Is a query letter a day possible? And, if so, at what cost?
I sent off a query letter yesterday that I wasn’t happy with. It needed more work, specifically, I should have interviewed an authority on the subject I was writing about. So why did I send it? I felt, given my high rejection rate lately, that spending a few more hours on the letter wouldn’t give me any more advantage than sending it off unpolished. No query letter is perfect, I reasoned, any more than any article is perfect. And I wanted to keep my recent streak of a query letter a day going. But is this the right approach?
One query a letter a day, five days a week, seems an ideal goal. Meeting that goal, however, is nearly impossible unless I send off queries that are not quite right, not researched or phrased as well as they could be. Quantity or quality? A wise man once said this: “Quality is very fine indeed. But quantity has a quality all its own.”
Update: 12/12/2016. I’ve soured on query letters altogether. Too much time writing, too many rejections. I now put my time into writing articles on spec (internal link). When you deliver a complete article, even if you are not under contract, you show what you can do. You offer an editor immediate filled up pages and photographs and that’s something hard to resist.
Time may also be better spent filling out employment applications for continuing work. (internal link) You need as many income streams as possible to continue the writing you really want to do.