Depending on the project, the query may take as much time or longer than the actual writing for the project did. I know this was my case when I first started freelancing articles to magazines. Writing one thousand words telling readers why their pets benefit from annual wellness exams? No problemo. Writing three-hundred words telling editors why my one thousand words are pure gold? Ug.
|The query process can be quite painful|
However, in the freelance business, queries are a necessary evil. They are your foot in the door, your chance to sell yourself.
Still, wouldn't it be nice to have someone else do this dirty work for you? I don't have a secretary, an assistant, or even someone to take in my laundry. But I do have pets. Which got me thinking: if I could get my dog or one of my cats to write my query letters, how would that turn out?
Dog's Query Letter:
Dear Missus Editor,
Hi. I just wrote something that I think you will think is great. It's sort of long and exciting, with a little sadness in the middle, but then happiness comes in again and the end is really good. There are people in the book and a dog. The people sometimes interact with the dog, but not too much. This creates drama. There is also food in the story. Lots of food. And outside. And walking. But no squirrels. Or cats. Which is why the story is sort of sad (no squirrels) but really great (no cats).
I think the genre is fiction, but you can tell me what you think. Also I think you'll like the dog character a lot.
I really really really hope you will love my book as much as I love my book. You can call me any time and I'll answer. Ask me anything you want.
I can't wait to meet you!
Your new best friend,
Cat's Query Letter:
This is merely a formality. I am submitting this article for publication in your magazine. I am fine with North American rights and would like twenty copies of the magazine before it hits the shelves. If you request, I can return one autographed copy to you.
If you must know details, the article is roughly 2000 words and includes tips on how to keep your cat well-fed and entertained. I realize your word limit on features is only 1000 but I simply could not cut anything out. Every word is pure gold.
If you need to contact me to negotiate payment, I'll be on the couch, or, if it's in the afternoon, in the west-facing window.