Marketing and Writing the Magazine article THE QUERY LETTER by ammaalder


									Marketing and Writing
 the Magazine article

                Chapter 8
              The Idea
• Must be matched to a specific market
• Theme and focus must be determined
• Must be crafted carefully to show off
  both idea and freelancer’s ability to
  deliver on it
            The Market
• Check out the markets that might be
  interested in your idea
• Refer to Writer’s Market, etc
          The Query Letter
•   Most crucial step in marketing article
•   Forces you to consider your story idea
•   Bring it to sharp focus
•   Probe it for weaknesses
•   Pick a tentative theme
•   It’s your sales pitch to the editor
   How to write query letter
• Write it clearly, persuasively
• Slight flavor of personal writing style
• No grammatical errors, misspellings
      Format of query letter
•   No set format!
•   Best are 300 to 500 words
•   Typed on a single page
•   Three stages:
    – Brief, opening paragraph
    – Fuller middle section
    – Brief, closing paragraph
      Opening paragraph
• Summarizes general theme of article
• Attention-getting introduction
          Middle section
• Briefly, but with more detail, give some
  specifics (this is a good chance to show
  the kind of material that will appear in
  anecdotal form)
• A little about yourself
       Closing paragraph
• Brief paragraph says why you should be
  the one to write it
• For experienced writer, partial listing of
  credits will quickly prove to editor that
  writer is dependable and can deliver
• For beginner writer, say you have
  access to facts or persons, personal
  experiences, background to write story
          E-mail elements
•   Use appropriate subject line
•   Salutation
•   Attention-getting introduction
•   Details
•   A little about yourself
•   Closing paragraph: niceties
•   Contact information beside email
        Winning query letter
•   Fits in with the market
•   Is quick and to the point
•   Is convincing
•   Shows you’re right person for article
•   Is professional
•   Promises something you can deliver
•   Encloses SASE for prompt reply
       Query letter checklist
•   Does my idea fit the magazine?
•   Is query tailored to fit the magazine?
•   Is it one page long?
•   Is it quick and to the point?
•   Does it catch the editor’s attention?
•   Is it interesting to read?
     Query letter checklist …
•   Does it accurately say what article will cover?
•   Does it provide factual info. about article?
•   Does it show why I should write article?
•   Is it accurate and professional?
•   Have I double-checked for any mistakes?
•   Does it have a “sell” in the last paragraph?
•   After reading, does editor need to buy article?
            Waiting game
•   4 weeks, then follow-up letter
•   2 more weeks, then letter to withdraw
•   If topic is timely, less waiting time
•   Keep copies of everything
•   If you query more than one market, then
    tailor each letter to fit that market
    Results of query letter
• Nothing
• Rejection
• A Go-Ahead (not confirmed
• A Firm Assignment

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