Thursday, June 11, 2009

The Proofs

We left on our road trip last Wednesday morning, leaving no time for a morning check of e-mail. It was not until we arrived in Chicago on Friday that I checked e-mail and found the proofs of my article for Internet Genealogy.

For those who don't write, I'll explain. With freelance writing you generally don't write the article until you have an assignment. First, after researching a magazine to see if the idea you want to write about seems to work for that mag, you write a query letter and submit it to the mag. If the idea and any specifics you give them seem to fit their themes and publishing schedule, they give you the assignment. For bigger mags this will result in a contract with certain performance requirements from the author. For smaller mags there may not be a contract, only a virtual "handshake". Then you write and submit the article. At this point you have no guarantee that the article will be accepted and used. The mag may have given out more assignments than they can actually publish, knowing some freelancers might miss a deadline. Or they may wind up not liking your writing. So, although you have an assignment, that is not a guarantee of publication.

I submitted the article on May 26, I think it was, almost a week ahead of schedule. And I began a patient wait for the e-mail that said, "Yes, we think your writing is acceptable; and yes, we have the space, so your article is accepted and will be in our xxxx issue." As a first time freelancer, this was a difficult thing. I fear that my article won't measure up. So from May 26 to early June 5 I heard nothing.

Finally the morning of June 5 I opened my e-mail, and there was one received June 3rd from the the copy editor of Internet Genealogy, not saying my article was accepted, but rather conveying the proofs of the article--that is, the article as it will be laid out in the magazine. In other words, it was accepted, and will indeed be in the next issue of the magazine. Sweet!

I don't know when payment will be coming, but I almost don't care. The article was accepted.

Last night I began putting ideas for more articles on paper, planning to query the same magazine and other genealogy magazines with additional ideas. That will be my noon hour tasks today, to continue that process. Maybe I can get one in by tomorrow.

This freelance thing is fun.


Gary said...

Congratulations, Dave. This is another milestone to savor. Mixed metaphor, but you get the idea.

David A. Todd said...


I accept your mixed metaphor contragulations; thanks for the stagmacious ufference.