Ask The Entreprenette

How to Approach a Magazine Editor

 

Why do we often feel like a magazine editor holds our future in their hands?

Will we ever feel comfortable pitching ourselves?

Believe me, I am right there with ya!  Pitching ourselves is just about the hardest thing for most people – no matter what your business is.

I think the biggest tips I can give are to pitch on target, keep it short and concise, and really know who you are pitching to.  Be sure to take the time do the research and really be sure that editor is the right one for your product. There is nothing more embarrassing than pitching to the wrong person!

I reached out to my experts to contribute to this article as I think it will help us all out to see other ways to approach editors.  Let me know what you think and if you try any of the tips.

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Written by Sarah shaw

There are 20 comments

  • Don Tepper says:

    There’s a lot of great advice above. (Not including mine at #37!) You’ll notice that most–as Sarah suggests–focus on keeping your pitch on target, keep it concise, know the publication, and know the editorial needs. And those are really the core elements. But there are some other good nuggets above. So don’t overlook:

    #4: The Squeeky Wheel, #7: Reach Out and Follow Up. Don’t stalk the editor, but call periodically, especially if you’ve done any work for him/her. Here’s the script: “Hi. I’m sure you remember that I did the article for you on ____________. I’ve got an opening in my schedule right now, and I was wondering if you had any unassigned articles you’d like me to handle?” And, yes, editors do. Sometimes they’ve fallen behind on making assignments. Sometimes a topic was bumped and now it’s floating in limbo. Sometimes another assigned writer couldn’t handle it. Sometimes it’s a last-minute addition. Whatever the reason, editors do have unassigned articles. If you don’t ask, you won’t get. I’ve assigned several this year based on no more than a phone call from a writer at the right time.

    Try, with caution, #52: Unique, Even Bizarre Titles, #40: Sell It Before You Write It. Here, the idea is to grab the editor’s attention with a strong title or strong lead. Yes, but make sure you understand what the editor is looking for and who the audience is. You don’t want to inadvertently insult or turn off either. Quick example: I post a lot on a real estate site–http://www.ActiveRain.com–because I’m also a real estate investor and Realtor. There’s an interesting thread going on right now about the title of a book: How to Cheat at Home Repair. See http://activerain.com/blogsview/1825145/sellers-this-may-not-be-the-book-for-you

    It turns out that the writer’s done books for Rodale and Reader’s Digest, and a lot of other publishers, too. He’s picked up the “How to Cheat at” phrasing, just like some publishers have put out series on “_______________ for Dummies” or “___________ for Idiots.” Well, “cheating” at home organization or gardening is one thing. But “cheating” at home repairs is going to rub some folks–such as Realtors–the wrong way. So, just be careful.

    Hope that helps.

  • A fellow entrepreneur, Carissa Rose http://carissarose.com/ told me about Mastheads –www.mastheads.org. I found it very helpful. Prior to that, I wasn’t sure where to get e-mail addresses from. Not all of the periodicals list the e-mails.

  • Grace Wieber says:

    There’s no where to run and nowhere to hide ! Thanks for being on top of your game and sharing these tremendously encouraging tips.

  • Nancy Fox says:

    What a great resource for entrepreneurs and professionals. This is a great compilation of tips from some remarkable experts. Thanks Sarah.

  • […] Read all the tips here. Categories Uncategorized […]

  • Marnie says:

    Awesome, as usual! Thanks, Sarah! Always learning from you!

  • Tracy S says:

    Great resource! Also, I’ve used #14 HARO and it’s been great. I’ve had quite a bit of success with it.

  • […] For even more insights on how to approach magazine editors, here’s a great article from the folks at The Entreprenette G…. […]

  • Amore says:

    I found all these tips to be very valuable. Thanks so much.

    I love the “Sell it before you write it approach”.

    Amore
    Take a bite of the Apples and Oranges.

  • Naomi Warde says:

    Hello, all! I’m doing a project for my senior year about careers, and I need to interview an editor. My previous contact fell through at the last minute, and my project is due tomorrow, so I really need one tonight. It’s over email and should only take you 10 minutes or so… if anyone has a heart to help a poor, only a LITTLE bit procrastinating teenager, please contact me tonight! Thanks. My email is [email protected] =]

  • Naomi Warde says:

    Hello, all! I’m doing a project for my senior year about careers, and I need to interview an editor. My previous contact fell through at the last minute, and my project is due tomorrow, so I really need one tonight. It’s over email and should only take you 10 minutes or so… if any editor reading this has a heart to help a poor, only a LITTLE bit procrastinating teenager, please contact me tonight! Thanks. My email is [email protected] =]

  • Seeking advice!…I am a book author and professional who has been widely quoted in magazine articles for over 20 years and who has a new book out whose topic (aphrodisiac foods and recipes)would hold wide appeal to editors, in-house authors and free-lance writers who need content and also need to be able to cite “expert opinion.”

    I am not interested in writing a magazine article myself, but rather, to be quoted, paraphrased, and have my book title mentioned.

    What tweaks in the great pitching ideas above should/could be made?

    Thanks!

  • alan clement says:

    Thank you for these. I’m new to the game, and they were very helpful.

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  • […] utilize to get in touch with them. Or you can directly contact a reporter you favor, and tell them why they should write an article about your company. Be prepared. Treat this like you are doing a proposal for a company, because in a way, you are; be […]

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