A Word About Sample Copies, Guidelines & Catalogs
I’ve known writers over the years who tried to short-cut the marketing process by skipping this step of obtaining and studying the guidelines, copies, and catalogs. They often ask if they really have to pay attention to these things. If you ignore them, you do so at your peril. One of the biggest complaints I get from editors is that many of the writers who submit to them have obviously never seen a copy of their magazine or know what kinds of articles or books they publish.
I recommend that you keep the guidelines in a loose-leaf notebook with alphabetical dividers and keep them close at hand for ready reference. I like to keep the sample periodicals in magazine storage boxes—using a different labeled box for each category being targeted—such as children, teens, pastors, women, etc. Categories would match the types or topics of material you write.