Monday, March 7, 2011

Gotcha covered

KC Frantzen here and I have to tell you… It's beautiful on Unpubbed Island.

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.
Synopsis. 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!!
Scan archives…
Cover Art (2)

cover artist (1)

no blank space here

cowboys (5)


Now what?

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…

"In any case, your writing will speak for itself. Most editors will tell you that they can tell if a project interests them by reading the first three sentences."

Only three sentences. Wow.

But that's another topic. See:

First chapters (2)

hooks (3)

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.
Cover Letter
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?
My conclusion?

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 and listen. She welcomes your comments.
And now May has her own Facebook page. Come and friend Man's Best Friend. Click Here


  1. Okay, you may sip away.
    Coffee's ready.

    I spend weeks, months, completing a book, THEN I have to write all that other stuff. Hate it. The worst is the synopsis. But the query letter can also be a pain.

    I have never considered sending a ms without both.


  2. Ooo - virtual bikini body! I need one of those! But a real one. Oy.

    I'd love either prize, but the 10 page critique would be extra cool.

    I've got all kinds of Panera stuff sitting here waiting to be devoured. DH spent most of the day there trying to get some of his work done.

    But now it's bedtime. Talk to ya'll tomorrow ;).

    carol at carolmoncado dot com

  3. Hi KC:

    I find it hard to believe anyone would send a manuscript without a cover letter. To me that would be like entering a house without knocking or buying an electronic device without instructions.

    I know from writing advertising that the prospect is interested in what you can do for him. For example, in trying to get a job, we would not write:

    “I was vice-president of sales for three years”

    But would rather write:

    “As VP of sales, I developed a database mining system which increased our direct response sales by 52% while reducing our mailing costs by 11%.”

    “I also developed four ‘preferred customer sale events in which our best customers were invited to shop three hours before the store opened to the public. These special events increased sales by 25% and profit by 44% because the extra sales came at very little added expense.(It was all plus business.”)

    I wonder if this type of approach could be used in a cover letter. I know it is very powerful.

    I’m waiting for “May on the Move”. I hope everything is on schedule.


  4. Awesome post, KC! I want that virtual bikini body, too!

  5. Good early morning everyone! May is here too, ready to greet all you animal lovers. Just be prepared to toss a toy. She is persistent but well-mannered if you tell her "No May" firmly. But she wishes you would throw it a time or two.

    Thanks Helen for bringing the "cawfee" as my hubby says. :)

    When I was reading the requirements, I thought query, but noooo - they meant COVER letter. ACK! That's what almost got me in trouble that night.

    I'd think one could be written ahead and tweaked as needed. Anybody with more experience here care to weigh in?

    Synopsis is a real challenge for me too, though this ms. is in present tense and you'd think a synopsis would be easier!

    Thanks for being dependable with our early morning beverage. :)

    I'm putting out some Twining's Black Currant and Earl Grey teas, with milk and sugar too.

    Yay CarolM... We look extra lovely in our VBB's don't you think? I also have a super wide brimmed hat since I burn easily. Inherited Dad's red hair (though mine is auburn).

    YUM - Panera's. That is marvelous. Thank you for bringing. Seekerville is such a great spot to hang out!

    Oh my yes. Sandra's critique - great choice. Her loving hand made ALL the difference in how my story was presented. (Oh! Pardon me, May. How YOUR story IS presented.) She just reminded me that I'm merely the amanuensis.

    Hi Vince. So glad you came by early. Thanks!

    You said: I find it hard to believe anyone would send a manuscript without a cover letter.

    You'd think so wouldn't you? But I was so twitterpated about entering that I read what I assumed it said...

    In business, I'd always send one. But for some reason - duh - I just never connected those dots in the literary world. And it is most definitely a business.

    You have some wonderful ideas here. As always, sure appreciate you!

    And YOU BETCHA!! May is always on her way, isn't she? and ready to grace a TBR pile soon - this summer!

    The illustrator continues to send his drawings. They are most definitely May approved.

    If you're on FB, be sure to stop by May's page... and also on the website, sign up for May updates!

  6. Hey Camy!

    I hear you don't need to worry about that, with all the marathoning. How are practices in the sand? I'll toast you with an umbrella drink later in the day. ;)

    Thanks - I just KNEW Seekerville would hold the answer on cover letters but *gasp* y'all were silent. Cheryl W was so splendid to ask me to talk about it today, and Mary C to help me get things together and post it.

    I hope others will find it helpful, or at least give a place to begin.

  7. Great post! It brings me back to when I first heard you couldn't just send out your ms to publishers. (Wait! What's a query letter??) :D And we'll definitely pick up your YA. I have 4 readers under 11 here and I'm telling you they go through more than 8 chapter books a week. Crazy! My friend with teenagers said I go to the library searching for books as much as she goes to the grocery store to feed her hungry young men!

  8. Hi, KC!

    *Waving excitedly*

    Long time, no talk! I hope you are doing well. :)

    Thank you for this great post--your writing style is so fun! I'm still hanging around on unpubbed island, but hopefully I won't be stranded her too long... ;)

    This is definitely a good reminder for someone who is hoping to submit her first manuscript to the Oregon Christian Writer's Conference in August! There's so much to remember...better not forget that cover letter, though! ;)

    Oh, and I would LOVE a chance to win one of Sandra Byrd's books! I'm pretty much in love with the cover of Piece de Resistance, and I'd really like to read it! :)

    Talk to you soon!



  9. Hey Virginia,

    Wow! You are one busy Mom.

    We trust you and your family will find May's book a worthwhile read. She's worked very hard on it these past 4 years. (Hmm, that's a lotta "dog" years isn't it?!) ha!

    Your household is exactly the kind May has in mind. It's appropriate for ages 7 and up and is written from a Christian worldview... but it's a secular book. We think kids need some just plain good fun stories to read, with morals and such.

    Thanks for helping us spread the word when the time comes. The illustrations are really going to be wonderful. (NO PEEKING!)

    If you sign up for May updates, we'll let you know when it's ready to be paw-o-graphed... :)

  10. HEY Amber,

    Waving right back at cha! Pull up a palm frond and let's catch up... You've been schooling and writing and I've been... well... quite busy!

    Glad to know you're always there though.

    Yes on the cover letter. Don't know how I missed that integral part of the equation but sheesh... I sure did. Hope this helps others...

    Oh gosh yes. I've really enjoyed everything I've read of Sandra's. She writes for tweens/teens/adults. She has a new series coming out shortly also. She'll stop by today and perhaps tell us all more about it.

    She is an amazing mentor and friend of Seekerville (and mine too)... a real joy... kinda like YOU!

  11. Thank you for this post. I wondered about the whole cover letter vs. query letter thing. One agent asked for both. That was confusing! I did a search but still wasn't clear on the difference.

    I'd LOVE the critique! I'm patiently waiting for the Lord to send that boat to take me off Unpubbed Island, but I want to do all I can to be prepared for the departure.

    Thanks again!

  12. I've used cover letters when I'm submitting something that's been requested. I try to keeo it short, thanking the person for both their time and their request.

  13. COFFEE!!!
    okay, I need decaf but it's still the same psychological need.

    Cover letter, query letter, one page, 1 pg synop, 2 pg synop...the blurb, the pitch. All those thousand of words we labor over in a manuscript depend on a few chosen soldiers sent out as a scouting party. THE PRESSURE!

    KC, I'm glad you shared this and now there'll be a Cover Letter link on the subject list.
    And MAY the K9 SPY? sounds wonderful! congratulations

  14. Welcome to Seekerville, KC! Great to have you here on this side of the post chatting about cover letters. I include a cover letter of sorts with the manuscripts I turn in to my editor.

    Tossing the ball to May, Seekerville's mascot for the day. :-)

    Thanks for the coffee, Helen. And the Panera goodies, Carol.


  15. Hi Christine.

    ME TOO! That's why I slightly panicked at the realization that my fave blog had nothing on the subject. ACK!.

    BUT! I'm in Society for Children's Bookwriters and Illustrators (SCBWI) and they helped get me pointed in the right direction. I'm glad others are finding this info useful as well.

    Ok on the critique. Hope you win. Sandra is so helpful. Her input was invaluable. I think we need your email addy though so please include. :)

    Good to know Walt. I try to keep it short, thanking the person for both their time and their request. That would seem like the proper thing to do. Thanks for sharing the info!

    Hey ho Debra.

    What a beautiful way to put it: All those thousand of words we labor over in a manuscript depend on a few chosen soldiers sent out as a scouting party. THE PRESSURE!


    And you made May's day. Thanks. Exciting for sure!

  16. Hey Janet,

    May is back for more, nub wiggling furiously. THROW IT THROW IT THROW IT.

    Is this behavior ok for a mascot? She's not been one before and is now all excited about THAT! Gracious.

    Thanks, as a famous Tennessean once said, "I'm jes so proud to be here!"

    Can you share a bit about what you include? This goes to your editor correct? Do you remind him/her that they asked for material, or what you've included, or?
    Do you also send one to an agent (assuming you have one)? Those of us who are unpubbed appreciate others who are peeling back the curtain a bit.

    It seems so simple, like so many things - once you know HOW! ha!

  17. Debra - I'm with you! Coffee (even decaf) is the only sane way to start the day. Also agree about the synopsis issue. In the past month I had to write a 3 pg synopsis, a 1 pg synopsis, a 500 word synopsis, and a 300 word synopsis. AAAUUGGGHHHH!! How do you get a 110,000 word book squished coherently into 300 words?? After many trips through synopsis-writing websites, I think I figured it out.

    KC - email is teaching by writing at yahoo dot com

    Oh, and toss the ball to May for me. My cat actually races the dog to the ball. She can't pick it up, but she likes to join in the chase.

  18. Thanks Christine, got it.

    And especially thanks from May. She sez she has a very small ball if that would help your kitty be able to play too. :)

    What a wide range! Wawzah. That is something else.

  19. Hey KC - yes, cover letters! I'm with Vince on this one:"To me that would be like entering a house without knocking."

    Without an introduction the person who opens the envelope has no information to go on - Who sent this? Why? Have I ever met them before? If it came to my house that way, I'd be on my way to the round file before I even read the first sentence!

    But on to the real business. My resident K-9's send their love to May - Winter, Connor and Maggie the Cat (who thinks she's a dog). They've brought their favorite homemade dog biscuits to share for breakfast.

    Please enter me for the critique -


  20. Hi KC,

    I always use cover letters. Query and cover letters come pretty easy to me but I'm sure it's all the years that I've spent in the business world writing business correspondence.

    The synopsis...that's another animal....

    But it's wise to double check what publishers want to see with their submission because it does change drastically from one company to another.

  21. Good morning, KC! Thanks so much for your informative post! I hope we now have a tag for cover letters. :)

    Yes, I always include one. Still do with every proposal, every book, every set of revisions. I think of it as a standard business letter.

    Before making a sale, I also thought of it as a recap of a query letter (if I'd sent one). It was also a reminder of contest info if I was sending in a request from a contest. Very important!

    And yes, I tend to do it like you listed:
    Blurb/reminder of the story and the request.
    A little about me and my publishing or contest wins.
    And a thank you with contact info.

    No more than one page!

  22. Great article! Thanks for sharing your thoughts on writing cover letters. I write cover letters all the time when submitting manuscripts. It's nice to read a few tips.

  23. Hey, Karen!!! Great job on explaining cover letters! Yes, a cover letter is a pain but it's necessary. How else are you going to give them your email address and phone number so they have multiple ways of letting you know they love your book and want to publish it?

    Tell May I said hello and give her a belly rub from me.

  24. My advice on query and cover letters:
    be funny if you can. Professional but amusing.

    State your facts and figures, your allusions to genre, similar authors, etc, but be yourself.

    Only better. ;)

    Loving the virtual bikini body. Oh my, that's just too much fun.

    Vince, yeah, you want to show the benefits of the facts, so that twist puts a better spin on your success. When I placed in The Peninsula Pitch four years ago (the contest that led to multiple requests for work), I started with a two-sentence tag line:

    "In the world of mathematics, two negatives can become a positive. Can the same be possible in real life?"

    And then went into my pitch for the book that became Winter's End. And I remember an editor's response months later:

    "I'm holding this (the cover letter 'pitch'), wondering if you can really do this, weave a story around death, and I find myself hoping you can. I am sincerely interested in this book."

    Make every word count. Twice, if possible.

    Blueberry pancakes are being added to the table, the deluxe recipe on the Bisquick box, and do not scoff:

    Seriously delicious pancakes! :)

    Whipped cream, blueberry and maple syrups are alongside.


  25. Hey to Jan, Winter, Connor and Maggie from May!
    So glad y'all dropped by.

    MMMM - homemade doggie biscuits?! This whole mascot thing is a pretty good gig!
    Mom makes good people food, but doggie biscuits - not so much. But she and Dad make sure I have some of Joshua's.

    Please drop by my website and click on the link for Friends. You can read all about Joshua and what helps make his treats extra-special. :)

    KC here Jan, appreciate your taking the time to post. I know. Doofus. Just never thought about an actual cover letter. I wrote on the outside and included a "sticky" note but not a formal cover letter. Sigh. Most everyone seems to know but me. Oh well!

    It's how we learn!

    Rose - VERY good point here:
    But it's wise to double check what publishers want to see with their submission because it does change drastically from one company to another.

    Thanks for making it!

  26. Hi KC! My cover letter would say, "I'm awesome so therefor this story must be awesome and you should read it!" Haha I kid. Anywho thanks for the info KC!

    XOXO~ Renee
    p.s. I don't have to be entered to win.

  27. Hi Missy!!!

    This is great info you included. Thanks. Good to know about the emphasis on contest info. YES YES YES! :)

    You said: Before making a sale, I also thought of it as a recap of a query letter (if I'd sent one).

    So now that you have made sales (!) - how did things change?

    PS - I don't know about the tag. Maybe the wizard Tina does those!?

    Hey Sherry E

    Thanks for swinging by. I'm so glad you found it helpful!


    Good morning! If I can keep May still for a moment, will do! She's so excited to see everyone, she's bouncing all over the place.

    This is super and why your glass is more than half full: How else are you going to give them your email address and phone number so they have multiple ways of letting you know they love your book and want to publish it?

  28. Welcome to Seekerville, KC and May.

    Did someone bring a dish of food for May?

    I use cover letters for EVERYTHING. They are your calling card.

  29. Hey Ruthy,

    MMM - pancakes! Might there be a stray crumb or 3 for the mascot. She's wondering.

    Yes well - we have virtual food, so it ONLY stands to reason we can have VBB's doesn't it? :)

    This makes a lot of sense: State your facts and figures, your allusions to genre, similar authors, etc, but be yourself.

    It's a bit of a scary thought - be yourself, but hey... Why not, right? I like what you and Vince were saying there - put your own "spin" on things and share those benefits.

    Isn't that great encouragement from the editor? Way to go! (And I'd heard starting a query with a question is a real turnoff to many... See? Just goes to show you... BE YOURSELF!) :)

    Thanks for checking in today! and the pancakes with REAL maple syrup. MMMMMM.

  30. Hey KC. Hope you are enjoying the sun in your VBB. Hoping we'll get some real sun here on the Cumberland Plateau today. So tired of rain.

    Would love to win one of Sandra's books. I have a critique in the works with her now. Awesome lady!

    I agree with cover letter "manners." Another analogy would be that you wouldn't walk up to an editor or agent at a conference and just slap your ms in her hands, would you? There has to be an introduction and hint of what's in those pages and why you just handed them over.

    And yes, the synopsis is another beast all together. The last time I wrote one that had to be one page, I decided to not concentrate on the length until after I wrote it. Ending up with two pages, I started whittling back the stuff that, although seemed necessary, could *gulp* go. Finally getting it down to a page, just some final tweaking did the trick...but the whole thing *only* took me two days.

    Here's a toy for May. Go get it girl!!!

  31. Hey hey Renee, from May.

    Who is your delightful companion there? We could have some serious fun.

    Mom liked what you said about being awesome, for you surely are, with such good taste in companions! :)

    Tina - that is SO thoughtful of you to think of me and some food. I'm hoping y'all are messy and might accidentally on purpose drop something I might like. Mom says I'm a real good taste-tester!

    Hi Tina!

    Good to know on the cover letter. I always thought that the information on the ms. gave them the contact info needed, but I do always put in a couple of business cards (from VistaPrint - they do a good job!) so they have REAL calling cards.

    Do you think that's ok?? Thanks for your thoughtfulness!

  32. I'm so trying to become a FB fan...

    But my computer is about ready to fly out the window today.



    I have 4 kiddos who will likely like May ;). Can't wait!

  33. Hi Rita from May!

    (they made me the mascot today - did you hear?)

    OOOHHhhh, you know the way to a girl's heart. Thanks for the toy. I'll bring it RIGHT back! Or play with your 4 footers. Did you bring them?

    Hey critter from KC -
    (Y'all meet Rita - my critique partner!)

    Thanks for coming by. I hope we have sun too! Yes, isn't Sandra helpful? She is great.

    Appreciate your comments today. YES - that makes so much sense.

    Perhaps someone can do a post on synopsis again since several have been discussing it. Definitely another "beastie" that sets May to barking!

  34. Hi CarolM,

    gosh - so sorry 'bout that. Want to try this?

    Or search for May the K9 Spy

    Perhaps that'd be a little easier. Sorry you're having trouble.

    Wow FOUR kids? You have a lively household for sure. May would fit RIGHT in! Thanks!

  35. KC,

    Thanks for this discussion on the differences between cover letters and queries.

    Ruthie, that's interesting how you pitched "Winter's End." Love that book! Wondering if it had a different title as a WIP.

    I'd love to win a critique.

    cathy underscore shouse at yahoo dot com

  36. Thanks so much for this post, KC! I also enjoyed your style of writing (in fact, I became so "engrossed" in reading your post that one of my kitties sauntered over and began drinking my coffee-YIKES! She's never done that before--must be the half & half in it that appeals to her, LOL). Anyway, thank you again for this informative post, and your furry friend is precious! :)
    Blessings from Georgia, Patti Jo

  37. Ahem...Is there by any chance room in May's life for a gentleman sheltie of middling years? He's a handsome rogue with few bad habits (as long as you're not a squirrel) and his head has been quite turned by May in her eye-catching sunglasses and classy coat.

    And thank you for pointing out that there is a difference between a cover letter and a query letter. I would have thought they were one in the same. looks like even when you finish writing your book you're not finished writing after all.

  38. thanks KC...for clarifying about cover letters:) Thanks for the links...great help!


  39. Very VERY helpful! And I'm in my virtual bikini too (so glad I've virtually shaved ;)).

    Would LOVE the critique. LOTS.


  40. Ack! I'm running short on time before dashing to my "real job", but I just wanted to say this is a very helpful post. Cover letters and query letters can be very tricky!

    I'd really love to win either of the prizes, but the 10 page critique would be a wonderful gift.

    I'll be back later!



  41. Need. More. Hot tea. Cold. Sleepy. No. Exhausted.

    It's been two weeks since my hubby broke his collar bone in four pieces. He has surgery tomorrow to have a plate put on it. I'm already wiped out from illnesses since Christmas, my own ailments/frailties, mother-of-teenage-boys angst...not sure my brain is functioning beyond 40%. A ride in the Unpub Island row boat sounds heavenly. Crashing in one of the empty huts sounds even heavenlier. :D

    I finished my proposal for my agent of choice. I'm now in the midst of revisions in hopes they will be what he's wanting.

    Dave Fessenden! Great guy! Good friend! I've loved getting to know him through my hometown writer's network's annual conferences. He's an awesome editor and taught me a lot, too. Did you know he started a new writing blog?

    Think I'll warm my hot tea...and the critique? I'm always open to having my work critiqued.

    lr dot mullin at live dot com


  42. Hey Cathy,

    You are SO welcome. Really though thank the Seekers. They make certain the bases are covered, which is why we come here isn't it? I've learned so so much because of all of you. I'm the one who is thankful for sure!

    Hey CatMom Patti Jo!

    We know how it is to be "Moms" to these 4 footed kids, don't we? Gosh, thank you for the nice compliment. Those kids do get into trouble when we aren't paying attention don't they? I think animal lovers of any kind will enjoy the book, so I've heard. Have had some advance readers tell me and some ARE DEFINITELY kitty lovers.

    We don't have a cat in the book but... well, May thinks it might be a cat and... It kinda looks like a cat, sorta, a black cat, with a lovely wide white stripe down the middle and a nice raised fluffy tail. Wsheewwweeee. ;D

  43. May you are too cute! My companion's name is Coco and she thinks you're a cutie pie too. :-) She's a bit on the hefty side, 85 pounds, so she's on a diet but she says she would share her treats with you any day of the week!

    XOXO~ Renee

  44. Wow, I am slow this morning.

    You know, actually i'm NOT that slow. Seekerville is just really HOPPING.

    KC I went and offically changed the label on your blog post to now there will forever be a COVER LETTER label included on our sidebar.

    Way to find something we needed and fill the gap.

    Great post and your book sounds great. Can wait for it to be available!!!!

  45. Oh my stars, what was I thinking...

    Sorry, May, here's Mick, my stud Golden Retriever....

    He loves hangin' out with the ladies, and he's a great detective in his own right, so if you need to consult with him, shout out.

    Or bark, I guess.

    Doggie biscuits from Sam's Club. Mick's favorite. He's gorgeous but humble.

  46. I meant



    When we all talk here on Seekerville and some many of you say, "Of course, cover letter." I think...."Of course, Cover letter." But it's amazing how much there is to learn. Including the 'of course' stuff.

  47. Kav,

    I hear strains of "Matchmaker, matchmaker, make me a match..." This IS a romance site after all, right?!

    He sounds just dreamy, but alas, May is spayed. ha! Still, she would be interested in a handsome gentleman companion and thankfully, she doesn't look or smell like a squirrel so all should be well.

    I think our 4 footers are going to have such fun on the beach today.

    And you're so gracious to say it you thought it might be one and the same too. I felt ALL alone. Come sit by me... :) At least now we know, eh?

    Hey Lorna,

    Yew betcha! If you find other links, let us know.

    Joanne, you are a HOOT! It's shaping *ahem* up to be quite a gathering today on Unpubbed Island. So glad you could make it!

    Hi Whitney,

    Have a great day at the "real job" and stop back by if you can. This party's just getting started!

    Wow Linnette,

    Lots on your agenda. Please know we'll be praying for you and your husband. Yawwchhh. Collar bone. Man. So sorry - and all the illnesses too.

    But sounds like you have been plugging right along! Way to go!

    Oh wow - you KNOW Dave F? That is so wonderful. Please let us all know about the link to his blog. And tell him HOWDY from me! He was a wonderful mentor in the CWG also.

  48. Tina was thoughtful???

    Who knew?????


    Cathy Shouse, Winter's End was originally "Seeking the Garden"...

    It bombed in contests so it only saw a few, but then I saw the Peninsula Pitch and thought....

    Hey, I write a mean cover letter... If I can tweak interest from an incredible editor with a pitch, maybe they'll look beyond the kind of rough topic of DEATH..."

    And it worked. Sometimes ya' gotta get around a judge...I'm just sayin'...


    ...and see the sweet romance that lingers within.

    And who can argue with a totally hot man-of-the-land farmer and a foxy nurse????

  49. Hey Coco from May!

    Wow. Mom is always on a diet. I think that's why she's excited to be here on Unpubbed Island. Me? I don't need no stinkin' diet. I run too much. Stick with me, girl. We'll run it off you in no time. ;D

    OOOHHHH - handsome fella that Mick. Wawzah! I'll remember when I need help sniffin' out the bad guys. Your Mom said He's gorgeous but humble. so you must be like your Mom huh?

    I'd share a doggie biscuit with you any old time. But seriously, get your Mom to order some of Joshua's treats. They are to die for (well - kinda... You know what I mean.)

    Hi Miss Mary!

    Mom says you've been called a lot of things right here on this blog, but slow was never one of 'em.

    Thanks for having us today. I guess you pubbed authors can come back to the Island just for fun huh? Since I actually wrote my book and Mom just typed it out for me, I wonder if we both go at the same time, or if I'm the one who takes the boat?

    Be that as it may *ahem*, when it is ready I'll raise my paw and let you know!

  50. And who can argue with a totally hot man-of-the-land farmer and a foxy nurse????

    with cute shoes!!! ;D

    Thanks for sharing that Ruthy wisdom. Love it! Whatever works, right?

  51. The cover letter seems like the paper equivalent to a polite introduction and a handshake. If I walk up to someone in a crowded room, I want them to know I'm talking to them not someone else. So I stick out my hand and say, "Excuse me, my name is Andrea, and I was wondering..."

    I'm pretty new in the publishing biz, but I think it qualifies as one of life's metaphorical "crowded rooms."

    I've never submitted my work for publication, but I've sent out a lot of resumes in my day. I'm asking someone to give me money for something I can do/have done. It seems a lot the same to me.

    I'd love to win books.

    andeemarie95 at gmail dot com

    Tossing a squeaky red rubber ball to May. Have a blast, pooch!

  52. Thanks Andrea.

    The squeakier the better!!!

    You know, I think you're right about the crowded room. And it's just good manners too. Like our Moms & Dads taught us! :)

  53. KC, to answer your question about how the cover changes after making a sale...

    Now if it's on a proposal (before it's contracted), I include a blurb on the cover letter. Then any info about whether or not it's an idea that ties in with other books.

    When it's a cover letter for a sold book, it's just a basic telling of what's included in the package (full manuscript, revised manuscript, line edits, etc.)

  54. Hey Missy

    That is really important info.
    Thanks for clarifying for us newbies! :)

    May wants to know if you'd like to play now. PLEASE????

  55. KC!!!!!!

    Blown away by this post -- not only how fun and informative it is, but the fact that you have the moxie (and the body, no doubt) to traipse ANYWHERE in a bikini, even on cyber island!! You just climbed several notches on my palm tree of respect, sweetie, because there are two things in life that I HIGHLY RESENT being relegated to the young -- long hair and bikinis, two of my passions from my youth!! So, you go, girl!!!

    And I'm with Vince -- cannot imagine sending a ms. without a cover letter. And to me, my cover letter would always be a modified query. If a query is a sales tool, why in the name of Unpubbed Island would one NOT go ahead and use a cover letter in the vein of query to "sell" the attached ms. all the more???


  56. Great post, KC! You have such a delightful writing voice.

    When you do remind said editor/agent that he/she requested the manuscript, be sure to say how and when that happened. We met at such and such a writing conference ... Sandra Byrd put us in touch ... I'd queried you on my manuscript set in sixteenth century England and you said to send it on ... just to joggle the memory a bit.

  57. Hey Julie,

    Some of us ARE PASSIONATE about things aren't we? ;D C'monnnnn in, the water's warm lady!

    (You are so funny! The euphamism used these days is "curves"... Used to be "Rubenesque" - which is why a VBB is a must have for me this spring! ha!)

    Thanks too for further info on your cover letter and how you do them. This truly is helpful.

    HEY Sandra! Round of applause please for our gracious gift-giver today.

    Can you feel the excitement as people contemplate the presents? Wow. Thank you for being such a fantabulous mentor, even to people who haven't had the distinct honor and pleasure to meet you yet.

    Sure appreciate your adding in the info too. And DO tell about that 16th century proposal will you? It helps for we newbie unpubbed types to learn from those who have long sailed away. Thanks for stopping in to assist.

    Now what can we get you to drink? Hungry? May wants to know if Brie came along? She says, "We can do tricks for the entertainment portion of our program!"

  58. Well gang

    I need to be away for awhile.
    Keep bringing your comments and questions. Be back later!

    May will be happy to entertain you while I'm gone.



  59. May -

    I liked your page. I also had my fan page like your page. Cuz you know when you hit 25, you can pick your own web address - like instead of all those numbers and stuff. Hope that helps ya out a bit ;).

    I've got four kids coming over to play with you. The oldest is allergic to some dogs. Probably not you because you're too cute, but if you could not lick her face, she'd appreciate it. Even the youngest is gentle with animals though so you don't have anything to worry about. I'm sure they'll run you crazy in the backyard playing fetch with that squeaky ball.

  60. Hi KC! Waving to you from one of the other now abandoned huts on Unpubbed Island. Cheryl Wyatt's. Scrounging around looking for plotting tips.

    Actually, I may visit every hut before I'm done. They're a pretty neat bunch. Not much debris left over from all those Call celebrations, but if you look really good, it's possible to find a post-it or scrap of paper with a few good tips on it.

    Hi May!

  61. Hi KC:

    My dog, Aristotle, has a question:

    In the next book will May have a romantic interest? He thinks that it would be a perfect time to enjoy midgrade ‘puppy love’ light hearted repartee. (He also wants to know if you have watched, “Lady and the Tramp” lately?)

    I also have a question:

    Do you think you will ever work a Wounded Warrior Getaway scene into the story? There would be a great lesson there. (Write what you know and all that.)

    Just thinking!

    Enjoying your hosting.


    BTW: I’d also like a chance at a critique by Sandra Byrd.
    vmres (at) swbell (dot) net

  62. Great topic!

    KC, you sound like my long-lost twin. Can we say....

    OverThinkers Unite???

    I believe there should be some kind of cover/query letter included/attached to every submission.

    The initial query isn't so hard to figure out, it's the subsequent communication (a lot of which is email these days) that ties me up in knots.

    You want to say something to remind the editor or agent about your project, but you don't want to be redundant. Arrgh!

    What to do?

    What to say???

  63. Okay, even thinking of myself with a virtual bikini bod weirds me out.

  64. Linnette! Ouch on dh's injury and upcoming surgery.

    My son's got the same kind of surgery coming up soon, from an year-old injury that didn't heal properly.

    But 4 places?

    Quadruple ouch!

  65. Thanks for your post KC! I'll be checking out your links next time I need some fresh ideas on how to write a query or cover letter. I also like to look at what not to do to figure out what I should do.

    Eva Maria Hamilton at gmail dot com

  66. KC!!!!!

    Hey, honey, you are a natural blogger! Great job! Interesting topic.

    BTW, just last week I was in a rush to send my line item edits back to my editor. Needed to dash to UPS before it closed. For a brief moment, I considered NOT including a cover letter. Thankfully, good sense won out, and I dashed off a short letter indicating the work I had done and what she would find in the submission.

    So...bottom line...a cover letter should accompany any and every submission.

  67. KC,

    Did you find the oatmeal raisin cookies I buried in the sand just outside my hut?


    Face the door. Take one step to the left. Begin digging. Cookies are in a plastic zip-lock bag.

    You'll also find doggie bones for May.


  68. Pam,

    One of my editors told me, politely persistent but not pesky. Finding that line is hard, but I thought it was a great guideline!


  69. KC, fun and entertaining post! I can't imagine sending in something without some sort of a cover letter.

  70. Well, my hubby met with the doc and he's leaning toward "natural healing" rather than surgery. I'll keep you posted.

    Dave's blog is FromConceptToContract (dot) com.
    And I just left a message telling him you said hi, KC. :D

    Thanks for the prayers! I really need them! Not sure I can get much more stressed.


  71. Pam, I told my hubby about your son. I'm leaving the decision up to him whether or not to get the surgery.

  72. Great info KC! I'm still laughing about the virtual bikini--the only kind I'll ever be caught in.

  73. Hey hey CarolM - you're back and good as your word. Thanks for liking my page. Did your computer go flying? ha!

    I'm soooo excited you're bringing all your kids over. Mom's parents' Yorkie, Maxine, licks in the face, but I don't. It's not good manners. So NO problem. But even though I'm almost 11, I'll betcha I can wear them out before they wear ME out.

    But maybe in the sand here on the Island it might be a little different. It's my first time in sand!

    HEY Patricia W

    Yes MA'AM! These Seekers know how to do it, don't they? I was so glad Mom found them - it was for Dave Fessenden's birthday celebration last year. Thanks for saying "Hi" specially to me. Did you bring a toy to throw? If not, there's quite a collection now. See one you like yet? I can bring them one by one until you do!

    Hey Patricia - KC here. And now, soooo many empty huts. Let me know what else you find and we'll compare notes, ok? It's about time to break out the umbrella drinks don't you think? Thanks for swinging by. :)

  74. Hey Vince...

    Not THE famous Aristotle, the one who left a comment on May's website?! Wawzah. :)

    So glad to see you. May sends her bestest sniffs and greetings and thanks him VERY much for doing that for her...

    You know, haven't watched L&T for a good long while but it is one of my faves. Might just have to do that soon! Hadn't thought of a romance, but it might work.

    At this point I'll just be glad to get the rest of the plotting done on book 2! ha! but that might be a good layering in, eh?

    It's possible about the WWG. We will be donating some of the proceeds from the book sales to charity and this is one that will definitely be a recipient. It is a MOST worthy cause - another WWG coming up end of April in case anyone is interested in volunteering or donating some Christian books or music or something for a prize.

    Oh gosh thank you - this has been SO much fun already! It's been great to see everyone here, and we're all lookin' GOOD too!!!

    Oooh - another taker for Sandra's critique. Yippitty doo dah!

    Hi Pam

    Ha! that is great or we could be dyslexic and be ThinkOvers Untie! That could work too! (Dyslexia runs in our family so... we know how to laugh about it.)

    Speaking of laughing - yeah - with the VBB... I keep trying to decide what color my teeny weeny bikini is! No need to be weirded out at all - just join right in with the rest of us, ok?!

    Yes - I think you're right about this: I believe there should be some kind of cover/query letter included/attached to every submission.

  75. Linnette, to ease your mind....both of my son's have broken their collarbones.

    The youngest broke his riding horses 4-5 years ago. His healed without surgery. A little bump there, but otherwise, okay.

    The oldest broke his last year in a motorcycle accident. It probably would have healed properly without surgery if he had listened to the doctor and not tried to be "macho-man". lol

  76. Thanks, Pam! That makes me feel a bit better. I just dread THREE months of this! Though the next week promises to be torture if he does get the surgery! ;-)

  77. Hey Eva Maria,

    I'm glad you found it helpful. Those links hold some excellent advice. I've bookmarked 'em myself! Thanks for coming by. See what you can find in Mary's hut, ok?


    *munch munch munch* So thoughtful of you to leave sustenance!! For man and beast! (Sorry May, I wasn't talking about you...) *munch munch* Still delicious. Yum! thanks!

    And - yes - from the master herself So...bottom line...a cover letter should accompany any and every submission.

    Since you know your editor well - did you type it or is it ok to handwrite, given your dashing about?

    Sandra - One of my editors told me, politely persistent but not pesky. Finding that line is hard, but I thought it was a great guideline!

    Wow - Sure is! thanks so much for sharing that one!

    Linnette - thank you. Just left Dave a note myself. Looks like a GREAT blog. :) Yes, will be praying... Our pastor gave us a great line many years ago - Adversity is part of life, Stress is optional.

    Keep breathing - we'll keep praying, ok?

  78. Hey Cara,

    well - I figure if we can hang out on a spectacular island and have Capt Jack serving umbrella drinks and eat whatever we want... then we might as well go ALL the way and look fabulous while we're doing it, don't you?

    May surely thinks so. She feels pretty spiffy when she's in her spy get up. Ha!

    Sure thank you for dropping by! Which hut was yours? What goodies are left behind?

    Several of us started a scavenger hunt awhile ago. I think Patricia W is winning so far...

  79. This comment has been removed by the author.

  80. Sorry - that one posted twice for some reason. Not possible that it was operator error... Nah.

    Debby- hey thanks so much for the nice words. Yeah - I can chat away. And rummage for oatmeal raisin cookies... ;D

  81. Well May...
    It's been fun, hasn't it? Are you too pooped to pop yet? No?

    Alrighty, don't give me that look. You can stay and play a little longer. :)

    Ok y'all. I'm going to leave May here to play with anyone else (anyone? anyone?) who would like to. I'll be away for awhile again. So y'all have fun.

    It's been a great time here in Seekerville today. Thanks for having me, I've learned a lot - AS USUAL!!!

    Be back,

  82. Stress is optional, huh? LOL I'd like to read his thoughts on that one! I'm pretty good about not letting stress get to me, but a body can only take so much.

  83. Thanks, KC! I didn't even know there was a difference between a query letter and a cover letter!

    Great job.

    Loved your pic with your adorable doggie!

    Please enter me in the draw! Thanks.

    sbmason at sympatico dot ca

  84. Wow there is a party going on at Seekerville, today.

    Look at you, KC. You're all having more fun over there than is actually legal anywhere EXCEPT Seekerville.

  85. KC, Thanks so much for joining us in Seekerville today. What a great post and how clever of you to find a subject we haven't covered. Great going.

    I love your pooch. We have four legged "children" also. smile

    Sounds like you sparked a lot of great info. Thanks again and blessings. Sandra who loved reading about all of your activities and interests.

  86. Hi KC and May,
    You asked about sending a typed cover letter or one that is handwritten.

    Always type the cover letter. No matter how well we know the editor, it's still a business arrangement and we want to be professional about everything.

    However, I do handwrite thank you notes when I send them.

  87. KC,
    So GREAT to see you here as a guest.
    And what a nice post. I have such a hard time writing cover letters because I'm not good at 'selling' my writing.
    It's something I still need to learn how to do well.

    (Go Tennessee ;-)
    And I'd love to be entered into the drawing - pepperbasham(at)yahoo(dot)com

  88. What a lively post...on a Monday!! Enjoyed it!!! Please me enter me in the drawing for books.

  89. Hey Linnette!

    Yeah- I hear ya. His point was that adversity comes to everyone, but how it affects you is a matter of choice. If you will apply what you've learned in Bible study - principles such as God is Sovereign and Love, therefore He knows what is going on in your life and loves you infinitely, so much so that He made a way for us to live with Him forever through faith in His Son Jesus Christ - it can make all the difference.

    Not that the test necessarily disappears mind you (!), but it is for blessing as in the case of Job... Or... if we've strayed and we're reaping the consequences of poor decisions and it's discipline, since He loves us, and wants us back in line with His Plan, then we can claim 1 John 1:9 for example, get back with the program and THEN it will be for our benefit. (Long sentence - sorry!)

    It has sure helped in my own life, let me say that! That and breathing. Breathing is good. ha!

    Let us know how it goes. Glad you found support here, as we always do in Seekerville. Love this place, and the Island is beautiful isn't it? Ahhh.

    All you Island escapees... Where do you go after?

    Maybe we're not supposed to know until then... :)

  90. Howdy Susan Anne!

    Yeah boy, you saw MY post. I didn't either and it was almost midnight with a deadline looming... So - now we both know and have benefitted from those who have gone before!! What a blessing.

    Glad you stopped by today! You're entered!

    Well YEAH Mary, we're just taking after you Island escapees! We're nothing if not good learners and we're learning from da best! :)

    Sandra! May here. So you're a critter Mom too?! Sniff, sniff, ssnnniiiiffffff. Who are they? Did you bring them?! Did ya huh huh huh??? Let's play!

    Like my four-footed Mom taught me, "A prepared puppy is ready when opportunity is provided."

    My 2-legged Mom's glad you enjoyed reading about what all she does. I have to make her "sit and stay."

    Thank you Miss Debby for the biscuits. I had 1 1/2 so others could have some. I've been working hard on my manners. Sigh.

    Hey Debby - KC again. May is improving in that regard. Ok great on the cover letter - typed with perhaps a handwritten message if warranted and appropriate?

    And handwritten thank you's. I like it! (You had a post about that recently too!)Professional with a personal touch. Sounds like you!!

    HEY Pepper! Glad to see ya here. Woot woot woot - Go Tennessee girls!

    Hi Jackie - so glad you came by. I think we need your email addy, so let us know please ma'am. Thanks for checking in today!

  91. Mom says I have to go now but it was lots of fun meeting all of you in Seekerville.

    Thanks for coming to the party and playing with me. I had a blast... :)

    May, the K9 Spy (sometimes - sometimes I'm off duty, like today and just want to have FUN!)

  92. Bye now May. Peanut, Tinkerbell, and Lovey all enjoyed your visit. You've been a good mascot. Go curl up with your toy and enjoy the rest of your day.

  93. Thanks, KC. I understand what you're saying. Though, as I was pondering the statement itself, God reminded me that even Jesus sweat great drops of blood in the garden before the crucifixion and asked the father to make a way of escape for him. Yet, he handled it through prayer and aligning his will with God's. In all the hours of agony, he never sinned. It think that's a great picture of Jesus's humanity. It's a great example of how to handle stress, because it is impossible to live a completely stress free life. It would be easy to take his statement to mean that if we feel stressed, we are in sin and that's not necessarily true. But, thank you for your encouragement. I know that's how you meant it and that's how I'll take it. Besides, it gave me something to ponder. :D

    Hugs, Linnette

  94. What a great post KC
    I learned a lot today as usual--on this great site.May certainly had friends to play and eat with today...Rub her tummy for me. I love the bikini-and long hair thoughts.Anxious to see you at a book signing.Need help? sign me up for the book drawing bevschwind@hotmail dot com.

  95. Hey Linnette,

    You said In all the hours of agony, he never sinned.

    THAT is the most amazing aspect isn't it? Honestly. Not a stubbed toe, not hunger, nothing enticed Him to sin.

    YES - definitely meant for encouragement! You got it! And we're still praying for you!

    Thanks Rita, I'll let May know your babies said Hey! She's had a GOOD nap, so is ready to play again. ;D

    BEV! So glad you came by! Absolutely on the book signing and I know where to find ya! Thank you so much! You're the best!

  96. This is good- I saved it for later!
    If it is not too late add me to the prize drawing. I learn a lot from critiques!

  97. Hey Tonya,

    So glad you came by and found it worthwhile. Maybe it'll save someone from a near panic attack like I had.

    I think you're okay on entering... The Seekers do the drawings so - I'll find out the "lucky" winners this weekend too! :)