I’ve only ever written query letters* for myself…until now. A recent client wanted me to not only edit her manuscript but assist with her query letter. This person had been a do-it-your-self-er in the past so she knew publishing, but knew enough to know that she needed help jumping the hoops and hurdles of traditional publishing. I’ve jumped those hoops and hurdles, and have the knee and palm scrapes to prove it.
Drafting the query letter was easy (relative to drafting my own) because I not only genuinely liked the book but could see where it could fit in the marketplace, and that’s what you want to communicate in the query letter – the story and its hook (or hook-ability).
This freelancing journey continues to give me opportunities to transfer skills learned in one area of my life to other areas. Who knew all those hours, days, weeks, months, and years of research and practice with shopping my own books would prove useful in this other side of my writing life – the one where I provide editing services to others, including other writers? As with so much else, I continue to learn as I do, and look for the opportunities.
Fingers crossed re the sale of my recent client’s book. But I’m confident that even if it doesn’t – because there are all kinds of reasons, having nothin to do with the quality of the book itself, why that could happen – and the author decides to try the self-publishing route again, I hope the process of trying to pitch and sell it will bring clarity to positioning it in the marketplace.
As for me, I’ll be adding drafting and editing query letters to the services I provide because, thanks to this job, now I do.
For more on my writing, editing, and other services, go here.
*”A query letter is a way to introduce yourself and your work to a literary agent or editor. It is a letter you send to convince agents or editors that you have a project that not only will interest them but also make them money. If they like your query, they will ask to see your work. Depending on the editor or agent, this entails seeing a book proposal from a nonfiction writer. If you’re a fiction writer, be prepared to send a full manuscript or a few chapters of your novel.” (Writers’ Digest)