How to Edit Query Letters, Synopses, Elevator Pitches, Blurbs, and More!

This self-paced class includes four lessons with exercises that you can complete at your own pace. Included answer keys help you review your work.


If you’re working with novelists, the time will come when one of them says, “I’m going to try to get an agent for my ms. Can you take a look at my query?”

But editing a query isn’t like editing a manuscript. A query is a very specific sales tool that needs to communicate vital information to the agent who’ll be looking at it. Most authors get it wrong — and a lot of freelance editors do, too!

The same is true of the synopsis: it must highlight the story’s central conflict as well as communicate the narrative arc and character development (not to mention the resolution). Most of the time, authors get mired down in detailing plot events without truly understanding what they need to do instead.

In fact, all of the collateral materials authors need to sell their books (either to agents/acquisitions editors or readers) are extremely hard to get right. That’s where you come in.

In this self-paced class, you’ll learn how to edit:

  • queries and synopses for authors planning to follow the traditional publishing path
  • elevator pitches for authors planning to attend conference pitch sessions or who just want to be able to talk about their book to potential readers
  • blurbs—those brief book descriptions that go on the back of the book or in the online book listing
  • author bios, both brief bylines for use in marketing/promotion and longer “about the author” bios that go in the back of a book or in a press kit
  • pull quotes—quotes from the book that authors use to help promote the work on social media (why do they always pick terrible quotes?)

The course discusses the purpose of each of these items, what those reading/reviewing them are looking for, and how editors can help authors fine-tine their work to make it as compelling as possible. Each lesson includes and exercise and an answer key to help you practice the skill.

Being able to edit this collateral material can make a useful (not to mention profitable) add-on to your editing services. It can also be offered as a standalone item.

For the full instructor biography, click here.

For more information about other classes, check out the Adventures & Excursions page. Add your email address  to the Club Ed Resort Newsletter list here.

Tuition for this four-lesson class is $79.

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