Friday, May 27, 2005

Conf 51 Another (Crap) Day in Life of Jobseeking Writer

No. of e-mails from agent: 0
No. of e-mails from mag editors: 4

OK, yesterday nothing looked good. Another day of bad writing & worrying about the future. Action was needed so I got the list of mag/news editors from the non-fiction PR and did an e-mail circular, (though individually to each editor):


I have recently published.... US Amazon Editorial describes my book as 'this unmatched book' and 'absolutely the only guide you'll ever need.'

The June issue of... magazine has a page based on my book which describes me as a cleaning guru. I am now looking for openings for related articles and/or a column to hopefully up my guru status whilst the going is good.

If you'd like to know more......, Publicity & Marketing Executive, would be happy to send you a copy of the book and article.

Thanks for your time.

All best wishes,

First response from Telegraph magazine:

thank you - i'm afraid I can't think of the right slot here, but your book sounds intriguing and I will look out for it.

Which is really nice of her to bother. Asked PR to send her a book anyway, you never know.

Then, from HOME:

Dear Amanda,

Thank you for getting in contact. Our mag is not practical enough for large amounts of cleaning questions etc. but it is certainly useful to bear in mind for the future.
Kind regards

Then from another woman's weekly mag:

Hi Amanda, thanks for this. Unfortunately we have our very own guru with a tips column in the mag every week.However, I wish you well - if you ever have a real life story that would suit, do let us know.Best wishes,

Then, finally:

Hi, I'd love to receive a copy. How about writing a column for a future issue of our mag and we can plug the book too? Regards Helen


(Have you guessed yet?)

I replied:

Dear Helen,

That's terrific.

I'll nip out and buy a copy of the magazine & will forward you a selection of possible angles in the next few days.

Could you let me know the number of words you would require and your rates? I've asked PR to send you a copy of the book.

Many thanks,

To this reply:

Hi I didn't have a fee in mind as I was going to plug your book and view this as free publicity? Our mag has an ABC circulation of 130,000 - readership of 300,000 per month. I look forward to receiving a review copy. Do you have a good pic of yourself? Regards Helen

This is all very normal, author supplies copy, gets publicity, promotion, mustn't turn it down etc. etc. But I'm disappointed. I'm running on empty. Should I accept this? I get no royalties on the book. If my sub to the Author's Society hadn't run out I could ask them and they'd reply by return. But I'm not a member any more. I haven't replied. Will ask partner tonight what he thinks, & writing friends.

I forwarded request to PR to send the books anyway. And she said she'd had an independent request from The Guardian, so all is not lost yet.

Meantime it's an INSET day here, which means daughter off school. It's a heatwave & we've just returned from the local outdoor pool. It didn't open till 4 (still winter opening hours), we were early so got in at the head of the queue, had a quick swim before it started filling & left. Not before hearing first of the local yobs (get in you c.... etc.), resident in every swimming pool in the land.

Excellent advice in on magazine dilemma from author/life coach pal (link to her website coming soon):

Hi Amanda, My instinct would be to explain politely that you were looking for journalism work, as in fact you get no royalties on the book - unfortunately you can't work for no fee. But you would love to further the relationship by suggesting other feature article unrelated to the book. See what she comes back with. Don't get into working for nothing; there are people out there who will pay you. That's my opinion! Love,J x

Bye bye, thanks for visiting, come again soon.

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