During my years as a travel writer, I have created my own ‘universal’ travel magazine distribution list. It’s enormous, with 275 magazines of all stripes that accept travel articles for publication.
I’m always keeping my beady eyes looking out for new magazines to add to this list.
In a previous issue of my e-zine, I showed you one way to locate magazines to pitch your travel stories to, using the Internet. (You can find a link to the article at the bottom of this page.)
I also use another way to locate potential magazines online. I use magazine vendor lists. For a long time I didn’t tell anyone about this because I thought everyone was doing it.
Well, it turns out that hardly any other travel writers utilize this simple technique, and many have been surprised when I mention it to them.
What’s it all about?
Online magazine vendors unwittingly provide us with nice lists of hundreds of magazines—for free! The magazines you glean from these vendor listings are excellent additions to your master distribution list.
With magazine vendor lists there is some homework involved. The lists, as they appear on the vendor listings, do not give you direct access to the information travel writers need (editor’s name and contact details & writer’s guidelines). But they do provide you with an entry point.
So, all you have to do is follow the link to the magazine’s website. Once you’re there, you look up the editor’s name and contact details and scan through the writer’s guidelines. Voila!
Magazine vendor lists are portals to a treasure trove of magazine leads.
It’s worth noting that magazine vendor lists are not comprehensive. They do not have every magazine in the genre you are researching. Despite this, I have always discovered a few magazines on vendor lists that I haven’t uncovered through my other search techniques. I’m sure you will, too.
Since 1999 Magazines.com has been the trusted online source for magazine subscriptions. As you can see from the screen shot above, there’s a huge selection here from history to international magazines, and from lifestyle to home & gardening.
Similar to magazine.com, you can browse magazines on this website by category. And there is a huge selection of categories.
Magazine categories listed on this website include: cooking, food & beverage, history, home & garden, photography, science & nature, travel & regional, and women’s magazines.
There are 104 magazines listed under ‘Travel & Regional'!
Seattle-based amazon.com continues its mission to take over the world, by selling magazine subscriptions. You’ll find a huge selection of magazine genres on amazon.com including travel & adventure.
Before you go charging off to hunt down travel magazines at these websites, I have a couple more great magazine lead sources for you.
www.Issuu.com is a digital platform network that creates and publishes magazines online. Dozens of them, hundreds of them, thousands of them!
It’s a cross between a magazine archive, a library, and a newsstand. It’s fun scrolling through their mind-staggering selection of magazines looking for potential recruits for your travel distribution list. And you can even ‘open’ the magazines and read them.
In a half hour ‘scrolling session’ I found the following travel magazines: View Travel & Lifestyle, Best in Travel, Travelite, Experience Travel & Living, Good Mood Travel, and Travel Ideas.
whopayswriters.com is a useful website that lists a large number of magazines, newspapers and online e-zines, and what they pay to freelance writers.
Each post is from writers who have written for a particular magazine with details about word length and rate of pay. Some posts list how long it took the editor to pay up, and a few note what sort of rights the magazine buys.
The magazines and newspapers are listed alphabetically, so if you're looking for specific publications they're easy to find. There are multiple entries for many of the magazines listed here. This is a good thing: you get a better overall ‘feel’ for the magazine and what it pays from multiple listings.
The magazine genres run the whole gambit from high rollers (Rolling Stone, The Atlantic, New York Times, Harper’s) to from women’s magazines (Elle, to political magazines (The Nation) and practically every other genre you can think of (Outside, Music, Daily Beast, Tablet, Huffington Post, Psychology Today, Scientific American, Wired).
Newspapers listed include The Guardian, LA Weekly, LA Times, NY Daily News, Washington Post, andWall Street Journal. There are very few travel magazines listed here.
The pay rates range from a few cents/word to $2/word. There’s something here for everyone, from the beginning freelance writer to the well-published veteran writer who just targets higher paying magazines.
Use Multiple Techniques. I’m a proponent of using multiple techniques to locate potential magazine targets for your queries, as I wrote about in a previous article: how to find sales leads for your travel stories.
Use Writers Guidelines. I’ve also written a complete article about using writers guidelines to sell your stories. Writer’s Market and similar publications should always form one of the foundations for your search.
Go to Bookstores. Another source of magazine leads is by raiding the magazine racks at newsagents and large bookstores.
Use the Internet. The Internet can be a boon to travel writers. It provides us with instant information, at our fingertips, and makes research tasks like tracking down travel magazines much faster and easier.
An Internet search using the magazine’s genre as the keyword (e.g. travel magazines, boating magazines, etc.) also reaps good rewards.
Use Magazine Websites/Vendor Lists. And now, to this arsenal, you can add magazine leads from vendor lists.
All these things combined will help you build extensive distribution lists of magazines. So get out there, check them out and beef up your magazine distribution lists so you can place your story ideas more easily and sell more articles.
The magazine leads on vendor websites mentioned in this article will help you increase your travel magazine distribution lists. All you need to do is spend some time on these websites getting the pertinent information. And it’s free! The only cost is your time.
Although the magazine leads do not provide the editor’s name and contact details, most of the listings have the magazine’s URL. So, it’s easy enough to follow the link for those that interest you and look up these details in a few minutes.
If you're wanting to get published in print media, 100 Print Magazines that Want to Publish Your Travel Stories gives you a ready-made a list of print magazines with contact details, writers guidelines, and much more.
Another resource is my Fifty Websites book.
Then, you can add to these lists with the information from this article and all the other sources available.
With this accelerated process, in no time at all you will have a lengthy, robust list of sales leads to use when you're ready to pitch your story ideas.
Getting Published: The Many Ways to Sell Your Stories
Finding Magazine Sales Leads for Travel Writing
Using Writers Guidelines to Sell Your Articles
6 Best Resources for Magazine Leads
100 Print Magazines that Want to Publish Your Travel Articles eBook
Roy Stevenson is a professional travel writer and the author of www.PitchTravelWrite.com. Over the past ten years, he’s had more than 1000 articles published in 200 magazines, trade and specialty journals, in-flights, on-boards, blogs and websites and has traveled on assignment around the U.S. and to dozens of international destinations.