When I was perusing the March Premium Green market guide (more info here) I came across an interview of freelancer Kristin, um, gee, well, I 'll check on that later. Anyway, the point is that Kristin had tons of great ideas. And great ideas are pretty darn important if you're working towards Fame and Fortune in the publishing biz.
Smack dab in the middle of my perusing, it hit me. A classic What Not To Do was staring me in the face. Unfortunately, I was the one guilty of it. To wit: I hadn't been effectively using the old "hook" in my query letters. Kristin made an excellent point about grabbing an editor's attention. To wit: "If you haven't got a lot of clips, you have to come up with an idea that an editor doesn't dare pass up." And that idea better be the very first thing in your query letter.
So listen, grasshopper. Don't blah, blah, blah away in your query letter talking about anything and everything under the sun. Slap that editor with an idea so awesome, he or she won't know what hit 'em. And you better get right to work on that. Because I'm telling you. Kristin had tons of great ideas.