Tuesday, March 21, 2006

E-Query Qualms

Or, The Invalid Electronic Asana

Yesterday, I received this notification of a periodical that was accepting open queries in one of my writer's newsletters:

(Name and address of yoga-themed periodical...)

This quarterly magazine encourages everyone at every level to learn
the benefits and techniques of yoga. Articles on the beginner and
intermediate levels are preferred. Articles include essays, how-to
pieces, photo features, technical articles, personal experience and
book reviews. Length is 1000-2000 words. Query via standard mail
or e-mail.

A website and e-mail address followed. Since Trafalgar Square has a yoga book and yoga DVD's that would be a perfect match for this audience, I sent an e-mail asking if they would be interested in a review of the book, "Yoga for Equestrians," and two companion DVD's "Yoga & Riding: Techniques for Equestrians?"

It wasn't long before I received a response to my query: The e-mail provided as a means of contact was invalid.

I went to their website, and the contact e-mail there was the same faulty one I originally wrote to. I wrote a note on their "Contact Us" page requesting current contact information, but have so far received no response. I have, however, discovered that others have encountered the same problem from the same periodical.

"I tried about a year ago and I never any luck getting them to respond," said one fellow writer. "I hope you heard from them."


I just find it interesting that a magazine representative would go to the trouble of contacting a writer's newsletter looking for submissions, without first checking that the stated contact information was correct.

This is the sort of snafu that results in editors or advertising managers saying, "We tried that once. It didn't work..." How often we don't realize that our success hinges not on other people, but on ourselves.

Further bulletins as events warrant.