A Query Letter is More than a Pitch. There’s more to a query letter than the actual pitch. The pitch in a query letter equates to the first paragraph. Yet, it’s the whole letter that sells the article or story idea. Much like a book proposal, a query letter for a publication of any type serves as a marketing document. It’s a business tool.
The following tips are from a great “Query Letter Clinic” in Writer’s Market Deluxe Edition 2017: The Most Trusted Guide to Getting Published; I’ve also included a sample of a strong nonfiction magazine query letter.But, the most important thing to remember is that the only way to really learn how to write a query letter to a magazine editor is to practice, practice, and practice some.
Query letters better your chances of working with the magazine you want to write for. Editors are usually reluctant to ask for a rewrite or suggest substantial changes to a finished piece. Query letters, on the other hand, make it easy for editors to offer suggestions to a proposed idea.How to write an effective query letter A query letter is a note asking an agent if they’re interested in representing a book. Agents may receive a dozen or more queries a day — and might only sign four or five authors per year.So you can see how making a good first impression in your query is crucial!Writing a query letter is one of the most daunting elements of a new writer's career. What do you say? How do you present your ideas in a way editors will want to read your work? As a book editor myself, and as a writer who has written several query letters, I’ve learned a thing or two along the way. To make the process as clear and easy for you as possible, we'll start with what to do, move.
Format your query letter like a formal letter, using a traditional 11- or 12-point font (Courier or Times New Roman), single space paragraphs, and double space between each paragraph. Include the date, your name, address, phone number, and email. Formally address your pitch letter to a specific agent or editor you have located through research. Do not send your query letter on wacky stationery.Read More
How not to write a darn good query letter-Don’t go beyond one page. Brevity is your friend. Actually, it’s rude to go over one page in a query letter, not to mention unprofessional. Most literary agents will not even consider a query letter with more than one page (or front and back).-Don’t oversell it.Read More
Remember, a query letter is your chance to introduce yourself to an agent or editor—someone who could potentially publish your work. The first element of a successful query letter is the referral. When you write a query, don’t generalize your letter with a “Dear Mr. or Mrs.” Instead, be sure to address the agent or editor specifically.Read More
Yes, your query letter is a showcase of your skill and your ideas, but in the end, it’s also a piece of marketing. Most writers will forget that and focus far too much on the story idea and the actual writing in the query letter. Remember, all good marketing ends with a call to action.Read More
Magazine writing still offers the most lucrative pay for journalists and other nonfiction writers. The key to opening the door to magazine writing gigs lies within the query letter. To land good magazine assignments, you need to write compelling query letters. Fiction writers will also benefit from writing compelling queries. To learn how, read on.Read More
He has also authored two e-books: How to Write a Great Query Letter and How to Land (and Keep) a Literary Agent, which he gives away for free as a way of giving back to the writing community. He has also made available over 100 pages of free advice for authors from all his books, which you can read on his site. Mr. Lukeman has been a guest speaker on the subjects of writing and publishing at.Read More
Samples of Query Letters That Work. I don’t know about you, but I learn best from examples. This is especially true of query letters. Whenever I sit down to write a pitch, my first stop is usually the Pitches that worked thread on the JournoBiz forums, where writers post the full details of their successful pitches, publisher and all. I could read “how to pitch” articles until I’m blue.Read More
Query Letter and Synopsis Critiques. If you're preparing queries or synopses for an agent or publisher, I can edit and evaluate your materials and suggest improvements to increase your chances of a response. I can't guarantee you'll get representation or a publishing deal, but I can offer you insight into potential challenges or stumbling blocks in your efforts to get published. What you can.Read More
The first paragraph of a query letter begins with the idea of selling your work. It’s important that the first sentence grab the reader’s attention and make her want to keep reading your query letter. Editors are extremely busy and often get sidetracked while working on projects, so your query letter should make a strong enough impact for the editor to remember it even after several.Read More
If you haven’t received a reply to your pitch letter within two weeks, write a short, polite follow up email asking if they’ve had a chance to review your work. If you still don’t get a response, try placing a phone call (although most editors prefer email). Sometimes you won’t get a reply, but if you’re confident that you have a good story to tell, move on to other outlets.Read More