To Query or Not to Query: That's a Question for the Pros!

on June 15, 2009 in Freelance Writing Business

I announced previously that we would be hosting a sort of round table interview series here with 9 (now 7) successful freelance writers to discuss querying, platforms, networking, and the process of landing gigs.

While I fully support the query-free way of doing business because of my own background, I know it's not the only way to manage your freelance writing career, and I'll never pretend here that it is. It's just one option (and a great one if I will say so myself). But I don't want you to do what works for me. I want you to know your options, so you can find the best route to success for you.

Other writers have been successful in their own methods, and this week they'll be sharing some of their thoughts here. I hope you enjoy it as much as I do!

Today is the first in our series with several freelancers. Get to know them a bit below (in alphabetical order):

Chris Bibey

Chris Bibey is a freelance writer and author based in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. In addition to his regular workload, Chris mentors more than 20 students per month through his freelance writing course.

Angela Booth

Angela Booth is a copywriter, writing teacher and author.


In almost 30 years of professional writing, she's learned many tricks of the writing trade, and shares that information with writers in Web sites, blogs, ebooks, and writing courses. You'll find a list of her writers' products here:

You can subscribe to her weekly writing tips here:

Jenna Glatzer

Jenna Glatzer is the author or ghostwriter of 18 books, including Celine Dion's authorized biography (Celine Dion: For Keeps) and The Marilyn Monroe Treasures. She's also the author of several books for writers, the most popular of which is Make a Real Living as a Freelance Writer. She's also a contributing editor at Writer's Digest, and has written for more than 100 magazines and web publications, such as Woman's World, Prevention, Physical, Women's Health & Fitness, AOL, MSN, and Please visit her site at to buy her books and learn more about Jenna.

Kristen King

Virginia copywriter and consultant Kristen King has been writing and editing for business and publication for 5+ years.

She holds a Master of Professional Studies in publishing from the George Washington University and a BA in English from the University of Mary Washington.
Visit her online at Inkthinker Blog, Inkthinker Communications,, or

Allena Tapia

Allena is a full time career freelance writer specializing in helping new freelancers at Her firm GardenWall Publications holds contracts with major publishers like ME Sharpe and Gale Cengage, and her work has appeared in regional and national magazines such as Latino Leaders, Adelante, and Positively. She is profiled in Kate Lister’s work-at-home bible Undress for Success; the Naked Truth About Working at Home. She teaches classes and seminars on writing, blogging and social networking through Lansing Community College in Lansing, Michigan. In her “spare time” she is a book reviewer for Sacramento Book Review and Apex Reviews.

Anne Wayman

Anne Wayman has been freelance writing over 30 years. She writes for writers at, coaches writers and ghostwrites books. Her credits are at

I had previously also confirmed Linda Formichelli and Peter Bowerman as guests. Unfortunately they each had to pull out due to other constraints (such as Peter's new Well-Fed Writer book due for release soon). Before you get too upset, Peter has agreed to be a guest in an upcoming separate interview, and I promise to try to set up the same with Linda Formichelli. In the meantime, you can read a recent interview I did with Linda for All Freelance Writing on writing nonfiction books--a great topic if you're considering nonfiction publishing as a part of your writer platform!

Remember to check back again tomorrow, when we'll get into the meat of the interviews finding out what type of work each of these writers is most often involved in and how they they get most of their freelance writing jobs.

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Jennifer Mattern is a professional blogger, freelance business writer, and indie author. She began writing for clients in 1999 and started her first blog in 2004.

She owns 3 Beat Media - a publishing and client services company which operates All Indie Writers as well as several other websites and blogs including The Busy Author's Guide and BizAmmo. Jenn comes from a background in online PR and social media consulting, having owned a small PR firm for several years before choosing to pursue a full-time writing and publishing career.

Jenn also writes fiction under multiple pen names in the areas of children's fiction, mysteries, and horror fiction. Jenn is an active member of the Horror Writers Association (HWA) and currently serves as the organization's Assistant Coordinator of Promotions and Social Media.

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  1. Commspro June 16, 2009 Reply

    Feel as if I’ve just been “baited and switched,” unfortunately. What you promised in your headline was not delivered in the post. Today is not actually the “first in our series,” but rather an intro to the lineup of “experts,” with no insight into pros/cons of querying.

    It *does* sound like it could be an interesting series, and I’ll likely check back, albeit a little more cautiously next time…

  2. Sheila Scarborough June 16, 2009 Reply

    Happy to see this topic covered; the query process (done correctly) is very time-consuming and the publication always holds all the cards. I’ve long wondered if there is a better way to use my time and talent.

  3. Allena June 17, 2009 Reply

    Interesting series, Jennifer. Grr, forgot to send my pic, I will get on that.

    I’m going to send my students and readers to read the interviews. I think that this will be a valuable series for them.

    It will be interesting to see how each of the different writers responds to the same set of questions based on where they are in their career– I like the wide range you have here. As a I read the bios I can see lots of different paths, areas of expertise, and a variance in the amount of years each writer has under their belt.

    I really think that range will make the series a good read for everyone.

  4. annew June 19, 2009 Reply

    glad to be a part of this one Jenn… I’ll send you a pix shortly ;) OH, it’s here… will that work?

  5. Jennifer Mattern June 19, 2009 Reply

    The gravatar images are very tiny. If you have a larger version, send it over to me when you have a chance, and I’ll add it. :)

    And I’m very glad you were willing to take part as well Anne! :)

  6. Jennifer Mattern June 16, 2009 Reply

    While it’s a shame you feel that way, I’m in no way apologetic for titling a series with its first post. It would have been irresponsible to start a series with this many guests without fully introducing each of them, so readers continuing on can judge the credibility of the information provided. And looking back I wouldn’t start it in any other way (nor would I consider those introductions to be something “outside” the scope of the series, and therefore its title).

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