Cover letters are simply business letters, complete with the date and address at the top. Greeting, body, complimentary close, all of that. Include the following parts, and you’re good to head to the post office. It should fit on one page, just as the query does, and be the first page in the stack of papers you’re mailing off to the agent.
1. Date / Agent’s name and address
3. The first paragraph of the body should thank the agent for requesting the material. Include the date of the request, the title of the work and how much is enclosed
4. Query blurb
5. Bio / Publishing credits (just like from the query letter)
6. Complimentary close / signature / mailing address / contact information
8. Self-addressed stamped envelope
Tips When Sending Requests Via Snail Mail:**Write “REQUESTED MATERIAL” on the outside of the envelope, front and back.
**Pay for priority with delivery confirmation. The agent won’t have to sign, but you’ll know when they receive it.
**Use white plain white paper for the letter and the submission. Don’t forget to sign the letter.
**Don’t bind any pages.
**If they ask for a synopsis, put it behind the requested material. You want them to read the MS before the synop, right? Right.
**Stack everything in this order: cover letter, copy of their request letter (print the email or make a copy of the letter they snailed you), the requested material (synopsis last). I tuck the flap of my SASE around my cover letter so they come together when the agent pulls them out of the envelope.
Here’s a sample:
18 September 2007
JABberwocky Literary Agency
PO Box 4558
Sunnyside, NY 11104-0558
Dear Mr. Schneider,
Thank you for your interest in my young adult dystopian novel, CONTROL ISSUES. As per your request on September 9, I am enclosing the first ten chapters of the manuscript (76 pages) and a brief synopsis for the rest of the work. You may contact me at any time via email: [email address].
In a world where Thinkers brainwash the population and Rules are not meant to be broken, fifteen-year-old Violet Schoenfeld does a hell of a job shattering them to pieces. When secrets about her “dead” sister and not-so-missing father hit the fan, Vi must make a choice: control or be controlled. (This is my two sentence pitch. Do you have one? You should.)
CONTROL ISSUES addresses the topic of teens fulfilling their duty as citizens of society, along with how hard it is to grow up under the expectations of parents and other adults when they're trying to make their life their own.
I am a graduate of Southern Utah University, with a B.S. in Elementary Education and a minor in Mathematics. I now teach elementary school (well, from August to May, I do) as well as write for the QueryTracker blog.
Thank you for your time and consideration,
[personal contact information]
76 pages of CONTROL ISSUES
Brief Synopsis of CONTROL ISSUES