Since last October I have had ideas that I wanted to prepare for magazine submissions. Though it took some time for me to finally get around to it, I was at last able to get most of my submissions in the mail. The ones to English magazines were easy enough but still took time. For each submission I have to type and edit, and sometimes shrink down, my story; prepare a selection of photographs and label them, and type captions for them all; type a cover letter after referring to the submission guidelines and double checking my submission; and get everything stuffed in an envelope with international reply coupons in lieu of return postage. I sent submissions to Canada, the U.S. and the U.K.
Next came the submissions to Japanese magazines. Actually I submitted two short pieces, one to each of the newsletters of the photography associations of which I am a member. One piece my wife edited before I sent it and the other piece the editor accepted as is and someone was assigned to edit my Japanese. For submissions to magazines I wanted to be a little more professional and asked my manager to check my writing and make any necessary corrections and amendments. When this was done I was able to follow the same preparation steps as for the English submissions with the difference that I could provide stamps for return postage. I also sent a sizable submission to Tabi Shashin for their June issue as the theme was the splendour of water’s surface, a theme for which I had a number of good images.
I still have two more submissions I need to prepare and have checked and I still need to prepare my submission to my stock agency and get ready for the next submission call from Yama to Keikoku for the 2010 calendars. After last year’s problems (not my fault) I hope they still ask me to submit.
So, now comes the waiting period, which can be anywhere from a month to over a year. The quickest response I ever got was from Bisses magazine when I sent them a story about my parents’ garden. I mailed it on a Monday and they called me on Thursday to say they liked the idea and would run it six months later. The longest was two years waiting to hear from Nature’s Best magazine only to have my story and photos returned, rejected.
I am prepared for rejection though. My plan is simply to take any rejected submissions, review them, and then send them off to another magazine. Three times before I sent rejected submissions to another magazine and saw them published so I won’t be discouraged that easily. Nevertheless, waiting is what I face once all are off, into the pipeline as I say. Since I sent them in March I based them on autumn themes. That means I might not hear any news until a month or two before those autumn issues come out. The time to be concerned is once winter comes around and I still haven’t heard anything. Then I have to start ringing up people and ask about the standing of my submission, if it was rejected or is still being held, and if there are any problems with the return postage.
Until then, I can begin preparing other submissions. Some are already typed. But I feel I need a break to. It’s time to file and print photos of my son too and to plan an outing soon. One of my two big projects requires me to get out into the Japan Alps and do some more shooting!