Monday, December 1, 2008

Getting Travel Features Published

I’ve just had a strange thing happen with a travel feature I produced after a a trip to Santa Fe, in New Mexico. I sent it into the Irish Times newspaper in March and they were going to publish it shortly after another feature of mine on Seattle, which was published in June. But, nothing happened with it. And, as the months passed, I completely gave up on the idea that it would be published at all. So, I re-wrote a section of it and submitted to an online travel magazine, who said that they might use it in December, but weren’t sure about it.

Then, on Thursday, I got a call from a sub-editor at the Irish Times saying that he was putting the Santa Fe feature together for publication - in the printed Travel Supplement (and probably online, too) - before Christmas, and the disk with 20 photographs had been mislaid, so could I resend them – which I did the next day.

Last night, I got an email from the editor of the online magazine, Travel Post Monthly saying that they had published my article, and wanted my address to send me a cheque – but she didn’t say for how much! If you follow the link to the online magazine (above), You’ll see another link to my article (The Pueblos of New Mexico) at the bottom of the page. There are 2 of my photos on the home page and 4 (including those 2) on the article page. They also made a link to my email address, so that editors of other magazines can contact authors, if they want to re-publish their work. This morning, 12 hours after the article was published online, I got an email from Vic Foster, the editor Travelling Tales another online magazine, telling me that he would like to re-publish my article.

There are a number of 'learning curves' that arise out of this for me. The first is that editors can take a very long time to publish your work - so be patient with them, don't pester them - I didn't contact the Irish Times at all since my first article was publishes, asking about the second one - but also consider other options for publication and even consider formally withdrawing your article if time drags on without a firm commitment to publish.

Other lessons to learn concern the fees being offered. I made a mistake not finding out what was being offered, and my article appeared published before a fee was agreed. That's not a wise move, and I have emailed to ask what I'm being paid. But, I really should have been told beforehand - as it's my work and I should have control - or at least some say - over what I get paid for it.

Also, most online magazines will only pay a fraction of what national newspapers and large circulation magazines will pay for an article - and some don't pay anything at all. So, in such instances, you need to consider if you would rather be published and paid a pittance. "Travelling Tales", for example, offers only $25 Canadian - about €15 - per article, and I will definitely be engaging in a discussion with the editor before I accept such a small amount for an article and photographs.

I'll keep you posted.


  1. "Other lessons to learn concern the fees being offered. I made a mistake not finding out what was being offered, and my article appeared published before a fee was agreed."

    I'd say its just as important to spell out what rights are being offered too as some publishers like the idea of all-rights a bit too much..;)

    Hope you get a decent fee - good shots.


  2. I'm thrilled you wrote this post! I, too, have been wading through these practical issues that arrise with travel writing/photography publishing. Glad to know you're finding an audience, keep an eye on covering your rights, and here's hoping you get good fees! Congrats! :)

  3. Good post, Stephen,

    The great thing is that with a track record as a travel writer/photographer you can begin to approach airlines to be included in their travel writer programs and pitch story ideas so that you get free travel and accommodation.


    Rob Walls


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