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1-9 Treasure Hunting For Markets

(c) 2010, Mona Leeson Vanek

Object: Analyzing Markets: Becoming Super Familiar With a Magazine's Format and Style.

Use this form to help you build your marketing base. Print out copies and use them as you study magazines. Type a copy of a story into your word processor from a magazine that you want to sell to (or paste one from online source.)
  • Run a word count on it.
  • Count the number of lines.
  • Count the number of paragraphs.
  • Run grammar check and see what grade level it's written in.
  • How many two or three syllable words are used?
Try to make your own article the exact size and format.
  • Vary sentence lengths just like the magazine does.
  • Vary paragraph lengths just like the magazine does.
  • Discover the 'pattern' the editor likes!
  • Make your article fit that pattern as exactly as you can.
In other words, blueprint the layout of yours to match theirs.

1. The pattern used. Viewpoint person:
  • "I" or "we" = 1st
  • "You" = 2nd
  • "He," "she," "they" = 3rd
2. Kind of lead:
  • Anecdote (A)
  • Quote (Q)
  • Provocative Statement (PS)
  • Question (QU)
  • Summation (S)
  • Straight Declarative Summation (SDS)
  • Statistical (ST)
3. Find and identify the theme focus statement: It states the THEME the article intends to prove. It's generally located immediately after the lead.

4. Count the number of Anecdotes and Quotes. List them:
  • A
  • Q
5. Who are the "authorities? What kinds of quotes are used? Note how many, also. List them:
  • General (G)
  • Specific (S)
6. Count the negative phrases, How many include don't, none, not, or similar words or thoughts?
7. Find and list "Information" and "Exposition." Put down the ratio: "I"/ "E"
  • "I" = information (where to, costs, etc).
  • "E" = explanation (paragraphs such as background and explanation.
Count them and compare the total number of paragraphs in the article to get an idea of how much I/E the magazine prefers.
8. Rank the magazines "jargon" = Formal (F); Informal (I); Flamboyant (FL)
9. Rate sentence structure - # of LIC and # of BC:
  • Long, packed with Information, Complex in terms of ratios per article (LIC)
  • Brief and Conversational (BC)
  • Number the ration (ie: 20LIC/50B
10. Define the ending:
  • Recap (R) Recap can be thought of as TMI, an acronym for Techniques of Military Instruction. Essentially it means "Tell 'em what you're gonna tell 'em, tell 'em, then tell 'em what you told 'em."
  • Full Circle (FC) Full circle- relates with a sentence back to the beginning sentence.
  • Progression (P). Progression explains everything, every term, every procedure, fully, clearly, offering frequent examples and using words of progression; i.e.: "first", "second", "now", "next", "finally" to stitch the parts together.
11. Rank the magazine by ratios of the number of:
  • How-To (HT)
  • Inspirational (I)
  • Expose (E)
  • or ( ) any other acronym that defines kinds of feature articles major emphasis and number of magazine articles and stories used.
  • (Humor, is a good example of "kinds of emphasis".)
  • Don't skip regular feature columns, fiction and poetry.
  • List the number of cartoons, too.
12. Count the advertisements: How many?
List the major companies that advertise:

Analyze what audience they're after:
  • Age (A)
  • Income (I)
  • Education level (E)
  • Marital status (M)
  • Occupations (O)
Target your idea to their interests.

13. NAME the editor.

Define his/her style - using the criteria from the above "treasure hunt" guess:
  • age
  • marital status
  • income, $
  • educational level
  • personality traits

Form a mental picture of the editor. Get "friendly" with it and "comfortable" with keeping in touch with THIS SPECIFIC PERSON.
14. MAGAZINE NAME by **** (That stands for "Four Star" Magazine:

**** 4.
*** 3.
** 2.
* 1.
Rank your magazines as you complete reviewing and studying them, filling in a slip like this for each, until you know each market you INTEND to make friends with the editor of!!
TIP: When you're ready to search for markets, give duotrope' digest a try:

Chapter 2 - Careers and Marketing,

Next, 1-10 Write What You Know? Ha!, by Bob Freiday:

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