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Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Beth Fred: The Freelance Query

On Monday, I talked about ways to make money writing and said that nonfiction often sold on proposal and could be a good income source for the starving writer. Since of all my suggestions freelance nonfiction is the one that will probably pay out the quickest with a flexible schedule, I thought it would be a good idea to look at a freelance query today.
Good news! If you've learned the hell that is a fiction query, you're half there!
The basic parts of the query don't change.

Dear Ms./Mr. _______ (You could also use something less formal here like Dear First Name or Hi First Name, but some people might prefer you be formal so it's kind of playing it safe).
Hook/Research Paragraph. (Most people recommend leading into the query as you would the the article. The suggestion for the research paragraph here is to have read 3 copies of the magazine you're querying and once you've hooked into the premise explain why it would appeal to this audience).
Give an estimate of the completed word count and let them know a time frame in which you could deliver the completed article upon acceptance.
Give a brief bio that states your experience as a writer. Make sure you list anything that especially qualifies you for this kind of article. (In nonfiction this is important).

What do you think? Are you going to give this a try?

P.S. You can still sign up for my plotting/blurb writing class here.


Liz A. said...

Thanks for this. It's easy to find the fiction query advice out there, but I rarely see the non-fiction.

Huntress said...

Newbie writers don't understand the importance of their first marketing tool, the query. I know I didn't.

Now, it's almost easier to *start* with the query and backtrack to the ms. LOL.