Everyone starting out as a freelancer needs to learn the basics of writing a query letter.
The query letter is your most important sales tool. It explains your idea in enough detail to arouse the curiosity of an editor. It also points out how and where the story might fit into the magazine or publication.
Query letters are typically only a page or two long, so a writer needs to know how to write in clear and concise language to get these ideas across in such a short document.
Most query letters include four main parts:
The introduction – this is the part where you tell the editor what your story is about and to catch the editor’s attention.
The body – this is where you fill in details about your story so that the editor knows that you know about your topic enough to write a good story.
Your bio – here’s the spot where you get to brag a little. You need to present your bylines to the editor if you’ve been published before. If not, you need to convince the editor that you have the expert knowledge needed to write the article.
The closing – this is where you let the editor know what happens next. Will you call the editor in a couple weeks to follow-up? Will you wait to hear from the editor? State the next step so the editor knows what you are expecting.
At the time of this writing, I’ve had more than 1000 articles published around the world and I attribute a significant part of this success with my ability to write good query letters.
I’ve never met most of the editors who have published my articles, although I go out of my way to get to know them when I can. Point is, they didn’t know me when they decided to purchase my articles. So it was my query letters, and the story ideas described, that sold the article.
My eBook, The Complete Guide to Query Letters for Travel Writers tells you everything you need to know about writing a query letter. It includes twenty query letters in different genres and for different markets, with a 1-2 page introduction for each letter so that you will understand what made each of those queries successful.
There's no need to struggle with writing a query letter.
Here's a guide that tells you everything you need to know, along with 20 sample query letters that you can use as templates to help you write your own queries.
It's a steal at less than $20.
Roy Stevenson is a professional travel writer and the author of www.PitchTravelWrite.com. Over the past ten years, he’s had more than 1000 articles published in 200 magazines, trade and specialty journals, in-flights, on-boards, blogs and websites and has traveled on assignment around the U.S. and to dozens of international destinations.