Once you’ve picked out a publication or two to submit articles or other content, you need to know how the process works when it comes to actually firing off those query letters and articles.
There’s no one right way to submit content to a mag, website, or publisher. There are some best practices, though.
First, do your homework. Research the magazine to find out who the editorial staff is and how you can contact them. Don’t waste time sending queries and articles to the editor-in-chief of a big publication, look for a departmental editor instead. On small publications the editor-in-chief may well be the right person. It all depends…
Sometimes all you have to do is call the magazine and ask who you should send a freelance article query to, but sometimes you might have to do some detective work if you can’t get the help you need by phone or by looking at the masthead of the publication or the About Us section of the website.
Here’s a clue to finding the right editor. If you can’t get a specific name, pick an email address that IS available and write a quick e-mail asking for some help in the right direction. Usually e-mail addresses for people far lower on the the magazine’s staff are listed–use one of them but remember that you’re not sending your actual query or work to them–just requesting information.
Here’s my secret for getting the right names and e-mail addresses. You will often find more useful information in the ABOUT US section of a publication’s website. CONTACT US sections aren’t as useful in my experience. Go to ABOUT US first. Many list the editors, e-mail addresses and other crucial information.