I think I am might be a little bold in asking this but I really don't know the answer. How do you get your bears into magazines? Are you invited? Do you send them in yourself? I don't know if my stuff is good enough or the right kind of bear. Needlefelting doesn't seem to fit any category. But I only know of Teddy Bear and Friends because that's the only one I've seen in the stores. I was just wondering how it all works, you know...to expose my stuff besides my blog and flickr. I am getting new customers everyday and they are finding me because of my blog and flickr, which I cannot complain because I am making bears for these nice folks. This is all so new to me so any information you are willing to share I will certainly appreciate! Thanks.
Jennifer somewhere here, check under Library- listed is all the magazines. Most of these magazines have a feature page showing "whats new" and artists can send in a picture of their new creation. As far as I am aware this is a free service, in most teddy bear magazines. Normally thou once a magazine has your details they will then start asking you to advertise, but you are not FORCED into this, but the one hand helps the other hand and as the saying goes it "pays to advertise".
Once again, getting into a magazine, you then, start making contact with the magazine and then of course getting an editorial done on your work is much easier, especially if your work is something different, and of a high quality.
I would suggest contacting them all, find out what they offer, and then submit what they require. It is always such a nice feeling to pick up magazine and see one of your bears in it-normally walk around showing off- saying to every poor person coming your way- see this is me !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Your bears are lovely little things and needle felting is very popular at the moment so I would do something right now.
Send in Photos Jennifer or do what I do and wait until they come and getcha.
Well I have heard people say that they have posted in pics. But I couldnt do that myself. I think its a brilliant idea and wish I could but there is no way I could do it myself. I dont mind being centre of attention but only if someone else puts me there. I could'nt put me there. Odd and strange but there ya go. Wendy
I always thought to myself 'I could never just send in photos of my bears - it'll look like I'm pushing it', so I didn't! That was until the British Bear Artist Awards in December where Kirste McCool (editor of TBCI) was one of the judges. After the awards had been handed out she said to me 'why haven't you sent me pictures of your bears?', I was a bit stumped as to what to say and replied 'I thought you had to be invited to have a picture of your bear in the magazine' and she said 'No way! We (editors) love receiving photos of new talents. I've never known an editor to complain about having too many pictures sent to them'...so, I did send photos in to her and she put 'Zak' in the What's New section. I also contacted the editor of TBS and sent her photos and I had a lovely reply thanking me for them and saying she was going to use one of the photos I sent - the same day the magazine was released I received a phone call and the bear was adopted! I've since been featured in TBCI.
I have definately noticed an increase in interest for my bears - you have to understand that, although quite unbelievable, some people don't have access to the internet and the magazines are the only way they will find out about you.
So, just email pictures to them and say something along the lines of 'I'm forwarding some pictures of my bears/creations to you and wondered if you would like to use any of them in your magazine'. Rember to leave you name, business name, contact details and all of the bears information with them too.
Go on, you'll be glad you did!
sorry for the long reply!!!
I always thought to myself 'I could never just send in photos of my bears - it'll look like I'm pushing it', so I didn't! :
YOU are your own best promoter. The magazines can't publish pictures they don't have. Send high quality photos along with a descroption and/or something interesting that goes along with the bear...how you came up with the design....etc.
I was a little shy too in the beginning but the magazines do want you to send in your photos. Once you see your work published it will give you even more conifence to submit more.
If you don;t see your photos in the magazine rigth away, keep trying. Don't give up...ever.
Please don't wait for the editors to find you: there are at least 1,000 teddy bear artists worldwide and only a handful of editors; we need all the help we can get. I know it's romantic to be "discovered," but it's more realistic and effective to do a little PR for yourself. You're not being forward, you're proactively promoting your business!
Most magazines welcome submissions and give the necessary information in the publication and on the Web site. For Teddy Bear and Friends, send pictures and a letter that briefly describes your business, your background, and what makes your work different. Include captions for your pictures: piece name, size, materials, edition size, and story/inspiration. Remember to include your name (first and last), location, and contact information. If you're submitting to a specific project, mention that, too, of course!
You can send an e-mail with high or low resolution photos; I need high res (300 dpi) for publication but am willing to look at low res and request the specific high res images that interest me. You can also post a packet with photos on disk or prints. I prefer to receive 3-4 pictures, each featuring no more than 3 pieces. But if you've got one piece you're really excited about, send the one picture.
A few tips:
- Magazines work months in advance. I'm currently working on my July/August and September/October issues. You'll need to send me Christmas pictures in June or early July.
- Your pictures need to be good quality. They are all I, and my readers, have to go on. Make sure they're clearly focused, with plain backgrounds, and no shadows. Don't decorate them with text, clip art, frames, or effects.
- Don't give up. PR is not a once-and-done proposition. Don't send stuff every week, but once every month or two is perfectly reasonable. I might not have space for something this issue, but will be glad to have it for next time. (Plus, my new Web site is under development, so I'll need even more pictures once that's launched...)
- You may or may not get a response. (I try to at least reply with a "thanks" to e-mails, but that doesn't always happen.) It's OK to follow up with an e-mail or call to see if the info was received. Honestly, I generally don't know exactly what I'm going to use until I start typing an issue and see the entire body of material available to me, so I can't tell you whether or not your pictures will be used.
- If possible, send different pictures to each publication. We don't like to overlap if we can help it, and collectors like to see an assortment.
- Send "news" items, too. Charlotte Deadman just sent me a note that she's designing for a big hotel. That's an interesting tidbit to share and earns Charlotte a mention in a different part of the magazine (news vs. products).
- Remember your local PR, too. If you're attending a show or are included in a magazine, put together a similar letter packet and send it to the "local" editor of your nearest newspaper. They're always looking for news, too.
Hope this helps. Remember to check all the magazine sites for their specific guidelines, then plan your PR campaign!
Teddy Bear and Friends
PO Box 10545
Lancaster PA 17605-0545
Mindy, thank you for all that wonderful info. It's nice to hear it from an editors perspective.
Jennifer, I got lucky. I've just been too lazy to submit my photos anywhere, but I happened to just get 'discovered' for a high class local magazine. I'm very excited and I'm sure once I see my bears in print as some of you put it, I'll be submitting everywhere!
If you click on Library here in TT, look in that section and you will find a list of all the magazine related to teddy bears world wide listed with contact details.
hear,see, listen and act on what Mindy, editor of Teddy Bear & Friends (USA) is saying, and remember this info applies to all the bear magazine worldwide.
The more interesting the magazine can become for the reader the more the "bear business will flourish"
p.s. magazines also need the support via advertising , otherwise they will cease to exist, and although the Internet is the "In" thing and will continue to thrive, there is nothing like holding,(bears at a show) or reading a good magazine without straining your eyes on a screen.
Awesome thank you so much Mindy, I was going to do up disk packs but I think I will just email pictures and then offer high resolution if requested!!
So you would like no more than three different pieces from an artist at a time? I just want to make sure not to overload you....
In an email then would it be okay to copy and paste the submission form and fill it in in the email?
You're absolutely welcome to cut and paste the submission form into an e-mail. You'll find mine at http://www.teddybearandfriends.com/foru … owtopic=13.
Three photos is good, and each photo can feature up to three bears. (I prefer one bear per photo, but sometimes a group is cute, too.)
When you get the new issue, check out John Port's "grassroots" tips for marketing. They're applicable to collectors and artists alike -- ways to introduce new collectors to teddies and get the word out about your work.
Thanks to the people who have already sent me photos this week!
You should certainly mention that when you send photo submissions. Those are the kind of details I like to include, even in the small Bruins 'n Buddies mentions, which is why I always ask for both a biography and the story/inspiration for each piece. The basic description for most bears is the same (mohair, glass eyes, Ultrasuede, polyfill...), but they're not all made at a cafe, or by a working farmer, or from hand-collected cat fur accented with organic squash blossoms and petrified wood. I want to know what makes you and your work different from the rest. You don't have to tell me something new every time -- you can work up a stock biographical paragraph. But if I publish your bio one time, the next time I'm going to need something about the bear itself -- inspired by your niece's ordination as a minister, or reminds you of a sunset in Maine, or the first time you dyed fur with crayons. Whatever makes it unique.
Someone -- Steven Clark, I think -- told me he sees bears as a souvenir of an experience. Great line. Giving collectors that extra little bit of information makes the bear more of an experience, even in print, and helps catch their attention. It also gives them something to talk about when they show off the bear to friends: "And this one, the artist lives in Hawaii so she includes a tiny bag of volcanic ash inside every bear." The bear's not just pretty, it has a story. It's like the talent and question sections of a pageant -- all the contestants are beautiful, so we need something to distinguish them from each other besides hair and swimsuit color. You might not remember "the pretty brunette," but you won't soon forget "the one who yodels the Marseillaise"!