Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Goodbye Domino...And So On

I haven't been chatting much about magazine work lately, mostly because I primarily focus on fiction, in terms of my own work, these days, but I wanted to open up the questions/forum for magazine questions...just in case people thought we could only chat about novels/fiction. So if you have questions about that part of the industry, by all means ask.

That said, as a follow up to yesterday's post, the magazine world has been hit hard as of late, and many of my magazine-writing friends have felt the pinch. It's brutal. It feels like every other day you hear of another magazine closing its doors. When Domino's shuttering was announced, I was FLOORED. In years past, the mag had been an industry leader, and certainly, it proved that every single title could be vulnerable.

What does this mean for freelancers? The obvious: fewer assignments, less income. The only magazine work that I still do is celebrity stuff, and while you'd think the demand for those features, given our culture's obessession with the celeb world, wouldn't dry up, even my assignments have slowed down. Just this past week, I heard from an editor who loves my stuff but had to put a freeze on assigning for a few months. So what are freelancers to do? I'm not sure: get creative, look to online markets, take some time to reevaluate your business plan. Maybe this is a good time to start exploring that novel you always wanted to write. I really don't know.

I'd be curious to hear, however, from you freelancers - what steps are you taking to stay afloat and are your seeing a downturn in business?


Anonymous said...

I'm not doing any nonfiction right now, but I contacted my editor at Rodale yesterday on behalf of a writer friend who--you guessed it--is scrambling for new work. My editor basically said, "We'll keep her in mind, but things are very slow right now."

Heather Johnson Durocher said...

I'm finding decent success these days working with custom publishers - for a grocery chain's customer glossy, for a B2B publication and also for a national foundation. These aren't as sexy as the national consumer mags I've written for in the past, but I'm just happy for the work...Also, I've been picking up local work, which in the past I had kinda turned away from in my pursuit of national magazine work. But some regional magazines (not so much newspapers) provide steady work for me. They don't pay super great, but I can count on steady work and they pay quickly.