11 Simple Steps To Get Your Scrapbook Layouts Published In A Scrapbooking Magazine!
Not many folks realize this but most of the layouts in scrapbooking magazines is user submitted.
This means that when you flick through your favorite scrapbook magazine and see a layout that you LOVE there’s a good chance it’s been made by a hobby scrapbooker just
So how do you get your pages featured in magazines?
Well for starters there’s a few things that magazine editors look for in a layout to feature, and in this quick guide I’ll pull back the curtain so you can see exactly what it is the magazines are looking for so you can increase your chances of getting published in some of the BIGGEST scrapbooking magazines.
So without further delay let’s get into the 11 Amazingly Simply Tips For Getting Your Layout Published In A Scrapbooking Magazine!
1. Create double page spreads.
Although most magazines do publish one-pagers, their preference is to publish double page spreads. In fact the big scrapbooking magazines have done the research and what they found is that their readers actually prefer viewing a double page spread.
So think about it - if 90% of scrapbookers are submitting one page spreads and you submit a double page then you instantly have a much HIGHER chance of being featured just because you are giving the magazine what their readers want.
2. Make sure your English Teacher would love it!
Go over any journaling with a fine tooth comb to make sure that all the spelling is correct and it reads well. This is VERY important because editors won’t publish anything that has
Don’t let a mis-spelt word kill your chances of being featured! Pull out the dictionary if you’re unsure of any words and fix it up BEFORE you submit.
3. Make sure your design adheres to basic good design principles.
Once a magazine gets a copy of your layout, they go over it carefully to make sure everything blends and works well together. Every page is the sum of it’s parts, so make sure that you understand design principles like unity, balance, color etc. Ensure that page constructions is perfect, with all elements aligned (unless of course it’s a deliberate look with a angled ribbon etc). Knowing WHY your page looks good to the eye is a great skill to have and will help your designs in the future. Also keep your design CLEAN. It’s totally possible to have a messy, shabby shic or vintage style but still have a clean design.
4. When it comes to photos, select only the best!
Magazines tend to shy away from using layouts that have a heap of photos from the same event.
The key is to use only the BEST photos. So perhaps include all the photos in a layout you’re creating for yourself and your family, but for a layout that you want to submit, only choose the most engaging photo.
Also look over the photos carefully and make sure they aren’t blurred, have bad lighting or the subjects have red eye. Any sort of weirdness in photos will instantly disqualify your layout no matter how pretty the embellishments!
Oh and also remember, when a magazine publishes your page the layout will be shrunk down to a much smaller size. So sticking with simple and clear photos is a MUST. What I mean by simple photos is a photo that’s not overwhelmed with color or too much detail. And the best way to tell if a photo is too busy is to view it from a few steps back (the photo will appear smaller), then ask yourself “is the photo clear or is it a little busy”?
5. Find your X Factor and then show it off!
When magazine editors pour over your layout they want to see something that will strike them and stand out from the hundreds of other submissions they get each month. So ask yourself, what is going to separate my page from the rest? Is it a cool inking technique? Hand made embellishments? Unique accents?
Remember - the reason scrappers buy magazines is to get inspired -- editors know this and use this as a guide for selection pages to publish. So unless it inspires them when they first lay eyes on it, there’s a slim chance they’ll pick it to be published!
Each scrapbooker has a natural gifting whether it be with inks, paper, journaling etc. So find out what is your natural gifting and play to that! Think about what you can do to your page to inspire others and you’ll increase your chances of being featured.
6. Say something heart-felt that engages viewers.
NEVER submit a layout for consideration without journaling!
Next to the quality of the photos, engaging journaling is a BIG consideration for editors. Editors don’t just want to see a visually stimulating page but they also want to know the story behind it! So make sure you journal about the photos and memories, and what they
Now you certainly don’t have to write a 5000 word essay, rather just enough to stir up an emotion in those who read your journaling and then look at your page. If you struggle with journaling then you might want to click here to check out a resource that might help you. My clients tells me it helps a lot!
7. Use color as much as possible.
I once heard a staffer at a very well known magazine say that color photos look better 95% of the time once published!
I had no idea, did you?
Although magazines do publish pages with black and white photos, without doubt their preference is to publish color photos. In fact, after you submit a layout sometimes a magazine will come back and ask you to change out your black and white photos on your layout for color ones.
So, in my opinion it’s better to start off with color to avoid any potential issues down the track (unless you are submitting a vintage or heritage layout which calls for that look).
8. Showcase new supplies and trends
Scrapbooking is a fast moving industry and each month there’s new trends and ideas, and magazines have to be at the forefront of those trends! That’s why it’s important that you’re doing innovate things on your page.
Now this doesn’t mean you have to go to the store and buy up every new spray, ink or machine! But spend the time to go through your old supplies and think about how you can use them to create a different / fresh effect. If you want to increase your chances of being published then push yourself creatively to see what you can come up with. In fact - some of the most creative looks I’ve seen have been when people have experimented with inks, embossing powders and card stock in new and exciting ways!
The key here is don’t just stick to the instruction manual, let yourself go and turn into a made scientist a bit and just EXPERIMENT. And remember, some things won’t work at all,
but others might be just what you were hoping for!
Most magazines accept submissions electronically on email. But one critical error lot’s of scrappers make is not including a short, descriptive email about their layout when they
send it over.
Now, the key word here is SHORT. Don’t write an essay. Rather write 4 or 5 sentences about the main points of your layout. Such as, how you made a flower or created that tailor made background. Bottom line - make it easy for editors to choose your layout!
Visit the website of each of the major scrapbooking magazines to see their guidelines on submissions to ensure you always meet their criteria (or see the list at the bottom of this
10. What happens after submission?
After you submit your artwork, you need to be patient. Sometimes magazines can take months just to respond so my advice would be don’t wait next to the phone!
However if your layout does get chosen, you’ll probably get an email from an editor explaining how to send your layout so they can take some high quality photographs of it for the magazine.
Now just so you know, some magazines can hang onto your layout for a little until the magazine has been published and then they’ll send it right back to you, so don’t expect
them to fed ex it back to you within a few days.
Now because you’ll be sending a layout in, my advice would be NEVER to send precious original photos, because their might be a chance (however small) that they might be damaged or might not come back at all. So always use a copy of photos where possible.
11. Should I expect to be paid for my layout?
There’s no hard and fast rule on this. Some magazines will send out a check, but these days most magazines send out a goodie bag from their sponsors that’ll feature a bunch of
stamps or inks or other supplies that you can add to your stash. Plus you’ll more than likely get some complimentary copies of the magazine you’ve been featured in too!
I hope these 11 tips have inspired you to get to work on a layout and send it in to some magazines. There’s nothing quite like being a published scrapper!
By the way - I’ve included a small list of some of the magazines currently accepting submissions. Click the links and check out their submission guidelines and you’ll be one
step closer to getting published.
Good luck and please let me know how you got on!