8.02.2005

Is it Crap..Cover Letters ...part 7


Dear Miss Snark,

Name the top 5 spectator sports. No particular order. Go ahead.


I dare you? uh ok...agent bashing, blogging, street brawls, NYC politics and ..um...the Republican National Convention?

Oh dear, Miss Snark's provincialism is showing.


Football, baseball, basketball, ice hockey --don't say NASCAR. Say
figure skating -- third ahead of both ice hockey and NASCAR -- a mass
market of thirty million. The same affluent women watching skating
buy books. Middle grade girls devour Silver Blades, though it is long
out of print. Women gobble Alina Adams' skating mysteries to the tune
of tens of thousands of copies.


notice your use of eating verbs to discuss books: devour, and gobble.
Are you hungry?
Now, let's talk about what you just told me. First, you're telling me that figure skating is the third largest spectator sport in the country? Are you counting television audiences?
Or is this people going to the arena to watch games. Cause if it's going to the arena to watch games, I want to see source material for this claim. You can't just tell me this and expect I'll believe it.

And then there is the logic gap of thirty million people watching figure skating translating to book buyers.

You're over reaching here. This is a novel. You don't have to present a marketing plan in your cover letter. Tell me what the book is about and what kind of readers will like it. It helps to compare it to books that are front list, or recently published. Publishers aren't too fond of the out of print book market cause they don't make any money off it.

Introducing On the Edge and Elayne Smith telling her own story of the
vicious world behind the spangles and fluff of international figure
skating. On the Edge is a 65,000 word sweet, coming-of-age novel
aimed at the young adult market. On the Edge can stand alone or lead
off into a series of seven. Three sequels are written with a fourth
in progress.


vicious world...sweet coming of age novel?
I feel like my head just hit the ice.

You'll notice you're not present in your cover letter here. It's like you're talking about someone else. Are you having an out of body experience? Maybe it's cause you're hungry.





Puberty has hit 17 year-old Elayne Smith like a runaway Zamboni. She
loses her jumps, her pairs partner--her confidence. Olympic gold was
never so far away.

Enter bad boy Alexandr "Sasha" Klukov, an Olympic contender in
singles. Handsome and wicked, he says he's her friend. But friendship
with a skate-crazy virgin can't be all he wants.

Sheltered by doting parents and the demands of elite athletics,
Elayne must learn to make her own decisions--to find her own
motivation. Will Elayne fulfill her talent's promise or will first
love distract her from her goals?


Ya ya ya. This is exactly what everyone else is writing in coming of age novels. So what if you can do a double axl? What you need now is a triple to get my attention. There's nothing new here that makes me want to read this. I bet there's a happy ending too. I vote for the Zamboni to return and crush everyone.


My web site Private Ice is the largest skating fiction site in the
world and provides an excellent promotional platform drawing over
30,000 unique visitors per year. I am a full time, freelance
journalist, mostly in technology, with credits in national consumer
and trade magazines.



Whoa Nelly!!! You left this for last???
You might want to lead with this. Seriously.
It's what makes editors drool.


Please request the On the Edge manuscript and series synopses if the
concept piques your interest.



Can you sound any MORE like a fund raising letter? Probably not.
Consider: Thank you for your time and consideration. I know you want me to read/request/beg for the manuscript. Like really good writing, you don't have to spell out the obvious.


Get yourself into this letter. Don't be afraid to use I. (You can be afraid of Miss Snark if you need be fearful of anything..she's used to it)
But...really, you're going to have to write something more interesting than boy meets skate meets date meets fate to get my attention.

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