For editors, filling up their magazines with lots of quality content is their primary task, and they’re also looking just for you!
When you learn to understand their roles and motivations, and when you’re ready to take a few pretty simple steps, you may also get their attention, and make it into their magazines’ pages.
Make the first contact (or how to make sure an editor doesn’t hang up on you)
Editors are very busy individuals. They will know right away when you’re not prepared, and then they’ll lose interest pretty quickly. In this post we take a closer look at some methods that are bound to pique the interest of an editor:
– Make sure you have preliminary commitments and you must have interviewed your subjects before you contacting the editor.
– When you call an editor, ask if she or he is interested in your specific topic if you provide the commitment of your specific subjects. The editor could perhaps recognize some of your subjects as actual experts and decide to take an interest.
– Keep your call as short as possible and avoid trying to ‘sell’ yourself. You are just on a different mission. When the editor gives you a positive response, thank her or him and confirm that you will send a pitch within a week.
– Your pitch should Include quotes that are supporting your article’s topic or theme and the style of your publication.
A strong pitch on your behalf usually reflects a high level of commitment which will impress editors, and once you’ve received the green light, you will be able to conduct and publish deeper or more thorough interviews, of course always in line with your conversations with the editor.
How to get an editor to read your pitch
Magazine editors are receiving dozens of pitches and queries every day, sometimes even more than hundreds each week. You should be aware that at the same time their editorial calendar could be containing not even one hundred slots per year, so most of the time, editors can really afford to be highly selective about what content they will choose. Editors are looking for specific things that need to jump out immediately, so take a look at what they’re looking for:
– Has the author been studying the magazine and does he/she demonstrate an understanding of the magazine’s guidelines and needs? The majority of magazines have published their guidelines online. Estimates are that one-third of e-mail queries that editors are receiving lack this essential element! These emails usually will be deleted. Editors don’t want to spend their precious time on writers who didn’t bother to study the guidelines and a magazine’s style before submitting their pitches.
– Has the author included a subject’s commitment? It has happened that editors had accepted an article for their magazines based on good pitches, but then heard writers say: Okay, I’l! get in touch with the subject and see how they look onto this. I’ll get back to you later. Keep in mind that contributors are rarely forgiven for errors like these.
– Has the writer the required resources for pulling off the article? Usually, editors very well know when they’re dealing with a rookie or an experienced writer. Sometimes they like to work with a newbie, but only when time is permitting. There may be serious consequences, though, when writers are failing to deliver. When you show the editor that you have all resources in place for completion of the article, you’ll be much more likely to succeed.
To get published, you must fill the editor’s needs
Keep in mind that editors are gatekeepers and have the task to filling a paper or magazine’s pages with quality, pertinent, and timely content in line with what their readers need and want. That’s quite a responsibility, and you should dedicate some serious time to studying the publication’s style and editorial guidelines. Only then can you be able to let your pitches reflect the editor’s needs.