I’ve had a lot of queries from readers of my Blog lately, and would like to share some of them which might be helpful to you also.
“How important is the submission letter?” It is important to be clear and concise, giving a clear outline of what your work is about. Clarity, perfect English, brevity and an engaging style are all required. Don’t be cute with emojos .
“What do you think of publishers that ask you to pay some of the costs?” Look at the publisher’s website and have a look at one of their books. Publishing is a very expensive business, and if books are professionally edited and proof-read, you may have to pay for this, also if they supply the cover design. It can be money well spent if the end product fills you with pride.
“I get writer’s block and it makes me very depressed.” It’s like any job. If you’re given targets , it’s a case of getting on with it. You would lose any kind of job if you said you couldn’t do it because you had a “block”. However, when you work in isolation, you have to cope with lack of company, lack of stimulus – factors which decrease energy. Try a break for a few days – do something you enjoy, and then get back to work.
“If I attend a cookery course abroad, with the intention of writing a feature about it, should I tell them first? Would they give me the course free or at a discount, for the publicity?” It’s unlikely a cookery school would turn down the publicity. It depends if you are writing for a definite, assigned market. I think you should advise the school of it, since other students will be taking the course. They may be uneasy, knowing there’s a journalist among them. They may offer you the course free or subsidized, or may not. I’d start by trying to get a magazine interested, and go from there. But you can’t write about the course, or the other students, without their agreement.
I hope some of the above queries might be helpful to you too. You can send queries of your own to me at firstname.lastname@example.org; or buy my books at discount direct from me. My latest novel (no. 14) is: “Searching for Sarah.” Happy writing.