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The writer's guide to queries, pitches & proposals
2010
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Allen, an author who has worked as a writer in many fields and teaches freelance and creative writing at community colleges, offers a guide for writers to queries, pitches, and proposals., the book covers aspects like query letters, nonfiction and fiction proposals, preparing manuscripts for submission, pitching columns, self-syndicate, corporate freelancing jobs, writing grants, criticism and rejection, and public speaking and teaching opportunities. This edition has information on email pitches, letters of introduction, international markets, pitching to agents at conferences, and additional markets such as greeting cards. Some sections and chapters are by additional contributors. Annotation ©2010 Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com) - (Book News)

Every writer wants to publish as widely as possible, and this book gives writers the tools to achieve a competitive edge and break into a wide range of markets. The second edition has been updated throughout and expanded to cover e-mail pitches, letters of introduction, pitching to international markets, how to pitch agents at conferences, and new markets such as greeting cards. This sprightly guide enables readers to expand their markets and increase sales by learning how to make the perfect pitch to magazines, publishers, corporations, and other potential clients. This indispensable resource provides writers with successful approaches to such topics as how to craft a query letter, create a nonfiction or fiction book proposal, approach newspapers with a column or syndication idea, get corporate freelancing jobs, and win a writing grant. Interviews with experts in a variety of fields and dozens of new examples of successful pitches, queries and proposals enliven and illustrate the text. Beginning and experienced writers will find this the perfect one-of-a-kind, desktop reference for developing the market approaches they need to sell their work.

Allworth Press, an imprint of Skyhorse Publishing, publishes a broad range of books on the visual and performing arts, with emphasis on the business of art. Our titles cover subjects such as graphic design, theater, branding, fine art, photography, interior design, writing, acting, film, how to start careers, business and legal forms, business practices, and more. While we don't aspire to publish a New York Times bestseller or a national bestseller, we are deeply committed to quality books that help creative professionals succeed and thrive. We often publish in areas overlooked by other publishers and welcome the author whose expertise can help our audience of readers. - (Perseus Publishing)

Author Biography

Moira Anderson Allen has been writing professionally for more than 30 years, contributing to such publications as Writer's Digest, The Writer, Byline, and Entrepreneur, among others. She is the author of seven books (including Starting Your Career as a Freelance Writer, Allworth Press, 2003, 2011) and more than 300 published articles. Her versatile background includes technical writing, corporate editing, corporate newsletter directing, and operating her own publishing firm. A long-time instructor of freelance and creative writing at community colleges, Allen is often a speaker at writing conferences and workshops. She lives in Columbia, Maryland. - (Random House, Inc.)

Moira Allen has been writing professionally for more than thirty years and has written hundreds of columns and articles for writers in a variety of publications. She is the author of The Writer&;s Guide to Queries, Pitches and Proposals (Allworth Press) and Writing to Win: The Colossal Guide to Writing Contests. For the past fifteen years, Allen has hosted Writing-World.com, one of the largest and most popular destinations for writers on the web and winner of numerous awards for &;best website for writers.&; She has also worked as a magazine editor, technical writer, newspaper columnist, web editor, and independent publisher, and she is currently at work on a young adult novel. She lives in Maryland with her husband and the obligatory writer&;s cat. - (Simon and Schuster)

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Booklist Reviews

Even though there are thousands of howtobeawriter books already in print, there always seems to be a new way to tackle this familiar subject. Allen, an established writer, editor, and publisher, takes a handson approach to a very specific aspect of the topic, telling (and, through examples, showing) wouldbe authors how to get out of the starting blocks by crafting solid queries, pitches, and proposals. She also addresses such related questions as finding an agent, preparing a story synopsis, and using the Internet as a research tool. In addition to its specific focus, what sets this book apart from its numerous competitors is Allen's stance on breaking the rules: in a word, don't. Unlike many howto books, which tell budding writers it's OK to get creative with a proposal, this one tells it like it is: if you break the basic rules, you substantially reduce your chances of making a sale. This doittherightway point of view is refreshing and entirely proper. An excellent reference book that's sure to find an eager audience. ((Reviewed September 1, 2001))Copyright 2001 Booklist Reviews

Table of Contents

Acknowledgements x
Introduction xiii
Chapter 1 The Perfect Pitch: Ten Steps to a Winning Proposal
1(12)
Step 1 Research the Market
2(2)
Read the Guidelines
2(1)
Review the Publication/Publisher
2(2)
Check the Terms
4(1)
Step 2 Research the Competition
4(1)
Step 3 Follow the Guidelines
5(2)
Step 4 Prepare Your Manuscript Properly
7(1)
Step 5 Send a SASE
7(1)
Step 6 Follow Up Appropriately
8(1)
Step 7 Be Professional
9(1)
Step 8 Expect and Accept Rejection
10(1)
Step 9 Hone your Skills
11(1)
Step 10 Keep Trying
12(1)
SECTION 1 Querying Periodicals
13(64)
Chapter 2 Writing the (Almost) Perfect Query
15(16)
Why Query?
15(1)
Benefits for All
16(1)
Essentials of an Effective Query
16(11)
The Hook
17(4)
The Pitch
21(1)
The Body
21(2)
The Credentials
23(2)
The Close
25(1)
Format
26(1)
Clips
27(1)
Response Time
28(3)
Chapter 3 Beyond the Basic Query
31(14)
E-mail Queries
31(5)
Elements of the E-mail Query
32(4)
Queries to Editors You Know
36(3)
Quick-Pitch Queries
36(2)
Multiple-Pitch Queries
38(1)
International Queries
39(2)
Two Sample International Queries
41(4)
Chapter 4 Approaching Trade Magazines with Letters of Introduction
45(4)
Denene Brox
Chapter 5 Newspaper Queries
49(6)
Amy Chavez
How to Read the Masthead
49(1)
Making Contact
50(1)
Op-Ed, Travel, and Feature Articles
51(1)
Three Ways to Make your Query Irresistible
51(4)
Chapter 6 Sample Queries
55(22)
SECTION 2 Columns & Syndication
77(26)
Chapter 7 Selling a Column
79(10)
Choosing a Market
79(2)
Newspapers
79(1)
Magazines
80(1)
Electronic Publications
80(1)
Columns and Credentials
81(3)
How-to/Informational Columns
81(1)
Advice Columns
82(1)
Op-Ed Columns
82(1)
Review Columns
83(1)
Humor Columns
84(1)
Other Columns
84(1)
The Basic Column Proposal
84(5)
The Query
84(3)
Sample Columns
87(1)
Clips
87(1)
Supporting Material
88(1)
The Submission Package
88(1)
Chapter 8 Self-Syndicating Your Column
89(10)
Choose a Topic
89(1)
Select Your Markets
90(1)
Define Your Terms
91(1)
Prepare Your Package
92(1)
Follow Up and Move On
93(1)
How I Became a Syndicated Columnist
94(1)
Debbie Farmer
A Successful Proposal
95(4)
Diana Tibbert
Chapter 9 How to Become a Syndicated Columnist
99(4)
Amy Chavez
Show the Need for Your Column
100(1)
How to Approach a Syndicate
100(3)
SECTION 3 Selling a Nonfiction Book
103(56)
Chapter 10 Preparing a Nonfiction Book Proposal
105(12)
Finding the Right Publisher
105(2)
Essentials of a Proposal
107(1)
The Overview
107(1)
Title
107(1)
Content
108(1)
Rationale
108(3)
Competition
109(1)
Format
110(1)
Market
111(1)
Chapter-by-Chapter Summary
111(1)
Author Bio
111(2)
Supporting Materials
113(2)
When to "Pitch" Instead of "Propose"
115(2)
Chapter 11 Researching the Competition on Amazon.com
117(4)
How Is your Book Different From the Competition?
117(1)
How Is Your Book Better Than the Competition?
118(1)
Pulling It Together
119(2)
Chapter 12 Pitching to International Book Publishers
121(6)
Huw Francis
Where in the World Should You Look for a Publisher?
121(1)
Target Markets
121(1)
Marketing
122(2)
Your Image
123(1)
Writing Ability
123(1)
Subject Qualification
123(1)
The Marketability of your Book
124(1)
Submitting Your Proposal
124(3)
Surface Mail Submission
125(1)
E-mail Submission
125(1)
Online Submission
126(1)
Chapter 13 Electronic and "DIY" Publishing: Viable Alternatives?
127(8)
Electronic Publishing
128(2)
Self-Publishing
130(1)
Print Subsidy Publishing
130(1)
Print-on-Demand Publishing
131(1)
Why Not Self-Publish First, Then Seek a Publisher?
132(3)
Chapter 14 Sample Nonfiction Book Proposals
135(24)
Healing at Home Naturally: Alternative Pet Care that Works!
136(7)
Best Walks in the Welsh Borders
143(8)
Live and Work in Turkey
151(8)
SECTION 4 The Fiction Proposal
159(70)
Chapter 15 A Novel Proposal
161(14)
Submitting Your Novel: A Step-by-Step Guide
161(2)
The Query
163(4)
The Fiction Query Letter
167(4)
Lynn Flewelling
The Novel Synopsis
171(1)
The Proposal Package
172(3)
Chapter 16 Seeking an Agent
175(12)
What an Agent Offers a Writer
175(1)
What an Agent Expects of You
176(1)
What to Watch Out for When Seeking an Agent
177(1)
How to Locate an Agent
178(1)
Approaching an Agent
179(1)
Writing the Agent Query
179(8)
Tara Harper
Basics of Querying an Agent
180(1)
How to Write Query Letters
180(7)
Chapter 17 Pitching to Agents at a Writing Conference
187(8)
Sue Lick
Be Prepared
188(1)
Conquer the Nerves
189(1)
Accept Criticism
189(1)
They're Just People
190(1)
Approaching an Agent at a Conference
191(1)
Robin Catesby
Agent Tips on Pitching at a Conference
192(3)
Chapter 18 The Novel Synopsis
195(12)
Rebecca Vinyard
Chapter 19 Anatomy of a Synopsis
207(10)
Rebecca Vinyard
The Setup
207(2)
Plot Points and Conflict
209(2)
The Action
211(3)
Climax and Resolution
214(3)
Chapter 20 The Complete Package: Sample Query and Synopsis
217(12)
Karen Wiesner
SECTION 5 Other Opportunities
229(50)
Chapter 21 Speaking and Teaching
231(12)
Why Speak?
231(2)
Show Me the Money
232(1)
Make Me Famous
232(1)
Let Me Help
233(1)
Writers' Conferences
233(3)
Making Contact
234(1)
Making Your Pitch
234(2)
Speaking Locally
236(1)
Teaching a Class
237(6)
Making Contact
238(1)
Proposing Your Class
238(3)
Teaching Online
241(2)
Chapter 22 Pitching to the Greeting Card Market
243(10)
Sandra Miller-Louden
The Traditional Approach: Surface-Mail Submissions
244(4)
The "New Millennium" Approach to Submissions
248(2)
Submitting by Fax
248(1)
Submitting by E-mail
249(1)
Submitting on a Company Web site
250(1)
Coding
250(1)
What's the Occasion?
251(2)
Chapter 23 Writing for the Business World
253(14)
Understanding the Market
253(2)
Choosing the Work
254(1)
Finding Clients
254(1)
Making Contact
255(2)
The Business "Query"
255(1)
The Cold Call
256(1)
Bidding on a Job
257(7)
Defining the Project
258(1)
Determining a Timeline
258(1)
Setting Fees
259(2)
Get It in Writing
261(3)
Follow up!
264(1)
Finding Business Clients Worldwide
264(3)
Dawn Copeman
Chapter 24 Grants for Writers
267(10)
Kelleen Zubick
Maryo Ewell
Resources
268(1)
Types of Support
268(3)
Awards
268(1)
Fellowships
269(1)
Grants
269(1)
Emergency Funds
270(1)
A Word About Entry Fees
271(1)
Crafting Successful Applications
271(2)
Work Samples
271(1)
The Writer's Curriculum Vitae
272(1)
Letters of Recommendation and/or Support
272(1)
Preparing Application-Specific Materials
273(3)
Make Sure Guidelines Are Current
273(1)
The Creative Purpose Statement
274(1)
Statement of Need
274(1)
Tips for Grant Proposals
275(1)
When to Give Up
276(1)
Chapter 25 A Final Word: Capitalizing on Success
277(2)
Contributor Bios 279(4)
Appendix: Additional Resources 283(2)
Index 285

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