Saturday, 30 August 2008

Querying about Querying

I've applied for two writing jobs recently, one for a guidebook and another for a blogging gig. In both cases I didn't send the required information, such as a CV, clips, etc., because I had questions about the job first. For the blogging job I found the announcement two weeks after it was posted, so I wanted to make sure it was still open, and for the guidebooks there were two possible books I could have done for them, so I asked which would be the better fit.

In both cases the editors got back to me and gave me courteous and informative replies that helped mold my query into something that would make them more likely to say yes. I haven't heard back from either editor, but I understand these things always take time.

It's OK to send off a friendly, professional email asking for more information, especially if you include enough details about yourself that they can see you are serious and capable. Just remember that there's nothing wrong with querying about querying!


Idoia said...

Eh, sort of. If you provide relevant information in your query to show that you're a serious applicant, it makes sense to query about a query. But being on the hiring end for freelancers, I get too many people asking for more information about the job without telling me anything about themselves first. Those emails always get trashed with no response.

Sean McLachlan said...

Quite right, as I think I made clear in my post. In both cases I gave enough info to show I was up for the job. In one case I needed to make sure the job was still open, and in the other case I gave them a choice of two proposals and asked which they would prefer. ("Both" was the unexpected and welcome answer).
I've queried about querying before, and the trick is to get them interested enough to answer your questions. It's always worked for me!

Looking for more from Sean McLachlan? He also hangs out on the Civil War Horror blog, where he focuses on Civil War and Wild West history.

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