In the last two years that I’ve been offering free video quick query letter critiques, writers know that I post them sans all identifying information. Why do I offer this service? I’m good at it and the videos expand my real-time workshop instructor platform established when I began teaching at writers conferences in 2003.
Otherwise, why would I do work for free?
Nor would most of you.
In all this time, I’ve done close to 200 free quick query critiques with only two complaints, both made by writers who did not get a ‘thumb’s up’ critique.
One threw out legal words to bolster his position that I take down his video immediately! The other writer used her writing group to support her contention that my critique was just plain wrong.
It happens. I have no problem being wrong and why I almost always include this phrase at the end of my critique: Remember, this is just my opinion.
Both of these writers expressed shock that I posted the video critique for all to see. This shocks me and why I decided to write this blog. Are they not visiting my site? Have they not clicked on at least one of the 130 videos posted on my YouTube page? Is the word FREE so blinding that they don’t see anything else?
To all writers, especially those of you new to the web, nothing is free. At the very least, a site will request your email before sending your ‘free‘ gift or they will request your subscription to their site before sending any free goodies to you. Why? This is how we all build & expand our platforms.
My hunch? At the root of these writers’ dismay is their query letter, not my critique of it. It’s hard to hear criticism. It stings. It can be embarrassing, which is why I delete all identifying information. We writers are sensitive souls. I’m going through a version of “OMG, the public is reading my writing!” right here through my SHOW DON’T TELL Series that I’m pleased to hear you find helpful even though at times, it’s very hard for me to do.
So writers, be aware. There’s very little free stuff out here. If you don’t want the web world to see your query letter draft, cough up $20.00 and I’ll do it privately. That’s why I offer this private service, a small price to pay for maintaining your pride. This way, you can hear the constructive criticism without feeling embarrassed.
To all, I hope you consider my video Quick Query Letter Critique Service a dress rehearsal. You want to work out the kinks before opening night, don’t you?