Friday 30 March 2012 – One of the best things about being a writer is that you can set your own hours, (deadlines permitting); however the downside has to be looking for places/editors to pitch articles to. Okay, there’s all those magazines in newsagents with contact details inside, then there’s the good old internet; that must be helpful?
To be honest the internet isn’t the best resource for magazine/editor details, as most of the web pages are out of date, and editors are not good at responding to electronic mail enquiries. So like all other freelancers, I’m stuck with the specialist directories.
There’s two out there, Benn’s Media and Willings Press. Both are comprehensive listings of every newspaper, magazine and trade press publication out there, (UK, Europe and US). However the cost of these directories is more than many freelancers can afford or justify buying. Willings UK guide is £285, so like other writers’ I have to use the copy in the library..
I have some features to pitch, so I trot off to the library and look up the magazines I need the contact details for, then I whip out my camera and photograph the pages I need; oh the joys of digi-cams – saves on photocopying. Two hours later, I’m leaving with the spoils of my visit.
Today I download the snaps to my laptop, as I have done so many times in the past, and bugger the camera was on the wrong setting. So instead of a set of clear images I get a blurred ones. See example below of what I should have but what I got. Note to self: Check camera first.
Today though I had a brainwave, and checked Amazon, and there was a UK and a US 2010 versions for the princely sum of £7.49 (inc delivery). They may be a few years out of date, but are still bargains, as before you can pitch you still have to double check the web addresses, phone numbers and editors names. Here’s hoping the initial cost is recouped quickly.