Next on our List of Submission Items is the Cover Letter.
Some of you have already asked why do we need a Cover Letter if we have already sent a Query Letter? I think it is an excellent question, wait for it..
A Cover Letter is not a Query Letter. It is a letter you will enclose as the beginning of your Submission Packet. This letter goes into the packet with your synopsis or your completed manuscript.
If your targeted publisher accepts complete manuscripts without the formality of a Query Letter, then you will want to adapt your Cover Letter to include information about you, as an author. Mention previous publications and expertise. (Include these things only if this is your Cover Letter in this case is your First Contact with the Publisher or Agent). Do not repeat this information if you already sent a Query Letter.
Read the publisher’s guidelines carefully because some of them may have a specific Cover Letter Format. You may be expected to include a Synopsis, and the Same Blurb you used in your Query Letter. Most agents and publishers are okay to go if you simply say, “Here is the Submission you requested.”
General items you might include in your Cover Letter might be a reminder of your previous Query Letter. This is because the people are generally very busy and the intern who opens the mail may not realize your Query has been answered and the Manuscript requested.
One last thing to mention in your Cover Letter is if the Manuscript if you snail mailed is disposable. The intern will be glad to know he won’t be putting together a mailer for your Submission. If you do want it returned you must make it as easy as possible with a postage paid envelope addressed to yourself.
Just remember to adjust the information in the Cover Letter if this is your first contact with the publisher.
Join us Wednesday January 22nd at 8PM ET and we will talk about cover letters.
Sunday we will talk about Writing Bios.