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Understanding the General Publishing Criteria for Books and Magazines

No matter how simple a business might look on the surface there are often unseen aspects that the general public never hears about.  Take the publishing world for example.  It seems like all there is to it is finding acceptable material to put in the book or magazine, doing some editing, and sending it to the printers.  Simple, right?  In reality, the general publishing criteria for books and magazines is a bit more complex.  The publishing professionals have to look at a huge amount of features of the market, as well as legal concerns before they can just send the stuff to the printers.  There are far too many details to get into in a short period of time, but here is a basic look at some of the forgotten details of getting a book or magazine in print and into the reader’s hands.

One of the first aspects of general publishing criteria for books and magazines is market size.  There are certainly some niche books and magazines that do very well and for that matter, specific subjects have to be addressed to meet the needs of the people, but overall, publishers want written material that can appeal to a large amount of the general public.  In other words, it doesn’t matter how well a book or magazine article is written, if it won’t appeal to large number of readers it’s likely to not be published.  Editors and agents have to be very careful about what they recommend for publication.

Another aspect of general publishing criteria for books and magazines that can’t be overlooked is the basis of competition.  It’s likely you have noticed that when any massive U.S. or global incident or event occurs, the market becomes flooded with all kinds of books and magazines about it.  For example, it’s only a matter of time before books about the 2008 summer Olympic Games hits the bookstore shelves.  A good publisher will make sure that he or she offers something along the same lines, but with a unique twist no one else has thought of.  Quite simply put, people aren’t going to buy more than one book on a specific subject.

You can’t talk about the general publishing criteria for books and magazines without considering life cycle.  Just as we were just discussing general topics that are written to death and need variation, life cycle has to do with how long a book or magazine is going to be noticed.  Magazines of course, have the advantage of being periodicals and can keep up with the times much easier.  With books, publishers look for material that is timeless.  In other words, if the material rings true right now, it needs to ring true 10 years from now.  Nothing makes a publisher happier than demand creating several editions of the same book.

Once you understand the basic general publishing criteria for books and magazines, it’s impossible to not have a greater appreciation for what it takes to get the publications to you.

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