The Dos and Don’ts of Pitching Like a Pro

by Ericka McIntyre

A lot of publications have submission standards on their sites. Find them and follow them. If for some factor the editors info is not in these, it is easy to discover. Most of us reside on Twitter and much of us provide you our pronouns in our bios. Ninety seconds of Googling will normally make it clear how and to whom you must address your pitch, regardless of whether the outlet is little or big, nationwide or local, print or digital. If you have actually discovered an editors email or postal address, go the additional 3 inches and determine how finest to resolve them. Those 3 inches can bring you miles.

For print publications, check out at least 6.
months worth of issues. Much better still, check out a years worth, or be a subscriber.

Know WHEN to pitch, especially with print outlets.

After so much time on both sides of the editors desk– as a full-time freelancer, and as an acquiring editor– Im positive Ive seen the very best pitches, and the worst ones. Ive sent out both sort of pitches in my own career too!

This one might appear apparent, however believe me, it is not. If I.
had a nickel for every single pitch Ive gotten dealt with to “Dear Sir” or “Dear Mrs.
McIntyre,” I might pay someone (well) to write this blog site for me. Its the.
twenty-first century and outdated forms of address make you look behind the times,.
and potentially even sexist. Even if you mean it respectfully, it lands with a.
thud. Do not assume an editors gender or marital status.

Heres a good rule of thumb for pitching print: Pitch at least 6 months out. If its July, pitch for February. Numerous print clubs really offer their editorial calendars online, or, will let you understand what they are if you ask (well). Do that fast web search again, and you can set yourself ahead of your competition.

Do your homework.

You want to compose for sites and magazines … fantastic!
Writing posts can be an excellent method for authors to promote their work,
develop a platform, develop their abilities, and make money. How do you start? With
a pitch, obviously. However how do you make certain your pitches will land the way you
desire them to? Enable me to show you a few of the wisdom I have gleaned from
over twenty years operating in media and publishing, most just recently as
Editor-in-Chief of Writers Digest publication.

Heres a list of some of the most significant OOFs! Ive seen
authors make (myself included). This list isnt intended to embarassment anybody– Im.
giving it to you so you can prevent making these errors in your profession.

Know what the outlet has released recently.

When you pitch an editor something theyve just recently done a.
piece on, or something that they seem never ever to cover at all, it proves that youre.
not a routine reader of the outlet youre pitching. Prior to I query a website, I.
go out to the sites search bar and key in the topic I am thinking about– generally.
in seconds I know if theyve done a piece recently, and if my angle is special.
enough to pitch. Or, if my topic is the right one to pitch at all.

Make it as simple as possible for them to get what youre.
putting down. In my self-employed life, I have one cardinal guideline for myself: Never.
make my editors task harder than it requires to be. It has served me well over a.
decade of freelancing.

Its likewise important to keep in mind that while websites usually.
have much shorter preparations than print, and more area, they still have techniques for.
publishing, and for excellent reasons. Dont if a site just does 2 posts per day.
pitch them a third. If they only post short pieces (because they understand their.
readers dont have the attention period for more than 500 words), dont pitch.
them a 2,000-word deep dive on a topic.

Whats “spaghetting it”? The term I made up for.
authors who are tossing out pitches all over at random to see what sticks.

Editors often field dozens of pitches each day so.
it is important that you pitch correctly. Editors dont have time to invest more.
than a couple of minutes assessing your pitch– why its excellent, and why you.
should write it. They simply dont. Its not personal.

Following up on a pitch (Dos and DO NTS ).

For sites, content calendars are generally set just a.
month or so out. For print?
pitches at WD, just to need to email a writer, “Im so sorry, however print is complete.
for months. This would have been great for July, but July has actually been full since.

This dovetails with my very first point. If you have sent out a pitch.
resolved to “Dear Sir” and it is likewise clear that you have no concept the sort of.
material an outlet releases, the editor is going to make a presumption about.
you, and it is highly likely going to be proper: Youre spaghetting it.

Dont do this. Its the fast lane to the slush stack.
Editors would like to know that you have actually put in the time to find out who they are, and.
what their publication is everything about.

Know Who Youre Pitching.

Youve sent a great pitch– its addressed to the.
person, the proper way; its the ideal topic with the ideal angle; and youve.
sent it at the correct time. Fantastic! But then, you dont hear anything back from.
For two weeks. For a month.

For online, read a minimum of a months worth of.
posts. 3 months is even much better.

Print publications work far in advance, and with restricted space. A print magazine requires to allocate a substantial portion of page count to marketing and routine columns, leaving often just twenty or so pages for freelancers work. Last-minute pitches are normally not accepted.

When and how do you finest follow up?

I encourage waiting two to 4 weeks prior to acting on many.
pitches (six weeks for print). Send a really calm, friendly, easy-going.
follow up. Theyll say so if an editor wants your piece.

I do not suggest doing what I have actually seen some.
authors do: call every day; e-mail every day; send progressively aggressive.
follow-up emails; tag editors on social media (consistently); decrease the.
masthead and call the sales director needing to know why the editor hasnt.
reacted (seriously: DO NOT do this). A currently strained editor will not.
appreciate this. At all.

Is it discouraging to put all the hard work and effort into crafting a pitch, and not even get the common courtesy of a “thanks, however no thanks,” in return? Which is why, when I was in the editors chair, I tried to give this courtesy to everyone.

Remember the number of pitches editors get, and that many.
in-house editorial personnels nowadays are thinner than a sheet of paper, and know.
this: The editor probably quite desires to return to you quickly, but is.
merely too buried to do so.

Do what Sinatra sang: “Pick yourself up, dust yourself off,.
and start all over again.” To be effective in this organisation, patience and.
strength are key. Make certain you hone yours.

4 Tips for a Great Pitch.

Now that Ive shared what not to do, here are 4 suggestions that.
will assist you provide a winning pitch:.

1. If your pitch resembles.
something recently done, however you feel highly that it should still be.
considered, clearly mark WHY your pitch is different. Share what sets it.
apart from the rest. Do you have access to specialists that other authors may not?
Do you have a really unique angle on an oft-covered subject? Say so.

2. Refer to a recently-published piece you delighted in, and tell them WHY you enjoyed it. Provide specifics.

3. If you are pitching this piece.
to several outlets, say so. (Note: You increase your opportunities of acquisition if.
you are pitching solely.) Bear in mind, many publications will decline.
synchronised submissions. Do your homework and inspect the submission standards.

4. Break your pitch down plainly.
for the editor. Give a headline/title, summary chart, bullet points. Provide the.
reasons that youre the best writer for the topic. (Are you a specialist in.
this field? Do you compose frequently on this subject?).

Do you have pitching experiences to share, from either side of the table? Exist concerns you d like to ask Ericka? Share them with us in the comments listed below!


This blog site truly can just scratch the surface of the art of.
and science that is pitching. I recommend 2 resources for good guidance on how.
to pitch particular outlets: Mediabistros “How.
to Pitch,” and Writers Digests “Market.


If I.
had a nickel for every pitch Ive have actually addressed dealt with “Dear Sir” or “Dear Mrs.
McIntyre,” I could pay might (somebody) to write this blog for me. Ninety seconds of Googling will typically make it clear how and to whom you must resolve your pitch, regardless of whether the outlet is huge or small, nationwide or regional, print or digital. Heres a good guideline of thumb for pitching print: Pitch at least six months out. Is it aggravating to put all the difficult work and effort into crafting a pitch, and not even get the common courtesy of a “thanks, but no thanks,” in return? Do you have pitching experiences to share, from either side of the table?

Ericka McIntyre is a self-employed author and editor. She is likewise currently Editor-at-Large of Writers Digest, a 100-year-old brand serving the composing neighborhood. In her current work, she focuses on writing for a handful of routine customers, with a heavy focus on editing and book training for independent authors.

Further Reading.

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