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No Contacts? No Problem! How to Pitch and Sell Your Freelance Feature Writing (Professional Media Practice) [Paperback]

Catherine Quinn
4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (34 customer reviews)
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Book Description

1 Mar 2010
There are plenty of books on the market which tell you how to write stylish prose, attention-grabbing headlines or market yourself better as a freelance writer. But how do you get that first piece published in a national publication? This book shows you the techniques that real freelance writers use to sell their ideas and get into print. Professional freelancer Catherine Quinn, who built a successful freelance writing career from scratch, guides you through a step-by-step process to get your first article in print, from how to format your pitch, to identifying the undersold freelance hotspots. Her tried and tested step-by-step approach: shows you how to scope the market and pick the most likely potential customers; gives the inside track on how to convince editors who've never heard of you to commission your work; tells you what to expect at every step along the pitching process; and, includes a four week plan with a day-by-day process to kick start your freelance writing career.

Frequently Bought Together

No Contacts? No Problem! How to Pitch and Sell Your Freelance Feature Writing (Professional Media Practice) + The Freelance Writer's Handbook: How to turn your writing skills into a successful business + The Writers' & Artists' Yearbook 2013 (Writers' and Artists')
Price For All Three: £33.75

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Product details

  • Paperback: 192 pages
  • Publisher: Methuen Drama (1 Mar 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1408123568
  • ISBN-13: 978-1408123560
  • Product Dimensions: 1.4 x 15.4 x 23.3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (34 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 80,103 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

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Product Description


'I wish I'd had this book when I started out fifteen years ago... it's perfectly pitched for the capable, confident and hard-grafting writer who lacks just one thing: contacts' --Fiona Gibson,

It's perfectly pitched for the capable, confident and hard-grafting writer who lacks just one thing: contacts.' --Literature Training - Spring 2010

About the Author

Catherine Quinn is a freelance writer supplying features and copy to national and local press. These publications include The Guardian, The Observer, The Independent, The Times, The Mirror and The Evening Standard.

Inside This Book (Learn More)
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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index
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Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5 stars
4.8 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
24 of 24 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Worth every penny! 2 Jun 2010
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Buoyed on by favourable Amazon reviews, I decided to take the plunge and buy this book. Despite placing the order, I was still dubious about the credibility of this book as I have bought similar volumes, previously, and felt shortchanged. I had no need to worry as the book does everything it says on the tin and a whole lot more.

I would say that this book's 'unique selling point' is that Caroline Quinn delivers a seminar on how you can gain freelance commisions without any previous experience of the field. This no-nonsense guide shows you how to take the professional road into freelance journalism and candidly explains the pitfalls and the perks that you may encounter. In fact, what I find helpful about 'No Contacts?.....' is that it doesn't outline freelancer tips in a dry and trite manner: Quinn provides realistic and comprehensive tips on how to get your work in print and backs up the core narrative with case studies and anecdotal asides.

What does the book cover?

* How to do a credible pitch
* How to evaluate the freelance market
* The best way to get 'clips' for a portfolio
* How to maintain professionalism when dealing with Editors
* How to 'chase up' pitches without looking like a novice
* Tips on writing a freelance article
* How to replicate your success
* A four-week plan to get your article in print

The above list is not exhaustive. Indeed, you'll be amazed that this book is less than 200 pages long as the content is concise yet detailed. If this has whetted your appetite then you will be pleased to know that Quinn signposts you to her website for further information and crucial tips. In addition, Quinn has included a further reading sections that looks like it might be quite useful.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
Catherine Quinn has managed to put all of her experience into a manageable, easy to follow and enjoyable book which should be seen as the definitive starting point for anyone wanting to get into freelance feature writing. I had no clips, no contacts, no experience and no idea where to start. In 3 months, I had two features published, four commissions with editors for final copy editing, lunched with two editors who I now speak to regularly, and a plan to make freelance writing a career in the near future. That is the power of her book - it sets out in a clear way the processes required and is realistic. This book does not address how to write well - Miss Quinn rightly assumes you can already write - it simply helps you sell yourself to others.

I would say that there are other books you should also look at - Brendan Hennessy's Writing Feature Articles is a great supplement to Miss Quinn's book, and there are plenty of internet resources which will expand your knowledge further. However, if you do not know where to start, start here.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars At last, some common sense. 1 May 2010
When you're starting out as a freelance writer, it is difficult to see how you can possibly gain acceptances for your articles with nothing behind you. You're completely unknown, little or nothing published before, you've never contacted a magazine before.

Everyone has to start somewhere, and this book shows you just how you can do this. It is well written by Caroline Quinn, as a complete and comprehensive guide, in fact, a training course, to pitching to magazine editors in the most effective way possible, even as an unknown writer with no contacts or previous history.

The book shows you how to narrow your options to the subjects you know best, how to research and analyse magazines, tailor your articles to suit exactly the target magazine, and most importantly, the pitch, selling your idea to an editor. There is also a website, only accessible if you have the book to hand, which backs up and gives further examples and information.

An easy to follow guide to pitching your ideas, with a common-sense approach, with the simplest of advice to be professional at all times, this book is highly recommended for anyone wishing to become a freelance writer.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
I was really dubious about buying a book that claimed to be a guide to freelancing, but I am very glad I read this one. Catherine Quinn's tips are accessible and motivating - so many people seem to be out to scare aspiring writers, but reading this book filled me with confidence. A must-have for anyone who wants to be a freelance feature writer or even for those already in the industry.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars For confident beginners 1 Mar 2010
This book is for confident beginners, so if you're not sure of your writing you should read a different book. It assumes you can already write, and fills in the gaps between writing a good feature and becoming a regular freelancer. This book has been really useful in taking me to the next level and the industry tips are proving invaluable. Highly recommended.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
By Lottie
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I have lots of books on my shelf about freelancing, and have attended NUJ courses on freelancing and none of them compare to this. This book actually delves into what it takes to break in and how to achieve achieve success. Quinn's book has given me so much confidence and is a fabulous no nonsense guide. If you buy one book about freelance feature writing, buy this.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
2.0 out of 5 stars Average
It is a very average book, compiling mostly common sense tips. I do not find it useful for the ones who are already freelancing and I have my doubts if it actually helps the ones... Read more
Published 3 months ago by Ioca
5.0 out of 5 stars Straight to the point
I have been looking for a book of this kind for quite a while and I no longer need to go on looking. Read more
Published 7 months ago by Geoffrey C. Riddell
5.0 out of 5 stars Genuinely useful
A really practical book for getting started. Well thought out and clear approach and I'd happily recommend it to others.
Published 14 months ago by Cat Parrott
4.0 out of 5 stars Really useful, complimentary to other books I bought
There's nothing worse than buying a heap of books and finding out they all repeat themselves. This book was great. Read more
Published 17 months ago by C. Dow
5.0 out of 5 stars Great book with good exercises
This book has been written for the unpublished writer in mind. However, as someone who has had many articles published I found it quite a good motivator for 'kick starting' my... Read more
Published 21 months ago by Ms. EB
5.0 out of 5 stars No Bites? Read this!
As a new freelance, with a few freebie publications, this book nailed it for me. Easy to read (Manchester to London return by rail) I can't wait to put it into practice. Read more
Published on 26 Mar 2012 by magma
5.0 out of 5 stars Stunning
This book is a MUST read for those new to the idea of freelancing for a magazine. It gives you a step by step insider's view as to how to succeed in your quest.
Published on 29 Dec 2011 by Amazon Customer
5.0 out of 5 stars A must!
If you want to be a successful freelance writer, this is the only book you need to buy. Brilliant value for money. Buy it now!
Published on 9 Dec 2011 by Mrs. Wilkinson
5.0 out of 5 stars Right On Target
A few years ago I toyed with the idea of writing Feature Articles and becoming a Freelance writer. I promptly paid out several hundred pounds for a correspondence course which... Read more
Published on 1 Nov 2010 by Amazon Customer
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent advice. Practical and reasonable.
Based on my own freelance experience many years ago, I think the author has pitched the book just right. Read more
Published on 25 Aug 2010 by Lord Dom
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