Subscribe to our FREE email newsletter and download free character development worksheets! Guest Column March 21, One of the easiest ways to learn what makes a good, standard query letter is simply to see an example of one that does its job well. If you write fiction or narrative nonfiction, a query letter is your first and often, your only chance to get an agent interested in reading and, with hope, signing your work. You should put just as much care and attention into crafting and polishing your query as you did into your manuscript.
Unfortunately, so have about eight gazillion other people on this planet. Therefore, you have to stand out from the crowd.
You have to sparkle. How do you do this? In fact, only bright green novices attempt to write the whole thing before selling it. What you do need, however, is the IDEA for the great story.
So, where will you find this Big Idea? This is how you will become an expert. Experts are in demand. What you have to do is sneak your stories into your areas of expertise. You are a potential expert in those areas. Jot these things down. Now comes the fun part: The biggest mistake you can make in pitching your story is being too general.
In general, you will be expected to write somewhere between and words on your topic. Get out your trusty notebook. On the first page, write down a list of any and all topics that interest you. Need some ideas to get you started?
Think through your whole day. What do you do from the moment you wake up until the moment you fall asleep? You turn off your alarm clock.
An article about alarm clocks disrupting valuable sleep stages!
Or waking up to music versus waking up to that annoying beeping sound. You brush your teeth. Maybe with your significant other. You go to work. This is the most obvious area of expertise.
You just have to know you can get this information later.
Next, you come home. Do you have kids? A wealth of article ideas. Write at least one page of general topics that interest you, then weed out the most interesting ones. Narrow it down to three or four. Then write those three or four topics on top of brand new pages.
Now fill up those pages with specific article angles. Just write whatever pops into your head. If you need motivation, play it like a game of Scattergories.Are you new to freelance writing or perhaps having trouble selling your work to editors? Today’s tip of the day can help.
Kelly James Enger, author of Writer For Hire, explains the importance of writing a query letter and gives an example of one.. When you think successful freelancer, what skill first comes to mind?If you said writing, you’re wrong.
Full query letter example. Special advice on email queries. Email queries tend to get read and rejected more quickly than snail mail queries; with that in mind, you may want to create two separate versions of your query letter, one for email and another for printing.
Here’s a formatting process I recommend: Write your query in Word or TextEdit. Learn more about query letter writing in the online course How to Query Letter in 14 Days, from Writer’s Digest University.
Brian A. Klems is the editor of this blog, online editor of Writer’s Digest and author of the popular gift book Oh Boy, You’re Having a Girl: A Dad’s Survival Guide to Raising Daughters.
Learning how to write a must-read query letter is important. Stick to these 10 specific dos and don'ts of writing a query letter to land an agent. Learning how to write a must-read query letter is nearly as important as writing a must-read manuscript—after all, an enticing query letter is what will get an agent to say, “Love your story.
Send me the full manuscript.” While query letters vary a little depending on who the agent is (and. Writing a query letter for your self-help or how-to book?Follow this step-by-step template to craft a great blurb or summary and the ultimate persuasive pitch!.
1. Introduce the primary problem. Start by explaining the main problem that your book addresses.