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Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Publication Q and A

Today, I thought I'd tackle some publication questions I've been getting. (Note: this photo has nothing to do with anything. I just like adding at least one photo to a post.)

Before I get started, a caveat: I am really no expert on publications and design teams, and my "lucky streak" ebbs and flows like anyone else's. I'm just answering questions based on what's worked for ME and what my experience has been. That said, now we can move on:)

One thing I've always wondered is how new of layouts do you submit? I like to use up older kits and I always think it's not "new" enough to submit.

I tend to submit newer layouts, but mostly because I forget about the older ones! I also usually feel like the effort invested in submitting isn't always worthwhile for me for a years-old layout where none of the product is available anymore (although I'm not sure how much this actually matters). That said, I think any layout you love is worth a try, and there are some "oldies but goodies" that I do go back to and submit. And if it's a newly made layout with some "vintage" product, I generally send it out!

How do you deal with the rejection?

This is the million dollar question! Rejection is really, really hard. Especially when the item being rejected is something you created with your own hands. The best way I've found to deal with this is to separate myself from the actual publication/submitting process, and try to send it out and forget about it (easier said than done, I know!). I have so much more I could say on this, but I think that is the crux of it.

Why do the manufacturers seem to want the same people over and over for their teams?

Well, I guess this answer should really go to a manufacturer, but I'll take my best crack at it! First, if a designer has a large following and a lot of exposure due to other DTs, then they can provide more publicity for the manufacturer. Second, it's part of the ebb and flow--when a designer gets exposure on a "big team" then other companies are more likely to notice them and pick them up. And third, sometimes when you see a name over and over, you can't help but feel that there's something to that person's work. That said though, everyone starts somewhere, including the "celebrities," so it never hurts to try.

My question would be how do you keep from getting burned out?

This is SO important. I feel like I'm always hearing of people who work like crazy in the industry and then quit scrapbooking, and it makes me sad. Since I keep the Sabbath (no scrapbooking on Shabbos, for those wondering), I have a built in break every week where I can't scrap,so that gives me a much-needed creative recharge. I also take breaks and try not to force it if a layout is just not working out. Finally, I try to keep my schedule manageable and not sign up for more teams than I can handle. The nice thing about being a little "under-booked" in your teams is that you aren't completely overwhelmed when guest design gigs and such come along.

I'd like to know what it is they look for when they are look for pubs and DT members.

I wish I knew the answer to this one, ha! My guess would be quality projects and a friendly persona that are "packaged well"--good layout photos, a well-designed blog, etc. Otherwise, I have no clue:)

My question is "What is your end goal in doing all the submitting to design teams and magazines?"
This is a VERY good question. And a tough one. The reason I got involved in DTs to begin with was because I wanted to connect to other scrapbookers who were "into" the industry side of things, and for the validation. As its evolved for me, I focus less and less on getting validation from industry success, because there's never quite enough to feel like you're there. I do it because I love being involved in the industry and part of this amazing group of women. And because I like free scrapping supplies, especially when I have to cut my own budget:)

Don't you sometimes just not want to scrap? And when that happens (if it does) and you have an assignment due, don't you just h*te scrapbooking?

Yes! I try to work on assignments ahead of time to avoid this very situation. It took one night of me scrapbooking with a migraine, pasting paper while holding an ice pack to my forehead, to realize I needed to change my system.

Do any companies or magazines offer payment for design work?

Yes, depends on the company and magazine. Not crazy cash, mind you, but there is payment.

And those are the questions I have for now! If I missed yours, leave a comment! And if you have any insights/ideas into these issues, please share below. What do YOU think is/would be the best and worst part of being in the industry?


  1. WOW, great post....I have been in 'the industry' for about 20 years...since the beginning of 'scrapbooking.' I first started out being a submitter..got published in the mags...and was on an online DT...never tried for a real DT gig, because I decided to open my own store...I got tired of not being able to find the latest and greatest, so I ventured out to all the CHA shows, and filled my store up with the goods. It was GREAT...until the recession hit, which was very hard in our area. Now, I am looking to get back in the publishing game, with the same problem I started with...I can't find the 'latest and greatest.' I'll have to go to online...I thought your topic was great today :)

  2. Loved reading this post and I loved your answers. I have been working in this biz for 3 years. In 2011 I made my first man. Dt ~one of many of my goals. I still have trouble with the rejection part~it still hurts and I wish i could deal with that part better. Great blog post. Ty!!!!

  3. Some great advice and insight!

  4. Thanks for all the tips and advice!!

  5. Thanks for sharing!
    I think it really does ebb and flow sometimes. And you just never know what a magazine or company is looking for.
    I tried for a long time to get published off and on and then - BAM! Four layouts pubbed in row. I think it helps to be consistent and reliable, too. I think dependability is something magazines look for.

  6. Great Q&A!!
    Don't get discourage - keep submitting and send it/forget it are the two most given advice I give crafters :)

  7. Thanks for all of the great advice-I love these Q&A posts you do.

  8. Great post, I think the thing that stands out is finding a balance and keeping it all in perspective.

  9. Great post Keshee! I love you!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


  10. This is a great post! Thanks for all the great advice and insight.


Thank you so much for taking the time to leave a comment! I love hearing your thoughts:)