Journalist Mridu Khullar Relph’s article for The Writer Magazine offers examples of eight mistakes authors make when pitching her. How many of them have you made?
Relph interviewed me for the article (make sure you read it — I chimed in on mistakes # 3, 5, 7, and 8), but it’s clear that she had enough material from her own experiences and didn’t need help from me.
Let me just add a few other no-nos to the list so you’re even better grounded in what not to do:
- Don’t send a link to an article you’ve written and say “pull something from this.” You can do better than that. I know you can. Either do an interview or don’t — but don’t suggest that somebody who writes for a living should copy from an article or blog post on your website and call that a direct quote.
- Don’t ask if you can review the article before it runs. It ain’t gonna’ happen. The best you’ll get is a chance to see your contribution to the piece — not the whole piece — but even that isn’t likely.
- Don’t keep e-mailing the reporter to ask if the story has run yet. Use The Google.
- Respond to e-mail messages or phone calls from journalists immediately. If they don’t hear from you right away, they’ll move on to another source. Don’t miss an opportunity to get priceless book publicity because you “wanted to think about it first.” Think quickly, then write or call.
Naturally, you haven’t made any of these mistakes or those in Relph’s article. Maybe you’ve seen others make mistakes though.
What other mistakes would you add to this list?