Monday, April 6, 2015

Weak Professional Writing Skills May Be The Issue

Recently, I have seen a huge decline in the quality of the query letters coming in from authors. I really don't know how long it has been going on. Maybe I just started to pay attention. In any case, the quality is just not there. I should note, that I am not talking about the quality of the projects from the writers. I am truthfully talking about the quality of the business letter.

Whether or not editors and agents want to admit to this, the quality of that first piece of correspondence is important and sets the tone for any further communication. This is, in fact, the first impression you are making to that editor or agent. Demonstrating strong written communication skills is going to say something about you as an author. Although much of this is an unconscious thought on the part of the editor or agent, it is a factor.

I do believe that many authors have already gotten a "no" from that editor or agent before they even looked at a piece of writing. Yes, we try to get to the writing, but in reality, the decision has already been made.

Over the years, I continually state that query letters are no different from the cover letters you send out to potential employers. Both of these letter formats are doing the same tasks. Each is introducing the individual as well as highlighting what that person has to offer.

But, if you cannot demonstrate proper grammar on the basics such as proper paragraphing, use of punctuation marks and certainly formatting, you are leaving the editors and agents wondering what your entire manuscript would look like.

Don't give us a reason to say no before we get to your story.

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