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Guide To Querying & Query Links

Last Updated March 13, 1998

The following are a number of tips to help you prepare better queries:

A query is a written sales pitch to a client. You're selling an idea and you're selling yourself.

Object of the query is to get the client to say yes; yes to the idea and yes to you.

Query to save time: your time and your client's time.

A query focuses you on what you're proposing.

Make sure it's an idea and not a topic. Examples of topics: women in business, trains, parliament, dogs. Examples of ideas: welfare mothers who've reached the top, railfaning in Niagara Falls, page boy's/girl's view of parliament, training your dog.

Make sure you're honestly capable of writing it and honestly capable of writing it for the market you're aiming at.

Never promise anything you can't deliver.

Make sure it's not going to cost you more than its worth in time or money or, if it will, that there are long term benefits to justify the expense.

Target markets that take things similar to what you're proposing and whose values are similar to yours. Ask yourself if your proposal fits the magazine.

Target a specific editor.

Proofread it for typos and spelling mistakes.

Don't beg or be confrontational; don't knock another writer; be positive.

Is professional looking.

Say why you're qualified to do the piece, even if it's just the fact you find the subject fascinating.

Shows good initial research or at least you've given the matter intelligent thought.

Demonstrates you know the magazine.

Sounds enthusiastic and shows a bit of your personality.

Mention your credits.

Queries have three main parts: opening, middle, ending. Opening and middle sells the idea, the ending specifically sells yourself.

A query is crafted not written.

Query Links

Last Updated July 23, 2003

How To Write A Query Letter
How To Write Great Queries
How To Write The Perfect Query Letter
Irresistible Queries; Strategy & Substance
Publish Or Piss Off: Query Letters
Query Letter Information
Query Letters That Grab Attention
The Secret To A Winning Query
Writing A Query Letter That Sells

Copyright 2000 Peter D.A. Warwick

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