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Outdoor Photography Magazine Question

adamburton 17 627 11 United Kingdom
27 Feb 2006 5:25AM
Hi Nick,

I know how you feel. I come from a strong customer service background and to me, no matter how busy they are, the magazine should respond to your enquiry.

I have had a mag telephone me on the day I returned from a long haul holiday absolutely knackered. They werent to know that - but they telephoned me and were extremely keen for pictures, and had chosen a whole list of pictures from my website which they wanted to use. Despite being knackered I prepared all the images for them and put them on a CD, marked urgent and for soinso's attention, as requested. As they were desperate they also asked me if I could email through some low res jpegs, which they could use to make up the page templates now, while waiting for my TIFF's to arrive. So I did this too.

Sent them off, and never heard again!?!? So after a while I emailed them and asked them if they were going in and when. No reply. So again, after a while I dropped another line - this time I got a reply saying they didnt know whether the pictures were being used or not as thats the print rooms decision (which, frankly is bullsh*t). Then the mag came out and they werent in.

I certainly dont expect to be in the mag but if they telephone me super keen and get me to drop everything, the least I expect is a reply advising me that they have decided against using them for whatever reason. But no reason, nothing. So I emailed and demanded my CD to be returned - for no other reason than they seriously p*ssed me off - after about 2 months it came through the door with no note, nothing.

I know these guys have very busy and stressful schedules, but thats not the way to do business. Maybe some of you are used to the way they work, and you understand their tight schedules, but as far as I am concerned its poor customer service. Very poor, and I'd rather not do business with people like that.

joolsb 17 27.1k 38 Switzerland
27 Feb 2006 7:29AM

Quote:I know these guys have very busy and stressful schedules, but thats not the way to do business. Maybe some of you are used to the way they work, and you understand their tight schedules, but as far as I am concerned its poor customer service. Very poor, and I'd rather not do business with people like that.

Trouble is, they do it because they know that for every potential contributer they p*ss off, there are ten more, eager as little puppies for the thrill of being published.
KathyW 18 1.8k 12 Norfolk Island
27 Feb 2006 9:23AM
I'm just surprised that anyone submits to these mags! It does seem a strange way to do business...
Many years ago I used to write freelance for mags, and in those good old days, work was either returned or accepted within a couple of months. Some publishers even paid on acceptance, and they all used to let you know when the feature would be published and send a free copy of the mag.

I submitted some pics to Digital Photo, and to be fair, they did email me for further details, but I had no idea the pics had been published until I got a cheque from them.
Also submitted some pics to PP, had a card to say they would like to keep them on file, not a peep since. That was over six months ago, so I think I will email and ask for them to be returned. Personally I think it's a bit naughty for them to hang on to stuff for so long, because you can't really submit it to anyone else while they might possibly one day maybe publish it, probably without even letting you know. AP submission looking far more promising though, good communication from them so far.

I agree Nick, it is pretty bad form not to get a reply - I can't believe it OP a year to decide about your feature.

And as for Adam's story, that really is taking the p*ss! They obviously don't know what they are missing!

Maybe I'll dump the photography and take up writing again!
Camairish 15 1.4k Scotland
27 Feb 2006 12:39PM
Precisely the reason that you should NOT be bound to some unwritten ethical code that you shouldn't submit to more than one magazine at a time. A lot of photo magazines treat submissions in the same way as described above but at the same time give the general advice that it is 'bad practice' to send the same submissions to multiple publications! Dream on guys, those days are over.
I personally have had rapid responses from OP whether rejecting or accepting work, AP take forever but ultimately will usually publish and PP/Photography Monthly seem to me to stick to the same formula/photographers that they have done for the last couple of years - don't but them anymore. Guy Edwardes must be able to retire now on the number of times he's had that old telephoto misty landscape published in the same mags - it's in PM again this month. It's good.....but not that good.
GlennH 16 1.9k 1 France
1 Mar 2006 4:52AM
It is bad practice to send the same submission to multiple rival magazines, Ian. Absolutely, unequivocally, no doubt about it. Most 'serious' photographers won't do it, and will have more than enough differing pictures to their name to avoid it. They'll also very often attune themselves to the requirements of a magazine, however cliched they may be, and perhaps develop a beneficial relationship with that mag. Rather like Guy Edwardes has.

Articles are a different thing, perhaps, but it's a lot easier to get articles into photo mags if they fit in with existing slots, as opposed to writing the article for yourself and then expecting the mag to fit it in. I suggest it'd have to be some article to get accepted on those grounds.

If, after a reasonable amount of time, a magazine hasn't contacted you - email, and/or phone editors directly. If you still can't get an answer, I'd suggest desisting from submitting pictures to them, but never shoot yourself in the foot by risking hacking off people that you hope to sell pictures to in the future.
MeanGreeny 16 3.7k England
1 Mar 2006 6:14AM
In a roundabout way, all the above advice comes to the conclusion that most literature that tells you how to "Sell your ABC to XYZ magazine".

1 Look hard at what the magazine style and content is.

2 Look at it again

3 Pick a subject that targets that style/content exactly

4 Do exactly what is demanded by the above - don't write what you yourself are interested in - because you're straying off target if you do.

5 Submit it to that one magazine since it is unlikely that two are exactly the same. If it will do for 2 then you probably haven't done enough homework.

6 Sit back, wait and grow a thick skin

7 When you get the cheque, send 10% to me for giving you a sure fire formula for success. I think that covers it.

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