Ask The Freelance Dude #15 – The Luck Factor


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Dear Freelance Dude,

I’ve seen a number of folks comment on how luck played a role in their obtaining a paying gig as a games journalist. Do you see luck as a big factor that plays into a person’s success in this field, or are there other variables that have greater importance?

Signed
KnucklesSonic8

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Ask The Freelance Dude #14 – Networking at Conventions


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Dear Freelance Dude,

I’m a soon-to-be college grad just starting to try his hand in the freelancing world. After being published on a handful of sites, I’ve managed to get a media pass to the PAX East convention in my hometown of Boston. It’s common knowledge that networking is a key to success for freelance journos, and conventions like these seem to be one of the best places to get started on making friends in the industry.

Could you shed some light on how to go about this whole networking process? Are there any particular do’s and don’ts that I should be aware of before walking up to complete strangers? I’ve got my personal business cards printed out and ready to be shared, so what can I do to get people to remember my name (without looking like a total weirdo)?

Signed,
Jeff D.

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Ask The Freelance Dude #13 – Reviews Reviews Reviews!


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Dear Freelance Dude,

As you eloquently explain in your blog, pitching feature ideas to editors is a great way of getting started as a freelance. This has proven to be effective to me, as I recently had my first feature pitch accepted – WOOT!

Much as I love desperately squeezing increasingly bizarre feature concepts from my noggin, only to be ignored or rejected by editors, I would dearly love to review games for well known gaming sites too. It seems that reviewing is the holy grail of games journalism, only possible for the most well known writers. Is this the case?

Signed,
Ian B.

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Ask The Freelance Dude #12 – Heading Out West


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Dear Freelance Dude,

I am a recent journalism graduate from University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee, looking to write for IGN, 1UP, and other gaming websites. I’ve written about video games for my college newspaper, and I’m looking to gain more experience by freelancing for a video game fan site. So my question to you is would I have a better chance with pitching stories or getting work from major gaming websites if I live in California? I’m just concerned that they won’t consider my work because I don’t live in CA. I’m thinking about moving to CA because I have relatives there and so I can network easier.

Signed,
Tom K.

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Ask The Freelance Dude #11 – Review Copies and You


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Dear Freelance Dude,

I currently write for the gaming section of a UK student paper and I’m probably going to be that section’s editor in a few months. I was wondering who to contact about getting review code because in a publication that receives pre-release albums for the music section and preview screening invitations for the film section, the games content is lagging behind without any publisher contacts. We have a distribution of 5,000 copies all over the city of Norwich and 13 issues a year. I was wondering if the publication is big enough to receive review code and, if so, who to contact to get it.

Thanks,
Oliver B.

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Ask The Freelance Dude #10 – Landing Interviews


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Dear Freelance Dude,

I landed my first freelance job recently. Part of what I would like to include is an interview with someone in the videogame industry. What’s the best way to get a hold of someone and conduct an interview when you have no prior contact?

Signed,
Derek T.

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Ask The Freelance Dude #9 – Perilous Pitches?


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Dear Freelance Dude,

What are the repercussions of having a pitch rejected? Will getting a pitch rejection put you on “The List” of writers to ignore future pitches from, since there are a ton of other writers who can fill your place instead? Failure is a lot easier to cope with when there are future opportunities to try again! Also, are there any actions, outside of full-on disrespect and rudeness, that can jeopardize your relationship with a publication before it even starts? I don’t want to relocate to San Francisco in order to further my goal of becoming a games writer, only to find out that no one will take me because of something I did two years prior.

Thanks,
Andrew T.

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