Submit to Magnify’s Inside Look

Launched in August 2018, Magnify is a monthly newsletter that celebrates small press books and the various communities that support them. Each month the “Inside Look” column explores some aspect of indie publishing. Past columns have included interviews with publishers, authors, and indie press publicists; profiles of people and organizations that support independent authors; and personal reflections on my own experience launching my debut novel with indie publisher 7.13 Books.

I will continue to use the column to celebrate indie publishing and educate writers on various aspects of the industry. Next month, for example, I’ll be writing about the various distribution methods used by small publishers. This year, I’d like to provide a forum for other perspectives beyond my own. To that end, I’m inviting small press authors, publishers, publicists, reviewers, and independent booksellers to pitch ideas for the “Inside Look” column. My goal is to publish 6–8 guest columns this year.

On the Subject of Payment

I’m putting this right at the top, because it’s too important to get buried in the small print. I believe very strongly in paying writers for their work. But I can’t afford to, at least not yet. Magnify is a labor of love. I don’t yet earn any income from the newsletter and pay out of pocket to maintain my website and Mailchimp account and to buy and mail indie press books for subscriber giveaways. I am exploring ways to generate revenue from the project, but until I get that figured out, I’m not able to pay contributors for “Inside Look” columns.

I recognize that I’m privileged to be able to devote time and energy to writing that doesn’t contribute to my income. I further recognize that by asking authors to submit to the newsletter for free, I am privileging the voices of writers in similar situations. To mitigate this, I’m accepting submissions of previously published work that fit within the scope of what I’m looking for (see below). My hope is that this removes a barrier for writers who are unable to create new work for an unpaid market. If you have additional ideas for anything I can do to make this call for submissions more inclusive, I hope you’ll reach out. I genuinely want to hear from a wide variety of contributors and am open to suggestions for how to make that possible.

What I’m Looking For

Magnify’s audience includes many small press authors, aspiring authors, reviewers, and literary community builders. I’m looking for columns that illuminate some aspect of small press publishers for one or more of these audiences. Columns can be personal essays, conversations/interviews, book lists, or guides, roughly 300–500 words. The tone of the newsletter is positive/celebratory. While I recognize that not every publishing experience is a positive one, Magnify isn’t focused on sharing warnings or complaints. Please read previous newsletters for a sense of what we publish prior to submitting.

How to Submit

Email submissions to melissaj.duclos [at] gmail. Include “Magnify Submission” in the subject line of your email. Submissions should be 300–500 words, pasted in the body of your email. (No attachments please.) Please include a third person bio of roughly 50 words. This will be included in the newsletter if your work is selected for publication.

You are welcome to submit either a finished piece or a pitch of what you’d like to include. If you submit a pitch, please include links to 1­–3 writing samples. If you submit a complete piece, links to other work are not necessary.

If you are submitting a piece that has been previously published (on your website, blog, or anywhere else), please include a link to the original publication.

Finally, if your column is time sensitive (tied to the launch of your book or other event, for example), please make that clear. I will make every attempt to publish accepted pieces at a time that will be most helpful to you! Magnify is published once per month, usually close to the end of the month.   

Looking for other ways to submit to Magnify? I’m open to nominations for literary community builders to highlight in the newsletter and pitches for books to include in the “Critical Look” section.

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