Good topic, and well discussed, aboard and ashore. In my case I'm adding local/regional newspapers, interest-oriented publications, and even map and guide publishers to my list. I'm starting small by writing equipment
and publication reviews
for several nautical suppliers in the area. This I can't do aboard due to timeliness of the material. All I'm looking for is a byline showing I've been published - somewhere.
I think like any good cruise
, you have to do your homework. Preparing for a cruise
requires collecting, sifting, collating, and filling the round file with scrap to get to the important (to you) items. This goes for modifications, repairs
, etc. By that time, the basic article is well on its way. The article needs a bit of history
, personal involvement (usually with a local), current
information, and if necessary a sketch chart. Pictures need to be composed well, have excellent exposure, and add to the story.
The biggest problems are areas and timing. An article on the Exuma Cruising regatta
probably won't get as much interest as an article on celebrating Christmas
Island. Since magazines are put to bed
months before they arrive on the doorstep, you have to think ahead. Submitting the Christmas story in early April may not seem such a bad thing. It gives them a good lead time if there's interest, allows you to submit elsewhere if they're no, or best of all, tweak it to their (not always your) satisfaction.
It's also important to look over several year's magazines and know what's been published. Chances are they're not going to do two articles on the same area two years in a row (although the summer splash issues do get a bit old). Get an idea of the writing style they require; the picture requirements (size, dpi, approximate number per article or type of article); and if you think you have an idea drop them a single-page email
with a teaser. I know of one cruiser that emailed a magazine querying about a not-for-navigation passage
chart from T&T to Panama
that was accepted and generated huge interest.
One idea is to look back in your cruising and find a difficult to research
but wonderful to stay location. Chances are if you and your fellow boaters are having problems, so are lots of readers and potential readers.
There are a large number of magazines, periodicals, and newspapers that have local interest or travel sections that read in a style you can write to. The object is to keep writing, keep submitting, and keep the rejection notices - they day you get published will be a time to remember.