In this the second part of this interview, editor Virginia S. Grenier talks about promotion, the most common mistakes she encounters while critiquing other writers' works, traditional vs. self publishing, and the future of children's publishing.
How do you go about promoting your magazine in the midst of all the competition?
I was very lucky about how fast Stories for Children Magazine’s name got out there. Being a student from the ICL was one of the best helps I had. I knew other writers and editors because of the ICL. Also I’m in a few different writers groups both online and locally. Word of mouth is the best way to spread anything you're marketing. Most people will trust a friend, relative, or co-worker before they will an advertisement. So by talking about the magazine within my writing groups and with my fellow writing students, the word just spread like wildfire.
The second thing that helped Stories for Children Magazine get its name out was actually making contacts with our competition. For example: I was first published in Fandangle Magazine, a free online magazine for children ages 6 to 12 years old. Nancy, the editor, wrote an ebook for teachers about how to use print and ezines in the classroom. Two of my publications with Fandangle were in her ebook. I asked Nancy if I could link from my site to her free ebook. She was more than happy and in return we have shared information on marketing with each other. And as you can see, here I am putting a plug in for her ezine now.
Having an author website, blog, or newsletter is another way to get your name out there. I have all three. On my author site you can actually download the past issues of Stories for Children Magazine. On my blogs I post who our featured guest of the month is with a link to the SFC site. Having interviews each month with children’s authors and illustrators is a great way to bring traffic.
I also send out media releases on our featured guests or if we have some fun news going on at our magazine. And again I always include the link to SFC’s site. You would be surprise how many media releases I get without one.
How does one subscribe to your magazine? Is it free?
Stories for Children Magazine is free for everyone. We do hope to go to print within the next year or two at which time the print magazine will be a paid subscription. However, I still plan to keep Stories for Children Magazine’s site free by publishing a smaller issue for our online readers when we go to print.
You’re also a published author, with many magazine credits to your name and several upcoming book releases. Would you like to tell our readers a little about your works?
My writing has been something of a surprise to me. The first submission I ever sent was inspired by my dad’s childhood. He’s a retired pilot and was born with wings. I had first written the story as my sample writing for the ICL to see if I really had what it took to become a children’s writer. After my second assignment I decided to submit a revision of the story to Fandangle Magazine. I guess I still didn’t believe I was cut out to be in children’s writing and felt I needed a rejection to make that clear to me. The funny thing was, Nancy, the editor, accepted the story. After that I had two more publications in Fandangle Magazine followed by publications at Vision: A Resource for Writers, KidsMagazine.com, Storybox On-Line, and most recently Pack-O-Fun bought a craft for the June/July 2008 issue. I’ve also written a few articles for my newsletter which has 100 subscribers to-date and for Stories for Children Magazine.