Chantal Whittington (musevoices) wrote,
Chantal Whittington

How to Win Over Editors in 150 Words or Less

Jacob Jans from this video.

This presentation is targeted to non-fiction freelance writers only.

Choose a publication to pitch to.
Send that publication a quality pitch.

A pitch is a simple, short, concise email to an editor describing an article that you want to write for a publisher, with brief information about yourself.

* Demonstrate a clear understanding of the publication.
* Demonstrate your ability to write clearly and concisely.
* Prove that you're qualified to write the article.
* Show that you are easy to work with.
* Communicate your idea for an article.
* Invite the editor to respond to your pitch.

Before You Write the Pitch

* Have the right mindset. As a freelance writer you are a service provider.
* Ask yourself if you are providing a valuable service. Are you providing a service that an editor needs?
* Expect rejection. It happens to everyone--often.
* Understand the role of a freelance writer.

Your Two Audiences
* The Editor
* The Readers - What role will the article serve in the reader's life? Is it information or entertainment?

Find a Publication
* The Paid Publishing Guidebook
* The Writing Launch Database
* Google Search
* Freedom with Writing
* Twitter, Reddit - Follow editors of publications you are interested in because they will often post calls for pitches on Twitter.
* Ask a mentor and/or network with other writers.

Tips for Choosing a Publication
* Only pitch to publications that work with freelance writers.
* Look for multiple bylines
* Look for smaller populations that are more focused on a niche.
* Check to see if the publication pays its writers.
* Look for signs that they hire freelancers (contributor bios, editor bios, submission guidelines).

Study the Publication
* Read 5-10 articles to get a sense of style, topics
* Types of articles they publish
* How often they publish
* Categories/departments they typically publish
* Read the submission guidelines and follow them exactly.
* Whom should you submit pitches to?
* Tailor your pitch to that specific publication and editor as much as possible.
* Research publications first, then come up with article ideas.

Brainstorm Your Article Ideas
* Create five ideas. For each idea, write a headline. Imagine those headlines in the publication and in what section they would appear. Ask yourself if your article would fit. Be brutally honest with yourself.
* Make sure your idea fits the unique needs of the publication you're pitching to.

Write the Pitch
* Summarize your idea.

"I would like to propose a case study of how I was published in (publication) for $1.00/word..."

A headline can be enough, but you should add a sentence or two of additional information.

Author Bio
In your bio you want to include details about yourself that match and support the article that you are proposing. Keep it to 30 words.

Ask for a Response
End your pitch with a question: "I can have this article ready by (date). Would this article work for you?"

"I would like to propose an article..."
"About me..."
"Does this fit your needs?"

Common Mistakes
* Making it about yourself and not about the editor's needs.
* Following up too soon.
* Not carefully reading the submission guidelines.
* Copying pitch templates too exactly.
* Sending to the wrong editor.
* Overconfidence. Don't compliment yourself.
* Lengthy article descriptions.
* Lengthy biographies.
* Including irrelevant information.
* Proposing too much for a new relationship with an editor. Propose one simple, short article.

Before you send the pitch
* Ask a friend for feedback before you send the pitch.
* Simple mistakes can be corrected only before you send the pitch.

Once you've sent the pitch
* Expect to be rejected. The more pitches you send out, the more chances you will have to be accepted.
* Wait two weeks before you follow up.
* Start drafting your next pitch. This is a great way to stop thinking about the pitch you just sent out. It might not be perfect, but perfection only comes with practice.

They offer expert feedback on your next pitch.

One free month of Writing Launch, $47.00 tuition/month for additional months. Coupon code DONATE

* Why don't editors respond? - They are busy and don't have time. Sometimes they forget about your pitch.
* Don't pitch an article you've already written. All of your pitches/articles should be closely tuned to that particular publication.
* If your pitch is accepted, can you pitch another article before your current article is submitted? No, wait until your first article is completed before you pitch another.
* Bring up payment only after the pitch is accepted. The editor will generally tell you what their rate is after they commission the piece.
Tags: freelance writing

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