Notes from January Meeting:
Notes from January Meeting:
• Mark Machado – BBC Radio London, Paul Ross and Vanessa Feltz shows Mark.Machado01@bbc.co.uk
• Oli Keens – Music and Nightlife Editor, Time Out – email@example.com
• Katie Law – Books, London Evening Standard – Katie.firstname.lastname@example.org
• Rachael Sigee – Features, London Evening Standard – Rachael.email@example.com
Mark Machado, BBC Radio London Vanessa Feltz Show
Based at Broadcasting House
Works on the Paul Ross Show (4 – 7am each morning) and Vanessa Feltz Show (7 – 10am each morning). They are the only radio station that is 24/7/365 – and all live.
For Vanessa’s show:
The first 2 hours is a news show and they’re aiming to be the Today Programme for Londoners. They have big London-based newsy guests for interview – the Mayor, etc. Brand name authors can work here too.
From 9 – 10am the show is more relaxed and Vanessa does her phone-in. What this therefore means is there isn’t a lot of room for guests in this part but they are still always on the look out for the best books/authors and harder hitting interviewees where possible.
If you have a book with a London connection, do send it in as on the network there is a lot of room for coverage.
They are looking for books on all topics. They are also looking to make headlines and discussion topics that can evolve from those headlines.
Contact – please use email for pitches and press releases, not the phone as they are super busy and often reply to emails on their way to and from work to use their time efficiently. Please send hard copies, not e-books and multiple copies are fine as other producers and shows take from the book shelves when looking for content. Mark is active in getting books to other departments/producers/shows.
They always book guests that the presenters are interested in but that will also showcase the book or author in the best and most appropriate way.
They often go on to use authors multiple times as spokespeople or taking heads.
Mark’s order of preference for where the author does the interview from is as follows:
Oli Keens, Time Out
Oli is the Music and Nightlife Editor
When pitching, please be aware of the slot or pages in the magazine that you are pitching for – demonstrate that you have awareness of the magazine. Visualise where you think the piece would go.
Think about the website as well as their online platforms are growing – there is a lot more opportunity for coverage here and the magazine is the best website content condensed, not an extension of the magazine.
Other staff members:
Gail Tolley – Feature Editor
Caroline McGinn – Editor (only pitch cover stars to Caroline)
Events – Time Out have, in the last year, formed an events team. They did a fantastic event with George the Poet and Owen Jones and would like to run more events like this. Abigail Dakin – Events Manager
Time Out is a London magazine but do think beyond London in your pitch as it has a great social media presence and is part of a much wider reach. They have other UK sites in Glasgow, Edinburgh, Leeds, Manchester and Bristol so do think about the regions too. Jon Cook – UK Sites Manager
What they are looking for more of – photo-led books. Especially those showcasing trends and these don’t have to just be London, as long as the images are great and the book is strong.
Fiction – they don’t do as much on fiction but they can get a novelist to write a piece for them and they are always on the look out for strong pitches.
Children’s Books – they do cover children’s books but in quarterly round ups and online. Laura Lee – Children’s Editor
They don’t like receiving physical copies as they don’t have room for them and so few are relevant. A press release accompanied by a good pitch is fine and they can call in the book if they want to. They are always looking for news generating books/authors/features – they want to make the headlines. Contact by email is best and few members of staff answer their phone due to time constraints. They do share pitches with other departments so no need to blanket email all members of staff. They don’t really do media lunches or launch parties.
An added note from Oli:
It was a treat to meet so many of you – thanks for the invitation! I really hope it will translate to more books being covered in the mag and online this year. As a brief reminder, we’re all ears for:
– Pieces written by writers about to publish
– Pic-led stories and beautiful photography
– Trend pieces
- Ideas for Time Out Events
…and personally speaking: catalogues! Either as pdfs or sent to:
Time Out 4th Floor
125 Shaftesbury Avenue
As promised, here are a few points of contact from across Time Out in the UK:
Anything related to Music or Nightlife – firstname.lastname@example.org
For the Features section – email@example.com
For the Art section – firstname.lastname@example.org
For Time Out’s blog – email@example.com
For more on Events – firstname.lastname@example.org
We also have Time Out sites in Birmingham, Bristol, Glasgow, Edinburgh, Manchester and Leeds. If you’ve got anything of interest for those cities, drop email@example.com a line.
Rachael Sigee and Katie Law, Evening Standard
Knowing the paper is crucial – the slot is indicated at the top of each page so is clearly signposted.
Features within News tend to be long form interviews but not that often with authors. The opportunity for authors to feature lie mainly within London Life. Each day looks at a different topic:
Monday: Health, Fitness and Beauty
Wednesday: Food and Drink
Friday: Going Out
Think outside the box on how authors or books can fit into each of these categories.
Initial email contact is best, feel free to follow up with a phone call if you wish but Rachael is pretty good at replying to those pitches which she is interested in hearing more about.
Interviews with authors – First interview is a MUST and they won’t consider following others. They have a reach of over 2 million so are really competitive in the market. A lot of other papers will follow them though so often a chance to get two hits. They have had feedback from publishers that author interviews in the Evening Standard do cause a boost in sales and profile.
Features – it’s good to demonstrate a trend to form a feature. Your author could still be the main focus of the piece but showing knowledge of other new books in the same area makes the piece even stronger and more likely to go ahead. Or give the gist of an idea of what your author could talk about and let the features team form the rest of the piece – they like unique content and are not going to cover pre-formed features.
Authors or books MUST have a London link. They are looking for amazing life stories, unique personal stories and not too worthy.
Rachael is happy to meet PRs for a drink after work but doesn’t have time in the day to do media lunches.
Rachael used to work in the News department so is happy to pass on relevant stories to them.
Agrees with all other speakers about knowing the slot or section you are pitching for. Books pages are on a Thursday.
Twice a year Katie compiles review/feature/interview lists from publisher catalogues so please send physical catalogues as soon as they are available. Digital catalogues are fine if easy to print or even better, print yourself and send to her.
She reviews only 4 titles per week along with an author interview and the bestseller list – this is what the books pages are made up of so there isn’t much opportunity for review. There are lots more opportunities in the interviews/features/comment sections.
What works well – youthful London stories of office life – office practice, sexism in the work place, how people eat, lifestyle. Think angry commuters looking for a life overhaul!
NDAs – please note that they do not automatically honour an embargoed book unless they have given either written or verbal notice of this. If you want to guarantee that your book will not get reviewed before they embargo date then please do not send the copy first, get the agreement.
Children’s Books – they do 2 round ups a year but send books at anytime as they stockpile them and make the final list from there. Kids books aren’t used in features, just review round ups.
Ditto photography, music, art, film and cookery books.
Initial email is best, no time for phone calls for pitching. Please keep pitching relevant!
For PR meetings, Katie likes the PRs to meet her at the ES building for coffee – going through the catalogue (looking at relevant authors) she can then tick off the authors she is interested in hearing more about.