"Getting Syndicated for Fame and Profit" with Barbara Feldman

Barbara J. Feldman My weekly column "Surfing the Net with Kids" premiered in The San Diego Union-Tribune in 1996. After three years of self-syndication, I was picked up by the Los Angeles Times Syndicate. I am currently syndicated by United Feature Syndicate (the same ones that syndicate Dilbert and Snoopy.) I also self-syndicate three daily pieces, one semi-monthly column, and one monthly piece.

Online Archive: "Surfing the Net with Kids" http://www.surfnetkids.com

Examples of Online Syndication: http://www.surfnetkids.com/daily.html

Write Me


STEP ONE: Design a column that is NEW and DIFFERENT yet has MASS-MARKET APPEAL.

STEP TWO: Call the editor of the appropriate section of your local newspaper. Ask him if he'd like to see your column. Your local paper is the one MOST likely to say yes, because from syndicates and wires they can't get "local."

STEP THREE: Keep calling newspapers in your town/county/state until you get your column into your first paper. Congratulations! You are a columnist!

STEP FOUR: Market to other newspapers via fax. In the fax, send them to your website for samples. When you get your second paper, congratulations! You are a syndicated columnist! Repeat until you have twelve or fifteen papers.

STEP FIVE: Approach the big five syndicates via mail with a packet that contains six samples.

STEP SIX: Approach the second-tier syndicates after you're convinced the "Big Five" aren't biting.

STEP SEVEN: Continue writing your column, distributing your column, collecting your receivables, and selling your column (see STEP FOUR.) Every week a new deadline. Welcome to your new life!


Print Books:
Best BetSuccessful Syndication: A Guide for Writers and Cartoonists by Michael Sedge
Includes a list of syndicates, a boilerplate contract with commentary, sample query letters. Excellent! $11.87 at Amazon.com

You can Write a Column by Monica McCabe Cardoza
Advice on how to start a column from scratch. Very little on syndication. $10.39 at Amazon.com

Best BetChase's Calendar of Events The day-by-day directory to special days, weeks and months. Once you are a columnist, you will need to know what special anniversaries are coming up. For example, this year (on May 29) marks the 50th anniversary of Sir Edmund Hillary's ascent to Mount Everest. $52.95 at Amazon.com.

Dream Jobs To Go: Syndicated Columnist ebook by Marcia Yudkin
Good step-by-step guide to getting the attention of a syndicate. $12.95 immediate download from Intellectua.com

How to Be a Syndicated Newspaper Columnist
Includes a database of 6,000+ newspapers and also a database of 100+ syndicates. I haven't read this one, so I don't know how current the data is, but I know and respect the publishers (WritersWeekly.com).

National Society of Newspaper Columnists Offers members a free guide to syndication written by former NSNC President Bill Tammeus, but I'm not a member, so I haven't seen it.

Newspaper Directories:
Newslink.org Links to online newspapers

Newsdirectory.com Another directory of links to online newspapers

Immedia Jump Station Links to online newspapers

100 Top US Papers listed by Sunday Circulation

Bacon's Directory of Editors costs $350....maybe you're better off using a distribution service to send the email/fax for you. Ask Paul at Imediafax.com.

Email/Fax Distribution to Editors:
Best BetImediafax.com With a $50 minimum, Paul Krupin's organization will email or fax your query letter to newspaper editors. Email is .10 per message, fax is .25 per page. Orders over $100 receive a discount.

Bacon's Information also offers email/fax distribution, but Paul's prices are better, and he uses the Bacon's list.

Syndicate Directories:
Best Bet2002 E&P DIRECTORY OF SYNDICATED SERVICES $20 from Editor and Publisher magazine. This invaluable resource not ONLY lists hundreds of syndicates, it also lists syndicated features, so you can research who is doing similar columns. You can probably find this at your local (or university) library.

Big Five Syndicates (in marketshare order):

1) King Features Syndicate has submission guidelines here.

2) United Media (United Feature Syndicate) has submission guidelines here.

3) Universal Press Syndicate has submission guidelines here.

4) Tribune Media Services has submission guidelines here.

5) Creators has submission guidelines here.

Tools for Online Syndication:
Best BetMaster Syndicator ($99) is your choice if you want to give away your content for promotional purposes.

Best BetMaster Syndication Gateway ($175) is for you if you want to charge for your content, have control over who uses it, or want live stats on the use of your content. I use both of these products and, in my opinion, they are the ONLY way to self-syndicate online.

Webreference.com: Intro to RSS You probably DON'T need to get involved with XML or RSS, but if someone starts throwing these acronyms at you, and you want to learn more, you can start here.

Directories of Free Online Content:
Free Sticky
Sticky Sauce
Find Sticky

News Coverage of Syndication Market:
Best BetSyndicate World column by Dave Astor, from Editor & Publisher

Best BetContentBiz Highly recommended free newsletter from MarketingSherpa.com --- but syndication is only one of the many aspects of publishing covered by Anne Holland and staff.

Econtent Magazine: Syndicated Content I enjoy the monthly print magazine which focuses on ONLINE content, but have never found much value in their online or email edition.

Best BetBest Bet

Copyright 2003 Barbara J. Feldman.