Lynn Enright – The Pool – email@example.com
Sarah Shaffi – The Bookseller and Phoenix – firstname.lastname@example.org
Victoria Woodhall – Get The Gloss – email@example.com
Victoria Woodhall – Get The Gloss:
Get The Gloss is an expert-led health, beauty and wellbeing website established in 2012. It has 0.5m unique monthly users, 67% of which visit the site on mobile or tablet.
Its readers are mainly women in their late 20s to late 30s – the average age is 34. They are high spenders, spending four to five times the national average on products. They have a higher than average income of £75k.
Get The Gloss sends an email out to subscribers every day except for Saturday. The emails go out in the morning apart from on Sunday when they go out around 6.30pm.
There are eight people in the Get The Gloss team, two of which are writers.
Victoria commissions and edits content.
Subjects they are particularly interested in are:
- Careers – Get The Job slot and features like ‘How to survive hot desking’ and ‘Things to strike from your CV’
- Money – advice pieces of saving and budgeting
- Fitness and workouts
- Organising your life and your time – e.g. Marie Kondo always does very well
- Beauty – their sensitive skin column does very well as it’s niche but they also have other hair and make-up columns
- Food and diets – ‘My week in food’ is a crossover food/careers slot, and pieces on diets (e.g. 5:2, Joe Wicks) are popular
- Influencer edits – e.g. their favourite beauty products, which can be done over email
- Mental health especially anxiety and depression
- Pregnancy and birth
- Gynea issues e.g. they recently covered The Wonder Down Under: A User’s Guide to the Vagina by two Swedish experts
Real-life first-person pieces do very well e.g. Daisy Buchanan on hair washing and self-care and Anna Williamson (Breaking Mum and Dad: The Insiders’ Guide to Parenting Anxiety) on what happens just after giving birth. They like to give readers things that they won’t read anywhere else.
They like authors who will also share the articles across their own social media channels to help with traction.
They like extracts and some authors who have written pieces for them go on to become regular contributors e.g. Liz Earle and Jackie Lynch.
They report big blockbuster launches as news and every Boxing Day do a round-up of books to watch in the coming year.
In terms of timings and when to pitch, they have a broad content plan one month in advance but it’s flexible and things can change. It’s best to treat as a longlead, although they are able to turn things around in a week.
Subjects they’ll be covering in the coming months include travel, tanning and all things summer holidays.
Lynn Enright – The Pool:
The Pool was founded in spring 2015 and already has more than 1m unique monthly users.
Its audience is primarily in the UK with some readers in the US, Ireland, Portugal, France and other parts of Europe.
It covers books, the arts, shopping, beauty, news and current affairs in a feminist and empathetic way. It is a brand that its readers trust and prides itself on its integrity.
Its articles can go viral. There have been two of these in the past month: one on Meghan Markle’s mother/single motherhood (1m page views) and the other on going home to vote on the abortion ban (200,000 page views).
It has 200,000 subscribers and they act on advice from The Pool. The open rates of their emails are 44% (against a 22% industry average) and the click-through rate is 22% (against a 5% industry average).
Books are important to The Pool and opportunities include:
- Bedtime Bookclub – extracts from a book that go live at 10pm every night for a week (Mon – Fri). The books featured are generally new novels – although they have done memoir and other non-fiction on occasion – and there’s always a link to buy the book. This is curated by Sam Baker
- The Pool Reads – editors’ recommendations, usually dominated by fiction. The books have to be published already. They won’t feature anything that readers can’t immediately get for themselves. This is genuinely what the eds are reading so the best way to get your books featured is to work out who reads which types of books and send your books to the appropriate contact
- 4pm recipe – this is usually an extract from a cookery book, pitch to Elaine Robb or Sam or Lynn
- The Armchair Edit – weekly shopping email that goes out on Sunday night. Pitch to Elle Turner. This is a visual feature so books with beautiful jackets work well
- Author interviews – authors they’ve interviewed include Zadie Smith and Sally Rooney. They can do these as written pieces, podcasts or video, depending on how much time the author has and which format suits them best e.g. Marie Kondo’s work has such a visual element it made most sense to make a video with her. If you’re confident your author would be great for video, pitch to Jade Hutchinson (head of AV). Otherwise pitch to Sam or Lynn
- First person pieces – they run these every day and are always looking for good writers
- Extracts – they will occasionally run extract as the Saturday long read, which is a 1,800 – 3,000 word piece so suits someone who has done a lot of research into their subject area
They don’t just accept pieces from female writers – they are also interested in non-binary and male writers, as long as the pieces are smart, sensible, compassionate and supporting the reader. For example, when covering health it will always be done sensibly i.e. nothing that could be seen as a trend.
They are also interested in working with publishers on events. They recently had a panel at the Hay Festival around their campaign to find 100 books by women from the last 100 years that deserved more recognition. They sold just under 500 tickets. They contribute or put on an event at least once a month and sell tickets quite easily.
They also have their own book (Life Honestly) coming out with Bluebird (Pan Mac). It’s a collection of essays from regular writers about slightly taboo topics with an intro by Sam Baker.
Re lead times, they like to hear about things early, especially if there’s opportunity for an exclusive. They don’t want to go last but are quite flexible, particularly with opinion pieces which can be done without much notice and drive a lot of traffic.
Sarah Shaffi – Stylist Online and Phoenix
For Stylist, Sarah writes a monthly column recommending books that are out that month. For her July column (which will run late June/early July), she started reading at the end of May.
Each column features 10 books, the majority of which are usually fiction by women – although Sarah does sometimes feature non-fiction. The books can be from any genre. It’s skewed towards the literary end of commercial fiction and narrative non-fiction.
Sarah will include the massive, high-profile releases but also under-the-radar titles from small publishers. She would never curate a list of ten white writers.
It’s a short-lead slot but Sarah likes to get books early. Everything is logged but Sarah isn’t generally able to respond to messages asking her if books have arrived. She is very aware of what is publishing so will get in touch if she’s missing something.
She writes 100 – 150 words about each title and will generally have read them all – unless something drops in at the last minute or is very long, in which case she will have read at least 50 pages.
With embargoes, Sarah likes to be told whether she can post anything about the book or whether she can’t say anything at all until a certain date.
She is always looking to include more indie publishers. June was quite PRH-heavy because they had a lot of big books coming out but she likes a good mix.
Sarah also writes for Phoenix, which is a monthly digital magazine with a bi-monthly print edition.
The readership is ABC1 with an average age of 26. The readers are big on culture, trendy music, indie films etc.
Sarah writes one article per month for the online mag. Next month it’s an interview with Rachel Heng (Suicide Club). It could also be a listicle e.g. ‘Where to start with books in translation’. Sarah is very happy to consider backlist titles for this.
She also writes for the print edition, which is always themed.
Sarah prefers pitches via email and likes proofs to have the release date on them – preferably on the spine. If something moves, please let her know asap.
Will you consider paperback second editions?
Sarah: Not for Stylist, although occasionally she will consider a reprint of a classic/rediscovered title
Lynn and Victoria: Will consider written pieces or extracts around the paperback as long as it’s fresh content.
Would you cover audiobooks?
Lynn: The Pool did do an audiobook Bedtime Bookclub once, and audiobooks do feature (and are flagged as being audiobook format) in The Pool Reads.
Sarah: Not for Stylist but possibly for Phoenix.
Victoria: Yes, as the source doesn’t matter so much – it’s the subject that’s of interest.