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The Steve Laube Agency

Helping to Change the World…Word by Word

The Steve Laube Agency

Helping to Change the World Word by Word

how to write a cover letter for a book

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Hints for a Great Cover Letter

how to write a cover letter for a book

[I originally posted this piece over 12 years ago. The information still holds true, but I suspect many have not found the necessary information elsewhere, so I dare post it again. I’ve left all the comments intact since they add to the ongoing conversation. Feel free to add your thoughts.]]

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Here are a few suggestions for you to consider when approaching an agent or an editor. Remember to use these as hints…do not follow them slavishly as if a literary agent will spend their time critiquing your cover letter.

By the way, we distinguish between a cover letter and a query letter. A cover letter goes on top of a longer proposal and sample chapters. The query letter is a stand-alone letter that goes to the editor/agent without a proposal or sample chapters. We prefer the cover letter and the rest of the package. Why? Because a query only shows that you can write a letter. A proposal begins the process of showing that you know how to write a book.

Address the letter to a specific person. If sending something to The Steve Laube Agency, simply address the appropriate agent. Every proposal will cross the desk of the designated agent eventually. (Please do NOT send it to all of us at the same time)

Use this cover letter in the body of your email, but NOT the proposal and sample chapters! You’d be stunned to see how many people contact us with a blank email carrying only a subject line of “here it is.”

Don’t waste your time or ours. Do your homework! If you are submitting to an agent, visit their website and follow their guidelines!!! We cannot emphasize this enough! Make certain to spell the person’s name right. (My name is spelled, Steve Laube. Not “Laub” “Labe” “Lobby” “Looby” etc. But note that Bob Hostetler has to address me as “sir” or “the honorable” or “Mr. Boss”.)

If you use The Christian Writers Market Guide or some online database listing agents or editors, make sure you have the most current information because addresses do change (go to their website). Our main office changed its mailing address in February of 2007…and we still discover material is being sent to the old address. You would be astounded by the number of calls or inquiries we receive from writers who have not done their research. Someone called the Phoenix office the other day looking to talk to one of our agents who does not live or work in Phoenix.

Whatever you do, do  not say your book is the next bestseller like Purpose Driven Life , Eat Pray Love, Left Behind , or  The Shack , or that it will sell better than  The Da Vinci Code ,  Twilight ,  Harry Potter , or  The Chronicles of Narnia . That shows an ignorance of the market that is best left alone. [update note: These examples will date you really fast. The Harry Potter books are over 25 years old, published in 1997.]

In addition, please do not claim “God gave me this book so you must represent or publish it.” We are firm believers in the inspiration that comes from a faith-filled life, but making it part of your pitch is a big mistake. Read this blog post for a larger discussion on this point.

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The 4-part Cover letter:

1) A simple introductory sentence is sufficient. Basically, you are saying “Hi. Thank you for the opportunity…”

2)  Use a “sound bite” statement. A “sound bite” statement is the essence of your novel or non-fiction book idea in 40 words or less.

The fiction sound bite could include:

a. The heroic character b. The central issue of the story c. The heroic goal d. The worthy adversary e. Action f. The ending g. A grabber h. Or a twist

The non-fiction sound bite should include the main focus or topic. One suggestion is to describe the Problem, Solution, and Application.

If someone were to ask about your book you would answer, “My book is about (write in your sound bite.)”

Another word for sound bite is “hook.”

3)  Tell why your book is distinctive – identify who will read it . (Targeted age group….adult, teen, youth) – point out what’s fresh, new, and different.

One suggestion would be, for your intended genre, read several recent books in the same genre as your own to familiarize yourself with the market.

4)  G ive pertinent manuscript details : a) mention whether or not your book is completed (if it is not, then give an estimate as to when it will be finished) b) word length of the complete manuscript, even if it is an estimate (approximate – round off the number) c) pertinent biographical info d) tell the agent if it is a simultaneous submission e) let the agent know they can discard the proposal if rejected.

Click here to review a sample non-fiction cover letter from someone who approached us via an email inquiry. We signed her as a client.

Keep the letter to one page!!

Please don’t use narrow margins or tiny print to fit it all on one sheet. That is silly. We once received a cover letter with an 8-point font and 1/4-inch margins. It was virtually unreadable.

how to write a cover letter for a book

About Steve Laube

Steve Laube, president and founder of The Steve Laube Agency, a veteran of the bookselling industry with 40 years of experience. View all posts by Steve Laube →

how to write a cover letter for a book

Reader Interactions

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January 17, 2011 at 5:45 pm

Thanks for clarifying the difference between a query and a cover letter. And I never thought about including a note about discarding the proposal if it’s rejected. I’ll remember that next time.

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January 17, 2011 at 8:40 pm

Thanks for the helpful information. Appreciate, too, your making it print friendly. This is going into my “Writing Aids” file.

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January 19, 2011 at 2:52 pm

This is very helpful. Thank you for this overview of the cover letter. I critique manuscripts at writers conferences, and I plan to refer them to this post!

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January 19, 2011 at 11:09 pm

I am confused; this article requires a cover letter be ONE page, double-spaced, exactly while the Guidelines article requests the story be summed up in up to THREE pages, single-spaced. So what are you supposed to do since these contradict and I would like to present myself as expected by Mr.Laube?

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January 20, 2011 at 8:24 am

Let me clarify so as there is no confusion.

This article is about the cover letter. Keep that to one page.

The synopsis is not the cover letter. That piece is where you tell the whole story of the novel in a maximum of three single spaced pages.

Any presentation package to an agent or a publisher has three parts. 1) The cover letter (one page) 2) The proposal – which includes, among other things, a synopsis of the book or story 3) Sample chapters

Hope that helps!

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March 8, 2012 at 11:53 am

Thank you Steve. Any bits of wisdom imparted to the masses is wonderful.

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February 4, 2016 at 11:54 am

So, just to clarify, should the promo sentence, sales handle and back cover copy be included in the same document as the synopsis?

The word count, target audience and platform are all mentioned briefly in the cover letter. Should they also be reiterated more in-depth in the proposal?

Just trying to line up my wayward ducks. There’s no point in submitting a manuscript if it isn’t submitted properly.

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September 21, 2017 at 8:20 am

Thank you for your guidance and clarification. It helps to have every aspect broken down so well.

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May 21, 2021 at 4:29 am

thanks for the offered clarification, one further point please. 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. Thanks

January 20, 2011 at 10:33 am

Now I understand. Thank you for taking the time to reply 🙂

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?

Thank you so much for making things clear and God bless you.

January 20, 2011 at 11:06 am

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. But sending too much will put you in the “I’ll read this someday, when I have the time” pile.

As for the cover letter? You aren’t retelling the whole story in the cover letter so character names are not as critical. But they can be used if appropriate. Don’t write something like “Snow White along with Sneezy, Sleepy, Dopey, Doc, Happy, Bashful, and Grumpy went to the local grocery store to buy some apples.” That can wait for the manuscript or the synopsis if you want to use those names.

January 20, 2011 at 1:37 pm

Great! 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 60. Is that a problem? Should I just cut the story off at page 50? Thank you and this is my final question 🙂

January 20, 2011 at 1:44 pm

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. A twenty page chapter in a novel is far too long in today’s market.

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.

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March 20, 2017 at 10:23 am

Any idea of the price range for a freelance editor that you have listed on you link?

January 20, 2011 at 7:17 pm

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.

January 21, 2011 at 1:43 pm

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!

January 21, 2011 at 1:47 pm

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.

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March 16, 2013 at 4:14 am

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. The first book is done, 2 others are 85% done. There are over 600 separate cited sources in the first book, two-thirds of which are in the public domain. Must I get written permission from the other 200 sources before I can publish the book or will footnoting the quotes used with TITLE, AUTHOR, PUBLISHER INFO, DATE, AND PAGE NUMBER be sufficient ?

Thanks very much for your help.

January 21, 2011 at 9:38 pm

Great, and with that, I have run out of questions, much to your satisfaction 🙂 Thank you and I will be sending you something soon.

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February 15, 2011 at 4:58 pm

This is a great post. Thank you.

I do have a question, though. I have published my book (11/8/09), but I would like to be represented. What kind of pages do I submit? The book or the final draft of the ms before it went to print?

Also, this book is the first of a series of books that I have outlined at this point with one other ms done (children’s book, which is apart form the series).

How would I document this in a cover letter (the book and subsequent ideas I have outlined as I know you don’t accept children’s books)?

I appreciate your time and attention.

February 19, 2011 at 11:05 pm

A necessary question: are the sales handle, promo sentence & back cover copy lumped in with the synopsis or are they separate in a fiction proposal so that the proposal would contain a cover letter, synopsis, sample chapters and then another page with those 3 items? 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

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May 17, 2011 at 6:58 am

Dear Steve,

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.

Faithfully, Christopher Holms

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August 19, 2011 at 8:33 pm

Steve, I’ve finished my first Biblical historical novel about Jesus, the God-man. 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? I’ve tried to stick with the typical publisher’s guideline, but would appreciate your comments on this area. Also since you state that you’re open to all genres of fiction, does this include Biblical historical?

August 20, 2011 at 11:13 am

Simply use the computer’s double-space format. 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 300 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 6,000 words in a chapter.

As for our agency’s interest? I personally tend to stay away from most Biblical fiction. The only exception is Tosca Lee (see her novel HAVAH: The Story of Eve). 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.

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October 2, 2011 at 7:35 pm

As as up and coming writer, it’s so important to attend conferences, begin networking, but most of all, read about your craft. In order to put your best foot forward, a writer needs to know what is expected. I’ve learned the answer to many of the questions above through writers groups, networking at conferences and obtaining an editor to work with me on my projects.

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October 8, 2011 at 8:58 pm

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.

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October 20, 2011 at 11:46 am

Thank you for outlining so clearly what exactly you expect in a cover letter! I was unclear on one point, however; the first part you identify – “a simple introductory statement is sufficient.”

I confess, I’m unsure on what you are looking for in that statement. Your example is, “Hi, thanks for the opportunity,” but I can’t imagine that you’re looking for something to blunt and plain. 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?

Thank you for taking the time to clarify this matter.

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November 5, 2011 at 10:55 am

I have the same question regarding the Introductory Statement. Thank you for posting this information about the cover letter. It is a huge help!

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November 25, 2011 at 4:21 am

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? I’m uncertain as the second book is not yet written and the first works as a stand-alone.

Thanks so much,

November 26, 2011 at 8:43 am

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.

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May 9, 2014 at 5:50 am

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.

Many thanks Steve

May 9, 2014 at 9:09 am

Steve Long,

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.S. reader. If you write with British English a U.S. based publisher will note that they will have to work harder at the various editing stages to change the style to fit U.S. English standards. Some contracts even name the Chicago Manual of Style as the standard to which the submitted manuscript must comply.

My advice? Change to the American style of English and it won’t be a potential barrier.

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December 5, 2011 at 7:03 am

We write for the love of it, to entertain and educate and nobody knows for certain what will fly, so don’t worry too much about anything.

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. Hook ’em and don’t let them go.

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January 24, 2012 at 12:59 pm

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. Thanks!

February 9, 2012 at 12:11 pm

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.

Just copying pages and mailing them is not a good idea.

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January 25, 2012 at 3:19 pm

I’m a Canadian who has a completed manuscript about a personal family tragedy that garnered both political and public support. It tells how our faith and God’s intervention brought discoveries that eluded authorities after the failure of the largest search launched in 30 years.

Although this is a personal story, the case is now being used at symposiums for both Crown and Defence attorneys in Canada.

Does this story fall into the category of anything you’ve worked with or be willing to work with. I am looking for an agent in a very competitive field.

February 9, 2012 at 12:14 pm

Hard to comment in a blog comment like this because technically I still don’t know what the story is about. 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. In 2013, look for UNTIL WE ALL COME HOME by Kim de Blecourt as an example (published by FaithWords).

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March 2, 2012 at 10:40 pm

Steve – I am seriously impressed to see that you are still tracking new comments on this post a year after it was first posted.

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April 30, 2012 at 2:41 pm

Thanks for the how-to on the cover letter.

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May 7, 2012 at 2:46 pm

Hello: I’d like to receive an example of a one page cover letter to an agent. 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.)

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June 19, 2012 at 1:08 pm

Hi Steve, Thanks so much for going far beyond the call of duty and explaining exactly what is a cover letter. Now, it’s up to me. I’ll do my best.

Blessings, Jackie King-Scott

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July 7, 2012 at 11:58 am

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?

Thank you for any advise.

Respectfully, Deborah

January 18, 2014 at 11:03 am

Your cover letter should focus on what makes your story unique. That “selling point” is critical for a publisher when considering whether or not they can make room for it in the marketplace.

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July 23, 2012 at 7:03 pm

Thanks so much for all the help you’ve given us in this post.

Sincerely, Jackie

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August 8, 2012 at 7:49 pm

I’m curious to know if you can provide a sample cover letter as an example. I’m sure it would help others who are visual learners like myself.

In Christ, Fletch

January 18, 2014 at 5:56 pm

A sample non-fiction cover letter is now available for review on our site: https://stevelaube2.wpengine.com/sample-cover-letter/

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August 23, 2012 at 10:04 am

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. The way that I wrote part two you really don’t need to read part one to understand. I would like to send it to you. Would this be a good idea to send in part two.

January 18, 2014 at 11:01 am

That is risky because while you may think the reader doesn’t need part one, in reality there may be things in the story that are confusing to a reader of book two.

I’ve never seen a publisher jump at the chance to publish book two in a series if they do not also publish book one.

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August 23, 2012 at 6:46 pm

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?

January 18, 2014 at 11:00 am

Not an issue if you own the publication rights. It is your book to sell to another publisher.

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January 13, 2014 at 11:08 am

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

January 18, 2014 at 10:59 am

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.

A HUGE mistake is made by some who send an email with the body of the email blank or with a sentence like “Here is my book. Take a look.”

Or “If you want to read my book go to this web page.”

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January 18, 2014 at 10:39 am

Do you prefer single or double-spacing in a cover letter?

January 18, 2014 at 10:56 am

Single spaced. Just like a regular letter.

The only thing that is double-spaced is the sample chapters or manuscript itself.

January 18, 2014 at 11:57 am

Thank you, sir, for the fast reply.

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April 29, 2014 at 9:03 am

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. It’s like a free tutorial, clean, clear, concise, a true resource for the explanation of the sticky things, like query, and proposal and what to send to whom, what never to do, what’s absolutely necessary to do, and anything else that causes a writer to do the Stupid Stumble. 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. Okay. Back to the memoir.

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July 22, 2014 at 11:23 am

I am now confused over the length of chapters. My chapters in standard spacing are between 8-13 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.

how to write a cover letter for a book

July 23, 2014 at 6:42 am

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 do recommend leaning toward shorter…

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March 7, 2015 at 8:30 pm

Within the first paragraph (second sentence) one reads, “…As if a literary agent is going to spend their time….” I would have thought someone in the “profession” would be a bit more capable of matching a singular subject with a singular pronoun. This confusion of “number” has become acceptable I suppose because so many are willing to worship at the altar of political correctness, so as not to appear behind the times while ruffling feathers.

March 7, 2015 at 10:31 pm

I suppose I could have use “his or her” or “his/her” instead of “their.” But instead I used what is called the “Singular Their.”

See this post about that topic: https://stevelaube2.wpengine.com/the-singular-they/

Hope that helps clarify.

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May 18, 2015 at 2:49 pm

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? Or do a combo cover letter/proposal and attach sample chapters? Thank you! I’m very new to this.

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June 5, 2015 at 11:48 am

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.

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October 27, 2015 at 5:50 pm

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?

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November 8, 2015 at 8:00 am

When researching agents and their submission requirements, I see “query, synopsis and first 3 chapters or 50 pages”. I’ve never heard of a “cover letter”. My novel is a 29,000 word middle grade story.

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February 3, 2016 at 8:43 pm

It’s really, really hard to boil down a 200 page book to 40 words. I feel like I”m trying to write a haiku of my entire life….

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February 10, 2016 at 11:35 am

When you write or type a query letter; should you follow the guidelines of literary sites or not to follow the submission guidelines? There were a few writers who didn’t follow the guide-lines and sent a query letter and got represented.

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June 13, 2016 at 3:33 pm

Steve, can you offer a sample 40-word sound bite for a historical? Struggling with the 40 word concept.

Always learn from you.

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August 22, 2016 at 2:29 am

if you are writing a cover letter, or book review, synopsis etc. you should take a glance at this page to find out some tips

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September 19, 2016 at 9:50 am

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?

July 4, 2017 at 7:55 am

Daniel, I can see how that might be confusing. Try not to overthink it.

Let me clarify…as far as our agency goes, which is not a universal thing.

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. A part of that proposal will be your cover letter, which is basically a “hello my name is” sort of introduction.

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November 2, 2016 at 7:32 pm

Great post. I didn’t think I could shorten my pitch to a 40 word sound bite, but I did. Thanks

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April 6, 2017 at 9:09 am

Hi Steve This is great. I just watched your interview in the Masters class in the Jerry Jenkins Writers Guild. 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.

July 4, 2017 at 7:52 am

Yes. It can be as as simple as “I write under the pen name of I. Noah Tall, which you will notice on the title page of the proposal.”

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July 3, 2017 at 11:18 pm

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? I am 100% the target audience and I so want to read it! I can’t find it online and I’m wondering if a) it was retitled, b) it’s not yet published, or c) it was repurposed into a different book. Thanks again! 🙂

July 4, 2017 at 7:50 am

Rebecca. That specific book idea has gone through multiple iterations but has yet to be published. However, the writer has had other successful projects released. The latest is a co-authored book (with Kathy Lipp) called OVERWHELMED.

https://www.amazon.com/Overwhelmed-Quiet-Chaos-Restore-Sanity/dp/0736965386/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1499179781&sr=1-1&keywords=cheri+gregory

July 4, 2017 at 8:52 am

Thanks! I purchased a copy of Overwhelmed last night. 🙂

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July 28, 2017 at 10:50 am

In the Proposal Guidelines, it says to include:

Promo Sentence Sales Handles Back Cover Copy

Do you actually want to see those headings in the proposal? Sorry if this is a dumb question.

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September 22, 2017 at 11:37 am

You’re my kind of girl! Although we’ve seasons and waxing and waning needs, I’ve grown comfortable in the book club porch hammock with a tome of my own selection. I hate someone else deciding where I need to mature or what I’m going to spend a month devouring.

“Teach us to number our days aright, o Lord, that we may gain a heart of wisdom.” With a barrage of published and digital words stalking us, we need discernment on what edifies.

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October 9, 2017 at 12:41 pm

I’m a man with a unique name and a unique manuscript searching for a unique agent. I found your answers very helpful, practical and instructive. Thank you.

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July 18, 2018 at 3:09 pm

Hello! I’m not sure if you still check a post this old, but I’ll give it a try. 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?

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August 15, 2018 at 7:51 am

Thank you for the helpful post! It’s nice to have a concrete idea of what the agent is looking for before sending out the book proposal.

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April 11, 2019 at 12:48 pm

This is wonderfully informative. Thank you!

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June 10, 2019 at 5:47 pm

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?

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June 13, 2022 at 6:54 am

Steve, Thank you for this terrific perennial post! The patient answers to the many questions demonstrate your passion for supporting writers. Thank you for taking the time to instill such great knowledge. It is much appreciated by this new author.

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June 13, 2022 at 8:10 am

Thanks so much, Steve! These posts with examples for how to do the basics are always so helpful. I look back on them whenever I work on my proposals. Such a great resource!

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June 13, 2022 at 1:26 pm

Steve, I’ve published numerous articles and love my work as an editor of books and articles and author and editor of academic research. If I submit everything you described in this great article correctly and well, and my contemporary and historical women’s fiction books have been alpha and beta reviewed with strong support and appropriately edited, but I have virtually no platform (only 1046 Followers on my website), is there realistically any point in submitting a proposal to an agent before I build a larger platform? Thanks to reading Writer’s Guide and this column for many years, I think I’ve mastered and actually enjoy the submission process you described, but I keep running into the platform roadblock. If there is no platform of thousands to cite in the proposal, is it likely to generate an offer to represent or publish? Thanks!

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August 2, 2022 at 9:59 am

Okay, so I got to eat a little crow here(which isn’t bad if you put a little A-1 on it), I didn’t read the submission instructions properly and submitted my information, and a portion of my book totally wrong. I have since gone back and read as I should have done in the first place. Now I will PROPERLY submit my work as it should be. I hope this didn’t cause too much of a headache for you and your staff and please forgive my anxious foolishness. I do have a couple of questions: 1. Do I have to wait a certain amount of time before I can re-submit my work? 2. The manuscript is being edited, should I wait until the edit is complete before I resubmit it?

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How to Write a Cover Letter to a Publisher

  • Advice for Writers , Publishing Your Book

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Writing a Great Cover Letter Is Key to Publishing Your Manuscript

Are you ready to embark on a thrilling adventure into the world of publishing? Whether you’re a seasoned wordsmith or a budding author, an attractive publishing cover letter is the golden ticket to capturing a publisher’s attention and getting your book on shelves. Though writing a cover letter can be a daunting task, fear not! We’re here to help unravel the mysteries of how to write an engaging, effective cover letter to a publisher.

Once you’ve got yours together, you can submit your cover letter and manuscript to our team here at Atmosphere Press!

A Thoughtful Opening

First, let’s talk about the basics: the salutation. It may be tempting to take the easy road and slap on a standard “To Whom It May Concern,” but this is a chance to personalize the letter and show the publisher you’ve done your homework. Avoid generic greetings that scream “copy and paste,” and instead do some research and address your cover letter to a specific person (usually the acquisitions editor of the publishing house). This will make your letter stand out like a phoenix rising from the ashes!

Generic: To Whom It May Concern, Personalized: Dear [Acquisitions Editor’s Name], Example: Dear Ms. Smith,

A Quick Hook

Next, your cover letter should include your name and a brief introduction to yourself and your work. Hook the reader and dazzle them with your passion. Share why you’re interested in their publishing house and why your manuscript is a perfect fit. Be genuine and let your enthusiasm shine through. Remember, you’re not writing a résumé—you’re crafting a tale to bewitch the publisher. It’s important to keep it concise, as publishers receive countless submissions and don’t have time to read lengthy letters, no matter how engaging they may be.

Introduction: My name is [Your Name], and I am thrilled to submit my manuscript for your consideration. Example: My name is John Doe, and I am an avid fantasy writer excited to share my latest work with Atmosphere Press.

Pitch Your Book!

Now it’s time to weave your writing spells and cast a spellbinding synopsis of your manuscript. Keep it brief but punchy. Highlight the unique and captivating aspects of your story. Avoid spoilers and focus on the plot, characters, and setting. Use descriptive language that paints a vivid picture in the publisher’s mind and leaves them hungering for more.

Then let the publisher know why your manuscript will be a bestseller—cast a confidence charm! Share your target audience, market research, and any promotion ideas you have in mind. Show them you’re not just a one-hit wonder, but a writer who’s willing to put in the effort to make your book a success. Be bold, but not boastful, and let the publisher know you’re ready to rock the literary world with your words.

Blurb: My manuscript is a thrilling tale of adventure set in a world where magic reigns supreme. Example: My manuscript, The Chronicles of Eldoria , follows the journey of a young mage who must unravel the mysteries of an ancient prophecy to save her kingdom from darkness.

After pitching your book, let the publisher know what makes you the chosen one to pen this tale. Share your writing credentials, awards, and any relevant publishing credits. Don’t worry if you’re a rookie writer without a long list of accolades; you can still work magic by sharing your writing style, your love for the genre, and your unique perspective as an author.

Awards: I have received several awards for my short stories and poetry. Example: I am the winner of the 2023 Fantasy Writers Guild Short Story Contest.

A Strong Closing Statement

Finally, the closing flourish: end your publishing cover letter with a gracious goodbye. Thank the publisher for their time and consideration and express your sincere interest in their feedback or the opportunity to submit your manuscript for review. Avoid begging or pleading and maintain a professional tone. Leave them with a warm and positive impression, and they’ll be eager to take the next step on the publishing journey with you.

And there you have it—a guide to crafting a cover letter that will charm the socks off of any publisher. Remember, a well-written cover letter is the key to unlocking doors of opportunity in the publishing world. So, channel your inner wordsmith, sprinkle some humor and creativity, and let your cover letter work its magic! With these tips in mind, you’ll be well on your way to enchanting your would-be publisher and getting your work published.

Gratitude: Thank you for considering my submission. I look forward to hearing from you. Example: Thank you for your time and consideration. I am eager to discuss how The Chronicles of Eldoria could find a home with Atmosphere Press.

Some bonus tips to make your cover letter even more enchanting:

— Avoid using clichés or overused phrases. Be original and let your unique voice shine through.

— Keep it professional. While humor and creativity are encouraged, make sure your cover letter maintains a professional tone and is free from any inappropriate language or jokes.

— Customize each cover letter! Avoid using a generic template and tailor your letter to the publisher you’re submitting to. Research their publishing house, submission guidelines, and recent publications to show that you’ve done your homework.

— Follow submission guidelines. Publishers often have specific guidelines for submitting cover letters and manuscripts; follow these meticulously to show that you’re a professional and detail-oriented writer.

— Proofread, proofread, proofread! Don’t let any sneaky typos or errors break the spell. Double-check your grammar, spelling, and punctuation, and consider asking a trusted friend or fellow writer to review your cover letter as well.

Further, there are plenty of online resources available to help you in writing a cover letter!

Writer’s Digest and The Write Life offer numerous articles, guides, and webinars on various aspects of the publishing process, including crafting effective cover letters.

You could also check out Query Shark , where literary agent Janet Reid critiques real query letters and provides insights into what works and what doesn’t in submissions to agents and publishers, or peruse Manuscript Wish List , a database where literary agents and publishers share their specific manuscript preferences. Writers can browse through the listings to get a sense of what publishers are looking for and tailor their cover letters accordingly.

Still Need Help Writing a Cover Letter?

Strange as it sounds, sometimes writing an effective publishing cover letter is one of the most difficult steps for even the most accomplished writers. What’s more, it’s just one step within the publishing process, alongside choosing the best publisher, ensuring your book is polished, and identifying the best target markets and audience for your book.

If you’re feeling overwhelmed, our expert publication team at Atmosphere Press offers free publication consultations to help budding authors take the next step. Schedule yours today !

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How to Write a Stand-Out Cover Letter

  • How to Write a Stand-Out…

How to write a cover letter guide – BPA Blog

SO, WHAT IS A COVER LETTER?

Literary agents and many literary competitions require a cover letter along with your sample chapters and synopsis. This is a formal introduction to you and your novel. Note: It is not a CV, a bio or a blurb for the book. It’s a letter, written from one professional to another, that should make the agent or judge want to read more. The biggest mistake entrants to the BPA First Novel Award made this year was getting the balance off, either writing too much about the novel or too much about themselves – some poor novels didn’t get a mention. There’s a rough template most agents and competition judges will look for, and it’s pretty doable! Let’s give it a go.

TELL US ABOUT THE NOVEL

First, tell us about the novel. That’s what you’re trying to sell! You want the agent to finish the cover letter with such curiosity about the book that they’re hungry for the sample chapters. 

The first paragraph will usually reveal the title , the genre , the word count of the completed manuscript (If you don’t include this, they might worry you haven’t finished it!) and something that offers a taste of the novel, like a mention of the themes you’re going to explore.

Be specific when stating the genre – if it’s general fiction, think about whether the market is commercial, book club, upmarket or literary. If it’s YA, don’t just say it’s YA – is it a YA romance? YA dystopia? Who’s out there writing YA crime? The literary agent will be familiar with all the terms, so the more specific you are, the easier it will be to picture an audience for the book.

Once you’ve provided these core facts, write an elevator pitch . This is a single sentence that conveys your novel’s hook or USP. For inspiration, check out the Sunday Times Bestsellers List:

  • Richard Osman’s  The Thursday Murder Club : Four friends in a retirement village team up to solve a mystery on their doorstep.
  • Paula Hawkins’  The Girl on the Train : A commuter’s fascination with a married couple she passes every day turns deadly.

It’s a good idea to follow this up with a one-paragraph description of the novel. Unlike the synopsis, it doesn’t need to tell the entire story, but it should be just more than the premise. Tell us who the protagonist is, what happens to upset the balance of their life, and what their goal is (presumably to restore said life balance!). If you can do that in a couple of sentences, you might also mention one of the novel’s core turning points.

Cover letters should describe the novel first, then the writer, then remind us of the novel at the end. In a short final paragraph, say what inspired you to write the book and offer some comparable titles . (Check out agent Nelle Andrew’s advice on comparable titles .)

The letter should be targeted towards the literary agent or competition judge you’re writing to. Some writers choose to open with this and others incorporate it into the later paragraphs. The best way to make a connection and show you’ve done your research is to mention an author on the agent’s list who has a relevant readership. You could also explain why you think your novel aligns with what they describe in their wish list.

TELL US ABOUT YOU

It’s the writing, not the writer, that’s important … but the agent or judge does want to know about you too. They especially want to know why you were the one person who could write this book . And it’s true – no one else could write the book you’ve written. So tell us why. Did your job as a psychiatrist inspire the analysis of your antagonist’s motivation? Do you live in the idyllic town where the book is set? Have you studied the era of your historical novel? Share relevant details about yourself. 

The agent or judge also wants evidence that you are a writer. You’re not just someone who thinks they have a novel in them; you take your craft seriously. If you can, share what magazines your short fiction has been published in, the competitions you’ve been listed in or the creative writing courses you’ve completed. If you don’t have that kind of experience, share anything that tells us you’re serious. Join a writer’s workshop group and tell us about that. Attend an online masterclass (like the ones BPA runs ) and mention that. Experiment with writing in different forms and tell us about it. S hare which contemporary authors have inspired you, so it’s clear that you’re well read. Just don’t put, ‘This is my first attempt at writing fiction,’ and leave it at that. It doesn’t inspire confidence.

A cover letter should be professional, like the cover letter you would send with a job application, but you also want it to have some personality. And given you’re basically applying for the role of ‘novelist’, it needs to be well written.

So, keep it formal, make sure it’s eloquent, and try to get some flow into it. When you read it aloud, it should sound natural. If it doesn’t, it might be that you haven’t varied sentence length, that you’ve used rigid language, or simply that you’re trying too hard. As formal as a cover letter should be, you want your enthusiasm for this novel you’ve spent so long writing to imbue the lines. 

COMMON ISSUES IN ‘BPA FIRST NOVEL AWARD’ SUBMITTED COVER LETTERS

  • Formatting it like a CV or splitting it into sections titled ‘Bio’ and ‘Novel Summary’.
  • Sharing irrelevant detail about your personal life. 
  • Making it too short – 200-350 words is a good guideline.
  • Or too long – unfortunately, nobody’s going to read a cover letter past the first page!
  • Writing a vague description of the story e.g. ‘When a mysterious event happens, a woman will have to look to the past to uncover the truth.’
  • Including long-winded explanations of why there’s a huge market for your book.
  • Coming across as arrogant … or lacking in confidence.
  • Sharing more about the novel’s message than its story.

WRITE THE COVER LETTER YOUR NOVEL DESERVES

Once you’ve finished a manuscript, the instinct is to get it on submission as soon as possible, but it’s worth taking the time to give an accurate and exciting representation of the work . Literary agents receive many submissions a day and have to fit reading time in with a huge workload. You need to grab them in the cover letter so that they’re already thinking of you as a potential client when they read the sample.

Out of everything you could have written on the blank pages of a document titled Novel , you’ve carefully chosen each word of this story that has to be told. You know people will love it and you hopefully have a sense of who and why . Get that across to the agent or competition reader, and maybe, just maybe, they’ll request the full manuscript.

For personalised feedback on your cover letter, you might want to consider a BPA Submission Package Report – enquire here .

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Write A Cover Letter Or A Query Letter: The Basics

by Writer's Relief Staff | Cover Letters , Editing And Editors , Literary Agents , Query Letters , Submit Your Writing | 17 comments

Review Board is now open! Submit your Short Prose, Poetry, and Book today!

Deadline: thursday, february 22nd.

Write A Cover Letter Or A Query Letter: The Basics

If you’re thinking of writing a cover letter or a query letter, you’re taking the first steps toward getting your writing published!

The prospect of writing cover letters and query letters often sends writers into a state of anxiety. But we’ve been helping writers compose cover letters and query letters since 1994! What follows is a basic introduction to cover and query letters.

For advanced strategies and techniques, visit our Free Writers Tool Kit!

What is the difference between a cover letter and a query letter?

What is a cover letter? The term cover letter is generally used to refer to the letter of introduction that accompanies your poetry and prose submissions to literary journals and magazines.

What is a query letter? A query letter is a type of cover letter that is geared specifically toward literary agents . Literary agents represent book projects and sell them to publishing houses. They rarely represent short stories or poetry.

In the freelance writing industry, the term query letter can be used to refer to a letter that is pitching a nonfiction article to an editor at a news magazine or other periodical. But in the book publishing industry, query letter describes letters that are sent to pitch books to literary agents.

What do cover letters and query letters have in common?

Literary agents and editors want concise, clear information. They don’t want to be distracted by gimmicks or bogged down by long-winded explanations.

Both cover and query letters are letters of introduction. Both contain author bios and basic information about what is being submitted.

The primary difference is that, while query letters include a synopsis of the project in question (in order to entice an agent to read more), cover letters do not.

A cover letter presumes that the editor who receives it will read the enclosed/attached materials.

A query letter must entice a literary agent to read the attached/enclosed materials or must entice said agent to request more pages of a manuscript.

Submit to Review Board

How long is a cover or query letter?

One page. Single-spaced. And, no, your letter is not the exception that can be longer than one page. 🙂

What’s the bottom line with cover and query letters?

Editors at literary magazines or literary agents may or may not read your cover letter, but you’ll still need to follow their submission guidelines carefully in order to be taken seriously.

Now that you know the basics, it’s time to create an amazing cover or query letter. Our free articles will help. Be sure to check out our Free Publishing Tool Kit!

Here are some other important posts about cover and query letters:

Cover And Query Letters: Striking The Right Tone In Your Writing

The Anatomy of A Query Letter

How To Handle Salutations

Top Query Letter Mistakes: Avoid These Amateur Errors

Fan Fiction: Should You List Fan Fiction Awards And Publications In Your Writing Bio?

Query Fail: How NOT To Write A Query Letter

Query Letters: When (Not) To Talk About Multiple Books, Including Sequels, A Series, And Other Projects

Self-Publishing: When (Not) To Include Your Self-Published Book In Your Query Letter:

How To Write And Send E-Queries

Want help writing a cover letter or a query letter? Contact Writer’s Relief!

how to write a cover letter for a book

17 Comments

SANDRA RACHEL DAMANI

I wish to place on record my thanks to Writer’s Relief. The guidelines were helpful and answered a few queries that I had.

Baking Supplies

Both cover letters and query letters are written with the purpose of introducing yourself and your work to a potential recipient, such as a hiring manager or an agent/publisher.

Ez Assignment Writing Help

A cover letter and a query letter are quite different. For poetry and short stories, most markets don’t have you query, just send the material, sometimes with a cover letter.

It can be brief and to the point.

Dear Mr. Editorname,

Enclosed is my 2500 word story “Ralph,” about a man who vomits for a living. I hope you’ll agree the readers of Magazinename will enjoy it.

Thanks for your consideration.

Academic Writing

The term introductory letter is by and large used to allude to the letter of presentation that goes with your verse and exposition entries to abstract diaries and magazines. In the independent written work industry, the term inquiry letter can be utilized to allude to a letter that is pitching a verifiable article to an editorial manager at a news magazine or other periodical. An inquiry letter must allure a scholarly operator to peruse the joined/encased materials or must tempt said specialist to ask for more pages of an original copy.

assignmentwritingservice

Presentation is key esp the cover letter design, fonts and presentation. More important is the person you are communicating.

EssayWritingLab

We tend to tell one thing to all clients who contact EssayWritingLab with this question – all you have to do is know what to name the letter, and the rest is pretty much the same.

buy thesis

Presentation is resolution esp the cover bird design, fonts or presentation. More necessary is the man or woman ye are communicating.

Emirates loan

It’s the very first thing your potential employer will read, and 99% of the time it’s the last. Your chance to show that you know what they need, that you can match those needs, and that you can present yourself in a manner appropriate to their company. Only if that matches will they normally turn the page and start reading your CV

Folic Acid

Thanks for your post. I’ve been thinking about writing a very comparable post over the last couple of weeks, I’ll probably keep it short and sweet and link to this instead if thats cool. Thanks.

Writer's Relief Staff

We’re glad you found our article informative, and you’re welcome to link to our post.

چمن مصنوعی

A cover letter and a query letter are quite different. For poetry and short stories, most markets don’t have you query, just send the material, sometimes with a cover letter.

Enclosed is my 2500 word

henry jones

Thanks for providing the news for cover and query letters. I really found this awesome. Thanks alot 🙂

writingessay

Really appreciated tips about writing a cover before reading this basic I was too many mistakes thanks for sharing this helpful content.

perfecttime

Thanks for providing the news for cover and query letters. I really found this awesome.

jamaima cyrus1

I was looking for an essay writer who can write my cover letter. I want to submit my cover letter to the firm for the job. But through you post I think I can write it myself because you have clearified it very deeply .

David

Well thanks a lot I have been looking for these kind of blogs because I washaving difficulty in writing my cover letter.

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How to write a covering letter to a publisher, editor or agent

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how to write a cover letter for a book

The first thing publishers see when they open your submission package is the covering letter. It doesn’t matter how good your synopsis and sample chapters are, if this vital document fails to impress an editor or agent, then your submission will be rejected. So to ensure you make an excellent first impression, follow the advice of the experts

The first thing publishers see when they open your submission package is the covering letter. It doesn’t matter how good your synopsis and sample chapters are, if this vital document fails to impress an editor or agent, then your submission will be rejected. So to ensure you make an excellent first impression, follow the advice of the experts...

Find the right publisher for your manuscript

Before you start writing your covering letter, you need to find the right publisher for your manuscript. If your book is a non-fiction guide to growing your own vegetables, you need to find a publisher who produces non-fiction gardening books. Sending it to a publisher who specialises in short story romances will result in instant rejection. It is also essential that you check their submission guidelines and follow them precisely. They may specify how long the covering letter should be or what you should include.

What to include in your covering letter

Summersdale Publisher Stewart Ferris

Show off your strengths

Julia McCutchen

The Writer’s Journey: From Inspiration to Publication demystifies the world of publishing and outlines the steps non-fiction writers need to take to present their work to agents and publishers professionally and with confidence.

For non-fiction covering letters, include:

• Compelling Key Sentence • what makes your book different • who it is for • your passion for writing it • your credibility as the author • a mention of your platform/key sales, marketing or promotional opportunities

For fiction covering letters, include:

• Compelling Key Sentence(s) • key themes/features of your story • genre • length • why you wrote the book • something about you/background • life experience • your influences as a writer, writing career • how you see the book in terms of the market ie who for, is it first in a series etc.

Points to remember when writing your covering letter

• Get the name of the publisher/editor right • State where you found their details and why you are approaching them • Tell the publisher about your book • Give your blurb or Compelling Key Sentence • Tell the publisher about yourself • End on a positive note

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how to write a cover letter for a book

The Proven Method Of Writing Short Story Cover Letters

Welcome to this guide on how to write a cover letter for a short story, as well as for pieces for magazines, journals, publishers and presses , complete with examples that have been proven to work in the past. 

The task of writing a cover letter can sometimes feel tougher than writing the actual story. Luckily, guidance is plentiful and having studied that guidance, I’ve put together a quick guide complete with examples.

At this early stage, it’s important to highlight that cover letters differ depending on whether it’s a short story, or a longer piece, such as a novel—submission requirements are more substantial for the latter.

For short stories, the best guidance I’ve encountered comes from Alex Shvartsman, well-respected editor and writer of sci-fi and fantasy. Check out his guidance in full here

how to write a cover letter for a short story

How To Write A Cover Letter For A Short Story

Here are some of the highlights:

  • If you know the name of the editor, address the cover letter to them. For instance, ‘Dear Mr Gamgee’. If in doubt, just use ‘Dear Editors’.
  • Keep it simple. The editor is about to read your story, you don’t need to tell them the ins and outs of character and plot. Let them discover it themselves. And if you explain it badly, you may put them off reading it altogether.
  • If it’s not relevant, don’t include it. If you’ve got a law degree, nice work, but what has it got to do with the story? If your story is a legal drama, then that’s a different matter.
  • List some of your most notable publishing accomplishments. If you don’t have any, that’s fine! As Shvartsman says: “Every editor I know loves discovering new talent and loves being the first to publish someone, or first to publish someone in a pro venue. No one is going to hold a lack of past credits against you.”

A Proven Example Of How To Write A Cover Letter For A Short Story

So, the examples. This is a cover letter I used for a short story called Noodlin ’, published by Kzine in May 2019.

_______________

Richie Billing

12 Hobbiton Lane, The Shire, Middle Earth

T: 07458228888

E: [email protected]

W: https://richiebilling.com/

Dear Editors,

I attach for your consideration ‘Noodlin”, a fantasy story around 2,800 words in length.

My short fiction has featured in Aphelion Webzine, Alien Pub Magazine and Far Horizons, and non-fiction in Authors Publish Magazine.

I appreciate you taking the time to consider my submission.

All the very best,

If, for instance, I was sending this story to a few publishers (AKA a simultaneous submission), it’s wise to tell them you’re doing so. An example may look something like this:

I have submitted this story to other publishers. Should it be accepted elsewhere I will, of course, inform you without delay.

For the avoidance of doubt, the text should not be bold. I’ve merely done so for easier reference.

The address and other details are very much optional provided you include them all on the first page of your manuscript. A true letter would feature this information in such a style, or it could be justified to the right of the page. However, in this modern age your submission email usually comprises the cover letter and with that the format’s a bit different. With emails, I usually put all this info at the very end, after my signature.

How To Write A Cover Letter For A Novel

So that’s the practice for short stories, what about novels?

Publishers may ask for a short summary of the novel in the cover letter. How short depends on the publisher—they may ask for detail, they may ask for a mere sentence.

A standard accompaniment to the cover letter is a synopsis—what your story is about , i.e. the premise, the point of it; the characters, their emotional journey and the conflicts they face; the intended market, and; where it aligns in that market, for instance, comparing it to Lord of the Rings. The length is generally limited by publishers to one page. Invest a good amount of time in your synopsis. Make every word count. Read it aloud. Refine it until you can’t say it any better. The synopsis helps an editor form their impression of your story so try and make the best one you can .

More Help On Writing Cover Letters and Getting Published

For more help and guidance on how to write a cover letter, I’ve included links to some guides you may find useful below:

  • List of fantasy publishers
  • List of fantasy magazines and journals
  • List of book reviewers
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When You Write

How to Write a Perfect Cover Letter for a Short Story Submission

Editors see mounds of bad cover letters. A lot of new writers submit short stories with little or no guidance and end up submitting cover letters that are either overenthusiastic or lacking the necessary information.

What you must know is that cover letters for different genres follow different sets of rules and etiquette. For example, an editor doesn’t expect you to write a cover letter for short fiction in the same format you would craft a query letter for a novel submission.

A cover letter is not a platform for you to brag about yourself or your writing accolades. There’s nothing that annoys an editor more than a cocky newbie.

Your cover letter is, most often than not, the first thing an editor sees and you have to be on point to create a strong first impression. Some editors that I have interacted with said that they read the cover letter after reading your short stories, and they admit that some cover letters convince them to go back to the story and reevaluate it.

Luckily for you, I have compiled tips on just how to go about crafting a good cover letter that can make a ‘strong first impression’ and influence the editor’s aftertaste after savoring your stories.

Research and… Research

In all the posts that I have made on cover letters, I have emphasized the importance of finding out the publisher’s/organizer’s guidelines.

Every organizer/publisher has a specific set of rules for short story cover letters, and knowledge and application of these guidelines raises the chances of your submission getting accepted.

You should research the publisher’s inclinations. Some publishers, or should I say most, won’t accept adult stories. They may not disclose these attitudes in their Ts and Cs, but an exploratory look at their published works can reveal what kind of genre they love to publish.

Tips on Creating a Perfect Cover Letter for a Short Story Submission

A good cover letter for a short story submission should be:

Short and Simple

Cover letters for short fiction always have to have the conciseness element. It should be short and simple but compelling enough; it has to signal to the editor that you’re at least a refined writer.

Courteous and Direct

It is unprofessional to send a cover letter that is copied and pasted from previous submissions. The cover letter should address the editor or publishers and must contain information relevant to that particular submission.

Professional

Although a good cover letter is supposed to be courteous, it doesn’t have to get too personal. The editor doesn’t really care if you know their name (although it’s okay to address them by their name if they suggested so), but the contents of the cover letter must remain professional.

How to Address a Cover Letter

It is advisable to leave niceties and go straight to business. I have read a couple of blogs by real editors, and they all agree on one thing: go straight to business.

If you’re going to make multiple submissions to different recipients, you have to make sure you don’t put too much effort into ‘playing the nice newbie’ and just focus on making the cover letter a contextually right letter.

What should be in a cover letter?

I didn’t want to ramble on about something I didn’t know anything about, so I decided to give you a list of things that Neil Clarke (a real-life editor from Clarkesworld Magazine) wants to see in your cover letter for short stories:

  • State whether you are previously published or not.
  • If you’re submitting work that you did not author (maybe you’re the author’s agent or something), you have to state it in the cover letter. You have to explain the working arrangement with the author or if you’re translating.
  • And if you state that you are submitting a translation, you should say whether the story was originally published and where, in what language, and whether the original author or whoever holds the rights on the original has given you the permission to translate and publish.
  • If you are submitting a reprint, the cover letter should state this and any restrictions placed on the reprint.
  • If your short story doesn’t fit in one of the categories that the publisher has listed, the cover letter must explain what type of genre it is.

The cover letter also needs to contain a short bio, the story’s word count, title, and a brief description of the short story (not summary), among other things.

Publishers and editors have unique preferences, so you’ll find what ‘unique’ things they want in your cover letter.

Don’t Put These in Your Cover Letter

Going back to Neil Clarke’s preferences (most of which are shared by most editors), these things shouldn’t be in a cover letter:

  • Bank or PayPal details.
  • Mailing address or phone number (This might not be the case for all editors/publishers). In Clarke’s case, the mailing addressing should be on the first page of the story.
  • A summary of your short story.

But I said in the previous section, every editor and publisher has their own preferences.

Don’t Say These in Your Short Story Cover letter

Cover letters rarely influence editors’ opinions of a story, but some things can annoy an editor. Although they’re likely not going to reject the story because of some ‘little things’ in your short story’s cover letter, it’s wise to stay on the safe side.

Confidence is good, but you don’t have to be arrogant. For instance, you don’t have to say “I’m the modern-day Charles Dickens.”

And… you know it’s so ‘amateur hour’ when you say, “This is the best story you’ll ever read.” Trust me, it’s not. Editors have read thousands of stories and it’s better to let them ‘choose’ which is the best they’ve ever read.

Even though it’s bad to sound cocky in your cover letter, it’s equally damning to show low self-esteem. So, in your cover letter, you have to avoid writing things like ‘how desperate you’re’ or ‘how many times your story has been rejected.’ Those won’t help your case at all!

Formats and Submission Guidelines

If you haven’t found this out already, some publications put so much emphasis on the format of short story submissions. Some publications will give you specifications for font size, line spacing, margins, etcetera. It’s either you format everything the way they tell you to, or it’s an instant REJECTION for you!

However, some publications don’t go that far, but most of them let you know that If you don’t follow their pocket-size guidelines, you might as well just keep your story to yourself.

Outside the typing window, there are other formatting issues that you have to be aware of. Things like file type (e.g., PDF, RTF, Word Doc, etcetera.) and the means of submitting (e.g., email, or through the publication’s website). A few old guards still require writers to submit stories in print—yes, inconveniently, through the postal service.

The submission guidelines may extend to the manner of attaching documents (and the number of those attachments). Hopefully, the publications you’re submitting to allow you to submit attachments (which is the most likely nowadays).

Sample Cover Letter for a Short Story Submission

There are more than a thousand ways you can write your cover letter for a short story submission. In case you don’t have the littlest idea of how to go about it, I have written a very brief cover letter.

Note : This is a sample and cannot be used as a blueprint for any short fiction submission. Well, you could use it if you think it’s okay; I mean, it’s not bad.

Dear Maggie (if you don’t know their name, just put their professional title like Editor), Please consider this 2000-word story, “Dying Good,” for publication in the Sun Dance Magazine . I believe this short fiction piece is exactly the type of story that the Sun Dance typically publishes. “Dying Good” is a tale of betrayal, anger, and—ultimately—redemption. It follows a man on his journey from the gallows of degeneracy to salvation. Thank you for your consideration. Sincerely, Ed Halfords.

This cover letter is exactly 67 words (without that bracketed explanation) and even if you were to add some details, which is a likely thing, it wouldn’t be anywhere near 150 words. In such a short piece, you can put all the required information and still avoid taking much of the editor’s time.

Final Words on Cover Letters for a Short Story Submission

You shouldn’t have to worry about writing an out-of-this-world cover letter when submitting your short story. That will only make the process seem like a very challenging task—but, in all honesty, it isn’t. I believe that I covered all the ‘life-saving’ tips that you can use to make your story submission a seamless task.

I’m not an editor (well, not by profession), but I did my research and contacted some ‘editor friends’ of mine before I got down to write this post.

As long as you do your research, keep your cover letters for short stories short, and always stick to the point, omit anything else, your short story is ready for submission!

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© 2024 When You Write

Jane Friedman

The Perfect Cover Letter: Advice From a Lit Mag Editor

cover letter for magazine or journal

Today’s guest post is from Elise Holland, co-founder and editor of 2 Elizabeths , a short fiction and poetry publication.

When submitting your short-form literature to a magazine or journal, your cover letter is often the first piece of writing an editor sees. It serves as an introduction to your thoughtfully crafted art. As such, it is significant, but it shouldn’t be intimidating or even take much time to write.

As editor at 2 Elizabeths , I see a variety of cover letters every day; some are excellent, and others could stand to be improved. There are a few key pieces of information to include, while keeping them short and sweet. In fact, a cover letter should only be a couple of paragraphs long, and no more than roughly 100-150 words.

A little research goes a long way

Seek out the editor’s name, and address the letter to him/her, as opposed to using a generic greeting. Typically, you can find this information either on the magazine or journal’s website, or in the submission guidelines.

Read the submission guidelines thoroughly. Many publications will state in their guidelines the exact details that need to be included in a cover letter. With some variation, a general rule of thumb is to include the following:

  • Editor’s name (if you can locate it)
  • Genre/category
  • Brief description of your piece
  • If you have been published previously, state where
  • Whether your piece is a simultaneous submission (definition below)

Terms to Know

The term simultaneous submission means that you will be sending the same piece to several literary magazines or journals at the same time. Most publications accept simultaneous submissions, but some do not. If a publication does not accept them, this will be stated in their guidelines.

Should your work be selected for publication by one magazine, it is important to notify other publications where you have submitted that piece. This courtesy will prevent complications, and will keep you in good graces with various editors, should you wish to submit to them again in the future.

The term multiple submission means that you are submitting multiple pieces to the same literary magazine or journal.

Cover Letter That Needs Work

Dear Editor, Here is a collection of poems I wrote that I’d like you to consider. I have not yet been published elsewhere. Please let me know what you think. Bio: John Doe is an Insurance Agent by day and a writer by night, living in Ten Buck Two. He is the author of a personal blog, LivingWith20Cats.com. Best, John Doe

What Went Wrong?

John Doe didn’t research the editor’s name. A personal greeting is always better than a simple “Dear Editor.” Additionally, John failed to include the word count, title and a brief description of his work.

There is no need to state that John has not yet been published elsewhere. He should simply leave that piece of information out. (Many publications, 2 Elizabeths included, will still welcome your submissions warmly if you are unpublished.)

John included a statement asking the editor to let him know what he/she thinks about his work. Due to time constraints, it is rare that an editor sends feedback unless work is going to be accepted.

Unless otherwise specified by the magazine or journal to which you are submitting, you do not need to include biographical information in your cover letter. Typically, that information is either requested upfront but in a separate document from the cover letter, or is not requested until a piece has been selected for publishing.

Cover Letter Ready to Be Sent

Dear Elise, Please consider this 1,457-word short fiction piece, “Summer.” I recently participated in the 2 Elizabeths Open Mic Night, and am an avid reader of the fiction and poetry that you publish. “Summer” is a fictitious tale inspired by the impact of a whirlwind, yet meaningful, romance I experienced last year. In this story, I gently explore the life lessons associated with young love, with a touch of humor. This is a simultaneous submission, and I will notify you if the piece is accepted elsewhere. Thank you for your consideration. Kindest Regards, John Doe

What Went Right?

In this letter, John includes all pertinent information, while keeping his letter clear and concise. In his second sentence, John also briefly states how he is familiar with the magazine. While doing this isn’t required, if done tastefully, it can be a nice touch! Another example might be: “I read and enjoyed your spring issue, and believe that my work is a good fit for your magazine.”

I hope these sample letters help you as you send your short works to magazines and journals for consideration. While you’re at it, I hope you will check out 2 Elizabeths ! We would love to read your work.

Elise Holland

Elise Holland is co-founder and editor of 2 Elizabeths , a short fiction and poetry publication. Her work has appeared in various publications, most recently in Story a Day . Through 2 Elizabeths, Elise strives to create value and visibility for writers, through writing contests , events , and more!

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[…] view post at https://janefriedman.com/perfect-cover-letter-advice-lit-mag-editor/ […]

[…] To get into literary magazines, you need a cover letter, so Elise Holland lays out how to write the perfect cover letter for a literary magazine. […]

Diane Holcomb

Love this! The letter is short and to the point, and covers all the necessary information. Great tips! I always worry that the only publishing credit I have is the winning entry in a short story contest through the local paper. Should I mention that? And writing conferences I’ve attended?

Jane Friedman

As Elise says, it’s OK if you’re unpublished. Don’t worry about it. But feel free to mention your winning entry. If the writing conferences would likely be known to the journals’ editors, you might mention one or two.

[…] recently wrote a full article on the perfect cover letter, here. Check it out for clear, simple instructions, along with sample […]

[…] publication. Her work has appeared in various publications, most recently in Story a Day, and at JaneFriedman.com.  Through 2 Elizabeths, Elise strives to create value and visibility for writers, through writing […]

Sarah

Thanks for the concise and useful information! I’ve heard that it’s also a good idea to include a sentence or two that makes it clear that you are familiar with the kind of work the magazine has published in the past. Is this generally advised, or would you consider it nonessential unless specified in the submission guidelines?

wpdiscuz

Picture Book Submissions – The Great Cover Letter

how to write a cover letter for a book

You might be asking what you actually submit to a publisher when you submit a picture book manuscript. I submit three items. This may be debatable, and many of you may submit items differently. I’d love to hear what the rest of you submit, but I’m going to share with you what I learned at one of my first conferences and therefore, what I submit. I’d especially love to hear from you if you’re an editor and like to receive submissions in a different manner. Please comment below.

The three items I submit are a cover letter, proposal and formatted manuscript. We’ll cover each item in separate blogs.

Today we’ll talk about the killer, knock the socks of an editor cover letter. If a publisher requests query letters first, before full submission of the manuscript, then this will be your query letter. The Market Guides relay which method the publishers prefer. Send in what they prefer. Don’t stuff your whole proposal into an envelope if the publisher prefers queries initially.

A query letter is a single letter asking for permission to submit your full proposal.  A cover letter accompanies your proposal and briefly describes your proposal. Both may be the only item an editor reads, unless it’s good. This letter should do more than pique an editor’s interest. It should reflect your great writing skills and make them want to keep reading and ask for more. Both letters serve the same purposes of highlighting your book and making it something an editor will want to pursue.

It’s nice to start with a name of an editor as opposed to Dear Editor. If you can find the name of the editor, by all means, use it. If you have met the editor at a conference, make that the first item mentioned.

“It was a pleasure meeting you at the XXX conference on (state the date). I enjoyed dining with you that evening and discussing possible book titles with you, (or whatever you discussed to bring who you are to their mind). I have a manuscript I thought you might be interested in reading.”

Then start with a bang, a hook, a question, something to tap an editor’s interest and touch on the main idea of your book. If your book is about a girl who loves purses and can’t get enough, you might start with something like this:

What’s not to love about purses? What if you had one in every shape and size to match every pair of shoes you owned but didn’t have room enough to put them all? What would you do? I’ve written a story about a girl who can’t get enough purses…

I know you could make it stronger. Spend time on your hook. Make it playful, fun, interesting.

State the audience for whom you wrote it and get as specific as possible. Elementary age children is a bit general. Tell which age group and if there’s a specific market, highlight it here. Say for example, it’s a book for children having surgery, or a bed time story for preschool children, or for young girls 4-6 who love purses. Tell specifics, but not too specific to make your market too small.

Briefly state any special ideas in your book that will make yours stand out. Have you included an easy how-to-make-your-own purse template or an easy how to stack and store your purses chart? Mention this here.

Note the word count, projected page count, and a brief bio about yourself, especially if it would help shine on why you’re the right one to write that particular book. I wrote a book once for children to ease the stress and fear of surgery and mentioned that I’m a Nurse Anesthetist. It relayed the fact that I’m a professional and might know a little about the topic. (I still don’t have a contract on the book, but hopefully it’s not because I’m not qualified to write it…)

Mention why you think this is the perfect publisher for your book, why you chose them. Why you think your book might complement other books they’ve published. If you’re sending it to more than one publisher, mention that it is a simultaneous submission.

Keep your cover/query letter one page or less. Keep your writing tight. This is not a letter to your best friend, so keep it short, simple, to the point, but enticing.

End with something like, Thank you for your time. I look forward to hearing from you soon. Sincerely, XXX and sign it.

Before you send it, make it perfect. This letter reflects your writing skills. Don’t let them find grammatical errors, typos, wrong use of commas, etc. or they may not pursue your book further, even if the idea sounds great. Spend time on your query/cover letter and make it shine.

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Convincing Cover Letter for Publishing Industry: Sample + Tips

Elena Prokopets

Are you that person whose nose is always deep into some new title? Do most types of printed periodicals appear oddly fascinating to you? Well, then you are probably well-suited for a career in the publishing industry. 

Despite our collective obsession with digital — and the ubiquity of bite-sized blog posts — a real book still remains an in-demand product too. Last year, the US book industry generated over $26.5 billion in revenue with print book figures improving. And that means that many publishers are once again on a hiring spree.

To land a job with some cool publisher, you gotta have a polished resume. But more importantly, you need to submit a compelling cover letter too. After all, it’s your best way to show your word mastery. 

But even experienced editors often struggle to come up with the right words to frame their achievements. So we’ve created this sample cover letter for publishing jobs as a writing prompt for you. Scroll to the bottom for some extra tips too! 

Publishing Jobs Cover Letter Sample (Word version)

Here’s a sample cover letter for an experienced romance novels editor, looking to work with a national publisher. 

cover letter sample for a publishing job

Download cover letter example (.docx)

Cover Letter Example for Publishing Industry (text version)

Dear Mariam Smith,

Do you know how I recognize a potential best-seller? If the first ten pages leave me thoroughly hooked, it’s a strong contender.  My cover letter for an open position of Romance Novel Editor with Clarks and Spencer Publishing isn’t a real pageturner, but it hopefully will provide an interesting narrative into my professional experience and abilities that can be of use to your company.

My journey towards the publishing industry began when I was 6. That’s when I wrote a short love story about a princess and an ice cream delivery man (non-trivial theme, I know). Then I tried to persuade my parents to let me print several copies to give away to my friends. But my mom said that book publishing isn’t free, so I do need to finish several chores first if I want my novel to see the light of day. Since then, I’ve learned a lot more about the publishing industry during my 5 years as an Associate Essay Editor with Angies’ Publishing House and as Romance Features Editor at Wedding Magazine. 

Additionally, I provide manuscript editing services as a freelancer to self-published romance authors, specializing in period dramas — a genre where Clarks and Spencer Publishing certainly excels. Joanne Monroe and Andy McKinzey are two of my long-term favorite authors, whose your house published. 

Apart from having strong copyediting skills, I’m also experienced with the operational side of the business. I can provide creative direction and vision for book illustrations, liaise with authors and agents, and otherwise facilitate the titles acquisition process. 

For previous samples of my work and references, please check my personal website kaylaeditorialservices.com. If you have further questions, don’t hesitate to contact me. 

Kayla Devis 

How To Write A Cover Letter for Publishing Industry Jobs

Since you are in the business of words, your cover letter should be coherent, well-narrated, and a bit artistically articulate. After all, you’d like to advertise your personal writing skills too and there’s no better way to do that than in a cover letter.

Still, your cover letter should respect the “unspoken” code — provide background into your work experience, core competencies, and motivation for joining this particular company. To communicate all of the above within one page, follow these actionable tips. 

1. Explain Your “Why”

Why are you so interested in the publishing industry? Why do you want to work for our company? These are the questions nearly every employer in the industry asks. And they want to see answers to them in your cover letter. 

As Carolyn Zimatore, Director, Talent Management at HarperCollins Publishers puts it : 

“I am not sure which is worse: a generic cover letter that says “I would like the open position at your company” without any mention of what the company is or what the job is or why you want the job, or no cover letter at all.”

So before you put any words down, take a five and research the company . Look into the type of genres they are mostly publishing. Check recent authors. Bring up industry awards. There are a lot of small nuggets you can dig up to make your letter sound as if you intimately know their business. 

2. Use Some Storytelling 

Most people join the publishing industry because they are obsessed with great stories. Show your appreciation of a good narrative by weaving in a quick personal story into your letter like the applicant does in the letter above. Just remember to err on the side of brevity. A cover letter isn’t a novel. So keep your story short and sweet as the author does in the sample above. 

3. Advertise Some Extra Skills 

If you want to work in the publishing industry, you need to have exceptional writing and editorial skills. But that’s what every other job applicant will highlight too. So instead of focusing on just that, bring up some of the “extras” you have. Are you an amazing negotiator and can get the needle moving with agents? Are you a maven when it comes to writing jacket copy and sales notes? Do you also happen to be obsessed with numbers and can do baseline sales projections, price research, and other analytical tasks? Bring all of these complementary skills in your cover letter!

Here are several other in-demand skills for editorial jobs in the publishing industry:

  • Publishing process coordination 
  • Author relationship management 
  • Typography and illustration 
  • Market research 
  • Deal management 
  • Payment records management 
  • P&L management 
  • Backlist project coordination 

Final Thoughts

Landing a job in the publishing industry is a dream for many bookworms. But don’t let this be just a dream — take proactive steps to get your foot in the door. Sure, such jobs are competitive, but with a little bit of persistence and the right attitude, you’d be able to break into it!

Elena Prokopets

Elena runs content operations at Freesumes since 2017. She works closely with copywriters, designers, and invited career experts to ensure that all content meets our highest editorial standards. Up to date, she wrote over 200 career-related pieces around resume writing, career advice... more

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How to Write a Cover Letter in 2024 + Examples

Background Image

After weeks of heavy job search, you’re almost there!

You’ve perfected your resume. 

You’ve short-listed the coolest jobs you want to apply for.

You’ve even had a friend train you for every single interview question out there.

But then, before you can send your application and call it a day, you remember that the job ad requires a cover letter.

Now you’re stuck wondering how to write a cover letter ...

Don’t panic! We’ve got you covered. Writing a cover letter is a lot simpler than you might think. 

In this guide, we’re going to teach you how to write a cover letter that gets you the job you deserve.

  • What’s a cover letter & why it’s important for your job search
  • How to write a convincing cover letter that gets you the job (step-by-step!)
  • How to perfect your cover letter with the Novoresume free checklist
  • What excellent cover letter examples look like

New to cover letter writing? Give our resumes 101 video a watch before diving into the article!

So, let’s get started with the basics!

What is a Cover Letter? (and Why It’s Important)

A cover letter is a one-page document that you submit as part of your job application (alongside your CV or Resume). 

Its purpose is to introduce you and briefly summarize your professional background. On average, your cover letter should be from 250 to 400 words long .

A good cover letter can spark the HR manager’s interest and get them to read your resume. 

A bad cover letter, on the other hand, might mean that your application is going directly to the paper shredder. So, to make sure this doesn’t happen, it’s essential to know how to write a convincing cover letter.

How does a good cover letter look, you might ask. Well, here’s an example:

how to write cover letter

Keep in mind, though, that a cover letter is a supplement to your resume, not a replacement. Meaning, you don’t just repeat whatever is mentioned in your resume.

If you’re writing a cover letter for the first time, writing all this might seem pretty tough. After all, you’re probably not a professional writer.

The thing is, though, you don’t need to be creative, or even any good at writing. All you have to do is follow a tried-and-tested format:

  • Header - Input contact information
  • Greeting the hiring manager
  • Opening paragraph - Grab the reader’s attention with 2-3 of your top achievements
  • Second paragraph - Explain why you’re the perfect candidate for the job
  • Third paragraph - Explain why you’re a good match for the company
  • Formal closing

Or, here’s what this looks like in practice:

structure of a cover letter

How to Write the Perfect Cover Letter (And Get Hired!)

Now that we’ve got the basics out of the way, we’re going to guide you through the process of writing a cover letter step by step. 

Step #1 - Pick the Right Cover Letter Template

A good cover letter is all about leaving the right first impression.

So, what’s a better way to leave a good impression than a well-formatted, visual template?

cover letter templates

You can simply pick one of our hand-picked cover letter templates , and you’ll be all set in a jiffy!

As a bonus, our AI will even give you suggestions on how to improve your cover letter on the go.

Step #2 - Start the Cover Letter with a Header

As with a resume, it’s important to start your cover letter with a Contact Information section:

contact information on a cover letter

Here, you want to include all essential information, including:

  • Phone Number
  • Name of the hiring manager / their professional title
  • Name of the company you’re applying to

In certain cases, you might also consider adding:

  • Social Media Profiles - Any type of profile that’s relevant to your field. Social Profiles on websites like LinkedIn, GitHub (for developers), Medium (for writers), etc.
  • Personal Website - If you have a personal website that somehow adds value to your application, you can mention it. Let’s say you’re a professional writer. In that case, you’d want to link to your blog.

And here’s what you shouldn’t mention in your header:

  • Your Full Address 
  • Unprofessional Email - Make sure your email is presentable. It’s pretty hard for a hiring manager to take you seriously if your email address is “[email protected].” Whenever applying for jobs, stick to the “[first name] + [last name] @ email provider.com” format.

matching resume and cover letter

Step #3 - Greet the Hiring Manager

Once you’ve properly listed your contact information, you need to start writing the cover letter contents.

The first thing to do here is to address the cover letter to the hiring manager .

That’s right, the hiring manager! Not the overly popular “Dear Sir or Madam.” You want to show your future boss that you did your research and are really passionate about working with their team.

No one wants to hire a job seeker who just spams 20+ companies and hopes to get hired in any of them.

So, how do you find out who’s the hiring manager? There are several ways to do this. 

The simplest option is to look up the head of the relevant department on LinkedIn. Let’s say you’re applying for the position of a Communication Specialist at Novoresume. The hiring manager is probably Head of Communications or Chief Communications Office.

So, you do a quick lookup on LinkedIn:

linkedin search cco

And voila! You have your hiring manager.

Or let’s say you’re applying for the position of a server. In that case, you’d be looking for the “restaurant manager.”

If this doesn’t work, you can also check out the “Team” page on the company website; there’s a good chance you’ll at least find the right person there.

Here are several other greetings you could use:

  • Dear [Department] Hiring Manager
  • Dear Hiring Manager
  • To whom it may concern
  • Dear [Department] Team

Step #4 - Write an Attention-Grabbing Introduction

First impressions matter, especially when it comes to your job search.

Recruiters get hundreds, sometimes even thousands, of applications. Chances are, they’re not going to be reading every single cover letter end-to-end.

So, it’s essential to catch their attention from the very first paragraph .

The #1 problem we see with most cover letter opening paragraphs is that they’re usually extremely generic. Most of them look something like this..

  • Hey, my name is Jonathan and I’d like to work as a Sales Manager at XYZ Inc. I’ve worked as a sales manager at MadeUpCompany Inc. for 5+ years, so I believe that I’d be a good fit for the position.

See the issue here? This opening paragraph doesn’t say pretty much anything except the fact that you’ve worked the job before.

Do you know who else has similar work experience? All the other applicants you’re competing with.

Instead, you want to start off with 2-3 of your top achievements to really grab the reader’s attention. Preferably, the achievements should be as relevant as possible to the position.

So now, let’s make our previous example shine:

My name’s Michael and I’d like to help XYZ Inc. hit and exceed their sales goals as a Sales Manager. I’ve worked with Company X, a fin-tech company, for 3+ years. As a Sales Representative, I generated an average of $30,000+ in sales per month (beating the KPIs by around 40%). I believe that my previous industry experience, as well as excellence in sales, makes me the right candidate for the job.

See the difference between the two examples? If you were the hiring manager, which sales manager would you hire, Jonathan or Michael?

Now that we’ve covered the introduction, let’s talk about the body of your cover letter. This part is split into two paragraphs: the first is for explaining why you’re the perfect person for the job, and the latter is for proving that you’re a good fit for the company.

So, let’s get started...

Step #5 - Explain why you’re the perfect person for the job

This is where you show off your professional skills and convince the HR manager that you’re a better fit for the job than all the other applicants.

But first things first - before you even write anything, you need to learn what the most important requirements for the role are. So, open up the job ad and identify which of the responsibilities are the most critical.

For the sake of the example, let’s say you’re applying for the position of a Facebook Advertiser. You scan the job ad and see that the top requirements are:

  • Experience managing a Facebook ad budget of $10,000+ / month
  • Some skills in advertising on other platforms (Google Search + Twitter)
  • Excellent copywriting skills

Now, in this section, you need to discuss how you fulfill these requirements. So, here’s how that would look for our example:

In my previous role as a Facebook Marketing Expert at XYZ Inc. I handled customer acquisition through ads, managing a monthly Facebook ad budget of $20,000+ . As the sole digital marketer at the company, I managed the ad creation & management process end-to-end. Meaning, I created the ad copy , images, picked the targeting, ran optimization trials, and so on.

Other than Facebook advertising, I’ve also delved into other online PPC channels, including:

  • Google Search

Are you a student applying for your first internship? You probably don’t have a lot of work experience to show off in this section. Learn how to write an internship cover letter here.

Step #6 - Explain why you’re a good fit for the company

Once you’ve written the last paragraph, you might be thinking - I’m a shoo-in for the job! What else do I need to write? I’ll just wrap up the cover letter and hit that sweet SEND button.

Well, no. You’re not quite there yet.

The HR manager doesn’t only look at whether you’ll be good at the job or not. They’re looking for someone that’s also a good fit for the company culture.

After all, employees that don’t fit in are bound to quit, sooner or later. This ends up costing the company a ton of money, up to 50% of the employee’s annual salary . 

Meaning, you also need to convince the HR manager that you’re really passionate about working with them.

How do you do this? Well, as a start, you want to do some research about the company. You want to know things like:

  • What’s the company’s business model?
  • What’s the company product or service? Have you used it?
  • What’s the culture like? Will someone micro-manage your work, or will you have autonomy on how you get things done?

So, get to Googling. Chances are, you’ll find all the information you need either on the company website or somewhere around the web.

Then, you need to figure out what you like about the company and turn that into text.

Let’s say, for example, you’re passionate about their product and you like the culture of innovation / independent work in the organization.

You’d write something like:

I’ve personally used the XYZ Smartphone, and I believe that it’s the most innovative tech I’ve used in years. The features such as Made-Up-Feature #1 and Made-Up-Feature #2 were real game changers for the device. 

I really admire how Company XYZ thrives for excellence for all its product lines, creating market-leading tech. As someone that thrives in a self-driven environment, I truly believe that I and Company XYZ will be a great match.

What you don’t want to do here is be super generic for the sake of having something to write. Most job seekers tend to mess this one up. Let’s take a look at a very common example we tend to see (way too often):

I’d love to work for Company XYZ because of its culture of innovation. I believe that since I’m super creative, I’d be a good fit for the company. The company values of integrity and transparency really vibe with me.

See what’s wrong here? The example doesn’t really say anything about the company. “Culture of Innovation” is something most companies claim to have. 

The same goes for “values of integrity and transparency” - the writer just googled what the values for the organization are, and said that they like them.

Any hiring manager that reads this will see through the fluff.

So, make sure to do a lot of research and come up with good reasons why you're applying.

Step #7 - Wrap up with a call to action

Finally, it’s time to finish up your cover letter and write the conclusion.

In the final paragraph, you want to:

  • Wrap up any points you couldn't in the previous paragraphs. Do you have anything left to say? Any other information that could help the hiring manager make their decision? Mention it here.
  • Thank the hiring manager for their time. It never hurts to be courteous, as long as you don’t come off as too needy.
  • Finish the cover letter with a call to action. The very last sentence in your cover letter should be a call to action. You should ask the hiring manager to take some sort of action.

And now, let’s turn this into a practical example:

So to wrap it all up, thanks for looking into my application. I hope I can help Company X make the most out of their Facebook marketing initiatives. I'd love to further discuss how my previous success at XYZ Inc. can help you achieve your facebook marketing goals.

Step #8 - Use the right formal closing

Once you’re done with the final paragraph, all you have to do is write down a formal “goodbye” and you’re good to go.

Feel free to use one of the most popular conclusions to a cover letter:

  • Best Regards,
  • Kind Regards,

And we’re finally done! Before sending off the cover letter, make sure to proofread it with software like Grammarly, or maybe even get a friend to review it for you.

Does your cover letter heading include all essential information?

  • Professional email
  • Relevant Social Media Profiles

Do you address the right person? I.e. hiring manager in the company / your future direct supervisor

Does your introductory paragraph grab the reader's attention?

  • Did you mention 2-3 of your top achievements?
  • Did you use numbers and facts to back up your experience?

Do you successfully convey that you’re the right pro for the job?

  • Did you identify the core requirements?
  • Did you successfully convey how your experiences help you fit the requirements perfectly?

Do you convince the hiring manager that you’re passionate about the company you’re applying to?

  • Did you identify the top 3 things that you like about the company?
  • Did you avoid generic reasons for explaining your interest in the company?

Did you finalize the conclusion with a call to action?

Did you use the right formal closure for the cover letter?

5+ Cover Letter Examples

Need some inspiration? Read on to learn about some of the best cover letter examples we’ve seen (for different fields).

College Student Cover Letter Example

college or student cover letter example

Middle Management Cover Letter Example

Middle Management Cover Letter

Career Change Cover Letter Example

Career Change Cover Letter

Management Cover Letter Example

Management Cover Letter Example

Senior Executive Cover Letter Example

Senior Executive Cover Letter Example

Want to discover more examples AND learn what makes them stand out? Check out our guide to cover letter examples .

Next Steps in Your Job Search - Creating a Killer Resume

Your cover letter is only as good as your resume. If either one is weak, your entire application is for naught. 

After all, a cover letter is just an introduction. Imagine going through all this effort to leave an amazing first impression, but flopping at the end because of a mediocre resume.

...But don’t you worry, we’ve got you covered on that end, too.

If you want to learn more about Resumes & CVs, we have a dedicated FREE guide for that. Check out our complete guide on how to make a resume , as well as how to write a CV - our experts will teach you everything you need to know in order to land your dream job.

Or, if you’re already an expert, just pick one of our resume templates and get started.

resume examples for cover letter

Key Takeaways

Now that we’ve walked you through all the steps of writing a cover letter, let’s summarize everything we’ve learned:

  • A cover letter is a 250 - 400 word document that convinces the hiring manager of your competence
  • A cover letter goes in your job application alongside your resume
  • Your introduction to the cover letter should grab the hiring manager’s attention and keep it all the way until the conclusion
  • There are 2 main topics you need to include in your cover letter: why you’re the perfect candidate for the job & why you’re passionate about working in the company you’re applying to
  • Most of the content of your cover letter should be factual , without any fluff or generalizations

At Novorésumé, we’re committed to helping you get the job you deserve, every step of the way! Follow our blog to stay up to date with the industry-leading advice. Or, check out some of our top guides…

  • How to Write a Motivational Letter
  • How to Write a Resume with No Work Experience
  • Most Common Interview Questions and Answers

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The Art and Science of Book Cover Design in Book Publishing

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While many advise against judging a book by its cover , the book cover design is the gateway to its universe. In the book publishing realm, where reader attention is scarce, the cover serves as the entryway to the narrative. This article explores the multifaceted importance of a good cover design, highlighting its creative significance and role in driving sales.

As the creative director at Forbes Books , I have witnessed first-hand the transformative power of a well-crafted book cover design.

The front cover is the initial encounter with a book, enticing readers to explore the world hidden within its pages. A visually striking cover serves as the initial handshake between the author and reader, leaving a lasting impression that extends far beyond the bookstore shelves.

Elements of Excellent Book Cover Design

As book cover designers, our task is to ensure the cover captures the book’s essence, evokes emotions, and sets the narrative tone. An effective cover design bridges the gap between the content of the book and its potential audience. A well-executed cover can communicate genre, target demographics, and even offer subtle cues about the themes within.

Creativity is Crucial

Imagery plays a key role in cover design as it sets the tone between a reader and the content within. Different images convey varying messages and influence readers’ perceptions and expectations.

Minimalist book covers are particularly effective for conveying complex themes, as they encourage viewers to engage with the imagery. Photographic covers can evoke powerful emotion in a single frame. Illustrative covers can be tailored to the target audience and can become a symbol that readers associate with the story.

three illustrative book covers designs; photographic, illustrative, and minimalist.

Designing a powerful book cover requires determining the intended message for readers and crafting a style that resonates effectively.

One of the biggest keys to great book design is typography. The choice of typography is an art form in itself. The font, style, and placement of text contribute to the overall visual narrative and all influence the voice, tone, and visual appearance of the book.

The focal point, a critical element in front cover design, guides the viewer through the visual pathway of the layout. Using the correct hierarchy of front cover elements—title, subtitle, author name, and imagery—ensures each receives the deserved proportion.

book cover design hierarchy with three books in different stages of design

Standing Out in Today’s Marketplace

While artistic expression is paramount, the front cover is also a strategic tool for marketing and promoting a book. In a saturated market, where countless titles vie for attention, an intriguing cover can make all the difference. Will a reader be attracted to this book? Will a bookstore stock it on their shelves?

In those brief moments on a bookshelf, our goal is to ensure the cover design catches the eye of potential readers. The front cover design must stay within genre norms while innovating enough to stand out distinctly. The challenging part of the design process is finding that perfect balance.

five book cover designs that stand out with color and font

In today’s digital age, the thumbnail image of a book cover serves as the primary visual interaction for potential readers. In the digital realm, there are fewer seconds to capture a buyer’s attention. This elevates the need for captivating thumbnail imagery, arguably making it the most important version of the cover.

In the digital era where the majority of book sales are happening online, a captivating cover design is crucial to stand out amidst competition. Crafting a design optimized for small digital formats is essential for grabbing attention among the endless virtual bookshelves.

Book Covers that Sell

In the ever-evolving landscape of book publishing , where digital platforms coexist with traditional brick-and-mortar stores, the cover remains an indomitable force. It is both a canvas for creative expression and a strategic tool for marketing and sales. As a creative director, my role extends beyond aesthetics. It encompasses the delicate balance between artistic vision and commercial viability.

In the collaborative dance between authors, designers, and marketers, the front cover emerges as the linchpin that connects the literary work with its potential audience. It is a silent ambassador that speaks volumes about the narrative hidden within, luring readers into the enthralling realms of imagination.

In the evolving landscape of book publishing, technological advancements and changing consumer behaviors underscore the enduring importance of front cover design. It is not merely a cosmetic accessory, but a dynamic force that shapes perceptions and influences decisions.

In the book industry, judging by the cover is not only acceptable, but often the first step toward a transformative reading experience. The most effective book covers encourage curiosity, connect with readers emotionally, and (if done well) can help sell the book!

david taylor headshot

David Taylor

Creative director & director of production.

With decades of experience leading teams and executing high-profile projects, David has proven himself to be a driving force in the industry. Before joining Forbes Books, David spent his formative…

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The Career Center

Career pathways ⌄, professional development advice ⌄, jobs and internships ⌄, pre-health at illinois ⌄, resources for international students ⌄, how to write a cover letter, purpose of your cover letter.

Your cover letter is an important component of the application process. It serves as a way for you to summarize your qualifications, state your interest in a position, and stand out from other applicants.

Cover letters typically accompany each resume you submit, unless otherwise specified. It is customized to each opportunity you are pursuing.

Tips for Writing Your Cover Letter

How to ensure your content is concise, relevant, and appealing to potential employers.

  • While every cover letter is different, effective cover letters demonstrate you are a good fit for the position.
  • Convey your enthusiasm for the position and knowledge of the company.
  • Provide support and examples that showcase the skills and competencies that are being sought.
  • Focus on your accomplishments and measurable results.
  • Address your cover letter to a specific person whenever possible. It may take some resourcefulness on your part to identify the appropriate person, but the letter will be better received.  
  • Write clearly and concisely.
  • Use proper grammar and check for misspelled words.
  • Limit your letter to one page.
  • Be sure to include the date, an appropriate salutation, and close with your signature.
  • Mass produced cover letters are a common mistake, and easy to detect. Be sure to relate your specific skills and experiences to each individual position.   
  • Incorporate information that reflects your knowledge of the company, the industry, or the position. 
  • Consider that employers are seeking to fill specific roles and are looking for applicants that have the skills and qualities to succeed in that role. 

Structuring Your Cover Letter

Paragraph 1: capture attention .

  • In your first paragraph, capture the reader's attention.
  • Indicate the position you are applying for and how you learned of the vacancy, i.e. Did someone tell you about it?  Did you see an ad or website? 
  • Outline the specific reasons why you are ideal for the position.  
  • Sell yourself in paragraph 1. Do not wait until the second paragraph to articulate why you are well qualified for the position.

Paragraph 2 & 3: Create Desire 

  • Describe yourself as a serious candidate and one worth inviting for an interview. State the hard details including your specific skills, history of responsibility, success, etc. 
  • Think about ways to reinforce an image of yourself that includes as many of the desired qualities as possible. 
  • Show, don’t tell. Remember, your goal is to set yourself apart from other applicants. Do not just tell the employer you have a skill, provide evidence. For example, do not just state you are “detail oriented”. Give the reader an example of something in your work history that proves that you are detail oriented. 
  • Refer to your resume, but do not simply list the contents of it. 
  • Emphasize how your variety of experiences are connected to the position and will benefit the company. 

Paragraph 4: Call for Action 

  • Use a few lines to express your strong interest in the position and your desire to discuss your application further in an interview. 
  • Give a brief summary of the key points in the letter, but avoid repetition.

Title Related Resources

  • Resume/Cover Letter/LinkedIn Review Services
  • Sample Cover Letter (pdf)

The Cut

How to Write a Cover Letter That Will Get You a Job

I ’ve read thousands, maybe tens of thousands, of cover letters in my career. If you’re thinking that sounds like really boring reading, you’re right. What I can tell you from enduring that experience is that most cover letters are terrible — and not only that, but squandered opportunities. When a cover letter is done well, it can significantly increase your chances of getting an interview, but the vast majority fail that test.

So let’s talk about how to do cover letters right.

First, understand the point of a cover letter.

The whole idea of a cover letter is that it can help the employer see you as more than just your résumé. Managers generally aren’t hiring based solely on your work history; your experience is crucial, yes, but they’re also looking for someone who will be easy to work with, shows good judgment, communicates well, possesses strong critical thinking skills and a drive to get things done, complements their current team, and all the other things you yourself probably want from your co-workers. It’s tough to learn much about those things from job history alone, and that’s where your cover letter comes in.

Because of that …

Whatever you do, don’t just summarize your résumé.

The No. 1 mistake people make with cover letters is that they simply use them to summarize their résumé. This makes no sense — hiring managers don’t need a summary of your résumé! It’s on the very next page! They’re about to see it as soon as they scroll down. And if you think about it, your entire application is only a few pages (in most cases, a one- or two-page résumé and a one-page cover letter) — why would you squander one of those pages by repeating the content of the others? And yet, probably 95 percent of the cover letters I see don’t add anything new beyond the résumé itself (and that’s a conservative estimate).

Instead, your cover letter should go beyond your work history to talk about things that make you especially well-suited for the job. For example, if you’re applying for an assistant job that requires being highly organized and you neurotically track your household finances in a detailed, color-coded spreadsheet, most hiring managers would love to know that because it says something about the kind of attention to detail you’d bring to the job. That’s not something you could put on your résumé, but it can go in your cover letter.

Or maybe your last boss told you that you were the most accurate data processor she’d ever seen, or came to rely on you as her go-to person whenever a lightning-fast rewrite was needed. Maybe your co-workers called you “the client whisperer” because of your skill in calming upset clients. Maybe you’re regularly sought out by more senior staff to help problem-solve, or you find immense satisfaction in bringing order to chaos. Those sorts of details illustrate what you bring to the job in a different way than your résumé does, and they belong in your cover letter.

If you’re still stumped, pretend you’re writing an email to a friend about why you’d be great at the job. You probably wouldn’t do that by stiffly reciting your work history, right? You’d talk about what you’re good at and how you’d approach the work. That’s what you want here.

You don’t need a creative opening line.

If you think you need to open the letter with something creative or catchy, I am here to tell you that you don’t. Just be simple and straightforward:

• “I’m writing to apply for your X position.”

• “I’d love to be considered for your X position.”

• “I’m interested in your X position because …”

• “I’m excited to apply for your X position.”

That’s it! Straightforward is fine — better, even, if the alternative is sounding like an aggressive salesperson.

Show, don’t tell.

A lot of cover letters assert that the person who wrote it would excel at the job or announce that the applicant is a skillful engineer or a great communicator or all sorts of other subjective superlatives. That’s wasted space — the hiring manager has no reason to believe it, and so many candidates claim those things about themselves that most managers ignore that sort of self-assessment entirely. So instead of simply declaring that you’re great at X (whatever X is), your letter should demonstrate that. And the way you do that is by describing accomplishments and experiences that illustrate it.

Here’s a concrete example taken from one extraordinarily effective cover-letter makeover that I saw. The candidate had originally written, “I offer exceptional attention to detail, highly developed communication skills, and a talent for managing complex projects with a demonstrated ability to prioritize and multitask.” That’s pretty boring and not especially convincing, right? (This is also exactly how most people’s cover letters read.)

In her revised version, she wrote this instead:

“In addition to being flexible and responsive, I’m also a fanatic for details — particularly when it comes to presentation. One of my recent projects involved coordinating a 200-page grant proposal: I proofed and edited the narratives provided by the division head, formatted spreadsheets, and generally made sure that every line was letter-perfect and that the entire finished product conformed to the specific guidelines of the RFP. (The result? A five-year, $1.5 million grant award.) I believe in applying this same level of attention to detail to tasks as visible as prepping the materials for a top-level meeting and as mundane as making sure the copier never runs out of paper.”

That second version is so much more compelling and interesting — and makes me believe that she really is great with details.

If there’s anything unusual or confusing about your candidacy, address it in the letter.

Your cover letter is your chance to provide context for things that otherwise might seem confusing or less than ideal to a hiring manager. For example, if you’re overqualified for the position but are excited about it anyway, or if you’re a bit underqualified but have reason to think you could excel at the job, address that up front. Or if your background is in a different field but you’re actively working to move into this one, say so, talk about why, and explain how your experience will translate. Or if you’re applying for a job across the country from where you live because you’re hoping to relocate to be closer to your family, let them know that.

If you don’t provide that kind of context, it’s too easy for a hiring manager to decide you’re the wrong fit or applying to everything you see or don’t understand the job description and put you in the “no” pile. A cover letter gives you a chance to say, “No, wait — here’s why this could be a good match.”

Keep the tone warm and conversational.

While there are some industries that prize formal-sounding cover letters — like law — in most fields, yours will stand out if it’s warm and conversational. Aim for the tone you’d use if you were writing to a co-worker whom you liked a lot but didn’t know especially well. It’s okay to show some personality or even use humor; as long as you don’t go overboard, your letter will be stronger for it.

Don’t use a form letter.

You don’t need to write every cover letter completely from scratch, but if you’re not customizing it to each job, you’re doing it wrong. Form letters tend to read like form letters, and they waste the chance to speak to the specifics of what this employer is looking for and what it will take to thrive in this particular job.

If you’re applying for a lot of similar jobs, of course you’ll end up reusing language from one letter to the next. But you shouldn’t have a single cover letter that you wrote once and then use every time you apply; whatever you send should sound like you wrote it with the nuances of this one job in mind.

A good litmus test is this: Could you imagine other applicants for this job sending in the same letter? If so, that’s a sign that you haven’t made it individualized enough to you and are probably leaning too heavily on reciting your work history.

No, you don’t need to hunt down the hiring manager’s name.

If you read much job-search advice, at some point you’ll come across the idea that you need to do Woodward and Bernstein–level research to hunt down the hiring manager’s name in order to open your letter with “Dear Matilda Jones.” You don’t need to do this; no reasonable hiring manager will care. If the name is easily available, by all means, feel free to use it, but otherwise “Dear Hiring Manager” is absolutely fine. Take the hour you just freed up and do something more enjoyable with it.

Keep it under one page.

If your cover letters are longer than a page, you’re writing too much, and you risk annoying hiring managers who are likely sifting through hundreds of applications and don’t have time to read lengthy tomes. On the other hand, if you only write one paragraph, it’s unlikely that you’re making a compelling case for yourself as a candidate — not impossible, but unlikely. For most people, something close to a page is about right.

Don’t agonize over the small details.

What matters most about your cover letter is its content. You should of course ensure that it’s well-written and thoroughly proofread, but many job seekers agonize over elements of the letter that really don’t matter. I get tons of  questions from job seekers  about whether they should attach their cover letter or put it in the body of the email (answer: No one cares, but attaching it makes it easier to share and will preserve your formatting), or what to name the file (again, no one really cares as long as it’s reasonably professional, but when people are dealing with hundreds of files named “resume,” it’s courteous to name it with your full name).

Approaching your cover letter like this can make a huge difference in your job search. It can be the thing that moves your application from the “maybe” pile (or even the “no” pile) to the “yes” pile. Of course, writing cover letters like this will take more time than sending out the same templated letter summarizing your résumé — but 10 personalized, compelling cover letters are likely to get you more  interview invitations  than 50 generic ones will.

  • ‘I Had a Great Job Interview — Why Haven’t I Heard Back?’
  • How to Answer ‘Tell Me About Yourself’ in a Job Interview

by The Cut; Photos: Getty Images

Tips for Grads: How to write a good cover letter

By Foram Gathia, PhD student

Writing a compelling cover letter is essential for making a positive impression on potential employers. Here’s a guide to crafting a strong cover letter:

  • Start with a Strong Introduction: Address the hiring manager by name if possible and mention the specific position you are applying for. Engage the reader with a captivating opening sentence that highlights your enthusiasm and sets the tone for the letter.
  • Highlight Your Relevant Skills and Experience: Tailor your cover letter to the job description by emphasizing the skills and experiences that make you a strong candidate. Provide specific examples of past achievements that demonstrate your qualifications for the role.
  • Showcase Your Personality and Passion: Use the cover letter as an opportunity to showcase your personality and passion for the industry or company. Share insights into what motivates you and why you are excited about the opportunity.
  • Demonstrate Your Knowledge of the Company: Research the company and mention specific aspects that appeal to you or align with your values. This demonstrates your genuine interest and initiative.
  • Close with a Strong Call to Action: End the cover letter with a confident closing statement expressing your eagerness to further discuss your qualifications in an interview. Thank the employer for considering your application and include your contact information.

Remember to keep the cover letter concise, focusing on quality over quantity, and proofread carefully for grammar and spelling errors. A well-crafted cover letter can significantly enhance your job application and increase your chances of landing an interview.

These tips are based on the Beyond Graduate School cover letter webinar as well as the Harvard Business Review article “ How to Write a Cover Letter ”.

Tips for Grads is a professional and academic advice column written by graduate students for graduate students at UW­–Madison. It is published in the student newsletter, GradConnections Weekly.

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IMAGES

  1. How to Write a Cover Letter in 2021

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  2. The Cover Letter

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  3. 11+ Manuscript Cover Letter Sample

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  4. Cover Letter Format: Proper Examples & Guide

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  5. Bookkeeper Cover Letter Example, Skills, and Expert Tips (2023)

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  6. how to write a cover letter template

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VIDEO

  1. How to write Cover Letter for MATES Visa Australia? #yourvisamate #youtube #australia #video

  2. How to write cover letter and CV

  3. How to write a professional cover letter

COMMENTS

  1. How To Write a Covering Letter

    Here is the advice of literary agent Simon Trewin on writing an introductory letter: " Life is short and less is more. No letter should be more than one side of A4 and in a good-sized (12pt) clear typeface. Sell yourself. The covering letter is one of the most important pages you will ever write.

  2. Hints for a Great Cover Letter

    The 4-part Cover letter: 1) A simple introductory sentence is sufficient. Basically, you are saying "Hi. Thank you for the opportunity…". 2) Use a "sound bite" statement. A "sound bite" statement is the essence of your novel or non-fiction book idea in 40 words or less. The fiction sound bite could include:

  3. How To Write A Publisher Cover Letter

    5. Don't forget to add your contact details. To end your book proposal cover letter you'll want to thank publishers for their time and include your contact details. Make sure to include your name, address, telephone number, and email address. Without your contact information publishers can't contact you to move forward.

  4. How to Write a Cover Letter for Publishing

    Next, your cover letter should include your name and a brief introduction to yourself and your work. Hook the reader and dazzle them with your passion. Share why you're interested in their publishing house and why your manuscript is a perfect fit. Be genuine and let your enthusiasm shine through. Remember, you're not writing a résumé ...

  5. How to Write a Stand-Out Cover Letter

    It's the writing, not the writer, that's important … but the agent or judge does want to know about you too. They especially want to know why you were the one person who could write this book. And it's true - no one else could write the book you've written. So tell us why.

  6. Writing a Cover Letter

    Writing your cover letter. You will be happy to hear that cover letters aren't actually too complicated to write. The cover letter should be no longer than two A4 pages (preferably one) and made up of a few brief paragraphs, see below for the breakdown of what should be in the cover letter (and can appear in any logical order you choose). The ...

  7. How To Write A Cover Letter For Your Creative Writing

    2. Introduction. State your intention clearly and include the title (s) of the work (s) you're submitting: Please consider my poems, "Gray" and "To the Orioles," for publication in Journal Name. 3. Don't describe your submission. Don't summarize your story or explain the themes in your poems.

  8. Write a Good Cover Letter with This Step-By-Step Guide

    You write a cover letter when you submit a writing book sample to an agent or publishing house. You also write cover letters that introduce an offer, accompany a grant proposal, or ask for a donation.

  9. Write A Cover Letter Or A Query Letter: The Basics

    Both cover and query letters are letters of introduction. Both contain author bios and basic information about what is being submitted. The primary difference is that, while query letters include a synopsis of the project in question (in order to entice an agent to read more), cover letters do not. A cover letter presumes that the editor who ...

  10. How to Write a Cover Letter: 5 Tips for a More Effective Pitch

    1. Start with the Hook. It's often said that you have one paragraph—one page if you're lucky—to get your reader hooked on your novel. The same is true with a cover letter. Hiring managers are inundated with applications and often just scan the dozens of emails and letters they receive every day.

  11. How to write a covering letter to a publisher, editor or agent

    Points to remember when writing your covering letter. • Get the name of the publisher/editor right. • State where you found their details and why you are approaching them. • Tell the publisher about your book. • Give your blurb or Compelling Key Sentence. • Tell the publisher about yourself.

  12. How To Write A Cover Letter For A Short Story

    Here are some of the highlights: If you know the name of the editor, address the cover letter to them. For instance, 'Dear Mr Gamgee'. If in doubt, just use 'Dear Editors'. Keep it simple. The editor is about to read your story, you don't need to tell them the ins and outs of character and plot.

  13. How to Write a Perfect Cover Letter for a Short Story Submission

    Going back to Neil Clarke's preferences (most of which are shared by most editors), these things shouldn't be in a cover letter: Bank or PayPal details. Mailing address or phone number (This might not be the case for all editors/publishers). In Clarke's case, the mailing addressing should be on the first page of the story.

  14. The Perfect Cover Letter: Advice From a Lit Mag Editor

    When submitting your short-form literature to a magazine or journal, your cover letter is often the first piece of writing an editor sees. It serves as an introduction to your thoughtfully crafted art. As such, it is significant, but it shouldn't be intimidating or even take much time to write. As editor at 2 Elizabeths, I see a variety of ...

  15. Picture Book Submissions

    A query letter is a single letter asking for permission to submit your full proposal. A cover letter accompanies your proposal and briefly describes your proposal. Both may be the only item an editor reads, unless it's good. This letter should do more than pique an editor's interest. It should reflect your great writing skills and make them ...

  16. 7 steps to write a publishing cover letter

    A publisher manages the book's entire production process, which includes designing, editing and making schedules for the book release. A publisher's cover letter discusses how these publishing skills can help potential employers create better book sales and improve their overall business performance. Writing a convincing cover letter allows you to show your skills, achievements and competencies.

  17. How to Write a Standout Cover Letter in 2022

    Step 3: Address your cover letter to the hiring manager—preferably by name. The most traditional way to address a cover letter is to use the person's first and last name, including "Mr." or "Ms." (for example, "Dear Ms. Jane Smith" or just "Dear Ms. Smith").

  18. How To Write a Cover Letter (With Examples and Tips)

    Middle paragraph (s) Closing paragraph. Letter ending and signature. Your cover letter should be one page long and use a simple, professional font, such as Arial or Helvetica, 10 to 12 points in size. Your letter should be left-aligned with single spacing and one-inch margins. Show Transcript.

  19. Cover Letters

    If you are sending a hard copy, use the traditional format for a business letter. Place the date and all your contact information in the upper left hand corner. Drop down two spaces after your contact info. and place the editor's name, the name of the publisher and address. (Again, you don't need to do this for email.)

  20. How to Write a Cover Letter for a Literary Journal Submission

    What your cover letter should do is indicate your professionalism so the editor can get past the cover letter and on to the story. It should be a gateway, not a barrier. It should be a gateway ...

  21. Convincing Cover Letter for Publishing Industry: Sample + Tips

    A cover letter isn't a novel. So keep your story short and sweet as the author does in the sample above. 3. Advertise Some Extra Skills. If you want to work in the publishing industry, you need to have exceptional writing and editorial skills. But that's what every other job applicant will highlight too.

  22. How To Write a Bookstore Cover Letter (Template and Example)

    Here are some steps to follow to write a good cover letter for your bookstore application: 1. Include a header and a greeting. A cover letter typically includes a heading, where you can include your personal information and the name of the person you're addressing the letter to. Start with your first and last name, and on each following line ...

  23. How to Write a Cover Letter in 2024 + Examples

    Header - Input contact information. Greeting the hiring manager. Opening paragraph - Grab the reader's attention with 2-3 of your top achievements. Second paragraph - Explain why you're the perfect candidate for the job. Third paragraph - Explain why you're a good match for the company.

  24. The Art and Science of Book Cover Design in Book Publishing

    A visually striking cover serves as the initial handshake between the author and reader, leaving a lasting impression that extends far beyond the bookstore shelves. Elements of Excellent Book Cover Design. As book cover designers, our task is to ensure the cover captures the book's essence, evokes emotions, and sets the narrative tone.

  25. How to Write a Cover Letter

    Follow Standard Business Writing Protocol. Address your cover letter to a specific person whenever possible. It may take some resourcefulness on your part to identify the appropriate person, but the letter will be better received. Write clearly and concisely. Use proper grammar and check for misspelled words. Limit your letter to one page.

  26. How to Write a Cover Letter That Will Get You a Job

    I 've read thousands, maybe tens of thousands, of cover letters in my career. If you're thinking that sounds like really boring reading, you're right. What I can tell you from enduring that ...

  27. Tips for Grads: How to write a good cover letter

    Writing a compelling cover letter is essential for making a positive impression on potential employers. Here's a guide to crafting a strong cover letter: Start with a Strong Introduction: Address the hiring manager by name if possible and mention the specific position you are applying for. Engage the reader with a captivating opening sentence ...