I see this scenario played out over and over on Facebook (and increasingly, in my inbox): you post an article that you have gotten published, or you mention you’re an author at a large multi-author site, or people think you’ve got some kind of clout in the publishing world. Then, there is always someone who comments on your post or emails you asking you if you have the editor’s email address. These people have read somewhere that pitching an editor directly increases their chance of being published, and they think you have the email address that will be their ticket to publication.
If I have published articles somewhere, chances are, yes, I have the editor’s email address. But no, I’m not going to give it to you. It’s not because I’m a snob. It’s not because I don’t want to see you succeed. On the contrary, by denying you that email address, I’m doing you a huge favour in helping you to grow your writing career. I’m also saving my own behind.
Picture this: you’re sitting down to a lovely meal with your family. Everyone has just been served, and the scene is set for a wonderful time of shared food and talking about your day. As you’re about to take your first bite, the phone rings. And it’s a telemarketer, trying to sell you something you don’t want.
When you ask me for the editor’s email address, you’re the telemarketer. And if I give you the editor’s email address, I’m the person who gave the editor’s name to the telemarketer.
Here’s why I’m not going to give you the editor’s email address (unless that editor has specifically asked me to share that address with others, and has done so of his or her own accord):
I don’t know you.
Without exception, every single person who has asked me for an editor’s email address was a total stranger. Most of them don’t even follow me on social media. If you’re one of these people, I know nothing about you. For all I know, you could be a psycho stalker. And you’re asking me to give you someone else’s information. Sorry; I can’t hand my editor’s information to a psycho stalker.
The editor doesn’t want to know you.
Most editors are extremely busy people. They don’t always get to all of the pitches they receive, and they’re very selective about the emails they open on a day to day basis. That’s why they’re not interested in people who don’t know anything about their publication, except the editor’s email address.
If you’re going around asking people for editor’s email addresses, this tells me two things:
You haven’t taken the time to research this on your own; and
You might not know much about the publication you’re trying get into.
Those two things right there tell me that you’re the last person to whom I want to give away editors’ information.
You can’t speak English – not well, anyway.
I’ve lost count of the amount of times I receive messages of request for help to start a writing career – from people who can’t write. Not in English, anyway. If you’re not fluent in English and you’re trying to start a writing career, you need to take a long, hard look at yourself and fix your priorities. Even if I were willing to give you the editor’s email address (which I’m not), you’re not going to get a higher chance of getting published simply by pitching him/her directly. When editors see your poor writing skills, they’re not even going to look at the email. Fix your English. Then worry about starting a career. I know this sounds harsh, but someone’s gotta say it.
I don’t give away people’s personal information without their permission.
Most editors have not given me their permission to share their personal information, and I’m not interested in asking for their permission, either.
Sharing a personal email address with a stranger without permission is considered a huge invasion of privacy by many people. Editors are no different. Would you want me to randomly give your email address to anyone who asked me for it? If so, you’re a rare breed, and you need to understand that the majority of the world doesn’t think the way you do. And it’s going to be a long and arduous road if you expect them to do so.
That’s not to say I’ll never share an editor’s email address.
My editor at a certain publication specifically asked me to share her email address with potential contributors. I made the mistake of giving it to anyone who asked, without checking any samples (I simply didn’t have the time). She got bombarded with people who have great ideas for articles, but can’t actually write in English. She’s far too graceful to complain about it, and even asked me if I knew of resources she could point these writers to. She truly is an amazing lady.
The one and only time I’ll ever give a random person an editor’s email address is if that editor asked me to do so. And no, I won’t ask them if I can share their email address if you ask first. The editor has to initiate that interaction. This is simply a matter of manners and respect.
Still really want that editors’ email address?
I’m not going to give away people’s personal information simply because strangers want it, but if you really do want that editor’s email address, here’s a detailed article from yesware.com on how to find it – but make sure you’ve familiarized yourself with the publication before emailing the editor.
The Complete Guide To Finding Any Email Address: Tools, Tips, Tactics, And More
The bottom line:
You’re not going to get published simply because you pitch an editor directly. You need to pitch them with an idea that flows with the publication, that is interesting to the readers, and you need to write it in not only fluent, but excellent English. If you’re going around asking for editors’ email addresses, you’re going about your writing business the wrong way. You’re putting the cart before the horse, so to speak. Start by familiarizing yourself with the industry and with how people became successful writers. Guaranteed, it wasn’t by asking for handouts.