5 Ways To Ruin A Query Letter

Do editors ignore or reject your query letter by default? Editors are not evil or mean. Your query letter did not get their attention or warrant a response because it did not get their attention or warrant a response.

The query letter is essentially a sales pitch intended to sell an idea to an editor. That does not mean you need to be a marketing professional or have years of writing experience to write a successful query letter. You do need to to follow a few simple rules when composing a query letter to increase your chances of selling the editor your idea.

The Five Laws Of Query Letters

Law One: Proofread and edit carefully because typos and poor grammar are the fastest ways to loose an editor’s attention. A good habit to adopt is write today and edit tomorrow. You will be surprised tomorrow by what you have written today.

Law Two: Develop a one sentence hook and keep it short. Your hook is the only reason an editor will finish reading the query letter.

Law Three: Get to the point in the first paragraph preferably in three sentences or less. Editors are busy people and this is a sales pitch, so get to the point and do not waste the editors time.

Law Four: Do not waste your time or the editor’s time showing off your writing skills and vocabulary. Use proper sentence and paragraph structure, but remember this is a sales pitch and not an example of your best writing ability.

Law Five: Spell the editors name correctly and make sure you pitch to the correct editor. Many publications, websites and blogs have multiple editors so take the time to find out the editor’s name. To whom it may concern or dear sir or madam are two ways to begin a query letter that is destined for the trash can.

[box style=”note”]Have you written about query letters? Do you have query letter tips or advice to share? I would love to talk about your work or advice in the comments.[/box]

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John McDuffie is a writer and blogger that specializes in marketing, graphic design and the freelance lifestyle. He works hard to stay on top of the latest trends in freelancing, marketing and graphic design.

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