Sunday, February 15, 2015

Selling Your Stories

Kyle Wagner, the former editor at the Denver Post says writers don't spend enough time on the emails they send to editors when they're trying to sell their story. 
You have just 10 seconds (or less) to win over an editor with your pitch, she says.
Here are her suggestions for making those seconds count:
** 1. It's all about the subject line and/or the first sentence.
A truthful editor will admit that they devote about 10 seconds to every query. That means you have the subject line and maybe one or two sentences into your query to get some attention. If you can't woo the editor then, your romance is over before it's begun.
** 2. Use your writing skills.
I'm amazed at how many writers think it's OK to put 100% effort into their stories but only 40% into the query. Make sure the editor will want to read the story by dazzling them just as much by your query prose. Spelling counts. Use the same active verbs and strong adjectives as you do in your story.
** 3. Just because it's e-mail doesn't mean I'm your drinking buddy.
Don't use the editor's first name, don't start off with your credentials or the famous people you know, and don't act in a familiar, informal way as if you and the editor were at a bar together last night. Address it like a professional letter.
Be sure to keep these tips in mind next time you're emailing an editor.
Tomorrow I'll send you a writing trick professional travel writer Steenie Harvey says is one of the most important tricks you can add to your arsenal.
It's a trick you can use to make your travel stories more marketable, too.
Stay tuned.
Lori Allen
Director, Great Escape Publishing

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