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Do you email your portfolio to CB editors directly?

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I poked around this board but I didn't see this question- I'm thinking of making a list in Mailchimp and directly emailing CB editors a link to my portfolio.  I was wondering what other people's experiences had been. (Thus far I'm sending post cards). Any ideas? thanks!
#1 - September 22, 2015, 10:06 AM  View my portfolio and download corresponding critical thinking lessons.

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You'll want to follow the instructions found on the individual publisher's website. There are a number of publishers that prefer (or only accept) email submissions with a link to your portfolio. This information can be found on their websites. For my mailing list, I used this blog post to get me started:

I don't think there's anything wrong with using MailChimp. Some people may prefer more personalization, but at least with MailChimp the emails arrive greeting the individual you are sending it to.
#2 - September 22, 2015, 11:27 AM
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Thanks for starting this thread, Denise! And thanks for the great advice, Marla!

Hugs! :)
#3 - September 26, 2015, 08:13 AM

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Marla, thanks for the post from Monika's Love Love My Job! It is super informative and gracious considering she is sharing a list that I am sure took quite some time to make. I definitely agree that a direct email (depending on the guidelines set forth by the agent or editor) is perfectly acceptable. But I also wanted to add some info I came across at a Workshop hosted by Charles Hively of 3x3 magazine. His advice was to make up a system that took into consideration everything from time of year, week and even day (for emails) when reaching out to busy people like editors and agents. The small kindness of a well timed email is something that may not get you directly thanked per se -- but, it does mean that you could have a chance of reaching people as they are checking their emails. One other piece of advice from the workshop that I thought was gold was to make a submission (no more than once a year) of something special, a handmade piece or a fold out brochure. Guidelines from the publishing houses do still have to be considered however, I believe that the gifting act once a year perhaps in the January, the beginning of the year, or September, the end of summer, is just so cool. :getmail
#4 - September 26, 2015, 10:51 AM

Great ideas- Olivia, I do understand the timing aspect.  I wonder what would be better- in terms of it being opened and even looked at.  Giuseppe Castellano suggested in one of his blog posts that post cards are the way to go because they were seen more by ADs. Emails can just get deleted.  But, I think bot are necessary today.
#5 - October 06, 2015, 07:12 AM  View my portfolio and download corresponding critical thinking lessons.

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Hey look my first post!

I'm just getting my feet wet in the kidlit world as an author illustrator. But what I do know a lot about is direct mail and email campaigns from having my own design firm.

So first regarding email vs postcard. The answer should be both. People hold on to postcards and print mail for a long time if it's catches their interest. They might not delete an email but it could be harder to recall if their email box is not super organized.

Mailchimp and other html email clients are fantastic because you have built in analytics. What's your open rate, what did they click on etc... If you have a large mailing list it would be worthwhile to even do some A/B testing of different subject lines or content. Another plus is you can spend a day planning out six promo emails for a year and have them auto-trigger to send. Have a new contact, just add them to your list and they'll get the emails automatically. This way you don't have to remember to send a campaign or have an inconsistent send schedule.

With regard to email timing, it really varies by audience. The old standard "best time" is on a Tuesday between 1 and 3 pm. But it really depends on your content, message, and audience. (This is why analytics and A/B testing will improve your open rate over time).

Postcards - be memorable and don't feel you need to be a standard size. Stand out and most importantly maximize your art/message. FYI First Class postcard rate minimum is 5" x 3.5" largest is 6" x 4.25" Anything outside of that is First Class Letter Size and you can go up to 11.5" wide x 6.125" tall (for one stamp). Majority of cards sent are one of three sizes 6x4, 7x5 or 9x6. As long as your aspect ration (length divided by height) is equal to or between 1.3 and 2.5 you are good to go without a rate increase. So what that all means is yes, you could send a square 8" card but it will cost more (8 / 8 =8 way outside the machinable ratio) but if you have a fantastic panoramic illustration or book spread you want to show send a 10x4 card. It stand's out, showcases your work and costs the same to mail. Print production note: f you print digitally make sure your card (image side) has a uv, aqueous or some type of varnish coating. Digital inks regularly get scuffed up in mail without it. Also on the flip side I don't recommend UV coating both sides - your piece is slippery plus bar codes can't be sprayed and USPS start adding delivery stickers to your piece.

Sending something special once a year after they're used to your mailings would be great but I wouldn't recommend starting with that item. Get the name recognition first. Also for timing/content for postcards don't fight the major holidays and again go for memorable. Are you the person that always sends the Happy Groundhog Day card - or maybe go for the official but offbeat recognition days that fit your style or portfolio piece. Did you know that tomorrow is World Octopus Day - how many editors or art directors get a card for that?

Just some thoughts.
#6 - October 07, 2015, 07:28 PM


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