Editor Etiquette


I was on the phone with an editor at a big famous glossy magazine this past week. It was my first contact with them and I was rather chuffed that they called me back the same day I pitched. (Left a msg and I called back the next day). What I want to share with you is something rather obvious. Something I should’ve done before I called. That would be getting in touch with my inner patience. You know, that thing that’s buried far below all the other stuff like excitement, fatigue, and hunger for a BLT with a chocolate shake.

Anyway, the editor was interested in my pitch and trying to find some way it would work for them. And typical excited Leo, I kept interrupting him. Not good. It didn’t back fire on me right then and there, but I immediately became concious the first two times I did it and did my best to adjust and chill out. My point? If an editor is talking to you, let them talk. You will get your turn.

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Which brings us to the next lesson. Have the magazine you are calling in front of you when you call so that you can refer to departments and sections as you’re speaking. Also, have additional pitches and be able to talk about your repetoire in a short concise fashion. Let me say that again. Short. We’re talking elevator blurb here. That way, you don’t go on and on, and they have to interrupt you and tell you it’s time to go. You never know, they just might invite you to write for assignments beyond what you pitched and you need to be ready. And that is a really cool feeling.