Here are 5 ways to get your knives featured in BLADE, either in print or online. Our goal is to include as many different types of knives and as many different knifemakers and manufactures as we can in each issue and online. We try not to double up on any individual or company, though sometimes it’s unavoidable. That means that we’re always looking for makers who haven’t been featured before. There are some restrictions, but those will be covered under each category.
First, please Like and Follow BLADE Magazine on Facebook and Follow BLADE Magazine on Twitter and @blade_magazine on Instagram. That way you can see online stories when they’re posted, which may prompt other story ideas. Please also Like and Follow “Erin at BLADE” on Facebook. That is where I talk about my work as managing editor at BLADE and invite you to post your knife photos for certain stories I may be working on.
3 essentials for all 5 publishing options
- Our Enthusiasm
We have to like your knife. But wait! We like ALL kinds of knives: cooking, everyday carry, bushcraft, hunting, tactical. We like fixed blades and folders of every deployment and locking mechanism. We like art knives that we’d be proud to put on our shelves. We like all shapes and sizes of knives, of every conceivable blade design and grind. We welcome smiths, stock-removal makers, manufacturers, collectors. Whether you’re just reaching your artistic stride or you’ve been involved in the knife industry for decades, you’re part of the BLADE community. So, don’t be shy. Chances are, we’ll thoroughly appreciate your knife or your perspective on the industry. The only way we’ll be able to see your knife, however, is if you show it to us in a well-done photograph.
- Your Enthusiasm
How hard are you willing to work to make your knife look its best in a photo? Or, are you willing and able to hire a professional to take photos so that you can concentrate on knifemaking? The answer to either of those questions will be the measure of your enthusiasm. Other pieces of information will be required, but those details seem easier to acquire than photographs that do justice to your knife.
- High-Quality Images
Poor-quality photos will definitely dampen our enthusiasm to publish them, no matter how beautiful your knife is. If the photo is out of focus, low resolution, poorly composed, lacking in contrast, flat or poorly lit, we’ll ask you to get better photos. As challenging as it will seem, it ensures that a poor image doesn’t run side by side with a stellar one, making your knife look lesser than it really is. You can read more about what we expect by reading “6 Things BLADE Looks For In a Knife Photo.”
Let’s say you have terrific photos, then what?
5 ways to get your knives featured in BLADE
- ‘What’s New’
The “What’s New” section of BLADE magazine highlights 12 new knives each issue, six from manufacturers, six from custom knifemakers. And, guess what? If you’ve never been in “What’s New” before, everything you’ve made is “new” in that not all of our readers have seen your work before. If you’ve already been in “What’s New,” perhaps there is something new you’ve been trying out: a different design or grind, or you usually make fixed knives and now you’re moving into folders, or you’re using a different engraver. After being in “What’s New,” you must wait at least 12 months before you can be eligible again, and makers who haven’t been in before will take precedence. Just to reiterate, our goal is to get as many different knives into BLADE as possible. We will occasionally include a tomahawk, sharpener or other knife accessory, but mostly the section features factory and custom knives.
Requirements: High-Resolution Image, Short Description
All that’s needed for “What’s New” is a high-resolution, print-quality image of your knife. Bottom line: 300 dpi or higher, 8-10 inches on the longest side, be that vertical or horizontal, and .jpg format. Now, for “What’s New” we use “cutaways,” or just the knife devoid of its background. This means that you don’t need to worry about creating an artistic vignette or still life with your knife. You do have to worry about getting the best picture you can get. For more on what makes an acceptable photo, read “6 Things BLADE Looks For In A Knife Photo.”
You will also need to supply a list of specs and a few sentences describing the item’s usage. Be sure to note if there’s anything new-to-you about it. They say there are no new stories, just different ways of telling them, and that could also be said of knives. True innovation does happen, and of course, we’re eager to hear about that. However, a maker might be working on new things all the time in his or her shop and that counts!
- ‘Knifemaker Showcase’
“Knifemaker Showcase” features six custom knifemakers each month all with a half-page layout that includes a mugshot, cutaway knife image and bulleted interview. The goal here is find out more about you, your start in knifemaking, your influences and your preferred materials, designs and ways of connecting with your customers. You’ll need to answer a questionnaire, explaining why you make the choices you do when crafting a knife. You can type out your answers, or if you’re not into typing, we can interview you over the phone once you’ve had a chance to think about your answers. After you’ve been in “Knifemaker Showcase,” you must wait at least 12 months before you’re eligible to be in it again, and makers who've never been featured before will take precedence. That way we can shine the spotlight on as many different makers as possible.
Requirements: High-Resolution Knife Image, Mugshot, Completed Questionnaire
Again, our designers use cutaway images of knifes in this section, so a clean backdrop is best. You want to make sure your contrast is good and that nothing, including shadow, fabric, grass, encroaches on the edges of the knife. To learn more about the differences between a good photo and a bad one, read “6 Things BLADE Looks For In A Knife Photo.”
A mugshot is a portrait of you. It can be taken outside or in your shop, but the background will be mostly eliminated since we’ll be cropping in on your face. Don’t wear sunglasses. This is a chance for readers to meet you face-to-face, so to speak. If you’re wearing a hat, just make sure your face is not cast in shadow. Even though it will run small, your photo still needs to be print-quality. Keep in mind that if you submit a family portrait, for example, we will need to crop in on just you, so the size and resolution will need to be higher to account for that.
You’ll need to answer all the questions on the questionnaire unless something doesn’t apply to you. Too much information is better than too little.
The blogs on our website allow us to take as much or as little space as is required to tell a story. Here is where we have the freedom to explore all kinds of stories related to the industry. BLADEmag.com stories can be about manufacturers, distributors, collectors or knifemakers; they can cover everything from how you made a cast spruce cone handle to how you’ve used knives in your family or on the job, whether it’s skinning deer, cross-chopping herbs in a restaurant kitchen or employing various grips in edged-weapon martial arts. The story can be about one particular knife or a collection. The source can be a multinational corporation with operations on more than one continent or a lone individual in his or her shop. BLADEmag.com strives to be a resource for all things knife, so histories and how-tos are of particular interest.
We welcome guest bloggers, provided the topic you’re writing about is not self-promotional. What this means is that you cannot write about your own knives or services. Pay is non-existent, but bragging rights are impressive. You will need to be able to write well, or be open to guidance and editing. You will need to provide a paragraph-long biography and a mugshot to run with your story, as well as illustrative images.
Requirements: A Good Story, Good Images
The thing about a story, whether it’s a topic you suggest for us to explore or one you’d like to try your hand at writing, is that it needs to have a story—a beginning, middle and end, an angle, a hook. If you as someone in the knife industry find it interesting then, chances are, others will as well. Even though BLADEmag.com will always focus on the knife, we also know that it is the people behind the knife that makes the story compelling to read. The whys are always interesting to include, as well as trying to describe how a material or process contributes to the feel or wow-factor of a knife.
Images can be of web quality, but still need to be well composed. For more about how to take high-quality photos, read “6 Things BLADE looks For In A Knife Photo.”
- BLADE Magazine
Although knifemaker profiles are reserved for Knifemaker Showcase in print and BLADEmag.com stories online, other ideas for BLADE magazine are always welcome. The final decision for a feature article within the pages of BLADE rests with the editor. Oftentimes in the course of conducting an interview with a manufacturer or knifemaker for “What’s New,” “Knifemaker Showcase” or BLADEmag.com, we find other stories to write about in print.
Requirements: Exceptional Print-Quality Images, Extensive Interview
To get a story into print, images must be top-notch. Focus, contrast, lighting, composition, depth of field all matter. Resolution must be high; size must be large. To fully understand what this means, read “6 Things BLADE Looks For In A Knife Photo.”
- Social Media
If you are a knifemaker, or a manufacturer, or supply knifemakers with materials, of if you’re a manufacturer, distributor or retailer and you have a professional Facebook Page, we’re happy to “Like” and “Follow” it. The same applies on Twitter and Instagram.
At “Erin at BLADE” on Facebook you are always welcome to post images when I put out the call for a certain type of knife to illustrate a story I’m working on. If your image is selected, specs, maker’s name and contact information will always be included. Sometimes I’ll share an image “just because,” with your permission, of course. Please reserve your posts to private message unless I've made an announcement for something specific. If I have posted a request, you're welcome to post your image right in the thread and that helps me organizationally as well.
Requirements: Images, Specifications, Intended Usage, Contact Information
How do you initiate any of this? The best way is to message me at “Erin at BLADE” on Facebook or email me at email@example.com. Did I mention photos? Before you get in touch, give “6 Things BLADE Looks For In A Knife Photo” a read.
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