Are Query Letters being read lately or it's on its way out like DINOSAURS?

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  • Are Query Letters being read lately or it's on its way out like DINOSAURS?

    I have a feeling, because of the Internet, no one reads Query Letters anymore.
    Is it old school? Instead of query letters, isn't it a better idea to market your webpage online?

  • #2
    First, let me say that if you are not in the pipeline of Hollywood, i.e. have a rep or know a producer or work in some other facet of the business like you're a camera man or work in set design, then it is very, very, very hard to get read. You are one of hundreds of hopefuls emailing this agent or manager looking to get their foot in the door.

    I sent out a dozen queries on my last script and I heard tumbleweeds back. Not even a no thank you. By any of them. It's possible it was never read, maybe scanned. Who knows. You will hear nothing from 99% of the time from any query you send. You may get lucky, I'm sure there are success stories with cold queries.

    So the question is how do you get your foot in that door and get read? Contests is one way. Have a strong showing (top 100) in one of the two big national contests, or win a smaller boutique contest. Another way is to try out hosting sites like the blacklist when you pay for the reads (i think that's how it works, I never did it) - but it is a possible in for the writer.

    All of this depends on the quality of the material of course. That's your true in. Write something worth while and interesting and pull it off on the page.

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    • #3
      Query Letters with a stamp -- I don't think so. I'm sure 1 out of 100 reps would find that charming. Worth the time and price of stamp and hours it would take just to print out envelopes? Not in 2021 to me.

      Email queries -- 100% yes they are being read.

      If you aren't sending out 500-1000 queries in a month you aren't querying. You are barely trying. I told my friend that. He got mad at me. But it's the truth. You have to query so many to get some reads.

      It is easy to email query someone? It takes time to find the emails, but other than that, you can send 25 a day for a month... just keep going.

      Writers will spend 1000000 hours on their spec but 30 minutes trying to sell it and then give up. I don't get it. And entering contests is NOT trying to sell it yourself. I'm angry because I want more writers to PUSH THEMSELVES to glory!
      Last edited by Bono; 11-18-2021, 05:18 PM.

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      • #4
        Re: Snail Mail

        In an older post, I commented that I've tried the personalized letters with a stamp; to be different, to standout from the crowd, etc. Zero responses. Using the same copy that I used for email queries where at least I received a few (very few) requests for script.

        Save yourself the price of a stamp and follow Bono's advice.

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        • #5
          Originally posted by WRITERRIVERS View Post
          I have a feeling, because of the Internet, no one reads Query Letters anymore.
          Is it old school?
          Nah. Someone has to read something or nothing will be discovered. It's all in the wording of your query. You claim you're a “storyteller”? Then draw them into your story. You only have a few seconds to do so.

          "If you're going to have a story, have a big story, or none at all." — Joseph Campbell

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          • #6
            Originally posted by Bono View Post
            If you aren't sending out 500-1000 queries in a month you aren't querying. You are barely trying. I told my friend that. He got mad at me. But it's the truth. You have to query so many to get some reads.
            Amen. When I was breaking in, I sent out literally thousands of queries, and still barely made it in. And I'm super talented!

            Spam filters catch most of the queries and they never make it through. A writer sending out a dozen query letters and thinking he's gained wisdom on what works and what doesn't is, um, problematic.

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            • #7
              My friend was complaining about not getting reads. He's the one who taught me how to write my first query letter on this board! So, today I sent him 100 emails. And also forwarded him a rejected email from a rep "not looking for comedy writers" and he queried his horror a minute later-- got a request. It's that simple! Getting read if you have a decent logline is NOT THAT HARD.

              Finally a rep who likes your work, your genre and wants to rep you and find time for you -- CRAZY HARD.

              It feels they are rejecting YOU, but they aren't. In fact, to add to what Jeff said -- I feel writers around here REJECT THEMSELVES and don't give themselves a real shot. It's heartbreaking to me.

              Everyone reading this QUERY NOW!!!


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