[Another entry in the new monthly column, The Freelance Life, by Ethan Gilsdorf, about the trials, tribulations, triumphs --- and tips to share --- along the path to becoming a freelance writer.]
by Ethan Gilsdorf
I had a plumb assignment lined up. An editor at a pretty sweet publication liked my idea for a story. The editor assigned it
[Announcing a new monthly column, The Freelance Life, by Ethan Gilsdorf, about the trials, tribulations, triumphs --- and tips to share --- along the path to becoming a freelance writer. This fall, Ethan is launching a suite of classes at GrubStreet called the Freelance Essentials Series, which teaches students the skills and craft to become working freelance journalists.]
by Ethan Gilsdorf
Back in the 1990s, when I first contemplated becoming a freelance writer, I was green. OK, I was more than green. I was chartreuse. I was viridescent. I was so naive-green, it hurt to look at me.
But for some reason ...
Today's lesson: How to write a killer pitch letter.
By "kill," I don't mean actual death. That would be wrong, illegal, and really messy given all this heat we've been having. I mean, how to write a pitch letter (aka "query letter") for your novel or nonfiction book or article idea or essay that literally stops editors and agents dead in their tracks. Your goal: to get them to read beyond that first paragraph (what we in the biz call "graf") and into the heart of your query letter.
If you're about to publish a book -- fiction or nonfiction -- you've probably got questions about how to best get the word out. Your publicist will handle some of the tasks, but what can you do on your own?
I'll be offering my seminar "Guerrilla Book Promotion" this Friday, June 7th, 10:30am-1:30pm at Grub Street (Space still available!)
[Another entry in the ongoing blog "Would We Lie To You?: News from the Non-Fiction Career Lab"]
By Ethan Gilsdorf
So you've had your one-on-one with an agent or editor at the Muse and Marketplace conference. And you have this sinking feeling you need to give that query letter a makeover.
Or, you want to send out your manuscript. And you've never written a cover letter before.