The due date for Written in Stone is still nine months away, but I have already started to compose a list of potential op-eds, essays, and articles that will help promote its release. They range from summaries of the book’s premise to stories that were hacked out during the editing process, but the question is where I should pitch these ideas. There are only a limited number of popular science publications now in operation, and even among this small pool there are some that cannot pay writers and others that do not accept unsolicited proposals. As you can guess, trying to be a freelance science writer can turn into a massive headache pretty quickly.
As I try to put together a strategy, however, I wanted to ask what popular science publications you read. Obviously I am going to have to tailor my pitches to specific publications, a task that requires that I stay on top of who is publishing what and is practically a full-time job by itself, but what I am more curious about right now is what people are actually reading.
Speaking for myself, I must admit that I do not read as many pop sci mags as I should. I’ll pop over to New Scientist if there is an interesting story, and National Geographic comes every month in the mail, but I am usually so busy writing that I don’t have much time left over to read. When I do set aside time to catch up on things I usually go right to the scientific journals themselves, and so I find myself in the somewhat paradoxical position of someone who wants to be a science writer but has little time to read what other writers are publishing.
What about you? Which pop sci publications do you read (if any), and why do you read them?