book proposal cover letter examples

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Book proposal cover letter examples

Good luck!! My spouse and I stumbled over here different page and thought I might check things out. Look forward to finding out about your web page yet again. I thank you so much for this information. I feel confident in my ability to write an outstanding cover letter now. I am so pleased to hear this!

Good luck! Thank you so much for writing this article. Your guidance, directness and simplicity, has given me the confidence to write my cover letter and send it along with excerpts of my manuscript to a large publishing house! Hi Nancy, I am so glad that this article has been helpful.

What more can I ask for? Good luck with your submission!! Do let us know how you go with it all. All the best, Kit. I seek some advice from you; some publishers asks for the marketing strategy also along with the submission. How to deal with that?

Hi Mita, I wish I had a better response to this comment, but I hate when publishers ask about your marketing strategy. I appreciate all your excellent advice. Thank you. Are most UK agents anti-submissions from writers living overseas? Every agent is different, and they will all work differently.

I am sure not all agents will expect you to be locally-based. I think most agents and publishers would understand that their authors will often be located remotely from them. All the best with your future submissions. Cheers, Kit. This is really helpful. Thank you so much.

I was a little confused about a cover letter and a query letter. You got right to the point of what a cover letter consist of. Now I have a great cover and query letter. Thanks again! Dear Bethany, It is really warming to know that this article has been helpful to so many authors. Thank you for taking the time to write in and let us know that you have found it to be valuable. All the best with your writing.

This was an amazing reference. I studied this article piece by piece as I was writing my proposal. I just finished it. It is fabulous to hear that our articles are helpful! For the first, thank you so much for this extremely informative article and especially for including an example! I do have a question, though. I think it would show good research and hint at a good fit, so to say.

Why would we need another? Hi Jolene, A great question. I would say definitely reference an author who is with the publishing house, who has been successful and whose work is similar to yours. Absolutely reference others too, but the publishing house will be pleased to see that you have done your research. All the best with the submissions! Thank you so much for making this information available.

I now know where to start and best present the rhyming story that I have written for children. Everyone who has read my story loves it but I have had one slightly negative comment from a friend, who is about to be published. Personally, I would be over the Moon if just a handful of English speaking children could listen to and appreciate it.

Kindest Regards. Thanks for your comment! This article has really helped me in writing my first cover letter. Thanks for the dummy letter, it helped in a big way. Dear Kit. I was looking for information about a cover letter to editors. I chanced to open your article first, and I think this is where I stop. I was surprised to find such a good advise, and so generously given. I am sure I am not the only one thinking God Bless this lady….

Dear Susanne, This brings a smile to my face. I do hope that it is helpful to many in their publishing journey. All the best with your submissions to publishers! You must continue your writing. Greeting, I am highly indebted to you for these priceless tips. Thank you so much for this article. I was freaking out about how to write a cover letter.

This is much appreciated. I was looking for concise information about a cover letter to editors, and this is the best one I have got. Thank you so much for examples. I studied them piece by piece as I wrote my cover letter.

They give the right direction. Kindest regards. I am getting ready to submit my recently rewritten 3rd time novel to a contest. I have rewritten i on the advice of a professional editor because I had submitted it to a couple of agencies and was rejected. This information about cover letters will help me a lot. Came across you in Google.

I am nearing completion on a Biblical fiction novel about the nativity of Jesus. Since everyone is already familiar with the story, should I take a different approach to the cover letter and synopsis? Your cover letter should focus on what makes your story unique. Hello Steve, I have a question. I published a book with another publishing company that turned out to be a POD.

My book has a part two to it. I would like to send it to you. Would this be a good idea to send in part two. Hello, I am currently self published under a freewill contract in which I can cease printing at anytime. I have had issues getting proper statements and wish to be represented for traditional publishing. Will this be an issue for you to accept a manuscript? Thank you for the helpful information. I have one question: when sending a proposal by email, do you want a query letter in the body of the email and the a cover letter, sample chapters and synopsis attached as a file, or is the cover letter in the body of the email?

Thank you, Lara Van Hulzen. The body of the email should contain a pitch of some sort. The content of the cover letter described above would serve that purpose well. Take a look. I have nothing to submit in the moment except my deep gratitude for your site, so full of so much a writer needs to understand and apply.

You save our face over and over with all this help. I just want to express my pleasure to have discovered such a credible site run by a gifted teacher. Back to the memoir. I am now confused over the length of chapters. My chapters in standard spacing are between pages in length. When I double space them as asked the first three chapters are 19 pages in length. So when you recommend chapters be less than 20 pages are you talking about double-spaced print or standard print?

Thanks for your reply. Always send a manuscript using Double-spaced text. The proposal and synopsis is single spaced. Thus your chapters are very long. But it may be that they are just fine as is. Sometimes you can get away with longer chapters.

I have written a memoir and believe that Karen Ball is most likely the agent with your group who would be interested. I understand that a cover letter, proposal and sample chapters should be sent to her. In reviewing your instructions for submissions, it seems that much of the information in the cover letter gets repeated in the proposal or is it just me?!

Should I therefore just keep the cover letter very succinct? So when writing a cover letter you should specify that you are writing or have written a series of books? I am on my third book and plan on making at least two more. I was told before when writing the manuscript to only focus on that one book, and to reveal the ending of that one book. Hi Mr. Laube, After reading through the post and the comments, I just want to make sure I understand.

Do you prefer the cover letter and proposal to be emailed or mailed? My novel is a 29, word middle grade story. When you write or type a query letter; should you follow the guidelines of literary sites or not to follow the submission guidelines? Steve, can you offer a sample word sound bite for a historical? Struggling with the 40 word concept. I was hoping you might clarify for me concerning your guidelines for submission of a query letter versus a cover letter.

Do you prefer a query letter be sent via email with the book proposal and sample three chapters or a cover letter sent through the mail with an attached book proposal and sample three chapters? I am slightly confused because its appears the cover letter would only be sent if you were interested in the query letter. Would it be possible to send the covered letter instead via email with the attachments for the book proposal and sample chapters? Never send us a query letter. That one page, if sent by itself, will not help us evaluate your writing in any way.

Always send a full proposal. Great post. Hi Steve This is great. That was very informative. Thank you. If I want to use a pen name do I include this information in the cover letter? Thank you for your time. Noah Tall, which you will notice on the title page of the proposal.

Thanks so much for this helpful post! I just have one question—where can I find the book Hope for Anxiety Girl from the example cover letter? Thanks again! That specific book idea has gone through multiple iterations but has yet to be published. However, the writer has had other successful projects released. I found your answers very helpful, practical and instructive. Should the cover letter be the body of the email with the rest of the proposal as the attachment, or should it be a part of the attachment with the rest of the proposal?

Thank you for the helpful post! In looking at the guidelines for a proposal, it lists a number of things for non-fiction, compares fiction and adds a few additional notes. My question is, in non-fiction it asks for a half page to one page overview. If all of the additional topics are addressed for fiction it seems to cover a lot of what is described in the overview.

Do you want a half page to one page overview for a fiction proposal as well? Each article is packed with helpful info and encouragement for writers. You can unsubscribe at any time with one click. Share By Steve Laube On January 17, Next Post ». Leigh DeLozier January 17, at pm. Julie Surface Johnson January 17, at pm. Joseph Bentz January 19, at pm. Ryan A January 19, at pm. Steve Laube January 20, at am.

Let me clarify so as there is no confusion. This article is about the cover letter. Keep that to one page. Steve Reply. Thank you Steve. Any bits of wisdom imparted to the masses is wonderful. Samantha Evans February 4, at am. Erin Kohler September 21, at am.

Tim Johnson May 21, at am. Thanks Reply. Ryan A January 20, at am. Now I understand. Thank you so much for making things clear and God bless you. Ryan A January 20, at pm. Steve Laube January 20, at pm. Felton Dixon March 20, at am.

Any idea of the price range for a freelance editor that you have listed on you link? Ryan A January 21, at pm. Steve Laube January 21, at pm. Ray Strobo March 16, at am. Laube: I have a project encompassing 5 books on the religious beliefs of the Founding Fathers which uses the historical record to refute the Internet claim that the FF were deists and atheists. Thanks very much for your help. Karen Kolbu February 15, at pm. This is a great post. I appreciate your time and attention.

Ryan A February 19, at pm. God bless you in His name, Ryan Reply. Christopher Holms May 17, at am. Dear Steve, Thank you for explaining what you expect of our submissions to your office. Faithfully, Christopher Holms Reply. Jane Mohline August 19, at pm. Steve Laube August 20, at am. Heather Riggleman October 2, at pm. Jodi Kozan October 8, at pm. C Bishop October 20, at am. Thank you for taking the time to clarify this matter.

Christina November 5, at am. Marge November 25, at am. Thanks so much, Marge Reply. Steve Laube November 26, at am. Steve Long May 9, at am. Many thanks Steve Reply. Steve Laube May 9, at am. Steve Long, We have no idea of the age of an author because we are reviewing the content of a proposal. My advice? Ritchy Dube December 5, at am. Josh McNeal January 24, at pm. Steve Laube February 9, at pm.

Just copying pages and mailing them is not a good idea. Sylvie January 25, at pm. Iola March 2, at pm. Nikole Hahn April 30, at pm. Thanks for the how-to on the cover letter. Brenda Sue May 7, at pm. Jackie King-Scott June 19, at pm.

Blessings, Jackie King-Scott Reply. Deborah July 7, at am. Thank you for any advise. Respectfully, Deborah Reply. Steve Laube January 18, at am. Deborah, Your cover letter should focus on what makes your story unique. Jackie Layton July 23, at pm. Sincerely, Jackie Reply. Fletcher Christian August 8, at pm. In Christ, Fletch Reply. Steve Laube January 18, at pm. Kiesha Collier August 23, at am. Dianna Dixon August 23, at pm. Not an issue if you own the publication rights. It is your book to sell to another publisher.

Lara M. Van Hulzen January 13, at am. Thank you, Lara Van Hulzen Reply. Stephen Lawson January 18, at am. Do you prefer single or double-spacing in a cover letter? Single spaced. Just like a regular letter. The only thing that is double-spaced is the sample chapters or manuscript itself.

Thank you, sir, for the fast reply. Barbarann Ayars April 29, at am. Cindy C. July 22, at am. Steve Laube July 23, at am. I do recommend leaning toward shorter… Steve Reply. Steve Laube March 7, at pm. Janet Stemple May 18, at pm. Jennifer hunsucker June 5, at am. Chelsea Pickslay October 27, at pm. Joy B November 8, at am.

Robin February 3, at pm. TThomas R. Gabbitas February 10, at am. Steve, When you write or type a query letter; should you follow the guidelines of literary sites or not to follow the submission guidelines? Marilyn Read June 13, at pm. Always learn from you. NickyReich August 22, at am. Daniel Williams September 19, at am.

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Should they also be reiterated more in-depth in the proposal? Just trying to line up my wayward ducks. Thank you for your guidance and clarification. It helps to have every aspect broken down so well. Perhaps I am reading too deeply and detailed, but cover letter, sample chapters, synopsis, we are talking three separate attachments to the email, given the different structures of each piece.

As an aside, for further clarification — the sample chapters should always be the first three correct? No other chapters instead? And if you have a prelude, I would assume that would not be counted as the first chapter, particularly if it is only a few pages? One last question please: in the cover letter should you use specific names of characters or simply be broad until you arrive at the synopsis?

Sample chapters. Always the first pages. Include a prelude or a preface if applicable. The idea for the limitation is to keep what you send under 50 pages of text. Some chapters are very short, some are long. As for the cover letter? But they can be used if appropriate. Thank you again and one absolutely necessary and final question please: my prelude is the first 4 pages and that with the first three chapters bring you to page Is that a problem?

Should I just cut the story off at page 50? I can safely say, without seeing your work or reading a word, that your chapters are too long to begin with. Cut your chapter length by thinking in terms of scenes. Make chapter breaks more frequent. To be even safer, consider hiring a good freelance editor click here for a list to give you help and advice before ever sending it to us. If a manuscript is pretty good, we will reject it. It has to be magnificent and nearly ready for market.

Thank you for the input. My work is Christian fiction, so a few of the chapters are for world-building so that is why some of the chapters may be a little longer. I have plenty of chapters that are 8 or 11 or 14 pages long, but the third one in particular is 27 pages. I suppose I will have to split that up of course, and I do think in terms of scenes as in a movie …So be it then.

One more question: if you are writing a trilogy and are only submitting the first book thus far, would the synopsis cover only the 1st book or would it encompass all 3? Thank you! Ryan, There is no hard and fast rule. It is usually a good idea, when submitting a trilogy, to have at least a half page worth of synopsis included in the proposal.

A publisher needs to have something they can see in order to buy. I have a project encompassing 5 books on the religious beliefs of the Founding Fathers which uses the historical record to refute the Internet claim that the FF were deists and atheists. There are over separate cited sources in the first book, two-thirds of which are in the public domain. I do have a question, though. What kind of pages do I submit? The book or the final draft of the ms before it went to print?

It just is not clear from what I have read on here. Thank you for clearing this up! God bless you in His name, Ryan. Thank you for explaining what you expect of our submissions to your office. I spent the night finishing my proposal and cover letter to your specifications and sent out my package today. While my goal was to stay with twenty pages per chapter, some are a couple of pages longer. And how many lines per page do you suggest? Also use one inch margins on all four sides.

And use a Times Roman 12 point font. Whatever you do, do NOT try to squeeze more lines on a page. That will only irritate a reviewer. In general, when using the above formatting you will end up with about words on a page…which is very similar to the word count on a finished book.

A chapter that runs to 20 pages is probably going to feel long, depending on the action and dialogue included. That is over 6, words in a chapter. I personally tend to stay away from most Biblical fiction. But you may find that our other two agents may be more interested. And be aware that if your novel is based on the life of Jesus you will need to compare it to the classic novels by Marjorie Holmes and the novel by Walter Wangerin…all of which are still in print.

In order to put your best foot forward, a writer needs to know what is expected. Thank you for this practical advice! Much appreciated. I in preparing the proposal to send off, I am grateful for your graceful bluntness of what you are looking for. Saves us both time and energy when communicating. Thank you for outlining so clearly what exactly you expect in a cover letter!

What are you wanting from the author in this statement; what are you seeking to know? Is this statement really necessary, or could a cover letter open with the second part, the sound bite? I have the same question regarding the Introductory Statement. Thank you for posting this information about the cover letter. It is a huge help! Steve, when submitting a proposal for a novel that is intended as the first of a trilogy, is this something that should be mentioned in the cover letter?

Marge, If you intend to propose a series, even if book one stands alone, that should be mentioned in the cover letter and the proposal. If you are doing a query letter without a proposal then most definitely reveal the plan for a trilogy. But if you are not certain a second book can be written then do not mention it, instead go with the stand alone. There are times where the success of a first book creates demand for a sequel.

However, most agents and publishers like to know that there is a career or a future with a particular author beyond the first book. One-book wonders do happen, and with some success. But generally we look at the total potential of an author. Steve, Is your answer intended to convey to those of us in later life that we have little chance of finding agents and publishers? Now that I am in my early sixties and have retired I finally have the time to write but I am realistic enough to see that my literary career is unlikely to be long.

How do foreign authors work with American agents? Our style and spelling do not always align well with yours — I am English but I write and speak in British English not American. We have no idea of the age of an author because we are reviewing the content of a proposal.

The age of the author is immaterial. Our primary audience is the U. If you write with British English a U. English standards. Some contracts even name the Chicago Manual of Style as the standard to which the submitted manuscript must comply. Yes, being professional is good so one ought to be polite and open minded, but we need to write compelling stories — — those that will pull readers in and not let them out easily.

Set our tone, grab a theme and move the story along like an expert, keeping us engaged, questionning and interested. Action, drama, suspense, pathos and transformative characters are excellent pieces of narrative. If I have a self-published book but hope to see it reach a greater audience, do I make copies of the pages to submit to you? I do not have them on a Word document form any longer. You will need to have your manuscript in digital form at some point Word is preferred by most publishers.

If you self-published it had to be in digital form at some point. Even your printer should be able to provide a file. If it is a PDF it can be converted back to Word with the right software. Although this is a personal story, the case is now being used at symposiums for both Crown and Defence attorneys in Canada. I am looking for an agent in a very competitive field. Best not to use the comment section to make the pitch. We have, on occasion, represented a personal story if it is highly unusual and has commercial appeal.

Steve — I am seriously impressed to see that you are still tracking new comments on this post a year after it was first posted. I have query and synopsis letters and some agents want a cover letter as well. Thank you for your help! Brenda Sue This is a fiction, suspenseful, murder, romantic novel dealing with international art theft.

Hi Steve, Thanks so much for going far beyond the call of duty and explaining exactly what is a cover letter. Steve, I have a quick question. I am nearing completion on a Biblical fiction novel about the nativity of Jesus. Since everyone is already familiar with the story, should I take a different approach to the cover letter and synopsis?

Your cover letter should focus on what makes your story unique. Hello Steve, I have a question. I published a book with another publishing company that turned out to be a POD. My book has a part two to it. I would like to send it to you. Would this be a good idea to send in part two.

Hello, I am currently self published under a freewill contract in which I can cease printing at anytime. I have had issues getting proper statements and wish to be represented for traditional publishing. Will this be an issue for you to accept a manuscript? Thank you for the helpful information. I have one question: when sending a proposal by email, do you want a query letter in the body of the email and the a cover letter, sample chapters and synopsis attached as a file, or is the cover letter in the body of the email?

Thank you, Lara Van Hulzen. The body of the email should contain a pitch of some sort. The content of the cover letter described above would serve that purpose well. Take a look. I have nothing to submit in the moment except my deep gratitude for your site, so full of so much a writer needs to understand and apply. You save our face over and over with all this help. I just want to express my pleasure to have discovered such a credible site run by a gifted teacher.

Back to the memoir. I am now confused over the length of chapters. My chapters in standard spacing are between pages in length. When I double space them as asked the first three chapters are 19 pages in length. So when you recommend chapters be less than 20 pages are you talking about double-spaced print or standard print? Thanks for your reply. Always send a manuscript using Double-spaced text.

The proposal and synopsis is single spaced. Thus your chapters are very long. But it may be that they are just fine as is. Sometimes you can get away with longer chapters. I have written a memoir and believe that Karen Ball is most likely the agent with your group who would be interested. I understand that a cover letter, proposal and sample chapters should be sent to her.

In reviewing your instructions for submissions, it seems that much of the information in the cover letter gets repeated in the proposal or is it just me?! Should I therefore just keep the cover letter very succinct? So when writing a cover letter you should specify that you are writing or have written a series of books?

I am on my third book and plan on making at least two more. I was told before when writing the manuscript to only focus on that one book, and to reveal the ending of that one book. Hi Mr. Laube, After reading through the post and the comments, I just want to make sure I understand. Do you prefer the cover letter and proposal to be emailed or mailed? My novel is a 29, word middle grade story. When you write or type a query letter; should you follow the guidelines of literary sites or not to follow the submission guidelines?

Steve, can you offer a sample word sound bite for a historical? Struggling with the 40 word concept. I was hoping you might clarify for me concerning your guidelines for submission of a query letter versus a cover letter. Do you prefer a query letter be sent via email with the book proposal and sample three chapters or a cover letter sent through the mail with an attached book proposal and sample three chapters?

I am slightly confused because its appears the cover letter would only be sent if you were interested in the query letter. Would it be possible to send the covered letter instead via email with the attachments for the book proposal and sample chapters?

Never send us a query letter. That one page, if sent by itself, will not help us evaluate your writing in any way. Always send a full proposal. Great post. Hi Steve This is great. That was very informative. Thank you. If I want to use a pen name do I include this information in the cover letter?

Thank you for your time. Noah Tall, which you will notice on the title page of the proposal. Thanks so much for this helpful post! I just have one question—where can I find the book Hope for Anxiety Girl from the example cover letter? Thanks again!

That specific book idea has gone through multiple iterations but has yet to be published. However, the writer has had other successful projects released. I found your answers very helpful, practical and instructive. Should the cover letter be the body of the email with the rest of the proposal as the attachment, or should it be a part of the attachment with the rest of the proposal?

Thank you for the helpful post! In looking at the guidelines for a proposal, it lists a number of things for non-fiction, compares fiction and adds a few additional notes. My question is, in non-fiction it asks for a half page to one page overview.

If all of the additional topics are addressed for fiction it seems to cover a lot of what is described in the overview. Do you want a half page to one page overview for a fiction proposal as well? Each article is packed with helpful info and encouragement for writers.

You can unsubscribe at any time with one click. Share Sample Cover Letters For some of the samples, I made up book titles for imaginary manuscripts. Spinelli did not write these letters, I am merely using his book as an example. The book is readily available, so you can check and see if my descriptions are good. The first letter, the bad example with an imaginary manuscript, has footnotes to the common mistakes, which you may jump to if you wish.

With the encouragement of my dear family, I finally wrote them down and collected them into a book. I did work on the high school newspaper, but I don't suppose that counts. As soon as I have some, I will send them along. I also took it to my ten-year-old son's class at school and the children there were equally enthusiastic.

This book has definite kid appeal! K ids today face a tough world, and this book will teach them about courage and good manners in a fun way. I have enclosed the address of the National Headquarters of the Ant Farmers' Association of America, since I am sure they will be interested in a book that features so many ants.

His portrait of Anthony is enclosed. Since he is family, he will give you a good price. Writer 11 Addressing the Unknown: The Greeting of a Cover Letter Even when you have composed the perfect cover letter to send with your manuscript, and you have done your homework and chosen the perfect publisher to submit it to, one tiny problem remains.

What do you put in the greeting of your letter? You know, the part that comes after the date and address, and begins with "Dear. It's not always possible to find out the name of the person reading submissions at a particular house. How do you address an unknown person who is going to be doing something as personal as reading your work?

There are so many choices: To Whom It May Concern -- Polite, but it has overtones of "Please take care of my baby left here on your doorstep. Dear Sir or Madam -- While admirably including both genders, this one sounds like Jeeves addressing a drag queen who hadn't quite finished hormone therapy. Dear Terrible and Beneficent Goddess of Publishing -- This may accurately reflect a writer's feelings about the balance of power during the submission process, but might be perceived as groveling.

Dear Money-Grubbing Philistine -- This may also accurately reflect a writer's emotional state after a morning of many rejection letters, but could come across as a little hostile. And the winner is: Dear Editor. It's simple, direct, and gender neutral.

Even if it is not the correct job title of the person who first reads your manuscript, the reader is performing an editorial function. Omitting the greeting would seem rude, so include what seems polite, and don't waste too much time over it. After all, who remembers the wrapping on the best present ever?

What an editor really wants to read is a terrific manuscript, not the perfect cover letter. If you don't have a contact with a particular editor, addressing the letter to "Dear Editor" is fine. It 's direct and gender neutral. See sidebar back 2 Telling stories to your family is a fine tradition, but not very informative.

It gets cloying fast. Apologies are not necessary. Most children adore the attention of being read to and would love it if you read them the phonebook. It is also difficult to tell if the response is to the story or to your performance. What's important at this stage is how it reads on the page. Stories written to teach moral lessons usually end up with the lesson overwhelming the story.

Unless you have knowledge of a special opportunity, say if the Ant Farmers' Association is starting a mail order catalog, don't spend too much space on marketing ideas. Publishers are responsible for the production of the book, including the cover art. The editor probably has not read the manuscript yet, and if it's rejected, there's nothing to discuss.

The opposite of this mistake but still a mistake is a letter that tells the entire plot, or in case of a picture book, a synopsis that is as long as the manuscript. The history of a kid is one part fact, two parts legend and three parts snowball. But most of all it is the story of boy looking for his true home.

Thank you for your time and attention. Sincerely, A. Writer SASE enclosed. This cover letter isn't sparkling, but it gives the important points: that the manuscript is a middle grade novel, a hint of the style and some of the themes of the story. It's an introduction, not a pitch letter. Sponsored Links article continues below Query Letters Many publishers now have writer's guidelines requesting query letters instead of sending unsolicited manuscripts.

This is an attempt to cut down on the time processing inappropriate submissions, but it does present another hurdle for new writers. Not only do you have to write a wonderful book, but also a wonderful query letter that will tempt an editor into requesting your manuscript.

Sample Query Letter 1: Fiction -- Novel Dear Editor, My grandma says time don't run but one way, but that summer was one where at times I wished it wouldn't run at all. Just hold still on Saturday nights when the best thing to do was fly down dark roads in Billy Clodfelter's Lark with the windows rolled down and the music up. Stop on Sunday mornings when Mary Barrier smiled at me over her hymnal.

Just stay at the time when things still seemed simple.

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HOW TO WRITE A COMMENTARY SENTENCE IN AN ESSAY

How to deal with that? Hi Mita, I wish I had a better response to this comment, but I hate when publishers ask about your marketing strategy. I appreciate all your excellent advice. Thank you. Are most UK agents anti-submissions from writers living overseas? Every agent is different, and they will all work differently.

I am sure not all agents will expect you to be locally-based. I think most agents and publishers would understand that their authors will often be located remotely from them. All the best with your future submissions. Cheers, Kit.

This is really helpful. Thank you so much. I was a little confused about a cover letter and a query letter. You got right to the point of what a cover letter consist of. Now I have a great cover and query letter. Thanks again! Dear Bethany, It is really warming to know that this article has been helpful to so many authors. Thank you for taking the time to write in and let us know that you have found it to be valuable. All the best with your writing.

This was an amazing reference. I studied this article piece by piece as I was writing my proposal. I just finished it. It is fabulous to hear that our articles are helpful! For the first, thank you so much for this extremely informative article and especially for including an example!

I do have a question, though. I think it would show good research and hint at a good fit, so to say. Why would we need another? Hi Jolene, A great question. I would say definitely reference an author who is with the publishing house, who has been successful and whose work is similar to yours. Absolutely reference others too, but the publishing house will be pleased to see that you have done your research.

All the best with the submissions! Thank you so much for making this information available. I now know where to start and best present the rhyming story that I have written for children. Everyone who has read my story loves it but I have had one slightly negative comment from a friend, who is about to be published.

Personally, I would be over the Moon if just a handful of English speaking children could listen to and appreciate it. Kindest Regards. Thanks for your comment! This article has really helped me in writing my first cover letter. Thanks for the dummy letter, it helped in a big way. Dear Kit. I was looking for information about a cover letter to editors. I chanced to open your article first, and I think this is where I stop.

I was surprised to find such a good advise, and so generously given. I am sure I am not the only one thinking God Bless this lady…. Dear Susanne, This brings a smile to my face. I do hope that it is helpful to many in their publishing journey.

All the best with your submissions to publishers! You must continue your writing. Greeting, I am highly indebted to you for these priceless tips. Thank you so much for this article. I was freaking out about how to write a cover letter. This is much appreciated. I was looking for concise information about a cover letter to editors, and this is the best one I have got.

Thank you so much for examples. I studied them piece by piece as I wrote my cover letter. They give the right direction. Kindest regards. I am getting ready to submit my recently rewritten 3rd time novel to a contest. I have rewritten i on the advice of a professional editor because I had submitted it to a couple of agencies and was rejected.

This information about cover letters will help me a lot. Came across you in Google. Love your page, easy to read, no frills, just good old-fashioned common sense. Thank you for your page and hope you are surviving well too. It is an odd one, for sure! All the very best to you, Kit. The article is helpful indeed. I have written a novel and now finding a publisher. In the submission guidelines of the publisher, they have asked a synopsis of the novel and three sample chapters.

So my question is, do I need to submit a cover letter or a book proposal or a query letter along with the sample chapters and the synopsis? Some might only ask for your synopsis and first three chapters as they might have an online form that captures all the details that are generally found in the cover letter.

As a professional motoring journalist let me say your advice is the best I have seen on writing letters to publishers. Excellent stuff1 Best wishes, FCB. Your email address will not be published. Skip to primary navigation Skip to main content Skip to footer home about manuscript services appraisals mentorships editing testimonials how to submit fees blog contact Facebook Twitter. So, what is a cover letter and why is it important? So what do you need to include?

Just trying to line up my wayward ducks. Thank you for your guidance and clarification. It helps to have every aspect broken down so well. Perhaps I am reading too deeply and detailed, but cover letter, sample chapters, synopsis, we are talking three separate attachments to the email, given the different structures of each piece. As an aside, for further clarification — the sample chapters should always be the first three correct? No other chapters instead? And if you have a prelude, I would assume that would not be counted as the first chapter, particularly if it is only a few pages?

One last question please: in the cover letter should you use specific names of characters or simply be broad until you arrive at the synopsis? Sample chapters. Always the first pages. Include a prelude or a preface if applicable. The idea for the limitation is to keep what you send under 50 pages of text. Some chapters are very short, some are long. As for the cover letter? But they can be used if appropriate. Thank you again and one absolutely necessary and final question please: my prelude is the first 4 pages and that with the first three chapters bring you to page Is that a problem?

Should I just cut the story off at page 50? I can safely say, without seeing your work or reading a word, that your chapters are too long to begin with. Cut your chapter length by thinking in terms of scenes. Make chapter breaks more frequent. To be even safer, consider hiring a good freelance editor click here for a list to give you help and advice before ever sending it to us.

If a manuscript is pretty good, we will reject it. It has to be magnificent and nearly ready for market. Thank you for the input. My work is Christian fiction, so a few of the chapters are for world-building so that is why some of the chapters may be a little longer. I have plenty of chapters that are 8 or 11 or 14 pages long, but the third one in particular is 27 pages. I suppose I will have to split that up of course, and I do think in terms of scenes as in a movie …So be it then.

One more question: if you are writing a trilogy and are only submitting the first book thus far, would the synopsis cover only the 1st book or would it encompass all 3? Thank you! Ryan, There is no hard and fast rule. It is usually a good idea, when submitting a trilogy, to have at least a half page worth of synopsis included in the proposal.

A publisher needs to have something they can see in order to buy. I have a project encompassing 5 books on the religious beliefs of the Founding Fathers which uses the historical record to refute the Internet claim that the FF were deists and atheists.

There are over separate cited sources in the first book, two-thirds of which are in the public domain. I do have a question, though. What kind of pages do I submit? The book or the final draft of the ms before it went to print? It just is not clear from what I have read on here. Thank you for clearing this up! God bless you in His name, Ryan. Thank you for explaining what you expect of our submissions to your office. I spent the night finishing my proposal and cover letter to your specifications and sent out my package today.

While my goal was to stay with twenty pages per chapter, some are a couple of pages longer. And how many lines per page do you suggest? Also use one inch margins on all four sides. And use a Times Roman 12 point font. Whatever you do, do NOT try to squeeze more lines on a page.

That will only irritate a reviewer. In general, when using the above formatting you will end up with about words on a page…which is very similar to the word count on a finished book. A chapter that runs to 20 pages is probably going to feel long, depending on the action and dialogue included. That is over 6, words in a chapter. I personally tend to stay away from most Biblical fiction.

But you may find that our other two agents may be more interested. And be aware that if your novel is based on the life of Jesus you will need to compare it to the classic novels by Marjorie Holmes and the novel by Walter Wangerin…all of which are still in print. In order to put your best foot forward, a writer needs to know what is expected. Thank you for this practical advice! Much appreciated. I in preparing the proposal to send off, I am grateful for your graceful bluntness of what you are looking for.

Saves us both time and energy when communicating. Thank you for outlining so clearly what exactly you expect in a cover letter! What are you wanting from the author in this statement; what are you seeking to know? Is this statement really necessary, or could a cover letter open with the second part, the sound bite? I have the same question regarding the Introductory Statement. Thank you for posting this information about the cover letter. It is a huge help! Steve, when submitting a proposal for a novel that is intended as the first of a trilogy, is this something that should be mentioned in the cover letter?

Marge, If you intend to propose a series, even if book one stands alone, that should be mentioned in the cover letter and the proposal. If you are doing a query letter without a proposal then most definitely reveal the plan for a trilogy. But if you are not certain a second book can be written then do not mention it, instead go with the stand alone.

There are times where the success of a first book creates demand for a sequel. However, most agents and publishers like to know that there is a career or a future with a particular author beyond the first book. One-book wonders do happen, and with some success. But generally we look at the total potential of an author. Steve, Is your answer intended to convey to those of us in later life that we have little chance of finding agents and publishers? Now that I am in my early sixties and have retired I finally have the time to write but I am realistic enough to see that my literary career is unlikely to be long.

How do foreign authors work with American agents? Our style and spelling do not always align well with yours — I am English but I write and speak in British English not American. We have no idea of the age of an author because we are reviewing the content of a proposal.

The age of the author is immaterial. Our primary audience is the U. If you write with British English a U. English standards. Some contracts even name the Chicago Manual of Style as the standard to which the submitted manuscript must comply.

Yes, being professional is good so one ought to be polite and open minded, but we need to write compelling stories — — those that will pull readers in and not let them out easily. Set our tone, grab a theme and move the story along like an expert, keeping us engaged, questionning and interested. Action, drama, suspense, pathos and transformative characters are excellent pieces of narrative.

If I have a self-published book but hope to see it reach a greater audience, do I make copies of the pages to submit to you? I do not have them on a Word document form any longer. You will need to have your manuscript in digital form at some point Word is preferred by most publishers.

If you self-published it had to be in digital form at some point. Even your printer should be able to provide a file. If it is a PDF it can be converted back to Word with the right software. Although this is a personal story, the case is now being used at symposiums for both Crown and Defence attorneys in Canada. I am looking for an agent in a very competitive field. Best not to use the comment section to make the pitch. We have, on occasion, represented a personal story if it is highly unusual and has commercial appeal.

Steve — I am seriously impressed to see that you are still tracking new comments on this post a year after it was first posted. I have query and synopsis letters and some agents want a cover letter as well. Thank you for your help! Brenda Sue This is a fiction, suspenseful, murder, romantic novel dealing with international art theft. Hi Steve, Thanks so much for going far beyond the call of duty and explaining exactly what is a cover letter.

Steve, I have a quick question. I am nearing completion on a Biblical fiction novel about the nativity of Jesus. Since everyone is already familiar with the story, should I take a different approach to the cover letter and synopsis? Your cover letter should focus on what makes your story unique. Hello Steve, I have a question. I published a book with another publishing company that turned out to be a POD. My book has a part two to it. I would like to send it to you. Would this be a good idea to send in part two.

Hello, I am currently self published under a freewill contract in which I can cease printing at anytime. I have had issues getting proper statements and wish to be represented for traditional publishing. Will this be an issue for you to accept a manuscript? Thank you for the helpful information. I have one question: when sending a proposal by email, do you want a query letter in the body of the email and the a cover letter, sample chapters and synopsis attached as a file, or is the cover letter in the body of the email?

Thank you, Lara Van Hulzen. The body of the email should contain a pitch of some sort. The content of the cover letter described above would serve that purpose well. Take a look. I have nothing to submit in the moment except my deep gratitude for your site, so full of so much a writer needs to understand and apply.

You save our face over and over with all this help. I just want to express my pleasure to have discovered such a credible site run by a gifted teacher. Back to the memoir. I am now confused over the length of chapters. My chapters in standard spacing are between pages in length.

When I double space them as asked the first three chapters are 19 pages in length. So when you recommend chapters be less than 20 pages are you talking about double-spaced print or standard print? Thanks for your reply. Always send a manuscript using Double-spaced text. The proposal and synopsis is single spaced.

Thus your chapters are very long. But it may be that they are just fine as is. Sometimes you can get away with longer chapters. I have written a memoir and believe that Karen Ball is most likely the agent with your group who would be interested.

I understand that a cover letter, proposal and sample chapters should be sent to her. In reviewing your instructions for submissions, it seems that much of the information in the cover letter gets repeated in the proposal or is it just me?! Should I therefore just keep the cover letter very succinct? So when writing a cover letter you should specify that you are writing or have written a series of books? I am on my third book and plan on making at least two more.

I was told before when writing the manuscript to only focus on that one book, and to reveal the ending of that one book. Hi Mr. Laube, After reading through the post and the comments, I just want to make sure I understand. Do you prefer the cover letter and proposal to be emailed or mailed? My novel is a 29, word middle grade story. When you write or type a query letter; should you follow the guidelines of literary sites or not to follow the submission guidelines?

Steve, can you offer a sample word sound bite for a historical? Struggling with the 40 word concept. I was hoping you might clarify for me concerning your guidelines for submission of a query letter versus a cover letter. Do you prefer a query letter be sent via email with the book proposal and sample three chapters or a cover letter sent through the mail with an attached book proposal and sample three chapters?

I am slightly confused because its appears the cover letter would only be sent if you were interested in the query letter. Would it be possible to send the covered letter instead via email with the attachments for the book proposal and sample chapters? Never send us a query letter. That one page, if sent by itself, will not help us evaluate your writing in any way.

Always send a full proposal. Great post. Hi Steve This is great. That was very informative. Thank you. If I want to use a pen name do I include this information in the cover letter? Thank you for your time. Noah Tall, which you will notice on the title page of the proposal. Thanks so much for this helpful post! I just have one question—where can I find the book Hope for Anxiety Girl from the example cover letter? Thanks again! That specific book idea has gone through multiple iterations but has yet to be published.

However, the writer has had other successful projects released. I found your answers very helpful, practical and instructive. Should the cover letter be the body of the email with the rest of the proposal as the attachment, or should it be a part of the attachment with the rest of the proposal?

Thank you for the helpful post! In looking at the guidelines for a proposal, it lists a number of things for non-fiction, compares fiction and adds a few additional notes. My question is, in non-fiction it asks for a half page to one page overview. If all of the additional topics are addressed for fiction it seems to cover a lot of what is described in the overview. Do you want a half page to one page overview for a fiction proposal as well? Each article is packed with helpful info and encouragement for writers.

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The 4 Sentence Cover Letter That Gets You The Job Interview

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