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The Writers Digest Guide To Query Letters

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Overview


Make That Crucial, Positive First Impression

Anyone who's researched the marketplace knows: The path to publication begins with your query letter. If your query is weak, unfocused, or uninspired, an editor or agent won't even bother to request your article, novel manuscript, or nonfiction book proposal. But a well-crafted, compelling query sent to the right editor or agent is an essential sales tool for fiction writers and the most effective ...

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The Writer's Digest Guide To Query Letters

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Overview


Make That Crucial, Positive First Impression

Anyone who's researched the marketplace knows: The path to publication begins with your query letter. If your query is weak, unfocused, or uninspired, an editor or agent won't even bother to request your article, novel manuscript, or nonfiction book proposal. But a well-crafted, compelling query sent to the right editor or agent is an essential sales tool for fiction writers and the most effective way for nonfiction writers to pre-sell your idea.

In this book, professional freelance writer and magazine editor Wendy Burt-Thomas shares practical advice on how to craft persuasive letters that connect with editors and agents and ultimately generate sales for you. You'll learn how to:

  • Conduct targeted research to find suitable editors and agents
  • Hook an editor with a tantalizing lead and shape a summary that compels editors to buy
  • Select the strongest slant for your book or article
  • Use research and interview shortcuts that keep your query prep profitable
  • Make your query rejection-proof by weeding out subtle mistakes that can sabotage your project
  • Communicate your author platform and sell yourself as the best writer for the subject
Complete with dozens of sample queries&#150some that landed article assignments, agents, or book deals, and others that never stood a chance&#150this book offers you a comprehensive strategy for presenting your writing ideas in a way that will increase your chances of publication. Though the title may lead some to believe it's strictly to be shelved as a reference manual, The Writer's Digest Guide to Query Letters is a smooth read from cover to cover.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781582975665
  • Publisher: F+W Media
  • Publication date: 1/2/2009
  • Pages: 240
  • Sales rank: 307,060
  • Product dimensions: 5.90 (w) x 8.90 (h) x 0.80 (d)

Meet the Author

Wendy Burt-Thomas is the author of more than 1,000 published articles, reviews, essays and short stories. Her work has appeared in such publications as NewYorkTimes.com, MSNBC.com, The Writer, Family Circle, and many others. She is the author of Oh, Solo Mia! The Hip Chick's Guide to Fun for One, and Work It, Girl! 101 Tips for the Hip Working Chick.

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Table of Contents

Introduction: Up for the Challenge? 1

What's a Query Anyway? 1

Why Use a Query Letter? 2

Who Writes Queries? 3

Knowing When You're Ready 3

The Ever-Evolving Query Letter 4

Ch. 1 Query Basics 9

Ch. 2 Article Queries 34

Ch. 3 Nonfiction Book Queries 72

Ch. 4 Novel Queries 122

Ch. 5 Agent Queries 145

Ch. 6 Following Up 189

Ch. 7 Other Forms of Correspondence 202

App Resources and Glossary of Terms 214

For Further Study 216

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 9 )
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(4)

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Sort by: Showing all of 9 Customer Reviews
  • Posted September 24, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    A much-needed guide for a crucial aspect authors need to know about

    Writing a novel is only part of the road authors face toward publication. Marketing one's writing -- and doing it well -- is crucial. It can literally be the difference between "submission approved" and "submission rejected." Painstaking work beautifying one's article/novel/short story is all for naught if the publisher first requests only a query letter to decide whether to even look at one's work - and the author doesn't provide the same care to that all-important marketing document.

    Enter Wendy Burt-Thomas. With her guide's chapters drilling down to the specific issues impacting query letters, which vary for the type of publication targeted, she provides clear advice and real examples.

    Some chapters in other books offer only a brief blurb on query letters for novels. But this book provides entire chapters for novels, non-fiction books, articles, agent queries, and more, including cover letters, thank you notes, and payment follow-up. To top it off, I found her writing style easily accessible. As I turned the pages, it seemed she really wanted me to make the most of my own query. By following her help, I've already begun to receive praises on my revised query for my novel. This one's a keeper on my bookshelf.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted May 17, 2010

    Not real great for the Novel Query

    This was more directed toward the magazine industry. Now, if you're trying to break into the magazine market, this is a GREAT book for you. However, the same rules do not always apply to the fiction novel writing world.

    I found that a lot of the information given contradicted what I've learned over the past several years from others in this industry - published novelists, agents, editors, editors assistants, etc.

    There's good information in this book, but if you're a newbie novelist trying to break into the traditional fiction market, this book could lead you astray.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted April 8, 2010

    Query Letter Samples

    I was looking for a series of query letters so that I could get a feel as to what is expected. There are plenty in this book, along with other ideas to go with it. But quite a few of the queries had been written by authors who already had published works. If I am buying this book, chances are that I am a new author, so those letters were not relevant to my needs. But it still gave me good structure for the letters.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 11, 2009

    I Also Recommend:

    Great for pro and novice writers

    Funny yet clear, instructive, worth twice the price. Many great examples of good and bad quesries. Stimulates the idea process.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 2, 2012

    Not a great book for novelists

    This is probably a great book if you want some inspiration for a magazine query. The author of this book has written thousands of articles and clearly knows her stuff.

    But if you write novels, you'll want to find something else. The advice in the "novel" section is pretty straightforward. You've probably seen it elsewhere. The example queries are pretty decent. But novel queries take up only one, short chapter, and it really wasn't worth it.

    Everything--right from the intro--is geared toward freelancing. So if you're looking for a stronger novel focus, this probably isn't the book for you.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted December 5, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    This book is a must have for aspiring authors

    Who would have thought that a book could be so helpful in the art of letter writing? This is one how-to buok that every author should invest in.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted April 22, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted March 18, 2010

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 16, 2010

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