites for writers, submission directories like Writers Market, and WritersWeekly.com to find that next freelance opportunity. There are many magazines to write for, both online and off, especially now that the Internet has blossomed and bloomed, but the trouble comes in when writers try to find actual paying work.
There’s a little known source that many writers overlook. Magazine vendors. These are firms that sell magazines (usually at a discount) to the public. Most of them have large, detailed websites listing thousands of magazines, many of which you didn’t even know existed. And, most popular magazines pay writers respectable rates.
The process is simple. Find a magazine on one of the vendor sites, use Google or another search engine to find the magazine’s website, and then find the masthead so you’ll know where, and to whom, to send your query. You’ll find writer’s guidelines posted on some of the websites as well. Some magazine sites list editorial email addresses while others have forms you can use to submit to them online. For sites that have email addresses, you might want to create a spreadsheet of those, categorized by magazine subject. Of course, never send emails en mass to editors. Send them out one-at-a-time and always address your query to the name of the person accepting queries, which is usually the editor or managing editor. Never address a query to “dear editor,” “dear sirs,” or any other generic term.
Usually, the magazines that are in the best seller category pay the highest.
Here are three magazine vendors you can use to find new paying markets for your writing:
Magazine Agent has magazines listed by category, and otherwise. Once you’re on their website, you’ll see all of the main sections listed on the left-hand side. The “top sellers” link is at the top of the page. The listings even have magazine descriptions so you can more precisely target your query.
Amazon’s Kindle has boosted not only book buying, but magazine buying as well (electronic editions, of course). The magazine categories are in a linked list in the left-hand column. The information for each publication has the price, the publisher, and reviews. Naturally, the best place to find the highest paying magazines is in the best sellers section, which is in a box on the right-hand side of the link above. Find magazines you want to approach, find their websites, and then find the masthead.
This is similar to the sites above, and also has a link to their best sellers at the top of the page.
There you have it! A roundabout, yet solid way to find magazines that actually pay their writers. For some magazines, the hardest part will be locating the email addresses of the magazine editors but, with a bit of help from Google (or your favorite search engine) and a lot of patience you can have a large list of editors to query in the future.
Robert Kingett is a blind journalist in Chicago who writes for many newspapers in Chicago covering a wide array of beats including disability news, LGBT issues, technology, human interest, and audiobook reviews. His work is most noticeable in Inside Booster, a north side publication, where he publishes disability news. His essays have been published in several magazines and anthologies. He started his own book review series called Kingett Reads. He’s a regular contributor to many sites and magazines, including, Read, Dream, Relax, Knockout Magazine, Chicago Phoenix, A&U Magazine, GRAB Magazine, and others. In the future he hopes to publish a book of essays.