Thursday, February 21, 2013


Rock Solid Queries

After many months of trying to fit writing a book around teaching, I've finally done it. This week I finished ROCK-SOLID QUERIES: The 10 Surprising Reasons Why Magazine Editors Reject Your Ideas ... and How to Write Queries That Get More Acceptances Today! (Whew, that's a mouthful.) I shook off the winter doldrums in January and pounded out the rest of the book like a madwoman.

Let's just hope it doesn't read like the rants of a madwoman!

The background: so many writers complain they write perfectly good queries that get rejected without any reason given, except maybe with, "Thanks, but no thanks." I've seen it myself, with my own and my friend's pitches, as well as with my students' work. It's maddening!

However, editors just don't have that much time to point out to writers why their queries didn't make the cut. It's true, too, that editors don't like delivering bad news so they often keep rejections short and neutral; hey, they've got feelings, too. Sometimes their reasons have nothing to do with the story, the writer, or the quality of the writing. The query can be absolutely wonderful, but the editor had to say no. She just can tell you why exactly she said no.

My book explains some of the surprising reasons why editors reject, but even better, it gives writers tips and strategies to help prevent editors from saying no in the first place. These tips and strategies I've used with my own writing, and they've been successful with the hundreds of students I've worked with in my Become an Idea Machine workshop.

Last year, my co-author Linda Formichelli and I  got the rights back to our two Renegade Writer books because of a contract violation. We'd longed to expand the Renegade Writer brand, which was a trusted and valued source of information and advice for freelance magazine writers, but we were handcuffed to our publisher's vision of what was right for us. Breaking free of that bond has given us a fresh start. The Renegade Writer Press has published The Renegade Writer (Kindle/Nook) and Query Letters That Rock (Kindle) electronically. And this is my first sole title under the RWP umbrella, so I'm pretty excited.

If you're a freelance writer who's frustrated by rejections, I hope you'll give ROCK-SOLID QUERIES a read. At $1.99, it costs less than a Frappuccino. And if you love it, please do leave your positive review at Amazon -- you'll make my day!

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