::Writing:: The query letter of the future?

On September 1, 2010 by Aimee

My writer buddy Claire (aka AuburnAssassin) and I had an email conversation about query letters recently. I’m prepping (but not sending my 5th) and edits/critique others’ letters on Scribophile regularly. Anyway, we think (and this is a little spoof, but at the same time …. gotta wonder) Queries might evolve over time to something like this…

Now, if you haven’t ever written or read a Query, some of this won’t make sense. Feel free to Google ‘query letter’ and you’ll get well educated on them (though writing them is a completely different story altogether).

Writing isn’t just about winning an agent, an editor, a publisher and crossing fingers that it’ll be a bestseller. Writing is a business. It seems MOST people forget this. Just want their money in the form of a royalty and think by having their name on a book they’ll be famous. Hey … it has happened, but Google that info and you’ll find the chances are not much better than winning the lottery.

So, this little adjustment to queries is to take this into account. What if, instead of JUST showing a potential agent or publisher how cool your story is, you proved to they WHY you’ll make them a buttload of money? If you write non-fiction a marketing plan is often requested with the query (or so I’ve been told). But what about fiction? Why shouldn’t we (who are new and unproven) PROVE ourselves up front?

Dear My Favorite Agent,

My great story in 100-200 words.

My story has been read by [#] Beta Readers.
My story is in its [#]th draft.
My story was entered into [contest] and placed [placement]

I have [#] followers on Twitter, [#] friends on Facebook and [#] subscribers to my blog, averaging [#] hits per month with [#] unique visitors and a growth rate of [%].
I have guest blogged on [#] blogs including [insert famous person name]

I have [degree(s)] from [accredited university].
I have owned my own business [doing what?], averaging [$] in revenue per year with a [%] growth rate over those years while actively working full-time as a [Insert job function].

I have a least [#] friends, family and colleagues willing to purchase my book at a MSRP of [$] within [#] months of publication.

I [have (not)] been a telemarketer for [company].
I [have (not)] been in sales or inside sales at [company].

Thank you for your consideration,

What’s that look like? A resume for a Sales position? Well … isn’t that what we’ll be doing? SELLING our books? Why not make the case for their Return on Investment up front by selling yourself and not JUST the story?

If writing is business, then getting into the industry should be about business too.

But of course … that’s not exactly how it goes. 🙂

What else should we include in our new and not-so-improved letter?? Share your thoughts! 🙂