I’m always weary when someone contacts me out of the blue regarding party and event planning and freelance writing opportunities. I’m not that popular and I’m all right with that. DJ Spanky* was suspect the moment he emailed me looking for a “booking agency and manager.” At the time I didn’t notice that he was contacting me and a few hundred other people.
I must have been bored because I entertained him for a few emails. At the end of our exchange Spank offered to look into some writing opportunities with some different magazines for me. I was skeptical but thanked him nonetheless. I forgot all about him until a couple of weeks later when he hit up again, asking if I was still interested. Of course I was especially if he had the inside scoop.
…..Cool, I’ve found a way that you can write for XXL Magazine.
I am the CEO of …. recording label. I also functure as the Head Artist and Team Mananger.
I was on XXL’s website today http://www.xxlmag.com , and I thought of our previous conversation.
You become a writer for them by submitting queries to the editors.
You can find a complete list of the editors on the contact page of their website.
Here’s my plan.
Write at least one query about me as an artist.
I will submit this query to the proper editors.
I will also submit any other queries you wish upon your request.
I pasted my artist bio to the bottom of this email.
Any other information you need about me I will give to you at request.
Below are the editors we need to focus on. I encourage you to do as much research as possible on them. Search them on social networks and get to know their hobbies and interests. Take note of everything you can about them, then when you write your query add specific details that you think will catch their attention and make a connection. I will do some of my own research as well
Editor-in-Chief Vanessa Satten
Managing Editor Christine Werthman
Associate Music Editor Eric Diep
Features Editor Dan Rys
THEY DO NOT ACCEPT COMPLETED ESSAYS, MUST BE PROFESSIONAL
Link to XXL WRITER’S GUIDELINES
Here is a link to a website where you can find examples of queries
p.s. I will be looking for additional magazines for you to write for as well. The more dedication and willingness you have, the more you will receive in return.
*If you would like to re-write my bio in you own words and send it to me. If I like it I will use it as my official bio.
Wait a damn minute…. I scratched my head and glanced at the tab I keep open on permanent basis. The one filled with links for calls for submissions. DJ Spanky has to be aware of the irony in his “plan.” He was going to LET me write something about him and then submit it on my behalf to a major publication.
My temper flares and I pen an email full of rage and colorful language whilst poppin my neck and rolling my eyes. My finger hovers over the send button a moment too long. My dreams take over. I see my byline in XXL. I’ve never been interested in writing for them but the thought is thrilling. I could be the first to write about DJ Spanky, and then he blows up! I delete the email and pull out my notebook.
I need a plan of attack. This piece has be perfect. Readers and music lovers alike are gonna know who DJ Spanky is because of me! His bio is trash, I noticed that weeks ago. No problem. We’ll love him by the time I’m done. My excitement wanes when I watch an interview on You Tube featuring DJ Spanky and someone that I first mistake for Kip from Napoleon Dynamite, by the time I hear his first track on Sound Cloud I am convinced that I am being punked. I looked around suspiciously before countering Spanky’s “offer.”
I did get a chance to take a look at and review your links and presence on Google. As I stated in a previous email I do have some questions, concerns and points that I would like to discuss with you.
…..I have extensive experience sending out query letters as I do this anywhere from 0-50 times per month for various magazines and journals.
As I am sure that your reputation is important to you, mine is to me as well. I am very careful about what I use my byline for and what I endorse. I do not approach major magazines without solid material.
After listening to [redacted} and sharing your single with a couple of my associates in your profession and mine, I have a proposal for you. At cost I can rewrite your bio based on an interview and research that I conduct myself. I can write a standard query letter based on the information I’ve collected for your bio. You may use both pieces at your discretion.
I am also able to offer you direction for PR services such as branding.
If this is something that you’re interested in I would be more than happy to speak with you regarding pricing and scheduling.
I absolutely could not endorse Spanky. I’d listened to his music for a whole hour not able to comprehend why I was being punished. I wanted to be nice and professional though until….
I apologize if by any means I offended you or made you feel as though I was discrediting you. This was not my intention. I receive countless copy and paste emails from individuals for services that I myself offer. I offered you my service at no cost, due to the fact that, my proposal would not only be a great opportunity for you and I, but it would create further opportunities for the both of our careers. I custom made the proposal just for you. I generally do not work with Freelancer writers. The offer stands if you have a change of heart. Best of luck.
My eye twitched. This blankety blank had copy and pasted links and instructions directly from the XXL website and various other writing tools and sites just for me!?!?! Damn! Such an opportunity. I was going to leave it alone. I really was but…
Please be reminded that you contacted me out of the blue. I’m still not sure where or how you got my information. Next, you are not offering me an opportunity. What you did was research submission guidelines for XXL. You then told me you would submit my work on my behalf. That’s not how any of this works. (Once again, I query and submit often)
I was hard pressed to find anything solid regarding you or your label. Your social media presence is virtually nonexistent, and last but not least nobody knows who you are.
I spoke with 4 different people today regarding your work. Only one of them had something positive to say.
Reviews of your work; “mixing and mastering is horrible”,”this sounds like a parody”, “the delivery is off”, “wack”, “not ready”.
I suggest you take some of that to heart, and find someone who is willing to work for “exposure” aka for the free.
Best of luck.
I do not understand why you attempt to insult me. It is not necessary for me to submit a query in order to be featured on this magazine, and as I said I did not go to the website with you in mind. However, I did courteously inform of information that I thought may be of help to you, as I told you I would nearly a month ago. Your offer no longer stands.
I was done with Spank when I hit him with
….. You’re correct it’s not necessary for you to submit anything to XXL because you’re not ready to contend with anyone in the rap game and I discourage from contacting them til you are.
Once again I am WELL aware of how to submit, read submission guidelines, research submission guidelines, and come up with CREDIBLE material to send on my own behalf.
Spanky decided enough was enough. He was ending our relationship still delusional,
Ok so obviously, you’re gettin some kind of ego trip from talking me down. Honestly Im glad you don’t know how to receive help, because honestly I didn’t even have the time to write you the first email. Let alone do research and take the to lend you help. I doesn’t matter what you or any of your friends opinion is about my music. I am not affected by your insults(constructive criticism). I do hope you let go of what is angering you inside. Im about Positivity. Negative people will only hold back themselves and the others around them.This will be the final email I send to you ever. Reply of you like, say what you want, but hate does not prevail.
I’m currently writing a query letter to XXL… for reasons.
*Name has been changed to protect the stupid.