You have a great idea and you can picture the perfect magazine or site for your article. You have also figured out who to query or pitch at said publication so you’re halfway there! You get so excited about an idea, it’s easy to want to throw everything plus the kitchen sink into your pitch email. I see your logic – the editor will learn lots about you and there’s no way she can turn down such a complete idea! However, the hard truth is that editors are busy and inundated with email. Short and sweet is usually the way to go so here are some things you can avoid in your next pitch:
- “Dr. Editor,”Try as hard as you can to actually find the name of the editor. This will dramatically increase the chances your email gets read by said editor.
- A long bio. Just include what’s relevant about you when it comes to this specific pitch.
- The entire article. This is called writing on spec (or speculation) and it is a huge waste of time. The editor will most likely not read the whole thing and even if she does accept your pitch, she could spin the idea in an entirely different direction which might lead to a full re-write.
- Attachments. Some editors are cool with attachments but I think it’s a safer bet to include links for your clips. If your clips aren’t easily accessible online, set up a free website where you can host your portfolio or even a shared google drive can work!