The Insider: Sarah Alba Shares Tips for Getting PublishedAuthor:Lindsey Shook
In this ever-growing sea of Instagram and social media, getting noticed can be somewhat of a daunting task. As an interior designer, the quickest way to gain notoriety and exposure is to have your design work published. But getting published is no easy feat. Here, experienced location scout, contributor and publicist Sarah Alba, founder of Albaworks, provides her perspective on how to get published.
Over the years, I have worked with numerous interior designers and architects to find project placements. Here are some key notes to get your interior design project published.
THE SUBMISSION PROCESS:
Editors are bombarded with submissions on a daily basis. So before hitting the “send” button to no-man’s land, know that how you present your work is a crucial step in getting noticed.
Begin by researching the magazine or site by checking out past stories to better tailor your project. When pitching your project, avoid writing the article for the editor. The shorter the copy, the better. Cover the basics: the name of the designer/architect along with the location and the goal of the project. If there is a unique story to attract readers- keep it brief. If you can recite your whole pitch in an elevator, you’re good to go.
Excellent photos are one of the most important aspects of a pitch (more on this below). Be sure to grab an editor’s attention with great photos. Include a handful of “hero” shots in the text of your email, and include a Dropbox link to the rest.
Lastly, keep in mind that editors would like to be able to consider a project without competition or a timeframe. Offer exclusivity and be weary of posting pics on your social media prior to the publication of the project.
It’s simple, invest in photography. Excellent Photos are key to the success of getting published. Consider this a beauty pageant for your project. High-resolution, already edited photography will help your pitch standout.
An interiors photographer will work with lighting, propping, orientation and timing, to highlight your design. Photography has the potential to make each shot come to life, and will be the first thing an editor notices.
Often times I am asked if styling really makes a difference in getting a project published. The answer is, YES. Styling is the accessory to your perfect outfit. It is the details that elevate a space and make it feel personal. Good style appears effortless.
While it may be awkward to show up to your client’s home and take away their personal belongings, it’s part of the process. Don’t hesitate to edit pieces out, and remember to include unique props to avoid any cookie cutter looks. A room should feel inviting. Consider adding subtle color with fresh and organic props such as florals, and a simple lifestyle element: A turned out chair, a collection of plates or a stack of books. The secret to a perfectly designed space is attention to detail. (More on the perfect “shelfie” or throw toss another day). Most of all, don’t overthink it.
Sometimes, the most beautiful projects can still be rejected. Timing may be wrong, the aesthetic may not fit the editorial lineup, or there simply is not room for another feature. Take rejection well, and don’t give up.
Keep your website up-to-date. Now that your name is out there, editors will refer to your website for new projects and as reference to your particular aesthetic.
Pitching your work to the media can be intimidating, and extremely time consuming. For those who don’t have the time or energy to craft a perfect pitch, and those looking for a shortcut to their success, there are professionals like me, out there to help.
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