Tips for Getting Published, Part Two

Two weeks ago, I blogged about a Creating Keepsakes article on how to get published.  Creating Keepsakes also has a "Tips for Getting Pages Published" article on their website.  While some of the tips are the same for both, there are some differences as well.  

Here's another page I submitted for publication that was not accepted.

According to the article, to improve your chances of being published you should:

  • Use color photographs.... Do we publish layouts with black and white photos? Yes. Yet we frequently ask contributors to replace b/w pics with color ones.
  • Use multiple photographs on a page.... Many of our readers like to get more on a page, so we try to show you how to do that effectively. 
Check... sort of.  Two photos isn't exactly what I think of when I think of multiple photo layouts.  
  • Include journaling... The date, the occasion, the emotions the photo(s) evoke-something is always better than nothing. 
Check!  Plenty of journaling on this layout.
  • Keep it fresh.... You don't have to use the newest products, as long as how you showcase them is interesting. However we are looking for pages that don't look outdated. While old paper is perfect for a scrapbook, we tend to focus on new and fashion-forward looks, which usually means using the latest products.
HONK.  While these products are neutral and thus don't look outdated, they aren't new and I don't think they're used in a fashion-forward way.
  • Be yourself. Know the trends, but make them your own. 
Check!  I am very true to my own style.  Any trends that I incorporate always have a Cindy spin on them.  Of course, I rarely follow trends....
  • Create double-page spreads. We definitely publish one-pagers, but we do look for spreads, since many of our readers prefer them, and we seem to get fewer usable two-page submissions.
HONK.  I do make two-pagers, but this isn't one of them.
  • Make sure your title and journaling are legible. We can't show layouts at full size in the magazine, so it's important that the font and color choices you make allow the words to be read easily. If you use your own handwriting, make sure it's neat and straight.
HONK.  This is probably the number one thing that causes magazines to reject my layouts.  I have very nice writing and it is legible at full size, but it can't be read at the size a magazine would print it.  As much as I would love to be published, I'm not willing to write less and/or artificially large.  
  • Proofread. We know you're not handing this project in to your English teacher, but if it's going to be in a magazine, it needs to be correct. Check your spelling thoroughly.
  • Utilize good design principles. We examine layouts carefully for unity, balance, color sense, etc. 
Check!  There could be a bit more interest to break up the strong horizontal, but in general the layout shows good use of design principles.
  • Understand visual hierarchy. One of the main ways to achieve clean design is by observing the visual hierarchy. Take care that the title and photos aren't overwhelmed by embellishments that are too bright or large. Inattention to visual hierarchy is one of our most common reasons for passing on a page.
Check!  If anything, I might need to use more embellishments.  
  • Choose the best photographs. We tend not to be drawn to layouts that have several different pictures from the same occasion of the same person in slightly different shots. 
Check... halfway.  These are great pictures, but they show the same person in slightly different shots.  I don't usually do that (and shouldn't have done it here if I was serious about wanting the page published), but the expression on his face in the two pictures is so different and part of the story I wanted to tell.
  • Reach for the "it" factor. "Maybe it's a cool technique, or a striking color palette, or unique/cool/beautiful accents," says Lori-that's what separates your page from the rest.
HONK.  No "it" factor here.  I think it's an attractive, well-done layout, but it doesn't feature any unusual techniques, colors or embellishments.
  • Inspire us. We're scrapbookers, too. Make us wish we had thought of it first! 
HONK.  There's nothing special about this layout.  It's well-balanced, attractive and easy to scraplift, but it would be a stretch to call it inspirational.  

Going through the checklist it is readily apparent why this layout wasn't picked up for publication.  No matter- I love it, and of course that is what matters most.


  1. Gosh; what is visual hierarchy? I'll have to check that out. You layout is great and tells a story and that is what matters.

  2. I think this page is well put together and I always love how you tell a story with your pages.

  3. I love this LO. The only thing I think it could use is just a little more color. I am no expert, but I am just thinking about the LOs I see that do get published. However, stick with your style - don't give up on being you when you create, because you already do beautiful work! I really enjoyed your posts on this topic!

  4. I love the tips you are sharing ... and love love love love your lo!! LOVING the photos and the colors are perfect!!

  5. Love this post...where you get into the nitty gritty on why you think this layout did not get picked up. I'm glad that changing your style is not part of what you want to do to get noticed though. Own your style. I do think that all you really need is to add colour to your layouts. Just small doses of a strong colour. Good luck!


I moderate comments, so you will not see yours appear right away. Please check back if you had a question; I promise to answer it as soon as I see it. Thank you for taking the time to comment!