28 Oct HOW TO IMPRESS EDITORS
If you want to sell your manuscript, you must correspond with editors like a professional.
Whether you are querying an editor about sending a manuscript or submitting a story with a cover letter, make sure you do it correctly from the get-go.
There are excellent guides on how to do this–Every Page Perfect by Mary Lynn, Writer’s Market and our workbook, Write a Marketable Children’s Book.
What not to do? Don’t write that the children in your family or the neighbor’s kids love your story. Don’t explain to an editor that you wrote your story to teach kids a moral or behavioral lesson. Don’t compare your writing to some famous author or compare your story to a popular one.
What to do? Use proper letter form, good grammar, correct spelling and punctuation. Describe your story in a sentence or two. Show the editor that you know the market–inform her of competing books and how your book would fill an empty niche. (See blog post on market research–9/23/13). Tell the editor about any expertise you have that makes you especially qualified to address certain topics. Our workbook, Write a Marketable Children’s Book, has samples of query and cover letters that show exactly how to write a professional letter that will impress an editor.
One of our goals in writing our workbook was to help people get their book written. But another goal was to guide writers in learning the writing business and how to use that knowledge to present themselves as professionals–the kind of writers editors like to work with.