Sunday, June 3, 2007

How to Write Irresistible Query Letters

by Lisa Collier Cool
Available in paperback or library binding. Writer's Digest Books, 2002; ISBN: 1582971552; 148 pages

This step-by-step guide is an easy read, a wonderful resource for writers. Mainly focused on magazine queries, the text explains much more than how to make a quality first impression with editors. It also teaches how to find and clarify ideas; how to slant them into something fresh and "irrisistible", then how to format them into something a publisher will want to read. Other chapters focus on selling yourself as the author, securing a solid hook and polishing your pieces to perfection. Several sample queries are given throughout the book.

The copy I have shows a copyright of 1987. Amazon lists a more recent date of 2002. Whether or not revisions have been made, I cannot say. If not, then the new printing is more outdated than the old. I rolled my eyes a few times and skipped entire sections because of the obviously dated material. One portion devotes far too many words to encouraging writers to use the proper equipment on their typewriters. Perhaps some authors still use typewriters. They may need to be reminded which type and color of tape to use or which "white-outs" are or are not appropriate. For the rest of us, swimming beautifully in the computer age, a revised and updated version of this book would be appreciated.

Final Thoughts: This is a good introduction for new writers. Even if this book were updated, I would still search for a better resource. I'll let you know when I find one.

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