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What's wrong with my pitch letter? (428 hits)

One frustrated writer consulted Allena Tapia @ Howto.com. Read their exchange...

Iíve read and re-read your query letter recommendations and articles on query letters, followed your advice to a ĎTí, and still cannot break into a magazine. What else could I possibly be doing wrong? Iím about to give up!


Answer:
There are a couple of questions that I run through when I get letters like this. I feel the most important issue is targeting the right magazine, followed by these other three hints. Donít give up- get into one magazine, and the rest will open their doors for you.

Donít Even Think Of Pitching the Big Names
You wouldnít believe how many emails I get that start with ďI had the perfect idea for Glamour/Newsweek/The Atlantic Monthly. . .Ē Except for a very fortunate few, youíll never break in on these names without going local, regional, state and/or niche first.

You Were Unprofessional
I know that the perfect idea is exciting. But, if you call the editor, harass the secretary, or follow up too quickly, youíll be marked as a rookie. Donít do it.

Your Pitch Was Generic
Youíre busy, youíre juggling, and you have 15 pitches to get to today. Donít do it. If you send off a pitch with minimal tailoring, youíre asking for rejection. I know itís a busy life, but you donít want to get on the blackball list, do you? You must cover the specifics of your proposed article, no excuses, no exceptions.

You Sent Three Pitches . . . In One Email
Iíve seen some writers get away with two. But I never have. Honestly, given how busy editors are, I wouldnít tempt the circular file. Send one pitch per email, and allow them to deal with that before you move on to your next burning idea.

Keep working those ideas. Instead of giving up, be realistic, adjust your expectations. The first print article you have in your hands will make up for all the rejection!
Posted By: Venus Mason Theus
Wednesday, June 17th 2009 at 12:41PM
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