Query Letters that Rock: The Freelance Writer’s Guide to Selling More Work Faster

by Linda Formichelli and Diana Burrell
Author Websites: http://www.lindaformichelli.com/ and http://www.ninetofive.com/

Available in paperback. Marion Street Press, 2006. ISBN: 1933338091; 204 pages.

This is the second book in The Renegade Writer’s Freelance Writing series. As suggested by the title, this book takes a different approach than most writing books. Rather than spewing forth rigid instructions and how-to’s, this book answers questions and offers samples. The author’s are unconventional in their approach and successful. They encourage writers to THINK rather than just follow rules. If rules need to be broken in order to offer your best work, break them without hesitation. The book is divided into two sections.

The first section (80 pages in length) answers common questions about writing query letters. How and when do I send it? Length? Content? Clips? Follow-up? Fees? A number of terms are defined; special cases detailed. They tackle basically everything you want to know about query writing. Their answers are informative, thorough and funny.

The second section (the remainder of the book, about 120 pages) contains sample after sample of query letters that worked along with explanations of why they were successful. The authors of this book give their perspectives, but so do the authors of the sample queries and the editors who bought the stories being pitched. Samples come from nearly every type of magazine or periodical: Parenting, Oxygen, USA Weekend, Midwest Airlines, E Magazine, Fitness, Entrepenuer … and many, many more. The article types are varied as well, from personal profiles to health articles and travel. It’s a mine of valuable information.

Final Thoughts: EXCELLENT! The best book I have found on this topic. A must-have resource for freelance writers.

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