Monday, April 09, 2007

Does Timing Matter?

Do you think the timing of pitches matters? I often find myself drafting pitches Friday afternoon (a quieter time when e-mail and phone have died down, etc.). But then I wonder if it’s a bad idea to e-mail a pitch on a Friday afternoon because the editor likely won’t get it until Monday morning when it will be buried underneath all the spam and other stuff that comes in her in-box over the weekend. Also, I overheard a former editor talking the other day and she said she hated it when freelance writers pitched her during certain time of the month (I’m pretty sure she wasn’t talking menstrual cycle, but rather the week that she was under deadline). So are there certain days and/or weeks that are better to pitch than others? Or am I totally over-thinking this?

LOL: the certain time of month! I'm guessing that she meant "closing" - when they put an issue to bed and things get really harried - but honestly, I don't keep track of which magazines close when, so not pitching during "that time of month" might be tough. But you could certainly ask your editor - if you have a relationship with her that is - when the mag closes, and then pitch accordingly.

When I was in my pitching hey-day, I liked to send off emails late at night before I went to bed. My thinking was that universally, people tend to open their email account first thing in the morning before their days got crazy, and by sending it later in the evening, mine would be closer to the top. Now. I have no idea if this tactic worked or if it was just some crazy scheme that I invented, but I did seem to land a decent amount of pitches or, at the very least, got responses.

I actually don't like to pitch on Fridays or over the weekend for the exact reason you mention: I worry that my email will get lost in the fray. But I do have some friends who say that pitching on Fridays works really well for them because it tends to be a quieter day for editors, so they have time to read the emails, and they also might want to clear out their inboxes before the weekend.

So...gee...I'm not being particularly helpful, am I? I think the bottom line is that every writer will tell you something different, so it's difficult to pinpoint the best time to pitch. What really matters, of course, is that your pitch is a good one, not when you send it.

But that said, I'd love to hear from readers: when do you pitch and why? What works for you? If there are any editors out there, when do you prefer to receive pitches?

2 comments:

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Rachel said...

Interesting question. As a writer, I've always been a bit of a Monday morning pitcher (or a Tuesday morning pitcher - when I was full time freelance, Monday would always be my "pitch day"), or I'd try to time my pitches with my editors' commissioning season.

I started a new job as an editor at a newsweekly a few weeks back though, and while I don't really mind WHEN the pitches come in (I take all the good ones to my pitch meetings), I tend to read and respond to emails in the afternoon and evening after closing. So you might say that's a good time to pitch - but since I respond to most of the week's emails in that one hit (except for the important ones, of course) it probably doesn't matter, from my perspective.