4 Ways to Make An Editor Like You

Issue 62

4 Ways to Make an Editor Like You


April Aragam

Copyright © 2011, April Aragam, All Rights Reserved


Having an editor like you is a great asset to your writing career. An editor who likes you is more willing to look at your queries and maybe even offer you writing assignments of their own. Maybe you have always thought that editors are too busy to pay attention to small things and have preferences when it comes to freelancers, but editors are paying attention. Here are 5 things you can do to get on their good side:

1. Read the guidelines It seems like this tip can never be mentioned enough. It's part of a writers job to read the guidelines before submitting to a publication. With many guidelines easily found online at the publications website or received via email there is really no excuse for not doing so. If a publication only sends guidelines via snail mail, it's still in your best interest to send for them. Not reading the guidelines means that you are not only wasting your own time, but the editors. Imagine an editor opening an email submission from you and it's an attachment, when the guidelines (which you didn't read) clearly state that attachments aren't accepted and will not be opened. Not a good first impression to make on an editor you hope to work with. Read the guidelines and follow them closely.

2. Polish your salutation You can either greet an editor in a good way or a not-so-good way. You want to appear professional when contacting editors, so words that you do not want to use are ones like “hey,” “yo,” “what up,” or “howdy.” Those are greetings for a friend. An editor is not your friend (yet, anyway), but even when s/he becomes one, you want to avoid getting chummy in that way. Remain professional in your salutations by using “hello,” or “good afternoon,” or “good day.” When closing an email use the same consideration.

3. Use the subject line An editor is busy, but you can help them by using your subject line wisely. Do not waste your subject line by saying “hello.” Instead let the editor know what your email contains. If it's an article submission, say so. If it's a query, say that. If an editor is scanning their inbox for important things to read and you've used your subject line wisely (and not everyone does) s/he will be more likely to open your email.

4. Answer emails promptly and concisely If an editor emails you back with a question, don't wait to reply. An editor will not be dissecting the amount of time it takes you to reply. Taking longer to reply will not imply to an editor that you are an extremely busy writer. And replying quickly will not cause them to think that you are online goofing off with nothing better to do. Reply to the email and answer it as best you can without making it too long. An editor will appreciate an email that is to the point.

It's not a difficult task, doing the things that will make an editor like you and want to work more with you. Mostly it's about respect and doing your job as the writer to the best of your ability. It's not about sucking up in an attempt to get what you want, but creating an honest writer-editor relationship.