Get Specific with Your Pitch Letters
My first non-newspaper sale was to be to a religious magazine. I
wrote a query letter about how I wanted to write about new ways to
honor the Sabbath in our busy lives. I planned to write about
families who refused to join sports teams that practiced and played
on Sundays, modern people looking to the traditions of generations
past of doing no cooking or housework on that day, and ways to find a
day of rest in the middle of the week for those in professions that
required them to work Sundays.
Instead of giving a list of points I wished to cover, I wrote about
the Bible study class I taught for years and how we learned new ways
to honor the Sabbath during the course's 34 weeks of meetings as a
way of selling myself to the editor. I added in something about my
own busy life, and that I wrote for a few newspapers. I did not
mention that I had pulled the magazine's name out of a book on
markets and never heard of it before then.
I received a letter that asked me to write the piece on spec.
What I turned in and what they expected were two different things. I
wrote about new ways to feel the Sabbath in your heart, and to
incorporate that feeling through the week. I encouraged embracing new
ways to include old ways of worshipping. The editor's response was a
form letter stating that my piece was inappropriate for their
magazine. Only later when I read a copy of the magazine did I realize
that it was quite conservative in its approach to religion.
All this could have been averted if I had read the magazine and not
just the magazine's guidelines, and if I had included an outline in
my query letter.
The query letter is your sales tool. What you include in the letter
should only be your best so that editors cannot turn down you or your
idea. You know your own writing successes and professional background
as it suits your pitch, but how much other information should you
include in an outline.
For your outline, think in short, salient points. If you are pitching
an article on healthful eating in the summer time, you will want to include:
by Pamela White
Resources for your nutrition information
Nutritionists, doctors, chefs you will interview
Names and brief descriptions of recipes that will be included
If you are pitching an article on 25 tips on growing roses, include:
All 25 tips in their short form:
Best protection in winter,
When to fertilize
Experts you'll quote
How you'll break down the quotes: into seasonal tasks, regional
requirements, for beginners
If you are writing a query for creating a playgroup, your outline could take the form of:
Getting started – classified ads, news releases, flyers
First meeting – choose time, places, snacks or no snacks, parents night out
Sample activities – fingerpainting, making snacks, outdoor games, music
Sample snacks – cheese and crackers, fruits and dips, English muffin pizzas
What not to do – Avoid foods that can choke, sugary snacks, leaving
children alone, meeting in homes that are not childproofed.
In all cases, the outline will be a part of the query. You will still
introduce your topic, why this particular magazine's readers will
swoon over your article, and why you are the person to write it. The
outline adds depth to your query and allows you to avoid any
misunderstandings that will get your article dropped. And adding an
outline to the body of your pitch letter when the guidelines do not
specifically request one will show the editor that you are going to
be one of those blessed writers that makes life easier for editors.
6-Step Model for
a Simple Marketing Plan
To help unleash the extra profits currently hidden in your
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To Higher Response Ads
Check your draft of the advertising through this 10-point check list. Cover
off these basics, and you can be sure you're off to a running start.
Boost your selling power with your call-to-action phrases
Is there something missing from your marketing material? If you don't have a call-to-action phrases, you're missing an essential component to great copy.
How To Effectively Cold Call Leads
person just starting out, cold calling can be rather intimidating. Too often a person
doesn't know how to "open" up a call, and overcome a lot of rejection. In this
article, the author describes an opening he had been using with good success. It's short, to the point, friendly, yet business like.
10 Ways To Electrify Your Copy And Pull More Sales!
Electrifying, razor-sharp "bring in the money" sales letters and
ads can be yours when you follow these
Power Phrases Increase Your Sales
Use the information in this article to develop power
phrases for your products and services. Then include those
power phrases in your web pages, sales letters and other
marketing and sales messages. They will immediately
increase your sales.
home] [EntrepreneurismBible.com home]
Copyright 2007, Pamela White
Pamela White is the author of Make Money as a Food Writer
available at amazon.com, and she continues to teach the first online
Food Writing class and a course on Query Letter Secrets.
Get your free report "Ten Tips Editors Want You to Know" at