You too can write a query that will sell!
Query letters are the triple threat of the writing community. When an Editor picks up you query it will serve as you're first impression, your in interview, and your resume. The importance of a quality query really can not be over stated. If you follow a few guidelines any good writer can create a query that will leave your editor excited to have you as his/ her newest talent.
Write what you know. Yes I am well aware that this sounds like a tired clich?, but it so often over looked and under valued by new writers. There are niche magazines for almost every hobby, interest, age group, and profession. Your past or current employment carries with it a wealth of knowledge that should not be forgotten. A plethora of trade magazine exists that many are unaware of, but they have A loyal readership and often pay high per word fees to there writer. I will give you a great example I was a pet stylist, and there are over 3,000 magazines dedicated to this Topic in the US alone.
Once you feel very confident in the subject of you query you are ready to sell yourself on paper.
The Top left hand of your query should consist of the date, name of the editor you are contacting; proper spelling is crucial here you don't want to lose him/ her before you've had a chance to show off your skill. Next, you need the correct address city, state and zip code.
The header is the first actual paragraph of your query this section should start with an eye catching sentence. The next part of your query should consist of a bulleted list of the questions that you intend to answer through the body of your purposed article. Next if you do not already have working relationship with the editor that will be reading your letter, Flesh out one or two of the before mentioned bullets. This will serve a couple of purposes, this will allow the editor to get a taste of your writing style, wile proving that you are willing to do a little extra work to get the job. If you choose to skip this step an editor can't be expected to truly know if you've got the ability and drive to follow the assignment through
Next you need to sum up your letter and provide you're contact information. Amazingly enough this is were many new writers self destruct. You may have a well written query and it is still possible to blow the deal in these lasts two lines. Unfortunately new writers make the mistake of saying things like ?please hire me you'll be pleasantly surprised? or ?take a chance on me, and it will be worth the risk?. This is all wrong an, editor should not feel surprised that the professional writer that they are considering will complete a well written professional article, this should be a given. The editor does want to take a risk either, but make an investment in your product. A short and simple ?thank you for your time will go much farther?.
Now you're ready to send you're letter out, not quite; read your letter out loud to yourself one last time. Is will help you catch mistakes that you may otherwise have missed. Use your spell check one last time, use an easy to read font and size , New times Roman size 12 or 14 is always a safe choice. When mailing a Query, Use a high quality white paper, and include a S. A. S. E, this will encourage a prompt response.