I’ve been taking my own advice and have been in hard-core follow up mode—I haven’t been sending out many queries lately, but most of the ones I’ve sent out have gone unanswered. Next to people not following through on what they commit to, editors who never respond (or need considerable prodding to give you a “no”) would be on my Top 5 list of pet peeves. That’s probably one of the elements of freelancing that I can’t ever see getting used to.
Normally I’ll follow up approximately 2 weeks after I send my original story idea. Then 2 weeks later if the follow-up got me nowhere…then another 2 weeks later, so we’re talking a good 6 weeks before I give up and send the “Do you want this or don’t you?!” (though a bit more professional, of course) email.
Which brings me to today’s question—what’s the best way for communicating with editors? Being the introspective nerd that I am, discovering email way back when was a godsend. My initial reaction to email went something like “No face to face communication?!?! I can rant and rave and confront the other person without having to see them?!?! How do I sign up for this?!?!” And like most people my age who came up through the ranks right at the tail-end of face-to-face communication as the preferred method of interaction, I embraced email and still choose that over picking up the phone. I’ll email an editor until they respond just to get me to leave them alone, but I never call. I don’t know why—I wouldn’t say I’m nervous about it, per se (at my 9-5 job I associate with company presidents, CEO’s, and other high ranking officials without batting an eye), but it just doesn’t feel right to me. I guess I just know that most editors are insanely busy, and I don’t want to be another phone message pushed into the “Later” bin. Thanks, but I’ll wait for the little rush I get when I see an editor’s name in my email inbox.
What about you? Do you prefer phone or email for following up with editors?