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Pitching An Article To A Trade Periodical

Discussion in 'Traditional Marketing and Promotion' started by grNadpa, Dec 8, 2016.

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  1. grNadpa

    grNadpa Member

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    What is the protocol and appropriate techniques to approach the editor of the Equine Therapy* industry's premier publication, Strides, to accept an article?

    My wife and I will launch the book Games on Horses and its supporting website in January, 2017. The book and website address a very specialized niche market of Equine Therapy instructors. (I was going to write "practitioners" but that would imply there was money in that profession.)

    PATH Intl is the most visible of the organizations in this special needs industry whose major periodical is Strides magazine. The magazine's readers provide the largest single market we are likely to find in this industry, so I don't want to blow it though procedural ignorance.

    So how should I approach the editor?


    * Equine therapy? To quote the Professional Association of Therapeutic Horsemanship International (PATH Intl.), equine therapy
     
  2. Adrianna Nine

    Adrianna Nine MVP Member

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    I'll admit I've never pitched an article to a publisher before. However, I am the editor of an online publication, and there are a few things I'd love to hear from people who approach me:

    -Be tactful. Don't simply assume that the editor would love to publish your article. Introduce yourself/your wife and explain what experience you two have in the field. Explain why you enjoy their magazine. Editors won't accept articles from people whom they know nothing about.
    -Explain what's in it for them/their readers. What perspective does your article offer that isn't provided in past articles? What takeaways do you provide? Will readers finish your article with a sense of inspiration, increased knowledge, pride?
    -Personally, I would advise against attaching the article in your introduction email. Again, this makes it look like you assume they'll publish it -- plus it looks like you've sent the same email and attachment to a variety of publishers. Instead, ask if they'd be interested in giving it a look.

    Please let us know what you end up doing, and how it works for you!
     
    djbaxter likes this.
  3. grNadpa

    grNadpa Member

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    Well-l-l-l-l. Rather than an article (which I don't have), I've pivoted a bit. What do you think of asking for a book review (which I do have). Before submitting the request to the trade magazine, I thought to try to pitch my review request to a reviewers website (Batch of Books). Would you care to critique my pitch?
     
  4. grNadpa

    grNadpa Member

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    I cannot believe I posted that. Ouch.
    I know what I should have done: I recall a story about one of the Founding Fathers, Franklin I think -- or maybe Adams, who supposedly left every letter he wrote on the mantelpiece for three days before he sent it.

    So I'll repost Tuesday (grin).
     
    djbaxter likes this.
  5. Adrianna Nine

    Adrianna Nine MVP Member

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    I think that's a great idea! Sometimes the way you write a letter or email can be emotionally-charged; reviewing it the next day can help you look at the text from a new perspective and ensure it will be appropriate for the situation.

    I'm looking forward to reading your update!
     
  6. grNadpa

    grNadpa Member

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    Best I can do but not good enough. Please suggest.
     
  7. Adrianna Nine

    Adrianna Nine MVP Member

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    This is a little too assuming, in my opinion. It takes the tone of a friend of the editor who'd like to share a quick bit of information -- not the tone of someone who's politely asking an editor to feature his wife's book in a magazine. Maybe you could introduce yourself briefly, then say something to the effect of, "I'm contacting you today to share with you...." And in the next paragraph, be sure to mention the author's name.
    This part is great. You describe the book without boring the reader and explain that it's been well-received without being braggy.

    Again, just my own opinion - I think it would be better to be more forward; such as, "I would like to submit Games on Horses for a Strides book review."

    All in all, this isn't bad, but it could use a little bit of work! And, as always, make sure you edit for grammar errors -- specifically, make sure you italicize the title of the book.
     
  8. grNadpa

    grNadpa Member

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    This is precisely the feedback I crave, @Adrianna Nine. The toughest struggle?
    As far as the grammar, can hardly wait to see what I come up with (ending preposition intentional). A special thanks about italicizing the title in word processing documents rather than assume underlining as I would have done.

    Finally, I intentionally redacted the author and editor names for this posting.

    I am a loss to express how grateful I am for your feedback.
     
  9. becca

    becca Member

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    Wow everyone in here is so knowledgeable! Now I know where to go when I need help writing something! Lol
     
  10. Adam Toren

    Adam Toren Administrator Moderator Member

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    I'm glad you found some helpful feedback, @grNadpa! Please let us know if there's anything else we can do for you.
     
  11. grNadpa

    grNadpa Member

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    Will let this marinate for a couple of days, but think this is what I will send to the Strides magazine editor. Decided that deleting text is also a form of revision and worked better than most in this case. Please share your reaction. (And grammatical error corrections).
    ***
    Dear [editor name redacted]:

    I'm contacting you today to ask about your preferred method to submit a book proof for Strides review.

    In response to requests from the 2012 PATH Region 7 conference attendees; [author name redacted], a PATH Int'l. Advanced Certified Instructor, just completed Games On Horses containing many of the therapeutic games she presented.

    The nearly 100 page book is in full color and contains not only step-by-step instructions for how to use each of sixteen games in therapeutic lessons, but details arena diagrams, game images, templates, anecdotes and, most important, the purpose and the skills the games are designed to improve.

    We are gratified that Games on Horses continues to receive enthusiastic peer reviews and would like to share it with you and your Strides staff.

    Regards,

    [grNadpa]
    Games on Horses
    ***
     
  12. grNadpa

    grNadpa Member

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    And here is an alternative my daughter put together. Which do you prefer?
    ***
    Dear [editor name redacted],
    We are proud to have recently published Games on Horses - an instructional book featuring
    creative games specifically designed for therapeutic riding instructors and their students. We
    think this book is a credible resource for our colleagues and would like your consideration to
    have Games on Horses featured in Strides magazine.
    My wife, [name redacted], has developed these games during her 15-year career in equine therapy.
    As a PATH International Advanced Certified Instructor, Cheryl has honed her passion for our
    cause. She operated a successful non-profit therapeutic riding center, Heather Ridge Farms,
    which was the pride of our family and recognized in various publications - students traveled over
    75 miles in one direction to attend her classes because of her incredible transformations. In
    2006, Cheryl was personally recognized by Senator Dick Durbin and the American Association
    of Mental Retardation where she was formally entered into the congressional record for
    outstanding effort to enrich the lives of people with developmental disabilities in Illinois. She is
    now an instructor at the NARHA Hansen Center in Burr Ridge, IL. She was a speaker at the
    PATH Region 7 Conference in 2014 and hopes to contribute again in your upcoming Region 7
    Conference in 2017.
    The goal of Games on Horses is to further improve our industry by providing a practical
    resource for instructors who are looking to keep themselves and their students engaged.
    Cheryl’s intent for publishing this book is to keep equine therapy fun and focused. It would be an
    honor to my wife and, we feel, a benefit to our colleagues if PATH could help us advocate
    Games on Horses to our peers.
    The link below contains a sampling of game details, downloadable templates, and resources
    provided in the book and website:
    Games on Horses
    Please advise if PATH would be interested in collaborating with us. Thank you for your
    consideration, we appreciate the opportunity to submit our work.
    Sincerely,
    [grNadpa]
    ***
     
    djbaxter likes this.
  13. Adrianna Nine

    Adrianna Nine MVP Member

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    @grNadpa, while I can't edit the letter for you, I can say that I certainly prefer the second option (the one your daughter helped you out with). I think it does a great job of explaining the book's usefulness while remaining exceptionally polite.

    Please let me know which one you end up sending, and in the meantime, happy holidays!
     
    djbaxter likes this.
  14. grNadpa

    grNadpa Member

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    Now I do not know what to do. Thank you, @Adrianna Nine and @djbaxter for your feedback. And hope you are having a terrific holiday.
     
  15. grNadpa

    grNadpa Member

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    What I mean is that I well imagine that my daughter's letter is the better and more friendly. My concern is the length and the focus.

    We have all endured a well-qualified subject matter expert who fails as a teacher and speaker. So my concern is that my daughter's letter spends so much verbiage on my wife's qualifications that it may overshadow the content of the book. And that a busy editor will not make the effort to read such a lengthy email.

    Guess I will try to merge the two keeping my daughter's hook and call-to-action with my book-content description to see how that compares.
     
    djbaxter likes this.
  16. djbaxter

    djbaxter Administrator Moderator Member

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    Looking at it from the other side, your daughter's version does go to establish credibility of the author which I think is important in today's publishing world.
     
  17. grNadpa

    grNadpa Member

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    EPILOGUE:
    After reading my mash-up combination and revision of the two letters, my wife wrote her own -- which, of course, is the one we will send.
     
  18. Adrianna Nine

    Adrianna Nine MVP Member

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    Thanks for keeping us updated, @grNadpa ! It was really exciting to see how you handled this situation. We wish you the best, and please let us know what the editor says!
     
  19. djbaxter

    djbaxter Administrator Moderator Member

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    A case where outsourcing just wasn't doing the job... :)
     
  20. grNadpa

    grNadpa Member

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    And the result? Here is the response from the magazine editor
    So this is what JOY feels like!
     

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