So you want to write for Playboy.com. By now you’ve probably talked to one of our editors about pitching ideas. That’s great! We just ask that you keep a few guidelines in mind.
1. Have an Actual Idea
The first rule to pitching ideas is to actually have an idea. Seems simple but you have no idea how many idealess pitches we get. Do NOT simply tell us you “want to write about the Grateful Dead.” That’s not an idea. Have a specific idea/story in mind and how you would write it.
2. We Are Different Than the Magazine
Familiarize yourself with what we do and what we are trying to accomplish before you pitch your ideas. Click around and see what other freelancers are writing. Additionally, it isn’t our job to tell you what we are looking for, it is your job to do some research and find out.
3. Headlines Are Important
As we all know from using the Internet, headlines are very important. When you pitch your idea, have a headline (or two) in mind and include it/them in the pitch. If we would want to click on your headline you’re probably onto something.
4. Describe Your Idea
You’ll need to describe your idea too of course. And include some examples of points and jokes that you will be making throughout the piece. The more engaging the better, and have a conclusion in mind.
Template of a complete pitch:
Your Complete Thought-Out Headline Will Go Here
Your description of the idea will go here. It doesn’t need to be long and drawn-out but it must specifically explain what the idea is and how you will execute it. What questions will you ask/answer? What are some points/jokes you will touch on? Who are you going to talk to or what outside help will you need? What’s the conclusion?
5. Pitch Frequency
If we haven’t responded to your first set of pitches, chances are we don’t need a new set sitting in our inbox. That said, feel free to include multiple pitches in one pitch email. But remember, this isn’t a brainstorm, this a pitch of well thought out ideas.
WRITING FOR PLAYBOY.COM
Your pitches have been accepted, now it’s time to write a word or two. Well you guessed it, we have some guidelines for that as well.
Everything Microsoft Word wants to do is wrong. Auto-formatting is the devil when it comes to transferring your piece to our system so turn it all off. No auto numbering, no double spacing, no indents, no bullets, no nothing. Also, don’t bother using any HTML formatting. We know you’re just trying to help but it’s just a step we have to undo on our side.
When you want to link to an outside site, don’t bother hyperlinking within Word. Instead, just copy/paste the link you want to link to in (parentheses.com).
Also, try to never ever send us something that has two spaces after every period. That’s not how the Internet works.
Do not send us rough drafts. Rough drafts are for you to write and then fix on your own (unless otherwise specified.) We want to see final drafts that need little to no tweaking.
3. Introductions for Graphic Pieces
If you’re making a graphic or video for Playboy.com, include an introduction along with your assets.
4. Keep Your Audience in Mind
We get it, you’re an expert at X and Y. But your readers aren’t experts at X and Y so why use insider jargon and acronyms that they don’t understand? That’s not to say we should treat our readers like children, but the goal of all writing is meaning/understand so let’s make sure our words mean something to the people who are reading them.
Emailing your editor is important but not emailing your editor every time you have a thought is even more important. We are busy, so it might take us a while to get back to you, especially if the idea is evergreen (not tied to a specific date.) We get many, many emails every day so try to limit emails. When you do email us, make sure the subject of the email is clear and about one specific story. If you need to talk about two stories, start two email chains.
At the same time, sometimes emails get lost/forgotten about. If you haven’t heard from us in a week, email us.
You are free to invoice a piece upon agreement that the piece will run on Playboy.com. Please make all invoices itemized; you can find templates for invoices all over the world wide web. Payment occurs 45 days after processing of invoices, so don’t bank on paying March’s rent with March’s invoice.