This is it. Zero hour. My first book Up Up Down Down Left WRITE: The Freelance Guide to Video Game Journalism is finally out in the wilds, available in print and on the Kindle (and assorted e-devices via the free Kindle Reader app)! It’s been a crazy launch day, and I’ve been really encouraged by the response so far. Creating a book from the ground up has been an amazing and intense experience, and it’s awesome to have it finally out! Rather than ramble on and on about it, I figure I’ll cap off a long day with a few bits of what other folks have been saying about the book online and through social networks! Oh yeah, and you’ll also find links to where you can buy the thing!
I struggle with the idea of pitching before I’ve written anything, especially when I don’t know how much time I’ll have to write the commission. Sometimes I’ll come up with an idea, will begin writing it, and realize there aren’t any legs under it or it’s pretty unoriginal. But I also understand that if I don’t send pitches and spend my time developing my ideas, I’ll be losing a ton of time writing content that may be rejected anyway.
How do you find that balance of pitching ideas and making sure ideas are pitchable?
When brainstorming features, I often find it difficult to come up with themes that will be marketable to publications. It feels like focusing on current “hot topics” is simply chasing what’s already been said, but how do you go about finding fresh ideas?
I’m gearing up to start pitching some things but have always wondered what the hard and fast rules on pitching a single idea or spec piece are. Is pitching one piece to multiple outlets a bad idea? Also, can you keep pitching a rejected piece to other outlets until it’s picked up? Are there any other tips to speed up the process or is it best left alone?
I’ve been writing for a volunteer website doing news, reviews, and features – mostly news. However, being recently laid-off has forced me to search for paying opportunities, and I feel I don’t have the experience yet to attain one, freelance or staff (I’ve only been in games journalism for six months). Should I focus on writing features to submit to other websites or should I continue developing my skills until I feel ready?
And are there websites that hire staff writers that work remotely or is that, basically, freelancing?
I’m trying my hardest to break into the world of freelance games journalism. I’ve had a couple of paid assignments which I managed to land without needing to submit any pitches. Since then, I’ve followed your advice about what makes a good pitch, and have tried several ideas tailoring them to several publications. After waiting a reasonable time, I have not had any responses whatsoever. What can I do if I’m simply being ignored?
Poking around the internet this weekend, I discovered that Wired’s GeekDad blog did a nice news blurb about Up Up Down Down Left WRITE and the Kickstarter. Super psyched! With only 12 days left to the Kickstarter and approx $5,200 left to raise, this is a nice little boost! Getting close to the home stretch, which is when I’ll really need any interested folks who’ve been considering backing it to step up to the plate and kick out the backer jams – uh yeah, mixed metaphors.