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Transcript of #Editorchat First Edition 2/4

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EDITORS NOTE: While we love all of #editorchat, the archives are intended to give readers an overview of the most informative responses to our questions. Our goal, after all, is to learn from each other.

QUESTION 1: LydiaBreakfast First Question: Editors and Writers What are you doing that you weren’t 1 yr. ago? #editorchat 7:05 PM Feb 4th from TweetChat

Responses

JMegonigal integrating more and more online content and events, for one… #editorchat 7:06 PM Feb 4th from TweetDeck

a2editor This year I’m doing full-time freelance, Twitter for connecting, and more cold-calling new clients. #editorchat 7:06 PM Feb 4th from TweetChat

mguerard I wouldn’t be doing page design if we weren’t shorthanded. #editorchat 7:07 PM Feb 4th

from web

ZimblerMiller Blogging, engaging in social media, promoting my published book, building websites, teaching social media marketing. #editorchat 7:10 PM Feb 4th from TweetChat

a2editor I also took on a little page design, managing more people, writing content instead of just editing. #editorchat 7:11 PM Feb 4th from TweetChat

dannysanchez @milehighfool Definitely more duties. But newsrooms are also focusing more on core coverage areas. #editorchat 7:12 PM Feb 4th from twhirl

BobSchaller I ended up with the right balance (for me) of books and mag/web freelance. I work less than I ever did in 10 years at newspapers #editorchat 7:12 PM Feb 4th from TweetChat

mguerard I don’t know if my newspaper will get on Twitter soon. They are studying the issue, which is a stalling technique, I suspect. #editorchat 7:13 PM Feb 4th

from web

dannysanchez @milehighfool Also, editors and reporters are quickly learning to not just create but also market their content via social media #editorchat 7:13 PM Feb 4th from twhirl

ZimblerMiller Social media also offers opportunities that didn’t exist before. I’m now a co-host on a BlogTalkRadio show YourMilitaryLife.com. #editorchat 7:14 PM Feb 4th from TweetChat

BobSchaller As long as you love it, that’s what matters. MileHigh, I wonder if that will change when News shutters its windows #editorchat 7:16 PM Feb 4th from TweetChat

JMegonigal @milehighfool Social Media can do wonders for your personal brand, but also your company, too. We use it constantly #editorchat 7:17 PM Feb 4th from TweetDeck in reply to milehighfool

BobSchaller In the writing tips I posted, I included that everyone who writes should always have a reporter’s notebook nearby. Love those [Eds. note: We do too.] #editorchat 7:18 PM Feb 4th from TweetChat

joanna_haugen I’m changing my freelance strategies by focusing more on online magazines and blog postings, not just print. #editorchat 7:18 PM Feb 4th from web

joanna_haugen @dannysanchez I met w an editor who runs 2 sections of the paper&relies 100% on freelance. Does that mean it’s easier 2 pitch?#editorchat 7:20 PM Feb 4th

from web

hotspringer A fishing guide told me yesterday, “If you want to put food in the freezer, ya gotta feed the fish what they’re hungry for.” #editorchat 7:21 PM Feb 4th from TweetChat

dannysanchez @LydiaBreakfast Yes, papers in Fla and Calif have particularly suffered. If they weather it, they will have emerged more focused #editorchat 7:22 PM Feb 4th from twhirl

anti9to5guide #editorchat Also book editing doesn’t pay great. But it’s fun. I’ve done a lot of it over the years. 7:24 PM Feb 4th from web


QUESTION 2: milehighfool @LydiaBreakfast Let’s make that Q2: Editors: Are you taking more freelance submissions? Writers: Are you breaking through? #editorchat 7:23 PM Feb 4th from TweetChat

mguerard @milehighfool Yes, we take freelance submissions, and more than in the past. We don’t pay worth squat, tho. #editorchat 7:24 PM Feb 4th from web in reply to milehighfool

BobSchaller More and less: Same mag gig I’ve had for 10 years. But my deal’s probably weird because I’m finishing a PhD at TTU #editorchat 7:25 PM Feb 4th from TweetChat

a2editor I’m wondering if after first wave of work being done more in-house, wk goes back to freelancers after mags lay off in-house wkrs #editorchat 7:26 PM Feb 4th from TweetChat

JMegonigal I’d think, for a newspaper, it’d be more expensive to pay freelancers than one FTstaff writer… ? #editorchat 7:26 PM Feb 4th from TweetDeck

RheaB An editor friend is taking freelance stories. Another is assigning stories but wonders if her mag will last another yr. #editorchat 7:27 PM Feb 4th from web

mguerard @JMegonigal No, you have to figure in benefits and everything. It’s cheap to use freelancers. #editorchat 7:27 PM Feb 4th from web in reply to JMegonigal

AmHealthBeauty What do most writers find is a fair rate for articles with little research required? #editorchat 7:31 PM Feb 4th from TweetChat

dannysanchez We actually use a few freelance online producers, as well as some freelance videographers and bloggers for specialty sites. #editorchat 7:31 PM Feb 4th from twhirl

CRBJ @milehighfool I think papers should drop book sections. It’s good for writers, doesn’t serve readers. No ads to support pages. #editorchat 7:31 PM Feb 4th from TweetChat

LydiaBreakfast @AmHealthBeauty A good writer won’t use the press release info for anything but a launching point for an interview. #editorchat 7:34 PM Feb 4th from TweetChat

mguerard @BobSchaller @Crbj is there a national book review site online yet? Not affiliated with a paper? Maybe there should be. #editorchat 7:35 PM Feb 4th from web in reply to BobSchaller

CRBJ You that do freelance get more for online, more for print or about the same? Publishers need to equalize the model. #editorchat 7:36 PM Feb 4th from TweetChat

palafo If you can offer good, professional book reviews, I think newspaper readers are also book readers. Good match. #editorchat 7:37 PM Feb 4th from TweetDeck

LydiaBreakfast @CRBJ I am a lot pickier about the work I take now. Even in these times. #editorchat 7:39 PM Feb 4th from TweetChat

BenLaMothe Excellent. I’m the editor of a student magazine I founded and developed. Doing MA in Electronic Publishing in London. #editorchat 7:39 PM Feb 4th from TweetGrid

milehighfool @BenLaMothe Let’s put a recent Q to you the: Would you pay a freelancer less for your electronic mag than if it were print? #editorchat 7:40 PM Feb 4th from TweetChat

palafo A freelance piece should be a thorough fresh take that our staff couldn’t do, because we didn’t have idea, expertise or time. #editorchat 7:42 PM Feb 4th from TweetDeck

BobSchaller @milehighfool I think you have to pay less if the revenue is at a lower level. #editorchat 7:42 PM Feb 4th from TweetChat

BenLaMothe @milehighfool I wouldn’t pay them less. Would plan ahead to determine SEO & traffic value, linking opps, SN opps, etc. #editorchat 7:42 PM Feb 4th from TweetGrid in reply to milehighfool

BenLaMothe You’ve got to see an article online beyond it just appearing. Will pay good $ for something I can do a lot with. #editorchat 7:43 PM Feb 4th from TweetGrid



palafo @BobSchaller A story pitch from a writer must be better than a press release that we already have. Something we didn’t know. #editorchat 7:45 PM Feb 4th from TweetDeck in reply to BobSchaller

CRBJ @JMegonigal … and the overhead is a LOT less for online too. Cost per inch is ZERO. That’s a big benchmark in newsprint. #editorchat 7:46 PM Feb 4th from TweetChat


QUESTION 3: LydiaBreakfast Next Q then: Editors How often have you seen a freelancer break through? #editorchat 7:45 PM Feb 4th from TweetChat

BobSchaller @milehighfool The guy I write TV with broke through with Men’s Health. They pay a ton for those briefs in the front #editorchat 7:45 PM Feb 4th from TweetChat


BobSchaller @milehighfool At the magazine, we are swamped with freelance talent, mostly newspaper people of very high quality #editorchat 7:48 PM Feb 4th from TweetChat

AmHealthBeauty I’ve had a freelance writer work her way to editor #editorchat 7:48 PM Feb 4th from TweetChat

palafo @LydiaBreakfast It depends on the desk or section. Features tend to be more open to pitches. We rely mainly on staff with beats. #editorchat 7:49 PM Feb 4th from TweetDeck in reply to LydiaBreakfast

mguerard @milehighfool @palafo I was a stringer for NYT, years back. The Atl. bureau guy knew me, sent me stuff. #editorchat 7:49 PM Feb 4th from web in reply to milehighfool

palafo @milehighfool It’s definitely a rare thing [Ed. note: breaking in as a freelancer]. You need to know someone or have an incredibly compelling idea. #editorchat 7:50 PM Feb 4th from TweetDeck in reply to milehighfool

BobSchaller @palafo You’d have to have an “incredibly compelling idea” each week, at least, to make a living like that though #editorchat 7:51 PM Feb 4th from TweetChat

LydiaBreakfast Well I keep going back to that cost/benefit analysis with freelancers there are no benefits/taxes/etc to pay #editorchat 7:51 PM Feb 4th from TweetChat

CRBJ My first clips (in college) were from cold query letters (ahem, before e-mail). I did work on spec and exceeded expectations. #editorchat 7:51 PM Feb 4th from TweetChat

milehighfool Related question: If you’re a freelancer, how did you break in? Did you know someone? #editorchat 7:52 PM Feb 4th from TweetChat

palafo @mguerard For last 5-6 yrs, we’ve required clips, references, resume, ethics disclosure. #editorchat 7:52 PM Feb 4th from TweetDeck in reply to mguerard

milehighfool And for the editors: Are you naturally nervous about hiring an indie scribe, or do you prefer it? #editorchat 7:53 PM Feb 4th from TweetChat

CRBJ Still, I don’t know how full-time freelancers make it. I never had the gut to take that risk. Extra work, but not sole support. #editorchat 7:53 PM Feb 4th from TweetChat

BobSchaller @milehighfool I knew some people I had worked with in newspapers who left to become magazine editors. They saved me. #editorchat 7:53 PM Feb 4th from TweetChat

LydiaBreakfast @milehighfool Twitter has kicked open a lot of possibilities #editorchat 7:53 PM Feb 4th from TweetChat

drizzled @milehighfool I didn’t know anyone. Just randomly answered calls for writers until one stuck. #editorchat 7:53 PM Feb 4th from TwitterFox in reply to milehighfool

palafo @BobSchaller I don’t know how people make a living at it. Early in my career, I tried, quite hard. #editorchat 7:53 PM Feb 4th from TweetDeck in reply to BobSchaller

joanna_haugen @milehighfool I broke in w a good ol’ query to the editor; still get work like that, but connections are equally important now #editorchat 7:54 PM Feb 4th from web

CRBJ @BobSchaller But isn’t it easier to make pitches via e-mail or does the mound of queries overload most eds? #editorchat 7:54 PM Feb 4th from TweetChat

JMegonigal @milehighfool Nervous, until they’ve proved themselves. 🙂 #editorchat 7:54 PM Feb 4th from TweetDeck in reply to milehighfool

hotspringer I broke in once when another writer referred me to a AAA editor. Another time, a PR agency rep referred me to mag publisher. #editorchat 7:55 PM Feb 4th from TweetChat

CRBJ Here’s the deal, though, I wish half the pitches I got (from freelancers and PR people) were relevant to my audience. Most arent #editorchat 7:56 PM Feb 4th from TweetChat

LydiaBreakfast @a2editor indeed it does, I do all kinds of writing but business reporting is my favorite. Food pays best. Travel does not. #editorchat 7:57 PM Feb 4th from TweetChat

hotspringer Freelancers dilemma in this market: continue to build niche only or diversify and write whatever sells. #editorchat 7:57 PM Feb 4th from TweetChat

milehighfool @BobSchaller I’ve heard this from agents as well. What about mag submission guidelines? Do they matter as much? #editorchat 8:00 PM Feb 4th from TweetChat

BobSchaller @milehighfool I’ve done all my mag work through friends from newspaper days. But yes, I’d follow guidelines #editorchat 8:01 PM Feb 4th from TweetChat

BobSchaller @milehighfool But the well-crafted submission draws attention for the big payday mags (Nat’l G, Esquire) #editorchat 8:01 PM Feb 4th from TweetChat

joanna_haugen @bobschaller I hope to write travel eventually but haven’t broken in yet. How did you get into that area? #editorchat 8:01 PM Feb 4th from web

CRBJ Another thing regarding query vs. story. If you give me a good pitch, but I can’t use it, I might try you for something else. #editorchat 8:02 PM Feb 4th from TweetChat

QUESTION 4: LydiaBreakfast Next Q – Editors: How do writers create work for you? How do they save you time? #editorchat 8:03 PM Feb 4th from TweetChat

a2editor Writers who write facts from memory or poorly taken notes, not so much. Sloppy. #editorchat 8:06 PM Feb 4th from TweetChat

palafo These days: not giving me the links and source documents, forcing me to search, creates work. We need that stuff for Web. #editorchat 8:06 PM Feb 4th from TweetDeck

janeco @LydiaBreakfast incomplete research & proofing = work; clean, well-written copy = timesaver #editorchat 8:06 PM Feb 4th from web in reply to LydiaBreakfast

kBstuart Reading #editorchat tonight and learning a lot! 8:07 PM Feb 4th from web [Eds. note: We *love* comments like this.]

milehighfool Is it different for the literary editors here? Fact checking can’t be your biggest issue 🙂 #editorchat 8:10 PM Feb 4th from TweetChat

mguerard @LydiaBreakfast Failure to think it through thoroughly. Failure to answer fundamental questions. Failure to think like a reader. #editorchat 8:11 PM Feb 4th from web in reply to LydiaBreakfast

LydiaBreakfast @milehighfool The lit journal I edit annually had a submission that was plagiarized heavily – from a univ. prof! #editorchat 8:11 PM Feb 4th from TweetChat

milehighfool @LydiaBreakfast And how about vice versa? Writers: How do editors create work for you? #editorchat 8:12 PM Feb 4th from TweetChat

a2editor @milehighfool For literature it’s still an issue of being thorough, but relates more to formatting/clean copy than facts. #editorchat 8:12 PM Feb 4th from TweetChat

LydiaBreakfast @milehighfool A good editor doesn’t create work, even if they ask for a revision, it is all about learning #editorchat 8:14 PM Feb 4th from TweetChat

CRBJ Sometimes I think the writer understands something, and she thinks I understand something else. Follow-up e-mail helps all. #editorchat 8:14 PM Feb 4th from TweetChat

mguerard A writer can help an editor tremendously by thinking visually. How might this best be packaged for the reader? #editorchat 8:14 PM Feb 4th from web

anti9to5guide Editors who ask for rewrites that clearly bump up word count beyond the target word count can be tough. #editorchat 8:15 PM Feb 4th from TweetChat

CRBJ @milehighfool Pretty much one strike if its major overhaul. If there’s time, we kick it back to the writer. Not often time. #editorchat 8:16 PM Feb 4th from TweetChat

a2editor Had one writing experience where one editor worked w/ me to get it just right, only to have to rewrite it for another editor. #editorchat 8:17 PM Feb 4th from TweetChat

CRBJ @a2editor Oh, yeah, that’s when the writer needs to fire the editor. Some people can’t be pleased (not me, of course). #editorchat 8:18 PM Feb 4th from TweetChat

palafo I prefer pre-writing to rewriting. An editing conversation or road map, coaching, ahead of time. Less pain. #editorchat 8:20 PM Feb 4th from TweetDeck

CRBJ I once did a freelance job editor hated. I started talking to her and discovered she probably couldn’t be satisfied. No kill fee #editorchat 8:21 PM Feb 4th from TweetChat

Single_Shot Is it too late to join the party? I’m a Seattle freelancer, columnist, etc. Love the pre-writing idea — saves time for all. #editorchat 8:23 PM Feb 4th from TweetChat


anti9to5guide I like to send a mini-skeleton to editors too, esp if haven’t worked with them before or I know they’re very particular #editorchat 8:24 PM Feb 4th from TweetChat

Single_Shot @anti9to5guide I’ve had 1-2 editors I’ve thought about sending mini skeletons too … but not the kind you’re talking about. ; ) #editorchat 8:27 PM Feb 4th from TweetChat

anti9to5guide @hotspringer Good point. One ed I know called writers who don’t check in “submarines.” They get the assigment & don’t resurface #editorchat 8:29 PM Feb 4th from TweetChat

milehighfool Confession: I had a story rewritten in-house. Haven’t been invited back. #editorchat 8:17 PM Feb 4th from TweetChat

CRBJ @milehighfool You were outhouse and they rewrote it and didn’t call you back? Did they communicate with you about it? #editorchat 8:18 PM Feb 4th from TweetChat

milehighfool @mguerard It was but I learned something: query editors — even the ones I know — before writing. Pre-writing, as @palafo says. #editorchat 8:22 PM Feb 4th from TweetChat

mguerard @milehighfool The thing is, their behavior was pretty unprofessional. Were you embarrassed bec. their version was better? #editorchat 8:22 PM Feb 4th from web in reply to milehighfool

milehighfool @mguerard Mostly because I didn’t satisfy a client. A professional failure in that sense. #editorchat 8:23 PM Feb 4th from TweetChat

LydiaBreakfast @milehighfool re: professional failure, I think making work for an editor is a failure to provide good cust serv in a sense. #editorchat 8:24 PM Feb 4th from TweetChat

QUESTION 5: LydiaBreakfast OK next Q Writers: Would you forego a big paycheck to get a prestige clip? In @nytimes, for example. #editorchat 8:26 PM Feb 4th from TweetChat

mguerard @LydiaBreakfast Absolutely. #editorchat 8:27 PM Feb 4th from web in reply to LydiaBreakfast

a2editor @LydiaBreakfast Absolutely, exposure is worth more than one big paycheck, but not forever. Paying writers well shows respect. #editorchat 8:28 PM Feb 4th from TweetChat

BenLaMothe @LydiaBreakfast I would forego to get a prestige clip. I did some stuff for Reuters for not much $. Was a student, big opp. #editorchat 8:28 PM Feb 4th from TweetGrid in reply to LydiaBreakfast

drizzled @LydiaBreakfast I would definitely do that. A good byline is worth a nice paycheck any day. Maybe that’s an ego thing. #editorchat 8:29 PM Feb 4th from web in reply to LydiaBreakfast

anti9to5guide @LydiaBreakfast Thanks. Everyone asks if I wrote that guest post for free. I did. The blog didn’t pay. It was the NYT. I had to! #editorchat 8:30 PM Feb 4th from TweetChat

drizzled @dockane I see your point. We’re sort of shooting ourselves in the foot by doing spec work. Hard to resist, though, for rookies. #editorchat 8:34 PM Feb 4th from web in reply to dockane

Single_Shot I did a piece for a nat’l mag that didn’t pay well but that i liked. ended up getting tapped to edit an antho on the same topic. #editorchat 8:36 PM Feb 4th from TweetChat

Single_Shot So, sometimes there are other kinds of pay-offs for writers. #editorchat 8:37 PM Feb 4th from TweetChat

INTRODUCTIONS

dannysanchez Great chat everyone on #editorchat. Danny Sanchez, multimedia producer at OrlandoSentinel.com and blogging at http://journalistopia.com 8:35 PM Feb 4th from twhirl

a2editor Nice to meet everyone. Laura Cowan, freelance editor/writer blogging at http://a2editor.wordpress.com. #editorchat 8:37 PM Feb 4th from TweetChat

anti9to5guide Thanks again for this excellent forum. Michelle Goodman, freelance writer, columnist, author: www.anti9to5guide.com #editorchat 8:38 PM Feb 4th from TweetChat

merylkevans Intro: Freelance writer and editor for all things content – mostly business. www.meryl.net #editorchat 8:39 PM Feb 4th from TweetChat

drizzled Sure thing, thanks @milehighfool. I’m a freelance editor/writer. Bulk of work is at WWD and TAB through GigaOm.com. Thanks all! #editorchat 8:39 PM Feb 4th from web

maris51 You can find my log at http://medicine.reportednow… #editorchat 8:39 PM Feb 4th from TweetChat

hotspringer Rebecca McCormick, freelance writer. Exp. in shelter, business, lifestyle, travel. http://www.linkedin.com/in/… #editorchat 8:40 PM Feb 4th from TweetChat

dockane Thx for putting this together! Bummed I missed most of it tho! I run a professional writing firm in Chicago #editorchat connect? @dockane me 8:40 PM Feb 4th from web

joanna_haugen JoAnna Haugen – professional copywriter, freelance writer on a myriad of topics #editorchat 8:43 PM Feb 4th from web

janeco freelance writer/editor, music industry #editorchat 8:50 PM Feb 4th from web

BenLaMothe: Ben LaMothe, recent j-school grad from Mich., pursuing MA in electronic publishing in London. Founder of 2 online student mags. #editorchat  


Single_Shot: Great stuff, all. Thanx 4 setting this up! Diane Mapes, freelance health, humor lifestyle, singles issues. www.howtodatebook.com #editorchat


jkwill10: Lurking here the first night, thanks Jeff/newspaper editor/Wisconsin #editorchat


LydiaBreakfast: Lydia Dishman – freelance features writer/business reporter working for mags, websites, etc #editorchat

milehighfool Tim Beyers, Motley Fool contributor, analyst for Motley Fool Rule Breakers: http://twurl.nl/borgmv #editorchat

 

milehighfool: Spread the word. Night all. And if you have Qs for next week, tag them #editorchat and post anytime during the week. #editorchat


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Written by LydiaBreakfast

February 11, 2009 at 4:20 pm

Posted in Transcript

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