You’ve crafted the perfect manuscript and now you want to submit it to literary agents and publishers in hopes of getting published, but you’re unsure how to prepare your cover letter. Is it better to get a cover letter service to get a good cover letter? Do you go traditional or modern? What details should you include? In this Binyameen’s (thebinyameen) article, we’ll discuss five cover letter tips that can get your manuscript accepted faster so you can get back to writing. We’ll also provide two sample cover letters so you can compare and contrast which one best serves your needs!
1) What is a Cover Letter?
A cover letter is a one-page document sent with your manuscript to explain why your manuscript should be published. Also referred to as a letter of introduction, it is generally only applicable when submitting nonfiction material or short works of fiction. In some rare cases, however, you may have to submit a cover letter when submitting long works of fiction. The reason for requiring a cover letter varies from publisher to publisher and generally depends on their preferences and editorial decisions.
2) Why Do I Need One?
The majority of professional writing positions are found online. Most hiring managers spend no more than 15 seconds on each resume they receive—which means it’s vital that you make your resume stand out. Writing an attention-grabbing cover letter is a simple way to do just that; you can also include valuable information like references, sample work, and links to published pieces on your website (e.g., DigitalAvior). A powerful cover letter will make all of these elements more valuable. It may even help you get an interview (though some publishing pros recommend not putting too much stock in first impressions). If nothing else, your cover letter shows your dedication; it demonstrates to potential employers how seriously you’re taking them—and how seriously you’re taking yourself as a writer.
3) How Do I Write One?
A cover letter should accompany your manuscript when you are submitting it to agents, publishers, contests, or competitions. There are no set guidelines for when a cover letter required. However, it’s best to submit your manuscript with a cover letter as soon as possible to allow each agent/publisher adequate time to read and respond to your submission. Sending an email instead of sending via snail mail will also help expedite things on their end. Remember: timeliness is always of utmost importance! If you decide not to include a cover letter along with your submission, try following up after two weeks with an email stating why you’re seeking representation or publication and how they can reach you if they want more information about your project.
4) When Should I Send It?
If you’re struggling to find an agent, don’t give up right away. Weigh your options and do some more research on your manuscript before sending it off to potential agents. There are plenty of great resources online that can help get you start. If you still don’t have any luck after six months, then it might be time to look into the best cover letter services. A professional cover letter service will provide you with a customized and effective letter in no time at all! Just fill out a quick questionnaire and let our service do all of the work for you.
5) And the Most Important Question
Which is better, a cover letter or query letter? A cover letter is mean to give readers an overview of your manuscript or proposal. Because it’s shorter than a full-length query, it should convey more specific information about what you plan to say in your book and who will interest in reading it. The first paragraph of your cover letter should outline exactly what you are submitting—an idea for a book or an outline of one, for example—and why it deserves publication. The second should contain some background on you as an author.