Monday, March 7, 2016

My 12 rules for getting published...or maybe not!

LISTEN UP...
 Caroline Hurry, editor-in-chief of www.travelwrite.co.za
posted "column" on "Tired of struggling to get your byline in a publication or two"?
 and she offered 12 tips when pitching travel stories to editors.
                   For the original column visit her web-site(www.travelwrite.co.za)                                       
This my tongue-in-cheek response:

1. Know your market?
Definitely NOT. Do no market research!
Why should you care about the type of story an editor might want...
It is his/her job to be available to edit your piece to fit into the publication
you want to be published in!
Don't read back issues. What types of stories do they feature?
Who cares...certainly not you! How long are the articles?
Just write and mail...let them cut your article to fit!
PITCH, PITCH,PITCH...that is my advice!

2. Don't write your own blurb, headline or captions.
 Let the sub-ed do this.They will probably change yours anyway so why bother...
This shows that you believe that the sub is professional and it gives him/her something to do.
(As all freelancers know, subs have nothing to do except wait for your article!)
Be sure to send photographs without captions.
Sub editors love to caption photographs...even if they are incorrect!
3. Never pester editors.
Nonsense...Pester away! It shows that you are keen to be in their publication.
Start emailing 3 days(like dating, the three day rule applies) after submitting an article,
and keep doing it until you get a response.
Even better if you have their private mobile number...
SMS, WHATS APP, Facebook, Tweet...it shows persistence and editors love that!
4.Most editors don’t have time to read proposals.
 Of course they do.They fit in the reading in between playing rounds of golf!

5.If the editor doesn’t know you...
 Tell them to Google you! 
You cannot spoon feed an editor by giving them a list
of where you have been published.


6. Get published anywhere and everywhere.
Write on walls if necessary!
Good,bad or indifferent any publication counts!


7. Improve your photography?
 No...always send those out-of-focus shots from your cell phone!
Why send images when publications have their own image libraries?
And don't forget...never caption the pictures!
Most importantly make sure that the images you send have no link to your article at all!
 It keeps the readers on their toes trying to figure out what an image of a dolphin 
is doing in an article about a game reserve.
8. Never slug or label your images correctly:
 If you’ve written a piece on hunting, then just  label your pictures 1, 2 and 3 etc.
Editors pretend that they receive hundreds of emails a week,
 when in fact they have all the time in the world to figure out obscurely-slugged pictures

9. Do not try to find a new and interesting angle.
Why re-invent the wheel?
Write what every other travel writer writes about.
Try you best to fit in rather than stand out.
Do you really want your "industry" friends to envy you because you get published often?
I don't think so...


10. Promote yourself...shamelessly...
 Travel writing is 20 percent writing, 80 percent marketing!
Be pushy...use every form of social network you can find.
Befriend everyone on Facebook...especially if you do not know them.
Tweet insistently.
Make travel videos and post them on You Tube...especially if they are blurred!

11. Be determined.
 Even if you have no talent you can be successful if you persevere!


12. Start a Blog. 
If no-one else will publish you, you can always publish yourself!
Even if some people say that a Blog is nothing but "Graffiti with punctuation".
And speaking of punctuation and grammar...neither has to be perfect!
Another job for a sub-editor...

If you follow my advice you will probably not be able to give up your day job and write for a living.
However, I was trained by the best in the business 
and I am ever grateful to Kate Turkington,Carol Lazar 
and Caroline Hurry for the start that they gave me in this industry.

My wife Carolyn and I on one of our trips.

 

All watermarked images are the copyright property of
 
 and may not be used without permission
Follow me on Twitter: @davidbatzofin
Visit my Facebook page: www.facebook.com/david.batzofin
Travel & Things has it's own Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/travelandthings

No comments: