Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Your cover letter

This week’s post will be short and sweet.  For two reasons, first it’s about the cover letter and it’s more about fact than creating a fabulous blurb or detailed synopsis.  Second, I have an insane week lined up for myself and just found out today I have to fit all of that in with work as well as a wake and funeral. So I promise to babble more next week.

Now it’s time to get that cover letter put together. 
While it sounds relatively simple keep in mind that this is the first thing the editor will see when you send in your submission so you want it to be something worth reading. Most important thing (again) make sure it is error free.
Each publisher will list what they want to see in the cover letter, and it varies so I won’t write it step by step.  Most important thing – make sure it is error free.
This is where you can brag a little.  If you’ve had something publisher before, put it on the cover letter.  It got a five star review, list that as well.  It’s your first time submitting your writing – that’s okay too.
I usually introduce myself (if you have a pen name put that in too) and then give them the facts about the book.  Genre, word count, heat leave.  This is a good place to put your tagline if you have one.  The brief description of the book is usually my blurb.  (all the details are in the synopsis, so there’s no need to go on and on in the cover letter)
Many publishers will now ask for your promotional plan.  Telling every person you see is not considered a plan – while word of mouth is a great way to promote, it’s not really what they’re looking for. 
If you belong to writer’s / reader groups or are a part of an organization, this would be the place to list that.  I list what groups I’m in, my website (yes you need a website) my blog.  As a part of my promoting I do Blog tours for the release of my new books.  Setting up chats is another great way to get your book out there. If you have an opportunity to do a book signing once you have said book, regardless of how small, add that to your plan. 
Bottom line with this area of the cover letter is, the smaller publishers will promote their company, but do not have the budget to promote each individual author.  No one will know about you and your book unless you start the ball rolling and jog along beside it to keep it moving.

Until next time...


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