It is one thing to send a query letter. It is another entirely to receive an answer – good or bad. Remember this: just because you send a query does not mean the editor has to respond to you.
Here are three things you can do to increase your query letter response rate:
1. Address your letter to the right person. This is the number one detail to keep in mind. If you send your query to the wrong editor there is a very good chance that it will never reach the appropriate party. To ensure accuracy, do not shy away from calling the publication for clarification. Somebody should be able to tell you who send your letter to, as well as their physical or email address.
2. Don’t forget to include your contact information. As silly as it sounds, some writers construct the perfect query letter but forget to include their address, phone number, and email. You cannot expect an editor to follow-up based solely on your return address.
Tip: always include your phone and email address, along with your mailing address. This gives the editor more than one way to touch base with you.
3. Give them a reason to respond. If you send a “cookie cutter” query that is full of mistakes you should not expect the editor to respond. Along with this, suggesting articles that are off-topic for the publication will definitely kill your chances of a response. Make sure your query is intriguing, geared towards the publication, and of course, free of mistakes.
If your query letter response rate is suffering, consider the three details above.