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How To Be Query Free and Profitable
by Jennifer Brown Banks

“Time is money.”

Okay, so I bent the truth a little in the title. Like debt, you’ll probably never be totally “query free.” Particularly if you want your work to appear in some of the major glossies, or if your goal is to be picked up by a commercial publisher for a book.

Still, you can enjoy a pretty successful career, save a great deal of time, and earn a good living with out being held hostage by them. And I’m living proof. As a veteran freelance writer, popular relationship columnist, poet, and author with nearly 500 regional and national publishing credits, I confess that I’ve never written one. Nada.

It all reverts back to my past---like most “deviant” behavior, I suppose.? In my former life as a banker, I established a real reverence for time. And few people are better at managing it! I had little choice. Back in my numbers-crunching days, missing a deadline by mere minutes could cause a loss of thousands of dollars. Not to mention a few heads to roll!

Time is money; it’s the one work related mindset that stuck with me years afterwards, and that has enabled me to be more prolific and strategic than many of my writing peers.
Though there are different schools of thought on this, I’m convinced that queries take up valuable time that most writers profess simply not to have.

I like to think of it this way. Remember using Cliff-Notes in college when studying for an exam or writing an essay? Well for me being query free serves the same purpose; it’s merely a short cut to the same destination. Not being governed by them is my way of working smarter not harder.

Here’s a brainteaser to help prove my point. How much time do you suppose it takes the average writer to create a perfectly crafted query? One hour? Two? Consider this. In the same time frame, he could have written and sent a 600 word submission out to an Ezine, researched markets, read a small book, conducted an interview, gone to the mall to pick up more writers’ supplies, or any number of tasks on a scribe’s to do list. Get my drift? Just think of all the things you can do with your freelancing freedom!

With this in mind, here are a few query-free publications to cash in on.

WWW.BEINGSINGLEMAG.COM—Rates vary for 800-1000 word articles on love, health, travel, beauty and finance. Contact the editor at Beingsinglemag@msn.com for writers’ guidelines.

WWW.ONLINEDATINGMAGAZINE.COM—Accepts book reviews and articles on online dating and self-improvement. Pays $15.00 for 700 words after publication.

WWW.MAHOGANYMAGAZINE.COM—Lifestyle magazine dedicated to improving the lives of families through articles on parenting, marriage, fitness and education. Rates vary. Contact the publisher at info@mahoganymagazine.com for editorial calendar and writers’ guidelines. Typical response time is 2-4 weeks.

WWW.MARYELISE.COM—An online publication dedicated to empowering women through positive images and positive writing. Accepts freelance articles on self-esteem, love, health and fashion. Pays $25.00-$35.00 on 700 word pieces, after publication.

Once you’ve been successful in landing a few of these gigs and expanding your portfolio, you’ll build your bank account and increase your confidence too. With more leisure and “leverage”, you’ll be unstoppable in reaching new writing heights this year.

© Copyright 2008, Jennifer Brown Banks

Jennifer Brown Banks is the former senior editor of Mahogany Magazine. She holds a B.A. in Business Management and blogs at Penandprosper.blogspot.com

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