Posted by: nancyisanders | January 8, 2015

Writing Opportunity: The Cover Letter

Have you ever read those fun books called CHOOSE YOU OWN ADVENTURE? They were some of our kids’ favorites.

Today we’re going to play a fun game. Let’s call it CHOOSE YOUR OWN COVER LETTER!

I’ll share with you (word for word in some sentences) how I wrote my cover letter. Then I’ll give you options that you can choose to plug into your own cover letter. Hopefully this will take some of the stress out of writing this so you can actually submit your manuscript to Kaeden Books!

Cover Letter: Paragraph 1
First Sentence
I always like to start out the first sentence of my cover letter with something about my manuscript. Sometimes I quote a catchy sentence or two from my manuscript. Other times I give a little summary. Here’s what I said in the first sentence of my cover letter to Kaeden Books:

Students learn about XX in kindergarten, including YY.

XX was a general topic my manuscript covers. YY is the specific subject I present. For example, here’s what it might have said if my manuscript was about astronauts:

Students learn about careers in kindergarten, including careers of astronauts.

If you’d like to choose this approach for your opening sentence, you can copy my first sentence and plug in your own topics or reword it in your own words to get the same effect.

Second Sentence
Then I gave a little summary of my story for the second sentence of this paragraph. Plus I tried to use words that will appeal to an editor. Here’s the second sentence I wrote in my cover letter:

In this engaging nonfiction manuscript, My Title, students find an XX, YY, and ZZ…along with a surprise at the end!

If you’d like to choose this approach for your second sentence, you can copy it and plug in your own details.

Or, you can choose some of these alternatives:
Instead of “engaging” nonfiction manuscript, you can choose one of these words to describe your manuscript:

Let’s look at some of the words Kaeden Books like to use. CLICK HERE to see the list of their nonfiction titles. Then click on the button for VIEW DESCRIPTION for some of the titles. Here are some of the words Kaeden uses to describe their own books:

perfect match of text to illustration
this delightful look at…
delightful illustrations support text that introduces…
introduce words that name the XX, YY, and ZZ
Great for…
A closer look at…
Step-by-step directions for the reader to follow to…
Using simple, repetitive text, this book is perfect for…
Sure to appeal to young…
Join the fun as readers…

So go ahead and use some of the same wording Kaeden uses to describe their products to describe your own manuscript in the second sentence of this paragraph. This is what I do when I tailor my cover letter to target a specific publisher. I look in their catalogs and try to match their own product line as closely as possible in a fresh new way!

And if your manuscript has a surprise at the end, be sure to mention that too, since Kaeden Books states in their submission guidelines that they’re particularly looking for submissions with a surprise ending.

There…that’s all it takes to write the first two sentences in your first paragraph of your cover letter!

In our next post we’ll continue this CHOOSE YOUR OWN COVER LETTER game for writing the next paragraph!


  1. How creative, Nancy!

  2. Thank you Nancy for being an inspiration. I’ve appreciated your acts of kindness in sharing your writing tips and suggestions.

    • Thank YOU, Vicki, for your kind words. So glad you’re being inspired!!!!

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