1.27.2006

Sick of trying to write the perfect cover letter?

Have you considered just sending pages with a succinct cover letter along the lines of "here's the first ten of my novel Snark Time" and not much else?

Don't.

I'm looking at one now.
The writing is ok, nothing much to howl about.
But what IS the novel? mystery? sf? chick lit?
The fact I don't know says the writing is pretty pedestrian.

Best to give your reader a few more guideposts. Are we expecting murder or aliens in the first chapter? How long is it? Who's the hero?

This guy is getting the famous 'it's not right for me' cause I"m not even quite sure what "it" is.

6 comments:

Anonymous said...

Oh, no. Please don't tell me you need a cover letter if you send the firt five pages with a query? Pleeeeeease?

Anonymous said...

oops...first five

The Beautiful Schoolmarm said...

Isn't a query letter a type of cover letter? When I was writing cover letters to apply for teaching positions, I talked about my background, my experience and my education. In my queries, I talked about my wordcount, my genre, and hook into the book, along with my writing background. Other than the basic purpose ("Look at my novel!" instead of "Look at my teaching qualifications!"), They seem to be the same type of letter.

Sha'el, Princess of Pixies said...

Dear Miss Snarkie:

Enclosed is a slightly stained first bazillion pages of my book. Please read them. I can't really send a synopsis. My goats just had babies, and I can't even remember what my book is about. And I don't have time to reread it to see either.

Do not ask about the stains. You do NOT want to know.

I was thinkin' this might work in a pinch.

In my business, I prefer sharp, pointed, brief letters. That makes it hard for me to write what is essentially a sales pitch. I am a guessin' I'll eventually learn.

That Girl Who Writes Stuff said...

Forget cover letters.

Try something original.

Use word poetry fridge magnets to spell out your thoughts.

Then take a picture of the finished product and send THAT as part of your submission.

Trust me they will never forget you.

(I'm obviously kidding)

Anonymous said...

Fridge magnets! Man, and I was using letters clipped from the newspaper to try to sell my novel about a serial killer.
"Read this or die."