Tuesday, 3 March 2009

Pitching an Article - Is It Love?

I know it's not Valentine's Day any more, but I was thinking today that there's something about pitching an article that is rather like (serial) seduction.

First, you need to get ready. How do you prepare to catch a new editor's interest quickly, and make them want to know you?

Best way to do it is to doll yourself up with a strong and simple story idea, e.g. can you still drink absinthe in Paris - and where? http://www.seborabsinth.com/chronicles/absinth-news/archive/easy-jet-06-2006.asp

Take care with your preparation. Don't just dress this idea up in any old clothes and expect the editor to fall in love. Have some good facts ready to bring out, and maybe use some humour. Jokes can win hearts.

Then, the venue. The big question is do you court your new editor by phone or email? Here are the pros and cons:

Pro: It's quick. You can gauge the editor's interest (or lack of it) right away.

Con: Not everyone is a good phone pitcher. If you suspect you'll sound like a geek on their first date, then email instead.

Also, many editors don't always answer their phones - or appreciate being phoned. You may end up as the Cinderella who never gets an invitation to the ball.


Pro: You can compose a fabulous "taster" of your writing style which lures the new editor to you and makes them want to say "yes". You are a writer, after all.


Editors often don't reply quickly - or at all. So while you're waiting for Ed #1 to reply, do you try to sell to Ed #2? You may end up branded as a bigamist at heart. Watch it.

1 comment:

  1. this description of what is normally a chore made me laugh! thank you


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