June 10 2013 Editor Assistance Newsletter
Keep those summer project ideas coming! The ones I've received have been wonderful. Together we'll help each other reach new, fantastic heights!
A number of editors are working one books and other projects that need promotion. I wanted to say a few words about query letters / feedback requests. You'll definitely want to be sending these out to get interest and engagement to promote your projects.
Here's an example of what NOT to do. This is a real email I received today. I receive a flood of requests each day from people who want me to review their books and other projects.
I'm a British author and would love a review from a respected US reviewer.
Please let me know if you'd like a copy.
Member of The Sciety of Authors
That was the entire email message from a person I'd never met. The lines are all squished together. She doesn't even tell me what the book is about! It's all about her-her-her. *She* would love a review. She didn't spell check her own short message (Society is misspelled).
When you write a query, make sure you think about every line from the READER'S point of view. How does this offer meet their needs? How do they benefit? What do they need to know? Don't make the reader go out and do investigative research. They are probably busy people! Explain in engaging terms what the book is about, and explain why the reader will love reading it.
For example, say an author is writing me with a book on delicious veggie shake recipes. They explain in their intro that they've seen my juicing posts and know I love shakes. That this fantastic book features 50 new veggie shake recipes that I will adore. The recipes are targeted to reducing stress, raising energy levels, and creating serenity. Heck, I'd probably respond immediately, asking them to send it to me! It took a little extra effort on the part of the author, and it resulted in a hook.
This above example is the opposite. It has me pushing that "NO" button without a second thought.
Another example I received today had an author who wanted me to go watch a video to learn what his book was about. I don't think so! I'm busy enough as it is without watching videos by authors just to see if I want to learn more about their book.
His language was also passive and full of me-me phrasing. An example: "I have an Ebook called xxxxxx that I would like to give you a complimentary copy, if you would be interested in reviewing for me would be greatly appreciated. Of course there is no obligation to review it and I will give it to you regardless. Please let me know if you are interested and I will send over the book to you right the way."
So his writing is already suspect, making me cringe at the thought of reading an entire book like this. The message is soft-squishy. Passive. He needs to write with more energy, more direct language, and present this from my point of view. What do I gain from reading this book? Why is it different than all the other books I am being asked to read? Why would it appeal to me? Why must I absolutely give this book my attention?
Post your query letters in the getting published forum - it's private just for editors - and we'll offer a hand in tweaking them!
Lisa Shea, owner
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