Thursday, November 5, 2009

What's Your Query Output?

I'm always interested in learning more about the opportunities available to freelancers and what my freelance friends are currently working on. Most of my focus has been on writing for print magazines, newspapers, and e-zines, though I know the average project load for any freelancer can vary wildly from one person to the next.

For those of you who also focus primarily on the magazine/e-zine world, I'm curious to know how many queries you typically send out, and how quickly the editors respond. This year has been quite a banner year for me, query-wise. To date, I sent out over 50, with about 10 acceptances. Most of them seem to have gone into a black hole that no amount of email follow-ups have been able to save.

I've followed the advice and formula of other freelancers and followed up after 2-4 weeks, with mixed results. So far, I've only scored one assignment this way--the rest of the editors have either said "Drop me a line in [given time frame]", which is encouraging because it's not a rejection, but the majority have been frustratingly silent.

I have ebbs and flows as far as query submissions. I hit my stride over the summer, then hit the ground running with teaching and literally had no time to think about anything else, let alone put together some pitches, and now I seem to be back on a hot streak again--I've sent out about 5-6 in the past two weeks. Of course, I'm sure it would be a different story if I was a full-timer and most of my livelihood depended on it, but I was pleasantly surprised with my productivity this year.

What's your average query output? Do you churn them out regularly, or work in fits and starts as I seem to be doing?

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