Monday, March 7, 2011
Cheryl, thanks for inviting me!
It's quiet though. So many empty huts…
I'm in my virtual bikini body strolling the beach, listening to the waves lap the shore. And look at that! A rowboat, ready to take me and other Friends of Seekerville out of here when God's timing is right.
Just like the Seekers. Always thinking of others.
As I rummage around for a snack in Ruthie's old hut, thinking of things literary (naturally), I'm reminded of something that happened not long ago.
It was close to midnight.
Time to review the submission guidelines once again.
First 10 pages. Check.
Cover letter. Wait.
They don't want a "query letter"?
Color drains from face.
What's a "cover letter"?
There's bound to be a difference between "query" and "cover", other than the obvious, but wonder what it is?
Righty-o! Seekers to the rescue!!
Cover Art (2)
cover artist (1)
no blank space here
Sip Helen's coffee.
Prepare to dash onto rabbit trails at Starting Page.
Take another sip and calm myself to think.
HEY! I'm a card-carrying member of SCBWI.
Surely they've covered the topic.
"A cover letter is what you include with your manuscript and should not be more than one page, if that long. If you have already queried the publisher, you can simply remind them that they requested to read your manuscript and tell them you look forward to their response (and let them know if it is exclusive or multiple)."
"If you did not query first, then your cover letter should be like a query -- with brief information about the project and yourself.
This next line gets me…
Only three sentences. Wow.
But that's another topic. See:
First chapters (2)
To finish the story, I did compose a cover letter and sent the submission in on time.
# # #
As with most things, there are many, MANY ideas on cover letters.
Author Todd J Pierce says, "Whether you are writing to a literary agent or an editor, most letters follow this simple three-paragraph formula:
Paragraph One: Introduction and Summary of Work
Paragraph Two: All About You
Paragraph Three: Contact Number and Closing"
He lists 11 tips. How about these two!
Tip #4 : Still worried? Never published anything? A cover letter is a persuasive document designed to do one thing: entice an editor or agent to read your manuscript.
Tip #5 : Don't take tip four too far. It's best not to say you've been published in, say, The New Yorker, if you haven't. Editors and Agents ask about that.
Here is another article of interest:
Cover Letters How To
Find one succinct explanation here: Cover Letter
You may be wondering, as I did, if cover letters are even necessary. Harold at The Purple Crayon asks:
Do Editors Expect Cover Letters?
Then I started wondering if perhaps I was behind the times. Has the accepted practice changed? Everyone is so busy, maybe cover letters have become a casualty. So I asked some colleagues at a variety of publishing houses how they felt about manuscripts without cover letters.
Here's their response: All manuscript submissions should include a cover letter. Their feelings about this ranged from mild--one said a cover letter is "preferred"--to vehement--one said that she does not read manuscripts if they come without a cover letter. But all agreed that not bothering with a cover letter reflects poorly on the writer, giving the impression that the writer is careless or unprofessional.
Are Cover Letters Necessary?
A Cover Letter is an introduction to you and your work. It is NECESSARY to send when you submit your manuscript, whether you have queried or not.
A Query Letter is a sales tool, used to persuade the reader to ask for more.
So, those of you who are off the Island: Is this correct? How would you say it differently? Do you think they are necessary?
Anyone else? Do you use cover letters?
Please share some examples!
Well, thanks for having me, but gotta go…I'm checking Debby's hut next. Must find what's left to munch while I'm still in my virtual bikini body.
PS – we served these rolls at a "luau" and everyone raved:
2 Tablespoons grated orange peel
1 Cup sugar
Enough orange juice to moisten
Coat the tops of "brown & serve" rolls and bake according to package directions.
# # #
We have an extra-special treat for two winners! My writing coach extraordinaire and friend of Seekerville, Sandra Byrd, Sandra Byrd is offering TWO prizes:
1) a 10 page manuscript critique or
2) your choice of a book - one of her adult titles or two of her YA titles.
I'll put you in touch with her at the end of the contest so you can work out the details.
Leave your address to enter and let us know which prize you'd like!
# # #
KC Frantzen is former elementary school teacher, entrepreneur and an award-winning writer. (When she was in 5th grade, her short-story on deep-sea fishing won first place in a school-wide contest. It was awhile *ahem* back but still…) In 2004, she completed the Christian Writers Guild, apprentice level (and was blessed to have 2 Friends of Seekerville as mentors: Dave Fessenden and Sandra Byrd).
KC is also part of the editing team for a small Christian press and looks forward to her middle-grade adventure May on the Way: How I Become a K9 Spy gracing your family's TBR pile this summer!
She is interested in a variety of topics from Theology and travel to people and politics. KC and her husband volunteer with the Joni and Friends Wounded Warrior Getaway, a unique Christ-based program for warriors and their families. Joni and Friends
They call the hills of middle Tennessee home, where they live with their four-footed "children": 2 Arabian horses and 3 adopted dogs. Psalm 98:1 and Philippians 4:19 are two of KC's favorite Bible verses.
Please visit the website at http://www.maythek9spy.com/ and listen. She welcomes your comments.
And now May has her own Facebook page. Come and friend Man's Best Friend. Click Here