Although an editor may end up as your best friend in the publishing community, he or she can also end up as your dire enemy. Remember that as long as you treat your editor (or editors) professionally and courteously, they will most likely respond in kind. The following five tips can help you make a positive impression on an editor.
Make the editor’s job easier by researching the needs of their publication. This way you let them know that you can give them what they need. No one enjoys plowing through unnecessary work. And editors especially hate dealing with hundreds and hundreds of inappropriate photos or articles. Thus, if the magazine deals with hunting, do not send photos on a different type of sporting event. If the editor seeks photographs to match particular story lines, find out what the story lines are.
Also, research the types of photographs that appeal to a particular publication. Does the editor prefer more sentimental photographs or more realistic shots? Do they publish more photographs dealing with relationships between human beings or with the environment in which they move?
Read several issues of the publication before submitting. Make sure you understand what kinds of articles and photos they consistently publish. Don’t waste your time or the editor’s with inappropriate subject matter.
Stick to deadlines. The editor will remember and appreciate this. One or two days of delay can hold up an entire publication. You do not want to feel responsible for this unfortunate occurrence.
Once you gain the editor’s respect, he or she will help you with future assignments. Build a working relationship with the editor.
Once you earn the respect and trust of your editor through matching your work to the appropriate needs of the publication and through consistently meeting deadlines, your editor will depend on you and go to bat for you in many situations. S(he) will also be more likely to suggest possible steps you might take to improve your work (whether for use in their publication or for general improvement in the quality of your work). Take their advice seriously.
Some editors might even suggest other places for publication if they cannot use the work you submit. Any good reference is a potential full-time job. A positive reference from an editor always looks good and could possibly get your name to the top of a list for your next assignment.