Breaking a Broken Rule
In early November I decided to target custom publishers to let them know about the wonderfulness that is me. Of course, my first instinct was to shoot all the publishers an e-mail letting them know who I am and offering to send clips as attachments. But I was actually missing the old days, when I would send query packets via good, old fashioned snail mail. There was something meditative about printing letters, signing them, copying clips, copying and stapling clips, paper-clipping my business card to the letters, and addressing and stamping envelopes. How satisfying to have a nice stack of white, 9×12 envelopes ready to go out in the mail!
So I decided to break my e-mail rule and mail my letter and clips to 36 custom publishers.
I’m writing this in early February, and I have gotten an assignment from one magazine at a dollar a word (which I had to turn down because I was busy, but which my husband took). I heard from one publisher about the possibility of my writing for a drug company website, and another about writing for his custom pub group. And tomorrow, I have a phone call scheduled with a custom publisher who needs some travel writing done.
The thing about The Renegade Writer is that it’s about doing what works for you — experimenting to figure out which of the rules you should stick with and which you should ditch. I broke the “no e-mail” rule and had great luck with it…and then I broke my “e-mail only” rule and had great luck with that. Maybe it’s because editors are now becoming inundated with e-mail. Or maybe it’s because editors are keeping my paper clips on file and returning to them when they need a writer. All I know is that the next time I send a query to a new-to-me magazine, I’ll likely send it via mail to see what happens.
Have you done a reversal on any of your “rules”? Let us know in the Comments! [lf]
If you liked that post, you might also like:
- Break This Rule: Always Follow the Magazine’s Writers’ Guidelines
- 5 Ways to Put the Beginner’s Mind to Work for Your Writing Career
- 7 Excuses to Stay in Touch with Editors and Clients
- You Ask, We Answer: How Can I Maximize a One-on-One Pitch Session?
- Reach Out and Touch an Editor Today (No, Not Like That!)