Tuesday, July 06, 2010

Tips on Getting Published in a Beading Magazine

The other day I got my copy of "Creative Jewelry", a (I believe) once-yearly publication with tons of cool jewelry in it. Somehow, my "Bonsai" necklace ended up in it, and after seeing all the other jewelry in the magazine, I was a bit embarrassed that my simple piece took up a page.

Here's the piece I made, using a polymer clay pendant from BlockPartyPress:

This poor little necklace has been out there for more than a year, nearly two if I'm not mistaken, because that's just how the magazine business works. So instead of a "Yay me!" that I really don't think I deserve, I want to tell YOU how to get your pieces seen and into a magazine.

First, know your audience. If you're into seed beads, then Bead and Button magazine is a good one for you. Do you mostly string or use simple wire work? Try BeadStyle, Stringing, and publications of that sort. Are you heavy into wire? Try Step by Step Wire. Do you work with polymer clay, do traditional metal work, or do lapidary? Lapidary Journal Jewelry Artist is for you. And if you do mixed media or art jewelry, things that really push the creative border, try Belle Armoire Jewelry.

There are more magazines out there, but these are the ones that I see most often on the news stands. The main thing is, check them all out, and make an informed decision -- what fits your style the best?

Second, know the rules. Each magazine's web site has a link that leads to a page that lays out the rules for submissions. Some are OK with your sending a photograph to an editor to show them what you were thinking of sending in. Some are not. A few magazines have deadlines to meet, while others are more free-flowing. And some will say, "this is the theme we're looking for" while others will just "know it when they see it."

Third, send them the best photograph you possibly can. You want them to be wowed by your work, and to do that, your photo must ROCK. Keep practicing, because this part of the process can only help you sell your jewelry! I've been selling jewelry for nearly six years now, and I'm still working on it. I don't think I'll ever be truly satisfied. So send in a clear, eye-catching photo that really shows your piece to its best advantage.

Lastly, realize that the magazine world runs on a long time table. You may not hear from anyone for a while. Or you may hear from someone right away, but your piece may not be scheduled to see the light of day until nine months from now. Be sure to meet all their deadlines, write all the tutorial material clearly (it helps to have a friend try to make your piece by following only your tutorial), and then sit back and congratulate yourself on a job well done.

If you click here, you can see the publications I've been in. It may seem like a lot, but believe me -- I've had waaaaaay more rejections than acceptance emails. So don't let a "thanks but your work doesn't fit this issue" get you down! Keep at it. Improve your skills, continue to submit, and don't give up.

I know you can do it.

Lori Anderson makes jewelry for Lori Anderson Designs and also writes for the blog An Artist's Year Off.

Cover Copyright © 2010. Not to be reprinted


  1. Lori,
    That is an amazing amount of detail and that helps out alot. It is only recently I have started submitting some of our work to magazines and I had no clue if I was doing it properly or not or if our work was even ready to be submitted to magazines.
    Thank you so much for the information you provided!

  2. Congratulations!!!!!!!!! It's beautiful!!! Thank you for the tips.

  3. Congrats - and thxd for the insights!

  4. Bc you care so much to help people Lori I nominate you MOMMA of all Blogs!! You so ROCK Lori!!! oxo

  5. Thanks for the tips, I must say I only tried twice, and was half successful as I had no answer from the first one and a big 'wow it's great' from the second one but haven't seen anything on paper and it's been a few months. So will persevere and try again!

  6. Hi Lori,
    Your necklace is beautiful, I love it & would definitely wear one! Thank you for he great tips, it is very generous of you to share your experience with us.

  7. Thank you Lori, this is really helpful. I have tried to get some of my pieces published for some time, but I often do not hear anything from the publishers. Is that the usual way it works? I really don't have any experience with publications, so thanks for your note.

  8. Hi Lori. Thank you so much. This gives a clear idea and good incentive. I haven't tried it so far but now I'll be thinking of it.



  9. Thanks Lori for the tips. I have been thinking of submitting my work to some publications. I do have a question... once you send in a photograph to a magazine, does that piece have to be in 'hiding' till it is published or till one hears from the magazine? That I think would be the hardest part... Thanks again.

  10. This is a really nice post and very helpful Lori! I find it can be very nerve racking at times to submit, you just have to keep pushing yourself forward, and keep saying you can do it, whether or not you are convinced you can! Believe in yourself..right?!! With people like you making posts like this it makes it easier for all of us, and gives us confidence!

  11. What a fantastic thread - thanks so much.

    I have been lucky enough to have two of my tutorials appear in two issues of an Australian beading magazine, Beads etc. The pieces also made the cover on both issues but sadly this magazine folded last year. It was such an exciting experience.

    I have to agree with your comment of not being discouraged if you don't hear from a magazine right away. I was amazed at how long the process was and I had to wait months for my pieces to appear. They kept the fact my pieces had made the cover a secret so that was a nice surprise!

    I dream of having a piece in an international magazine so I might start submitting!


  12. Lori, what are you talking about...I just love your necklace! Thanks for all the great advice!

  13. First - I think the necklace is beautiful! Lori - you know a good design does not necessarily have anything to do with how complicated something is to make.
    Second - thank you for your insights about getting published. Very helpful!

  14. What a nice post! Thank you so much. Now I might give it a try too. I really like all your pieces in this post. And blockpartypress is one of my favourites too. But i've never bought anything from her - yet that is. Her son, 7, does the most amazing art aswell. Very inspiring!

    Everything is so inspiring! Not enough time to do all I want and wish.

    Those metal (?) beads in one of the bracelets in your post. The kind of "a-shrinkled-up-sheet" ones, where do they come from? They look awesome!

    Thanks Lori for being someone i can look up too (refering to your previous post).

    All my best, and Happy creating to everyone!

  15. Hi again, i just took a second closer look at those "metal (?) beads" I mentioned in my last post. Not metal at all! Lampwork with wire on! But what an absolutely gorgeaus bead it would be if it was what i thought i saw. Inspiration! Seeing wrong is a good source for creativity. When your perception fails your mind can go on marvellous journeys. That is a subject for an upcoming post on my blog I believe. Thanks again! And I must make those beads (the ones in my mind) come true, they are a hit, i tell you ...

    Did I ever mention that for me inspiration and getting ideas is not an issue, rather to make them come true. Both time and technique.

    Bye for now!

  16. Thanks Lori!!! I've recently decided that instead of waiting for the masses to come to me (although I have just been interviewed for my very first article w/ them coming to me!!), it's time for me to come to them & will start pursuing publications w/ bead images, jewelry tutorials, etc. Thanks for sharing your experiences! & your bonsai piece is SWEET, congratulations! ...but I know what it's like to look back @ what you were doing a few years ago. :o)

  17. Lori,
    You summed it up so beautifully the submission process! I just want to add that when I think of the submission process I think of it this way. Imagine being in a room that on the table are laid out say 30 beautiful pieces of jewelry and you are told that you can only choose 5. Doesn't mean that the rest are not beautiful but you have to pick the ones that best fit your needs. As you said, the most important thing is to keep trying and to keep it all in perspective.

  18. Lori, I've never submitted a piece to a magazine before, but having read your very kind comment on my blog, Im giving this some thought. This post is therefore food & drink for me and I therefore thank you for all the information you've so clearly set out.

    Your eye candy is so delicious!!

    Janet's right - in every area, you do indeed ROCK!!

    Jennifer xox

  19. Regina -- as to should the piece be in hiding -- I usually do keep it under wraps. I don't know that there's a rule for it, but there's always the chance that someone might see it and "knock it off" before it goes to press, and that's always problematic.

  20. Lori, What great advice, you summed up the submission process beautifully. You are a wealth of information for the beading community:)

  21. Great post Lori. It is nerve racking to wait...The 1st piece I submitted to a magazine...they didn't pick it up but picked it up for a special issue and it made the cover. You never know! Great tips for submissions. I want to try my hand at it again!
    Bead Happy!

  22. Lori, I love your blog, your bright and shiny beads and THANKS for the info on HOW TO GET PUBLISHED Be Blessed

  23. Lori-I have to say I just love your instructional and informative pieces. I'm no ways near ready to think about submitting to magazines...that time may come. In in any case, I find this informative and encouraging!

  24. Lori,

    I am so touched by you. Yes, you came to my site yesterday and left me some blessing and good wishes to deal with my sciatica pain.

    From your work, other blogs I can see how busy you are and in which level you stand. But you know what- you shine because you feel for others. You give them part of you no matter how busy you are- and those good wishes will lift you to the top.
    Thank you. It's nice knowing you. Dita.

  25. Lori~
    Of course you should be proud of this piece! I have found that any pattern published can inspire new beaders even if we don't actually follow them to the letter. If it weren't for all of you I wouldn't have started this journey. Thanks for all your inspiration!!!!

  26. Lori,

    Thanks so much for this insightful post. I've been thinking about submitting to a magazine. this provides much needed information on the process.

  27. Nice summary Lori.
    I've only made one submission after looking at a publication's issue one day and deciding my work was just as good as those in the issue - ha! So off I went creating a couple of sets and writing the tutorials. Being at deadline I heard back from the publisher rather quickly...and one of my pieces was accepted! But the 'frosting on the cake' was receiving the issue and not only seeing my work in print, but it appeared as a prop in a story and a portion was on the front cover! What a nice feeling knowing that your work has been validated by a publisher.

    I guess the moral of the story is give it a try, you never know. Following the publisher's specific instructions is probably the most important. I had good communications with the person I worked with and I think that made a difference.

    The down side is the l-o-n-g lead time to have pieces returned.

    Congratulations on your lates 'appearance'!!

  28. I use to teach that if you had the desire in your heart GOD has given you the talent, but YOU have to develop it. Be Blessed

  29. Cool, thanks for all of this information! Congratultions:)

  30. Really nice post! Sometimes simple projects are best! :)

  31. What a wonderful article. It inspired me to try to write a tutorial. Thank you.

  32. OMG! The pendant is so gorgeous!

  33. all these pieces are wonderful and worthy to be in magazines. i'm sure this is a very helpful post for jewelry designers.

  34. I'm so behind on my favorite blogs...great article and in time I will get there too. Thanks for the encouragement.


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