Get Published II: The Query Letter

You know that having your name in print raises your perceived value. Authoring an article or two or twenty is a great way to show the world that you are an expert in your field (as your publishing credits grow, so too will the number of employers eager to join them).

Most editors want writers to send query letters (sales pitch/article proposal) instead of the completed manuscript. Sending a query also works for writers, as well. Before spending all the time needed to research and write an article for a particular publication, it pays to ensure the editor is even interested in your topic.

Volumes have been written on proper query letter formats and wording. But in reality, query letters are not that different from writing a cover letter for your resume; both types of letters follow a basic three-paragraph format.

Lead. Your first query paragraph should be the lead paragraph for your proposed article. If your lead is two sentences long, that’s a lot. If it’s three sentences long, it’s too long. You should be tightly focused and have a “hook” or a “tease” in this paragraph – something that will make the editor (and readers) want to keep reading. If you’re writing about who inspires business leaders, for instance, you might say, “Rocky Blier wouldn’t trade his four Super Bowl rings to be a billionaire, but billionaires like John Doe point to him as a perfect business model to follow.”

Clarify and pitch. Most queries I’ve received – and sent – start the second paragraph, “ABC Magazine readers might be interested in…” In this paragraph, you should include the proposed length of the article, what sub-topics will be covered, if you have pictures, who you will interview (and have quotes from), and if you will include a sidebar. When writing about how Blier inspires executives, for instance, you would want to tell your editor which executives you will be interviewing. You might also want to interview a few people who work for those executives. You will also want to weave in that Blier was shot in his left leg and had a grenade blow up under his right foot while in Vietnam, then helped the Pittsburgh Steelers become the dominant team of the 1970’s.

Guarantee. Your last paragraph should tell some about you and why you’re qualified to write this article. If you have clips, mention them; if not, don’t draw attention to it. Also tell the editor when you can have the manuscript on her desk.

IN A NUTSHELL: To score a touchdown with editors, follow a three-paragraph format with your query letters: lead, clarify and pitch, and the guarantee.


10 Ways To Avoid Needing A Tow

It’s surprising how your vehicle can get towed easily. When it happens, it can be quite frustrating. It’s a huge hassle to you, not to mention the somewhat hefty fine that you have to deal with after.

Here are our top 10 tips so you can avoid needing a tow.

  1. Never, under any circumstances, park in common tow spots.

Here’s the thing. Most people don’t want to get towed, yet they often park at loading zones, bus stops, red zones, and tow-away zones during commuting hours.

  1. Don’t ever leave your vehicle in curb ramps, intersections, and driveways.

Laws vary by state and can be quite confusing sometimes. Each state has rules regarding how long you can leave your vehicle parked in the places cited above. Be familiar with it to avoid having to pay fines.

  1. Understand the street signs when attempting to park in commercial areas with high traffic.

High-traffic commercial areas are notorious for towing illegally parked vehicles with great speed. So when you’re parking in an area where there’s high traffic, be sure to read the streets signs carefully.

  1. Make sure your vehicle registration current.

Police officers can tow and even impound your vehicle if its registration is not current. As such, keep it updated so that when you’re at a traffic stop, you don’t have to worry about your vehicle getting towed.

  1. Keep your driver’s license current.

You can’t drive around with an expired driver license. You don’t only risk your vehicle getting towed when you do this, but you’ll also waste money paying fines and jail time depending on where you got caught driving with an expired driver’s license and parking illegally.

  1. Never leave without water for your vehicle.

You don’t want to deal with overheating. Therefore, before you leave your home for a long drive, check the radiator water level. Inspect all the tires and be sure to have a spare tire with you.

  1. Call your own tow company.

No matter how much you leave the house prepared for your drive of the day, there’s always that chance that your car will breakdown or that something wrong will happen. For this reason, it pays to keep your private towing company’s contact details. In case they’re not available, call a roadside assistance provider if you cannot legally park your vehicle.

  1. Pay your outstanding parking tickets.

Again, laws are different depending on the state where you’re driving and parking. But generally speaking, a vehicle with citations that are delinquent has a huge chance of getting booted then towed. Stay on top of your parking tickets to avoid getting towed and more importantly, to prevent wasting money.

  1. Avoid getting a parking ticket.

So you don’t worry about keeping up with parking tickets in the first place, avoid getting a parking ticket. Know what time it is alright to park at areas you frequent and if possible, don’t leave your car for long. Don’t block any driveway. Don’t park at parking lots designated for PWDs.

  1. Be cautious during hours of commute even if you’re parking at a meter.

There are cities in various states which doesn’t allow for parking on streets during morning and evening commutes. Be aware of them.

Call Us for Your Towing Needs

No one who has driven a vehicle and expected to get towed after. But in cases where your vehicle gets towed, we can help. Give us a call today!


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