Reach Out and Touch an Editor Today (No, Not Like That!)
Staying in touch works. Today, I followed up with an editor at a custom publishing company I write for (I’ve written for other editors there, not her). She quickly replied, “Thank you for e-mailing me now. What’s your schedule like for the next 10 days?” Ends up she had a big rush project in the works. Within a day, I had an assignment worth $3,500 for a week’s worth of work.
Today I also followed up with a custom health magazine I’ve been trying to break into for years. The editor wrote back within minutes apologizing for not having given me work in the past, and asking if I was available to talk the next day. “I want to get you into this magazine,” she wrote.
So for all you writers who are afraid to follow up because you fear bothering an editor, listen up: Editors need good writers, and if you’re a good writer, that means they need you. (Isn’t that one of those math things: If A=B and B=C, and so on?) Persistence is one of the most important qualities a writer can have.
There are some editors I’ve corresponded with for years. Every few months, I’ll send them a touching-base e-mail, which takes about 10 seconds. They usually tell me that they have nothing for me at that moment, but to keep in touch — and I do. And every so often I’ll get an assignment, which certainly wouldn’t happen if I let the ball drop.
When I follow up with an editor I haven’t corresponded with in a while, I usually tell her I just finished up some deadlines (which is true…I usually do my following up when my schedule is starting to look empty) and was wondering if I can do anything for her. I also give the editor an update on who I’ve been writing for lately, and offer to send recent clips.
Your challenge for today: Follow up on five queries or letters of introduction. Please let us know how you do! [lf]
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Nov 17, 2009 Writing