Wednesday, June 29, 2005

(Misc) Food Writers Sought

I'm sure this got sent to everyone, but just in case anyone didn't get it, and was interested, passing it along:

... I recently visited your weblog and wanted to ask if you have
Japan travel experience, or if not, perhaps you know someone
who does. I'm editing a travel guide for Things Asian Press
and need about 50 contributors to write about their travel
and food experiences in Japan. Pays by the word.

If you are interested, please reply and I will send you full
details on the project. Thanks and best of success with your

Celeste Heiter
Napa Valley, CA
Things Asian Press


Professor Salt said...

I got this too. Although she says she doesn't spam, isn't unsolicited email of any kind (commercial or not) considered spam? Personally, this isn't someone I care to write for or do business with.

Sam said...

I am in two minds.
she didint immediately strike me as being commercial - she is just another blogger as far as I can tell. To me, at least, she wrote two emails today.
the first was to tell us about her blog. I don't mind this many people have done it, in the past and I am sure many more will in the future, although it is certainly more preferable when people do it on a more personal basis rather than via mass mailing.
You don't have to do anything about it. her blog is actually an interesting/different concept. She wasn't so crass as to ask for a link or anything.
I personally wouldn't promote myself this way, I think I wrote a few personal emails to other bloggers when I first started, but really it wasn't self promotional, it was just overjoy at having discovered other food bloggers. Each to his own.

Secondly she seems to be trying to find writers. Offering to pay people for writing about food in Japan. This seems like the kind of thing bloggers might actually be interested in - making money from their work. So again, I wasn't too upset about it, it makes a change from being asked to promote something for nothing on our blogs. Again she chose the mass mail /impersonal route which is perhaps not the best approach. If she had done some research into which bloggers had actually been to Japan, and targeted only the appropriate audience, then maybe it would be less of a problem for some people who feel they are being spammed.

All in all, though I would definitely preferred a more personal/genuine mail, I don't have a problem with this. I put it down to the nieveity of a new blogger not quite clicking with the mood of the general community.

Anyone who includes their email address on their blog is inviting unsolicitated mail. If it is from a fellow food blogger or a reader about something related to food, content or blogging then I don't usually consider it to be evil spam.

drbiggles said...

Whull, criminy. I emailed her and I think she's sweet. We've sent about 3 tosses of emails back and forth and I'm considering taking the family up to Napa to say hi and see what she has to offer up there.
I like Celeste.
Personally, I think Food Bloggers are a little gun shy when it comes to people like this. This isn't without justification, between Aussie Benjamin and all the comment spam we deal with. But I look at each of the 3200 emails I get each week to make sure everyone is taken care of (I manage about 16 email accounts for work and personal).
If the email sounds somewhat legitimate, I will return the thought and find out what they're up to. If I get no response? They're trash.
But Celeste was right there and seemed very kind.
Don't make up your own conclusions when you haven't even spoken to the person.


Owen said...

I too emailed her and she told me the whole deal - this is a very real solicitation for real culinary adventures in Japan - they want them and they want quality and they are prepared to pay for them. BUT they are not prepared to pay very much - $0.02 per word to be exact - for copy that meets their style guidelines.

To give you some idea - when I used to do software and hardware reviews and news stories for technology publications I got $1 per word (of course there was a lot of admin, shipping, telephone, research and testing time involved in writing the stories)

Plus I'm pretty sure they'll want all rights to the pieces.

But she is fair and up front - lots of places do this and lots pay just as badly....

Sam said...

when I wrote for the Daily Mail I got £1 a word and that was about 15 years ago. I always thought it was a bit cushy. It took me about an hour to do the 200 words required. Easiest money I ever made! 2cents seems a bit like peanuts...
42308(words written, according to my blogger profile) x 2cents means Becks & Posh would be worth $846.16 for the whole thing
Yep - that sounds like not very good pay to me.I wouldn't sell it at that price.

Clea said...

Hi! I'm very interested in this, as I live in Japan now and my blog is all about Japan and food!
Would you send me more information here?

Derrick Schneider said...

Re her rates. $.02/word is pretty low, but few food or wine magazines pay the $1/word Sam and Owen cited (1 pound, 1 dollar, whatever). The only ones that do are the big ones (Saveur, I think. The Atlantic Monthly for sure). Still, one magazine I'm negotiating with will end up paying me about $.10-$.15/word, and _that's_ pretty low.

That's why there are few freelance food and wine writers these days who make a living _solely_ based on feature writing. Features build your brand so you can get lucrative money from things that don't include your name (corporate writing gigs, "advertorials," copy for brochures, so forth).

Cathy said...

I emailed her also and promptly received the guidelines. The company certaingly seems legit. And Owen, the contract says the rights are nonexclusive (as they should be at 2 cents a word!).

But the deadline is pretty tight - July 31.