Earlier this month, interior designer Tobi Fairley hosted a group of designers for a three-day intensive session, all about the process of getting published, in Little Rock, Arkansas.
“The Journey to Getting Published,” featured Krissa Rossbund, senior style editor of Traditional Home; Ronda Carman, author of All the Best blog; Nancy Nolan, professional interiors photographer; and Sandra Gilbert, editor at Rizzoli Books; all to help attendees reach their goals of being published in a major way.
Designers who attended were able to get an insider’s perspective on how to take their best design projects straight to the editorial calendars of top local, regional, and national magazines and high-profile online publications.
The camp walked designers through the do’s and don’ts of submitting work to a publication. Some of the most important things discussed included: the quality of photographs of a completed space, learning how to deal with the pitching process, communicating effectively with editorial staff, building relationships with those staffers and creating buzz to amplify coverage.
“My top takeaway from the camp is that getting published takes time, patience and persistence, and doesn't happen overnight,” said interior designer Leslie Wood.
“Hold on to the dream,” said camp attendee, interior designer and blogger Lisa Mende. “Ronda Carman dreamed of a connection to Martha Stewart for 20 years and wanted to write a book her whole life. Now she's published her book and Martha wrote the foreword. It took Tobi Fairley 14 years to become an ‘overnight’ success.”
Mende‘s other takeaways were as follows:
- Sometimes "just pretty" is enough. No gimmicks or contrived designs are needed to get something published in major magazines. Good design transcends all other factors.
- It's all about the story. A story will give a design more appeal than just taking the photos at face value. If great design supports a great life, the design is instantly more interesting and real for the viewer, and people love to live vicariously through the homeowner.
- Invest in the best photographer you can afford. It's priceless. But being a match with your photographer in style, personality and creativity is essential for a successful shoot.
- When writing a book or a story, be open to the evolution of the project and the editor's expertise. What you think the piece will be may not be what it becomes, but it will be surprisingly better after the creative process. So, letting go of your attachments will equal the most beautiful result.
Fairley’s next design camp will take place from May 7 – 9, more information can be found on the website.