Hello Creative Writer,
As was mentioned in the minutes from our last meeting, next week we will be having a craft talk about writing query letters, which I will be leading.
Before that talk I wanted to provide a little background. This might be good for thinking up questions and topics of discussion.
What is a Query Letter anyway?
When I think of a Query Letter I think of a Cover Letter. When you submit an application for a job you are often asked to include a Cover letter. This is an important writing skill for even “non-writer” writers. This letter introduces you to the potential employer and is your first and best change to make them choose you as someone they would like to interview and potentially hire. This is their very first impression of you.
When writing this letter you need to be memorable, engaging and interesting while also appearing professional and competent for the proposed job.
The Query Letter is the Cover Letter for your book.
It is the first best chance at getting an agent to become interested in working with you. You are applying for a job as a writer for an agency. And just like a job you get to choose the agent as well.
Everyone has their own tips and tricks for writing a query letter. I, personally, like to keep them short and on topic. When I first started writing queries, for an advanced writing class in college, I found out quickly that this was a skill as much as learning to write novels, poems and short stories.
I don’t particularly like writing query letters but it is the next step to the traditional publishing process.
You do not have to pursue this route if it’s not something you want to do. Because the world of technology has changed the nature of the printing industry less books are printed and less formal means are necessary to become famous or get your work out there. YOU DO NOT HAVE TO GO THROUGH AN AGENT. With the world of blogs, you-tube and other forms of social media you can build an audience for your writing, e-publish, self publish or any number of other things. You can start a Go-Fund Me and take orders to produce and print your work. Queries, agents, publishers and the like are just one of the ways, the more traditional way, to publish.
I have been sending out queries off and on for the last few years and i’ve gotten a few bites, nothing serious and no one I wanted to work with or trusted. I have friends who have self published and some who just write because they love writing. I plan to write even if I never publish anything in the traditional way. I’ll be bringing my personal experiences and opinions to the meeting on Feb 11th and I hope you’ll join us.