10 Tips on How to Cultivate Relationships with Editors

If you are an aspiring writer, or you simply want to augment your professional qualifications by publishing material related to your field of expertise, listen up. Here are a few tips that will help ingratiate you in the hearts and minds of editors. Once you've established a positive rapport with an editor, you may find the publication to be an excellent outlet for your work - and if you're good enough - you may be invited to submit more work.

1. Editors prefer e-mail correspondence above all else - especially when submitting query letters and final articles. If you e-mail a story, make sure to paste it into the body of the e-mail, just in case the conversion of an attached file does not go smoothly. E-mailing correspondence and articles means the editor can cut and paste it into the publication, without having to retype. Digital delivery saves the editor lots of time.

2. If you promise an editor something - an article, a short bio, or a high resolution photo - make sure you deliver it. Always follow through with your promises, and that editor will remember you as reliable.

3. Before submitting a story, remember to fact check accuracy of dates and the spelling of places, names, and geographic locations. Most editors will revise your work even further, because that's their job - to make the work even better. But few editors will continue to work with a writer who submits sloppy material that needs to be fact checked or heavily rewritten each time. Worse yet, you don't want to submit something with factual errors in it.

4. Have a short, three to five sentence bio on yourself ready to submit to editors. Not all publications provide information on authors with published articles, but when they do, you want to take advantage of the free publicity. Don't EVER submit a one page or one paragraph bio to an editor, unless they specifically request this much material. They're being gracious by providing some space and most editors will not want to take the time to carve a bio down.

5. Have a publicity photo of yourself ready for publication and in digital format. For print media publications the dots per inch (dpi) should be a minimum of 300. For newspapers 150-200 dpi will suffice, though you should ask the editor or graphics department which they prefer. DO NOT send print media editors 72 dpi, or low resolution photos. This resolution is usually the standard setting for a digital camera, and is acceptable for publication on the world wide web, but is not appropriate for print media. Once a photo is shot, chances are very good that not much can be done to improve the dots per inch, except shrink it to 3 times its former size.

6. If you choose to telephone an editor to pitch them a story, remember - their time is valuable. First, ask them if it's a good time to speak for 10 minutes. If it's not, then ask them for a convenient time to call back. If they can speak, limit your pitch to 5-7 minutes. No editor wants to be on the telephone with someone for an unendurable length of time. Do not start telling them about all of your publication credits or credentials unless they ask. Stick to the pitch for your story idea, and focus your conversation accordingly. If they like it, you may continue the conversation for longer than 10 minutes. If they're not interested, politely end the call.

7. Deadlines are important to editors, because they need written material before they can make decisions about visual materials, ad space, and layout and design. If you have promised an editor something, do your absolute best to submit it by the agreed upon deadline. If something has come up - in your personal or professional life or in the process of writing and interviewing for the story, communicate the need to slightly extend the deadline to the editor in advance. Most editors will work with you on deadlines, provided they are not under the gun themselves. Newspaper editors usually do fly by the seat of their pants, so keep this in mind when asking for extensions.

8. Engage the editor in a short e-mail about your story prior to writing it and he/she may come up with a few guiding sentences to help you. This is a chance to try to get a feel for how the editor would like this written prior to writing it. An editor may help you frame a story, give suggestions for potential interviews or subjects, or cause you to look at the story in a totally different way. Don't despair if you receive no response. The editor may be busy and not have enough time to reply.

9. Do not write stories or articles that are just barely disguised promotional pieces for your business associates, friends and family, or your own business. It's OK to mine these contacts for story ideas, but make certain the content you present is not OVERTLY promoting anyone. Any seasoned editor can smell a promo piece a mile away and will not publish it.

10. Try to write in subject areas you feel passionate about. For example, if you are passionate about hiking, write for some outdoor magazines. Editors are drawn to freelance writers who have a knowledge base for the material they're submitting. This is an excellent 'in' with any editor - a well-developed knowledge base is a good foundation for any story. If you have a passion, pitch the right editor your idea. GO For it.

About The Author

Elizabeth Kirwin has published work in national magazines and newspapers. She is co-owner of Sidhe Communications http://www.sidhecommunications.com in Asheville NC. She develops web sites, newsletters, brochures, and other marketing materials for companies and health care ogranizations nationally. For more information, e-mail ekirwin@bellsouth.net.

Plotting Problems - Episodic Writing
The rejection letter says: "Your story, on the surface, appears to be well-told and has appealing characters. However, the writing is episodic; the story lacks direction.
Writing for Local Veterinary Hospitals
Freelance writer STANLEY BURKHARDT has a passion for animals. He loves animals so much, he crafted himself a new career.
Realize Your Book Dream In 2005!
If you haven't realized the success you wanted last year, here's a way to reap the harvest with 86% improvement!Use the power of visualization.When you see, hear, and feel your book project already manifested through specific outcomes, you'll be in the 86% success group.
Writing Tips for your Journey
Tips for your writing journeySo, you'd like to be a writer? Congrats! Writing not only is a great way to express yourself, but can provide an income. Keep in mind not all writers make a fortune, some still cant quit their day job.
Why Manners Maketh the Freelance Writer
Lately I've been noticing an odd trend amongst the freelance writers who contact us every week: rudeness.First there was the writer who accepted a job found on our boards and forwarded the completed assignment to the employer with the words, "Project attached.
Discover the Writer Hiding Inside You
Has the thought run across you mind that you might want to write a column or two? Maybe you thought about writing your own material for your company newsletter. Maybe someone asked you to share your expertise with others by writing a how-to paper.
Nonfiction Idea Generators
The hardest part of nonfiction writing is finding a subject to write about. Unless you're a student or a professional writer no one is going to select a topic for you.
Writers Block is No Longer a Problem
"If you're like me, than I'm sure you're pretty familiar with the well-known writer's block.From time to time, when you have to start writing something, be it an article, an ebook, or just a letter, there is that moment when you just stare at the blank sheet of paper (or at the vibrant colors of your monitor) and nothing seems to come out from your mind.
Writing the Chapters of Your Life: Surprising Insights Using This Special Journaling Technique
List-making is a favorite journaling technique and is often used to quickly jot down a numbered record on topics like "my beliefs," "my pet peeves," "the things I hate about myself," or "my strengths." However, there's a special type of list technique that moves beyond a simple itemization and into the realm of significant self-awareness.
The Writing Club
Typically when falling asleep in bed at night great thoughts enter the mind, long stringed and meaningful sentences trip over each other to receive attention at the front of the brain alongside all the brilliant findings, results, meanings that speak volumes and hard hitting phrases that are just the ticket to open the door to success. The last thought in the brain before sleep overrides this brilliant future work is, "must use that tomorrow".
Where to Look for Your Next Project when You're Writing for Profit
When my first book "Starting Your Own Business" was published way back in 1995, I thought that was it. I reckoned I'd never write another one.
Have You Plotted Your Story Before Writing It?
Creative Writing Tips -The writer, who doesn't have the time to plot, always finds the time to rewrite.Sound familiar?I've been guilty of this too, back in the early days of my writing apprenticeship.
Interview with Suspense Author Peter Abrahams
Peter Abrahams is the author of thirteen novels, including "The Tutor," (Ballantine Books) "A Perfect Crime," (Ballantine Books), "The Fan" (Fawcett Books), and most recently, "Their Wildest Dreams" (Ballantine Books).Known for his sharp wit and incredible gift for keeping readers on the edge of their seats, Abrahams has been entertaining readers for more than two decades--spinning multi-layered tales involving ordinary people who find themselves in horrific situations.
How to Publish a Book: Key Differences Between Publishing and Self Publishing
For many authors just starting out, it can be a confusing and overwhelming decision whether to self publish a book or to seek out a traditional publishing house. It is important to know that the decision you make can have a huge impact on the success, or the failure, of your book.
I Am Biodegradable - My Writing Is Not
My dad was wrong. I just discovered that I am good for nuthin' after all.
Sick of the Traditional Publishing Path?
A book coaching client recently emailed me that she was getting sick of traditional publishing because of so many costly requirements and so little payoff. Do you feel the same way?Fifteen years ago, I worked hard on a 60-page proposal for a top agent and after a year got "approval" to be his client.
Think Market!
Griselda spent hours polishing up her resume. No detail was too small: type face, layout and spacing.
Technical Writing for the Terrified
IntroductionSometimes it may be beyond a companies or individuals budget to hire a professional writer to address their technical documentation. Although in an ideal world all technical documentation should be produced by a highly trained expert, unfortunately we do not live in an ideal.
Good Writing
Good writing is like sex. Two people are involved - the writer and the reader.
Writing Styles for Fiction: Which Voice to Use
I recently set up a website to promote a new suspense novel. Once it started receiving hits I began getting questions about why I chose to write in third person.

Home | Articles Site Map