Wednesday, August 15, 2012

When Asked for Apples, Don't Offer Oranges

This morning I read a post from literary agent Rachelle Gardner called, "Give Them What They Want". In it, she shares some feedback from a recent call for guest bloggers on her site. There were many pitches made that simply did not meet her guidelines. I can relate. In the last six months, I have received pitches from writers who clearly had not read my submission page. And why would someone offer to write a guest post about plastic surgery, childcare, or dating on a blog about writing? 

Offering budding authors a place to showcase their talents and build their online platforms is a great opportunity that isn't widely available. So it should not it be taken lightly. Therefore, when you find bloggers who are willing to share their space with you, it is important that your pitch is a good fit for their blog and your platform. Also, follow the guidelines for submission down to the word count and font. You may miss out on a chance to expand your audience because you failed to give them what they want.

Here is an excerpt from Ms. Gardner's post. Enjoy and take heed.

"Give Them What They Want" by Rachelle Gardner

Back when I was in school, I embraced an important truth: If I wanted to succeed according to someone else’s standards, then I needed to give them what they wanted. It started with my teachers. To get a good grade, I needed to understand exactly what they wanted and give it to them. Using my own creativity and trying to give them something I thought was better wouldn’t always work. If I wanted to be brilliant and creative, fine, but I might sacrifice a good grade. If I wanted the “A” then I needed to give the instructor exactly what was expected.

This lesson served me well as I spent a couple of decades in various roles in the corporate and business world. To be considered a good employee and get promotions and raises, I needed to understand exactly what was expected… and do it. If creativity and innovation and big ideas were valued in that company, then that’s what I focused on. If simply doing your job was valued, then that’s what I did. As long as I was in an environment where someone else’s standards determined MY success, I always focused on what those standards were.

Success often depends on giving your boss what they want; giving your clients what they want; giving your professors what they want, giving your readers what they want.
You’re always free to write what you want, how you want. You’re free to approach the process of publication however you like. But when your success depends on other people, it’s smart to ask yourself: Are you giving them what they want? This applies whether you’re querying agents, pitching publishers, or thinking about your end reader. What do they want? Are you giving it to them?

Read the entire post.


Keep your pen to the paper! Remember, inspiration is everywhere...

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