Print magazines plan their content—articles, experts to interview, topics to cover, books to feature, etc.—months before their publication date. For example, when planning for your Valentine’s Day tie-in to your book or expertise, you need to “pitch” or contact editors four or even six month before February.
Another tip for working with long lead media is check out their editorial calendar. This gives you the general topics they will be covering each month (for monthly publications) or week (for weekly magazines). To research, visit the website and often at the bottom there is an editorial calendar link. If not, check out the advertising link—this often details future topics.
Here is the 2015 calendar for Entrepreneur: http://www.entrepreneur.com/mediakit/pdf/editcal2015-national.pdf. If you have expertise on crowdfunding, this is a topic they will be covering in November of 2015, start pitching them in late spring to begin a conversation.
Here are links to editorial calendars for some popular publications:
American Baby, Better Homes and Garden, All Recipes, Eating Well, Every Day with Rachel Ray, Family Circle, Family Fun, Fitness Magazine, Martha Stewart, More, Parentshttp://meredithdirectmedia.com/wp-content/uploads/02_Editorial-Calendar.pdf
The Oprah Magazine (need to easily register) http://www.omediakit.com/r5/cob_page.asp?category_code=edit