Sunday, September 26, 2021

Pitching To Magazines

By Terry Whalin @terrywhalin

 This week I've been dusting off one of my old skills: writing for magazines. On a regular basis I write for some online sites but haven't been writing much for print magazines--even though my work has appeared in more than 50 print publications. These magazines have a higher standard than online publications (in general). Here's a detailed article I wrote about the basics of writing for magazines.  Before you through out your pitch, you have to ask yourself a series of questions like: 
  • What does the editor want?
  • Is my pitch something they need?
  • Have I studied the magazine?
  • Does my word count and topic match what they need?
  • Do I even know how to write a good query? 
These questions matter to the editor who is the gatekeeper for the publication. When you pitch, you want to strike on all cylinders. If you don't know how to write a query, then I encourage you to follow the links in my article and learn this skill. Like any skill, it is not something you do once but you will need to do it over and over. 
As I pitched this week, I've relearned some lessons on persistence. I wrote an article for a trade publication that I've been reading for years. Because attachments can contain viruses and spam, you have to pitch the editor and then get their permission before sending the article. I carefully crafted my pitch to the editor. I rewrote my pitch and sent it a second timeā€”and heard nothing. Just crickets.
I felt strongly that the article I'd written would get published in this magazine, but only if the editor asked me to send it. I rewrote my query for a third time and sent it last week. In a short time, I got a response from the editor, "send it." With his permission to send the article as an attachment, I sent it. Now I don't know if he will read it and decide to publish it (I'm hoping) but at least I have gotten closer to that happening. If my article is published, it will be a huge boost to my Book Proposals That Sell. My article opening takes the reader inside a room that many people have never been in--a pub board meeting where key decisions about books are made. I've been in this room so I have a "different" perspective on it. I'm trusting that God will honors my work on this piece and it gets published. I hope my little lesson about persistence helps you too.
As editors, each of us get a lot of email. If we believe in an idea or article, sometimes we have to pitch several times before it gets published. Have you had to pitch multiple times to magazines before they consider your work? Let me know your experiences in the comments below.

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